Saturday, August 27, 2016

Scotland and the Bar Kokhba Revolt

ARCHAEOLOGY: Burnswark's bloody Roman history becomes clearer (Willie Johnston, BBC Scotland).
There's growing evidence that a landmark flat-topped hill in Dumfriesshire was the site of the first major battle of the Roman invasion of Scotland.

Archaeologists have been trying for 300 years to assess the role of Burnswark in the Roman occupation.

New excavations suggest the truth is more bloody than had been thought up to now.


Lead archaeologist Andrew Nicholson believes it was the first assault in the Roman invasion of Scotland around 140 AD.

"What this probably is, is the start of the Antonine push from Hadrian's Wall, conquering all of southern Scotland," he said.

"After the emperor Hadrian has died the new emperor Antoninus Pius needs a victory as the incoming emperor.

"Southern Scotland is beyond the wall, beyond the borders, it is barbarian and Burnswark and the rest of Annandale and everywhere south of the Forth-Clyde line is its intended target."

Now this in itself is an exciting archaeological development. But what, you ask, does it have to do with the Bar Kokhba Revolt, the Jewish revolt against Rome in 132-135 CE? This:
More evidence is the known presence of a general Lollius Urbicus brought here from the Middle East to do the emperor's dirty work.

John Reid of the Roman Heritage group the Trimontium Trust says Urbicus had "previous".

"He made his name in the Jewish war which had taken place in Israel in the previous four years where they had literally gone through the whole of Judea taking hill forts one after the other," he said.

"He was given the job of taking Scotland, we know that from Roman literary sources.

"So he was here and this is where they blood their troops."
More on Urbicus is here.