Welcome to the Southeastern most part of the Roman Empire in the second century CE. This is the area that the Kitos Revolt occurred; one of the bloodiest revolts of the Roman Empire. That is, if the sources we have can be trusted on the number of dead resulting from the revolt. In fact, I’m going to be straight with you. We do not have a lot of information on this revolt if it can even be called one single revolt. It may have been a bunch of groups of Jews in multiple parts of the Empire that all rose up at once for whatever reason. The literary source we have that is closest to the revolt is Cassius Dio, but he lived over fifty years after the revolt. All that to say, we don’t know much of what happened, how it happened, or why it happened.
There’s also another problem that arises from our lack or sources. This lack of detail from these authors may not have been a coincidence. The Romans had a habit of obscuring and hiding events that they did not like. Another example of this is many Roman authors do not seem to like writing about Boudicca’s Revolt. This seems to have happened when a particularly bad event happened to the Romans. Since the Kitos War involved the slaughter of hundred of thousands of pagans, the Romans probably would not have wanted that to be focused on since they didn’t do much to stop that for a while.
We have tried to compile as much as we can to try to make sense of what happened. We have found some archaeological evidence and have used the literary evidence we have to create a narrative for each area of the revolt. You’ll be able to see all of these items linked with an area of the revolt.
I would highly recommend reading up on the State of the Roman Empire; and the general overview of the Kitos Revolt before going into the areas of the Revolt.
The Kitos War happened in several different Roman provinces: Cyrenaica, Egypt, Judea, Cyprus, and Mesopotamia.
Some important people in this revolt are: Lukuas, Lucius Quietus, the emperors Trajan and Hadrian, and Marcus Rutilius Lupus.
There are also a couple areas where the aftermath of the Revolt made a large difference: The aftermath of Cyrenaica and Egypt, Cyprus, Mesopotamia.
Go ahead and click around the map to either see some of the entries already linked in this text or some entries about some more specific areas not talked about here!
Look ahead 15 years into the future and we can still see the Kitos War as well as the First Jewish Revolt continuing on under the name of the Bar-Kokhba Revolt. Rome, although she was brutal in the punishment of rebels, was not as successful in quieting the spirits of these Jewish descendants.
Some further reading