Ancient Roman Weapons Support Josephus’ Account of the Siege of Jerusalem

Over the past four years, archaeologists have discovered military equipment used by Roman legions in the battle for Jerusalem in 70 CE. Some of the artefacts were recently put on public display by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). Sue Surkes writes:

According to the IAA, an account by the 1st-century Roman-Jewish historian Josephus of the fall of Jerusalem is being confirmed by objects discovered on an ancient road that once ascended from the city’s gates and the Pool of Siloam to the Temple. “On the following day, the Romans, having routed the brigands from the town, set all on fire as far as Siloam,” Josephus wrote in The Jewish Wars.

Among other finds, archaeologists dug up ballista stones flung by Roman catapults and arrowheads used by Jewish rebels behind barricades as the city fell to the Romans in 70 CE.

“Josephus’ descriptions of the battle in the lower city have come face-to-face for the first time with evidence that was revealed in the field in a clear and chilling manner,” the [archaeologists] Nahshon Szanton and Moran Hagbi said in a statement.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Archaeology, History & Ideas, Josephus, Judean Revolt

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy