War against Gallus

War against Gallus

The War against Gallus (351352) was a Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire directed against the rule of Constantius Gallus, brother-in-law of Emperor Constantius II and "Caesar" of the East. The revolt was subdued by Gallus' general Ursicinus.


The Jewish community in Palestine was severely oppressed by Gallus, the Roman Emperor of the east, who inflicted harsh and cruel policies. This infuriated the local Jewish community.


The leader of the Jews in their battle against the Romans was Patricius, also known as Natrona, a name with messianic connotations. [citation Yalkut Shemoni Shemot 191] . The rebellion started at Sepphoris where the Jews managed to gain possession. It then spread to Tiberias and Lydda.

Roman reaction

The Roman General Ursicinus reacted quickly and fervently. Many of the revolting towns and other neighbouring towns were destroyed. In Sepphoris itself the uprising was put down but the city was not destroyed. However, in 363 an earthquake destroyed the city, which was then rebuilt but the damages are still evident in excavations. [http://www.ourfatherlutheran.net/biblehomelands/galilee/sepphoris/sepptext.htm]

A midrash suggests that Patricius was killed in the battle. [http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=110&letter=P]


After the events, a permanent garrison occupied Galilee. [http://www.usd.edu/erp/Palestine/history.htm] Because the Talmud centers were in the cities affected, the Jewish learning in the land of Israel was weakened.

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