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Julius Severus°

JULIUS SEVERUS° (Sextus Julius Severus), Roman commander who suppressed the revolt of *Bar Kokhba. He was governor of Britain at the outbreak of the revolt and was called to Judea after *Tinneius Rufus, procurator of Judea, and Marcellus, governor of Syria, had failed to suppress it. Considered one of Hadrian's most able commanders, Julius Severus, according to Dio Cassius, avoided pitched battles and obliged the rebels to engage in a defensive war (Historiae Romanae, 69:13). He fought a war of attrition, attacking each fortress and citadel individually, until the whole country, with the exception of Bethar, had been conquered. Dio Cassius relates that dozens of fortresses as well as hundreds of villages were destroyed, and that over half a million people were killed, in addition to those who died of hunger and disease. Jewish sources also testify to the great carnage of the war, in which the Romans likewise suffered heavy losses. The fall of Bethar marked the end of the war. The Romans, regarding Severus' victory as one of special importance, conferred special honors on him.


Schuerer, Gesch, 1 (19014), 648f., 689f., 697f.; Groag, in: Pauly-Wissowa, 30 (1932), 1813–16, S.V. Minicius, no. 11; H. Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, 1 (1897), 231, no. 1056–57; CIL, 3 (1873), no. 2830; D. Atkinson, in: Journal of Roman Studies, 12 (1922), 66, no. 20; L. Petersen (ed.), Prosopographia Imperii Romani, 4 pt. 3 (19662), 279–80, no. 576.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.