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Pompey the Great and the siege of Jerusalem in 63 BC

This is a coin of Pompey the Great minted 14 years after the siege of Jerusalem. Pompey the Great arrived in Antioch to bring about the Romanization of the Syria in 63 BC. He was asked by the Hasmonean king to intervene in a Jewish civil war. Rome found a great excuse to extend their reach into Judea. Pompey placed a seige on Jerusalem in 63 BC. He found the defenses of Jerusalem to be formidable and was let into the upper city by the Jewish population who supported him. After several months he was able to take the Temple Mount. Twelve thousand Jews died during the siege. Pompey rode his horse into the Holy of Holies and desecreated the Temple. He left the temple intact and allowed the Jews to resume their normal Temple activities. The eclipse of 63 BC was prominent in the heartland of the Roman Republic. The destiny of the Roman Republic was going to be imperial whether it was Julius Caesar or Pompey the Great. Both understood solar eclipse symbolism as it pertained to King Romulus. It is amazing that the Roman Republic prior to Julius Caesar would have killed any leader who wanted to bring back the monarchy. In less than 50 years the Roman would not only be recognizing fellow Romans as emperors but as a living "son of god" under Augustus. Pompey was executed in Pelusium, Egypt in front of his family after losing the battle of Pharsalus to to Julius Caesar.

Photo Edgar L Owen Galleries

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