Monday, March 28, 2011

How Many Times has Jerusalem been Conquered?

I've been counting, and the number isn't what I expected. If anyone wishes to hazard a guess, feel free to use the comments section.


Challah Hu Akbar said...

Around 37?

Anonymous said...


How do you define conquered? As in occupied and run? Or raided?

This would make a difference in terms of numbers.

Anonymous said...

Are we going back to Shoftim? What about when there is a change of empire, like Babylonians to Persians?


Joe in Australia said...

The most recent three are obvious: Allenby for Britain in 1917, Jordan in 1948, Israel in 1967. I know that Jerusalem was ruled by the Ottoman Empire before then, and that it had been taken by Muhammed Ali in his revolt against the Ottomans. That gives us three more: one for the Ottomans, one for Muhammed Ali, one for when the Ottomans re-conquered it. This makes six in total.

Then comes a whole lot of chaos - how many times was it conquered from the fall of the Crusader Kingdom to rise of the Ottomans? I'll guess ten times, making a total of sixteen, plus the initial Arab conquest making seventeen.

Now I'm struggling. There was the fall of Jerusalem at the time of the Churban, its capture by Bar Kokhba and its recapture and destruction. That's three. I recall that it was attacked by the Persians but that it was Byzantine (Roman) when Saladin conquered it, so there must have been two more, making five. Our total is now twenty-two.

In the Second Temple period there was Alexander, then the struggle between his successors - did that count as a conquest? Let's say it did, so we'll count two. The Hasmoneans make three, and then it somehow became Roman. So we have four conquests, making a total of twenty-six.

I don't think there were any battles between the First and Second Temples. How many times did it fall during the First Temple period? I don't think it actually did fall - so I'll only count the Destruction of the First Temple and King David's initial capture of Jerusalem, making a total of twenty-eight.

Further back then this I have no idea, so I'll stop.

Sylvia said...

37 times

Anonymous said...

Well under the Muslim era it was I think:

Ummayad, Abbasid, Seljuk Turks, Fatamid, Crusader, Salahadin, briefly crusader again, mamluk, ottoman, Muhamad Ali, Ottoman. Can't remember if Napoleon reached Jerusalem.


Steven Zoraster said...

Captured by Pompey and earlier by the Parthians,

Or was it later?

NormanF said...

The Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, the Mamelukes, the Turks and the British.

That makes it 11 times in history that Jerusalem changed hands between various powers and the Jews never had independence for most of their history for the simple reason their country was in the path of every conquering power in history.

No one can guarantee that Israeli independence will endure more than than of earlier periods of history.