Bar Kochba

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Bar Kochba

, Bar Kokhba, Bar Kosba
Simeon. died 135 ad. Jewish leader who led an unsuccessful revolt against the Romans in Palestine
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bar Kochba


(ancient Hebrew, “son of a star”), the honorary surname of Simon, military leader of the anti-Roman insurrection of 132–135 in Judea.

A revolt was sparked by Roman interference in the ritual affairs of the Judeans and by the attempt of the Roman emperor Hadrian to build a Roman colony, Aelia Capitolina, with a shrine to Jupiter, on the site of Jerusalem, which had been destroyed by the Romans in the year 70. The ideological leader of the movement was the rabbi Akiba; Bar Kochba was the military organizer. In the course of the revolt, the rebels took 50 fortifications. The city of Bethar became the center of the movement. The rebellion was crushed by the Roman commander Julius Severus. Judea was made part of the province of Syria. Bar Kochba died in the defense of besieged Bethar.

Excavations made in 1952 in the Dead Sea region resulted in the discovery, in a cave of Murabbaat, of a letter written by Bar Kochba during the insurrection of 132–135 to the commander Yeshua ben Galgoula, ordering him not to harm the Christians.


Livshits. G. M. Klassovaia bor’ba v ludee i vosstaniia protiv Rima. Minsk, 1957.
Bokshchanin, A. G. “Iudeiskie vosstaniia 2 v. n. e.” Uchenye zapiski MGU, 1950, issue 143, pp. 43–85.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
A blurb describing the volume in the Menorah Journal advertised it as "the thrilling story of the thousands of Jewish fighting heroes," including Bar Kochba, and "culminating in the epic stand in the Warsaw Ghetto." (32) Kirkus Reviews' succinct summary of the volume perceptively explains its necessity: "A book which dispels the fallacy of Jewish cowardice at a time when anti-semitism is on the increase, and which--through historical example--proves the heroism of the race ...
On Bar Kochba's letters and other findings see Walter COCKLE-Hannah COTTON-Fergus MILLAR, The Papyrology of the Roman Near East: A Survey, in Journal of Roman Studies, 85 (1995), pp.
Bar Kochba, a Zionist student society founded in Prague in 1899, was another factor in Kafka's growing interest in Zionism.
Thus, in the European countries there were established the first sports association whose members were ethnic Jew: Jew Sports Club in Turkey, Bar Kochba in Germany, Haarlem in Holland, Blue Star in Switzerland, Hakoah in Austria, Fencing Athletic Club of Budapest in Hungary, Cechie Karolinentalt in Czechoslovakia.
In Jewish tradition, Peki'in is famous for a local cave in which Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his son, Rabbi Elazar ben Shimon hid from the Romans for thirteen years after the collapse of the Bar Kochba rebellion against Roman rule.
On the Ninth of Av, Betar, the last fortress to hold out against the Romans during the Bar Kochba revolt, fell in 132 CE and over 100,000 Jews were killed.
The Coens' claim in their introduction to the published screenplay of The Big Lebowski that it won "the 1998 Bar Kochba Award, honouring achievements in the arts that defy racial and religious stereotyping and promote appreciation for the multiplicity of man" (vi) probably fooled no one.
At the beginning of the first century, for example, there were about 4 million Jews in the Roman Empire; at its end, there were an estimated 8 million to 10 million, despite the destruction of the Second Temple and the later Bar Kochba rebellion against Rome.
Rather, this third section was not seen as canonical until the mid-second century C.E., after apocalyptical thinking waned following the failure of the Bar Kochba revolt.
Toward the end of Trajan's (the Roman emperor) reign, and before the Bar Kochba revolt, Diaspora Jews staged massive uprisings in Libya, Egypt, Cyprus, Judaea, and Mesopotamia.