On 7 September, 70 Jerusalem fell to the Roman general, Titus, son of Vespasian. The Roman troops put the city to fire and destroyed most of the Third Temple. Only the ‘Wailing Wall’ was left standing. The Romans abolished the Jewish high priesthood and the Sanhedrin.

At that time the city was distracted by internal feuds. Simon held the upper and lower cities; John of Gischala, the temple and Ophel; the Idumeans, introduced by the Zealots, fought only at Walls for themselves. Yet another party, too weak to make its counsels felt, was for peace with Rome, a policy, which, if taken in time, would have found in Titus a spirit of reason and mercy. The miseries of the siege and the destruction of life and property were at least as much the work of the Jews themselves as of their conquerors. On the 15th day of the siege the third wall (Agrippa’s) was captured; the second wall was finally taken on the 24th day; on the 72nd day the Antonia fell, and 12 days later the daily sacrifice ceased. On the 105th day the temple and the lower city were burnt, and the last day found the whole city in flames.

The city and temple were wholly burnt and destroyed, excepting the W. wall of the upper city and Herod’s three great towers, which were left as memorials of the strength of the defenses. The old and weak were killed, the children under 17 sold as slaves, the rest were sent to the Egyptian mines, the amphitheatres, and Rome. The 10th legion of the Roman army so thoroughly levelled and dug up, that no one visiting Jerusalem would believe it had ever been inhabited. Hadrian completed the fulfillment of Christ’s words[1] by razing the ruins still left and drawing a plow over the temple foundations.

For 60 years after its capture silence reigns over Jerusalem. The site continued to be garrisoned, but it was not rebuilt to any extent. In 130 AD it was visited by Hadrian, who found only few buildings standing. Two years later (132-35 AD) occurred the last great rebellion of the Jews in the uprising of Bar-Cochba (son of a star), who was encouraged by the rabbi Akiba. With the suppression of this last effort for freedom by Julius Severus, the remaining traces of Judaism were stamped out, and it is even said  that the very site of the temple was plowed up by T. Annius Rufus and an altar of Jupiter was placed upon the temple-site. The Jews were excluded from Jerusalem.

In 138 Hadrian rebuilt the city, giving it the name AElia Capitolina. A statue of horse-ridden Hadrian was placed on the site of the ‘Holy of Holies’. Either Hadrian himself, or one of the Antonine emperors, erected a temple of Venus on the north-western hill, where subsequently was built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The habit of pilgrimage to the holy sites, which appears to have had its roots far back in the 2nd century, seems to have increasingly flourished in the next two centuries.

International Standard Bible Enc. has recorded:

In 362 Julian is said to have attempted to rebuild the temple, but the work was interrupted by an explosion. The story is doubtful.[2]

Fausset’s Bible Dic. relates the event as follows:

In the apostate Julian’s reign the Jews at his instigation attempted with great enthusiasm to rebuild the temple; but a whirlwind and earthquake shattered the stones of the former foundation, and a fire from the temple mount consumed their tools. Ammianus Marcellinus (23:1), the emperor’s friend, attests the fact. Providence baffled Julian’s attempt to falsify Christ’s words.[3]

International Standard Bible Enc.states:

The site of the temple itself appears to have remained in ruins down to the seventh century.[4]

In AD 614/615 Palestine was conquered by the Persians Chosroes II who destroyed Jerusalem including the church of the Holy Sepulchre and took the ‘True Cross’ as booty, on which Jesus was believed to have been crucified. He slew thousands of monks and clergy.

About the recapture of Jerusalem by the Romans International Standard Bible Enc. states:

In 629 Heracleus, (…), reached Jerusalem in triumph, bearing back the captured fragment of the cross. (…). The triumph of Christendom was but short. Seven years earlier had occurred the historic flight of Mohammed from Mecca (the Hegira), and in 637 the victorious followers of the Prophet appeared in the Holy City. After a short siege, it capitulated, but the khalif [or ‘khalifah’?] Omar treated the Christians with generous mercy. The Christian sites were spared, but upon the temple-site, which up to this [time] had apparently been occupied by no important Christian building but was of peculiar sanctity to the Moslems through Mohammed’s alleged visions there, a wooden mosque was erected, capable of accommodating 3,000 worshippers.[5]

Fausset’s Bible Dic asserts:

Caliph Omar (637 A.D.) took the city from the patriarch Sophronius, who said, ‘Verily, this is the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place. Christians were allowed liberty of worship.[6]

Dr. Tariq al-Suwaydan has recorded the event as follows:

When the patriarch [Sophronius] saw this scene, he was impressed and the grace of Islam seemed to be great. He said to his fellow citizens that no man on earth could withstand this nation. Surrender to them to salvage yourselves. Agreement was written among them. ‘Umar granted them peace and security in the city. He guaranteed that their places of worship, their churches, and their holy places shall neither be demolished, nor touched. In this way the holy city witnessed the most merciciful conqueror of its history. It is recorded in the history of the holy land that whenever any conqueror took hold of the land, he completely destroyed it and murdered its inhabitants.[7]  

The author further noted:

After this agreement the gates of the holy city were opened for ‘Umar bin Khattab and he entered it. He began to go around the city. When he reached the Church of the Holy Sepulchre there was the call for Prayer. The Patriarch asked him to offer his prayer there in the Church. ‘Umar said to him, ‘No; if I offered prayer at this place, the Muslims might take it from you at some later time, saying ‘Umar offered his prayer here.’ (….).‘Umar kept going around in search of al-Aqsa Mosque but could not find it. He enquired the Patriarch about it. He said, ‘Is it that one which is sacred to Jews?’ ‘Umar replied in positive. He led him to it. He found it in the condition that the Christians had turned it into the place for rubbish and impurities. ‘Umar pulled up his sleeves and started sweeping and cleansing the mosque. When the Muslims, the leaders, and the troops saw it, they gathered and started cleansing the Holy Mosque. (…). Then ‘Umar took his coat, offered his prayer on it, and left it there. It was the first prayer of the Muslims in the al-Aqsa Mosque after Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). (…). Then ‘Umarordered at the spot to start the construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque after removing the dunghill and garbage. (….).[8]

In ca. 640 AD (about two years after the fall of Jerusalem), Mu‘awiya was appointed commander of the army operating in Syria and Palestine. He governed these countries for forty years, first as governor, and later as caliph. Some of the events are being recorded below from the Enc. of Islam:

During the long rule of Mu‘awiya, the Muslim place of worship on the Temple area, approximately described by Bishop Arculfus in ca. 680 must have taken shape. (…) Mu‘awiya built the Muslim sanctuary there “after ‘Umar”. It stands also to reason that the plan for erection of the Dome of the Rock, which needed immense preparations, was made during the protracted and orderly rule of Mu‘awiya. The inscription in the dome bears the year 72/691-2, but the beginning of ‘Abd al-Malik reign (65-86/685-705) was extremely turbulent. ‘Abd al-Malik had good reasons to make efforts towards the completion of the building, which would show him as the great champion of Islam, but the early years of his caliphate were hardly suited for both conceiving such an enormous undertaking and carrying it out to its very end during a comparatively short period. Contrari-wise Mu‘awiya is known also by his extensive buying and building activities in Mecca, in which he was not followed by later Umayyads. (….).

The real urge for the erection of the Dome of the Rock on the site where it stands and in the form which it has, was religious, in addition, of course, to the natural acculturation of the Arabs to an environment, where magnificent edifices were the eloquent witnesses of a triumphant Church and of great rulers. (….).

The end of Umayyad rule was for Jerusalem (ca. 750 AD), (…), a period of great tribulations. In the wake of a rebellion against the last Umayyad Marwan II, the walls of Jerusalem were pulled down and its inhabitants punished. Earthquakes aggravated the situation.[9]

Dr. Tariq al-Suwaydan writes:

‘Abd al-Malik bin Marwan started the complete construction of the al-Aqsa Mosque, and made this ‘Dome of the Rock’ a grand edifice. (…). But ‘Abd al-Malik died before the cpompletion of the building. After him his son, al-Walid completed it.[10]

The Mosque of ‘Umar still exists in the S.E. corner of the al-Aqsa mosque. Sulayman bin ‘Abd al-Malik, while he was still a crown prince, started construction of Ramla[11] as capital city of the province of Filastin.

After the end of the Umayyad period, Jerusalem underwent the reign of ‘Abbasid dynasty for 750-969 AD. In 870AD patriarch Theodosius praised the Muslims for permitting the Christians to build churches and to live in accordnace with their religion without oppressing them. Jerusalem remained under the control of Fatimids, Turkomans and Saljuks for 969-1099 AD.

The crusaders [laid siege on June 6, and] took Jerusalem in A.D. 1099, July 15th, and it remained in Christian possession 88 years, [until] Saladin retook it in 1187.[12]

Encyclopaedia of Islam has recorded:

The massacre of the Muslims and the Jews in the town was perpetrated out of military and religious considerations alike. (….). There was a gruesome bloodbath, no doubt. (…). Jerusalem became a Christian city, where no Muslim or Jewish cult was permitted and no non-Christian could take residence permanently. The mosques were turned into churches or used as secular buildings. The newly-founded kingdom was appropriately called the kingdom of Jerusalem, since the conversion of the Holy City into a Christian sanctuary had been the purpose of its erection. (…). Jerusalem remained closed to Muslims and Jews, but, in the course of time, they were permitted to come there for business and prayer. (…).

After the decisive victory of Hattin (July 1187), Saladin advanced towards Jerusalem and laid siege on the city. After prolonged negotiations, in which the defenders threatened to kill the Muslim prisoners and all non-combatants, to burn all the valuables and to destroy the buildings on the Haram al-Sharif, an agreement was reached in November 1187, which permitted the inhabitants to ransom themselves after surrender. Only the Eastern Christians remained, and Jerusalem soon assumed the character of a predominantly Muslim city. (….). The influx of Learned Jews from France attested for the period ca. 1210-15 in both literary texts and Geniza letters proves that Ayyubid rule at that time must have had a reputation of an orderly government able to guarantee the safety of foreigners. (…). The Khwarazmians over-ran Syria and Palestine, took Jerusalem in August 1244 and plundered and murdered in the town, desecrating the Holy Sepulchre and other churches.[13]

At the beginning of the period of Mamluks (1250-1516), Jerusalem was mostly in ruins and deserted. The Mamluks undedrtook the rebuiling of the city. In those days the city was the seat of pious Sufis. Jerusalem remained under Ottoman Turks for 1516-1831. Fausset’s Bible Dic. has summarised it as follows:

In a dismantled state it was ceded to the Christians by the treaty with the [Roman] emperor Frederick II[14], in 1219 [it should be1229], and has ever since remained in the Mahometans’ hands. From the first siege by the children of Judah (Judges 1:8), 1400 B.C. [?], to A D. 1244 Jerusalem underwent 27 sieges, the last being by the Kharesmian hordes who slaughtered the priests and monks. There was the city before David, the second that of Solomon 1000 to597 B.C., the third city that of Nehemiah which lasted for 300 years. A Grecised city under Herod (the fourth city) succeeded. This city, destroyed by Titus A.D. 70, was followed by a Roman city, the fifth, which lasted until the Mahometan time, the sixth city. Then followed the Christian city of Godfrey and the Baldwins, the seventh; lastly the eighth, the modern city of 600 years of Moslem rule. The Ottoman Suleiman in 1542 built the present walls. After a brief possession by the [Ibrahim] Pasha of Egypt from 1832 to 1840, Jerusalem was restored to the Sultan of Turkey, in whose hands it continues.[15]

By 1865 Jerusalem was connected with the outer world by telegraph. In 1868 the first road between Jerusalem and Jaffa usable by wheeled vehicles was completed. The railway followed in 1892.

On 11 december 1917 the British general Allenby entered Jerusalm. The military government of the British army was replaced by civil administration on 1 July 1920. According to the census of 1931, the population comprised 90,503 persons: Jews were 51,222; Muslims 19,894; Christians 19,335. It became about 150,000 at the beginnig of the World War II. The mayor of the municipal Corporation was always appointed from among the Muslims.[16]

In April 1920 there occurred first bloody clashes among Jews and Muslims in Jerusalem, in which many of them were killed and injured. Al-Hajj Amin al-Husayni was appointed as Mufti of Jerusalem by the new British High Commissioner Sir Herbert Samuel. In 1921 he was elected head of the Muslim Supreme Council created by the government. He convened a conference of the Muslims in Jerusalem in 1931. Mawlana Muhammad ‘A%li Jawhar was buried in the western portico[17] of the Haram in the same year. The mass immigration of Jewish refugees in 1933 and after caused fighting among Jews and the Arabs.

Nowadays Jerusalem is the capital of the modern state of Israel which was established on May 14, 1948, as a Jewish state on the land that had been given under the control of the British Government by the League of Nations after World War I.

Encyclopaedia Americana has recorded the history of this stage of the history of Jerusalem in a precise manner:

In the 19th century, Jerusalem and the rest of Palestine, then part of the Ottoman Empire, became the focus of international concern. For several centuries European countries had had political and commercial interests in Palestine because of its position at the crossroads to India and the Far East. Several of these countries had attempted to expand their influence there from the 16th century on by extending their protection and patronage over the Christian Holy Places and the Christian subjects of the Ottomans. They also sought certain privileges within the empire. It was such privileges that the Ottomans had granted to the French and the Russians that the British, Austrians, Prussians, and Italians attempted to have set aside in their favor in the 19th century.

The Ottoman Turks were defeated in World War I and evicted from Palestine by the British, to whom the League of Nations awarded the Palestine mandate. The mandate period witnessed an immense struggle between Arab and Jewish nationslist movements for control of Palestine, with Jerusalem as the chief prize and heart of the conflict. (…).

By the end of World War II the British had despaired of unreveling the tangled issue, and it was turned over to United Nations. A UN resolution of November 29, 1947, recommended the partition of the country between Arabs and Jews and the internationalization of Jerusalem. The Palestinian Arabs and the Arab states rejected the plan. The day after its adoption a general attack was launched against the Jews throughout the area. As a result of the ensuing war, Jerusalem was divided by an armistice agreement in 1949 between Jordan and Israel, with the Old (Walled) City and East Jerusalem under Jordanian control and West Jerusalem (the New City) under Israeli rule.

Jordan ruled East Jerusalem for 19 years, until 1967. On June 5, 1967, after war broke out between Israel and Egypt, Jordan’s King Hussein opened hostilities in the Jerusalem sector. The Israeli Army conquered and occupied East Jerusalem on June 7, and on June 27 the city was annexed to the state of Israel.[18]

Encyclopaedia of Islam narrates: 

The Peel Royal Commission, sent out in 1936 to investigate the situation, for the first time recommended the creation of an Arab and a Jewish state and the conversion of Jerusalem, together with Bethlehem, into a separate unit remaining under British mandate. But neither this nor any other of the subsequent attempts of the mandatory government to find a solution led to results. On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Resolution 189 (II) calling for the division of Palestine into two states, but united by economic union. Jerusalem was to be “internationalized”.

Immediately after this decision the country was in flames. Jerusalem in particular suffered great losses in life and property even before 15 May 1948, the official end of the British mandate. (….). The ceasefire divided Jerusalem by a line slightly west of the western wall of the old city. (….). On 13 December 1948 the Transjordonian parliament resolved the annexation of the areas of Palestine occupied by the Arab Legion. Israel followed suit by transferring its parliament from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in February 1949 and proclaiming Jerusalem its capital on 13 December 1949. Both actions were in contradiction of the UN resolution of November 1947, which had foreseen Jerusalem as a corpus separatum. The matter came up repeatedly in the UN until 1952, when it was left dormant, until the war of 1967 created an entirely new situation.[19]

Abba Eban had been Israeli minister of foreign affairs. He wrote a richly illustrated article on ‘Jerusalem’ in the Year Book 1973 of Merit Students Encyclopedia. Some excerpts are afforded below from this scholarly work:

Yet none of this would have brought Jerusalem into the war had King Hussein heeded a message from Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol on June 5, 1967. Fighting had broken out with Egypt as a result of President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s blockade of the Straits of Tiran [at the mouth of Khalij ‘Aqabah] on May 22 and his intimidatory troop concentrations accompanied by threats to destroy Israel. Eshkol’s message, conveyed through the United Nations chief of staff, General Odd Bull, said plainly that if Jordan kept out of the war, Israel would leave every-thing as it was. The reply was an all-out Jordonian assault on western Jerusalem. Indeed, the fighting in Jerusalem was the fiercest of that in any sector–and it took a heavy toll of Israeli lives. On June 5, Israel hastily improvised troop convoys for the Jerusalem front. By June 7 the laconic[20]message of the brigade commander (“The Temple Mount is ours”) conveyed the momentous news that Jerusalem was united. It had known many masters. Now, after 19 centuries, its original builders were back again. Soon the barriers were down–the barbed-wire fences, the tank traps, the Mandelbaum Gate, all the symptoms of ghetto-like separation–and Jews, Muslims, and Christians, with multitudes of pilgrims from all over the world, swarmed together, mingling, jostling, sometimes colliding, but always together in a single human destiny. Requests from United Nations organs that they get themselves divided again–back to their respective cages and compartments–evoked their good-humoured derision.[21]

Abba Eban concludes his article with the following passage:

Jerusalem’s population distribution (218,300 Jews, 62,300 Muslims, and 11,100 Christians) cannot fail to be determinant in its political status. But on a deeper and higher level of history, Jerusalem represents the confluence of many streams of memory and culture. Its sun has risen and set on a multitude of human longings, passions, agonies, and hopes. It is the capital of one nation and yet also the touchstone of the entire human condition.[22]

The ‘Chronology of Jerusalem’ is being recorded here:

The following chronological table gives a list of the more important incidents that had a direct or indirect bearing on the history of the Jews ofJerusalem:



1500. Earliest historical mention ofJeruslm, found in the El-Amarna tablets.

1048. David takes possession ofJerusalem from the Jebusites.

1007. Solomon's Temple completed after seven years' labor.

972. Shishak of Egypt takes the city from Rehoboam.

713. Sennacherib advances towardJerusalem.

700. Hezekiah perfects the water-supply.

586. (Ab 9.) Captured by Nebuzar-adan [Nebuchadnezzer].

516. Rebuilt during reign of Darius.

350. Seized by the Persians [in 529 and not in 350].                              

332. Visited by Alexander the Great?

320 or 305. Seized by Ptolemy Soter.                                     

170. Plundered by Antiochus Epiphanes.

165. Judas Maccabeus recapturesJerusalem and reconsecrates the Temple. 166. Pompey entersJerusalem. [It may be 66 and not 166].

37. Besieged and taken by Herod the Great.

20. Restoration of the Temple begun by Herod the Great.

Note: The first four entries are obviously doubtful.



29. (April.) Jesus of Nazareth executed atJerusalem.

70. (Nisan 14.) Siege commenced by Vespasian, lasting 134 days.

70. (Ab 9.)Jerusalem destroyed by Titus.

135. Hadrian rebuilds the city.                                                                

136.Jerusalem called Ælia Capitolina.

362. Restoration of the Temple undertaken by Julian the Apostate.

614. Jews aid the Persian Chosroes II. in attack onJerusalem.

628. Retaken by Heraclius; Jews forbidden to enter the city.

637. Omar putsJerusalem under Moslem power.

688. 'Abd al-Malik builds the Dome of the Rock.

1046. Solomon ben Judah head of the yeshibah atJerusalem.

1077. Seljuk Turks captureJerusalem.

1099. (July 15.) Crusaders put 70,000 infidels to the sword, and found a new Christian kingdom.

1100. "Assize ofJerusalem" established by Godfrey of Bouillon.

1140. Judah ha-Levi visitsJerusalem.                   

1173. Benjamin of Tudela visitsJerusalem.

1187. (Oct. 2.) Saladin defeats the Franks and takesJerusalem.

1211. Several hundred English and French rabbis settle inJerusalem.

1218. Al-Harizi visitsJerusalem.

1267. (Aug. 12.) Nahmanides visitsJerusalem.

1437. Elijah of Ferrara made chief rabbi.

1492. Jews expelled from Spain settle inJerusalem.

1517. Capture by Ottoman Turks.

1580. Nahmanides synagogue closed by the Moslems, claiming that it had previously been a mosque.

1621. Isaiah Horowitz and a number of his friends settle inJerusalem.

1627. Ibn Farukh, governor ofJeruslem and persecutor of the Jews, deposed.

1705. Jews subjected to certain vexatious restrictions in matters of attire.

1798. Napoleon visits Palestine; Jewish community ofJerusalem accused of assisting him and its members threatened with death.

1827. First visit of Moses Montefiore.

1838. Edward Robinson commences archeological research inJerusalem.

1840. Crémieux, Montefiore, and Albert Cohn visitJerusalem.

1841. (Nov. 7.) S. M. S. Alexander, convert to Christianity, consecrated first Anglican Bishop ofJerusalem.

1854. Albert Cohn establishes many charitable institutions.

1862. (Sept. 5.) Treaty to preserve the Holy Sepulcher signed by Russia, France, and Turkey.

1880. Siloam Inscription discovered.

1892. (Sep. 13) Railway fromJeruslm to Jaffa, built by a French Co opened.

1898. (Nov. 1.) William II. of Germany visitsJerusalem in state and receives a Jewish deputation.                                      

1900. Abarbanel Library founded.[23]