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Why were Jews feared in ancient Rome?
Why were Jews feared in ancient Rome?

It is known from historical and religious documents that at the beginning of our era Judea was just a province of the powerful Roman Empire. Nevertheless, even the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, when judging Jesus Christ, listened to the Jewish high priests and the crowd.

And this means that the power of Rome in this territory was not so absolute and inviolable. What, or who, were the Romans afraid of, who, despite their dominant position, reckoned with the Jews and did not scoff at them?

Oppressed by the Roman Empire

Whatever it was, but in the 1st century AD, the Jewish people fully experienced all the "delights" of the Roman occupation. The Jews were obliged to make sacrifices every day and pray for the health of the Roman emperor, regularly pay a special tribute and a number of taxes to the imperial treasury. In addition, the Jews were forced to hand over to the Roman priests the keys to their "shrine of shrines" - the Jerusalem Temple.

Jewish publican who collected taxes and taxes for the Roman Empire

All this at first glance seems far from fatal, if you do not take into account the philosophy of the Jewish religion. After all, the forcing to recognize the authority over oneself of someone other than Yahweh (God for the Jews) or his governor on earth - the anointed king of Israel, was intolerable for priests, religious fanatics and radicals.

These contradictions and conflicts were aggravated by the internal struggle for wealth and power - the management of the collection of taxes and taxes, the administration of the Sanhedrin treasury, and the appointment of secular officials. Sometimes, of course, Jews were admitted by the Romans to the local administration. However, due to religious laws, prejudices and prohibitions, they could not effectively defend their interests.

Ancient guerrilla

For the first time, the bloody actions of Jewish religious fanatics are mentioned in the 40-50s A.D. e. It was during this period that the audacious and brutal public murder of the main minister of the Jerusalem Temple, the high priest Jonathan, took place. Radicals armed with short daggers attacked him right in the city market. They were called "sicarii" - from the Latin sicarii (dagger).

Sika - a short sword or dagger, was the main weapon of the Sicarii

The wall was constantly being completed for two thousand years - until 1644. At the same time, due to various internal and external factors, the wall turned out to be "layered", similar in shape to the channels left by bark beetles in the tree (this can be clearly seen in the illustration).

Diagram of the stretching convolutions of the wall fortifications

During the entire construction period, only the material changed, as a rule: primitive clay, pebbles and compacted earth were replaced by limestone and denser rocks. But the design itself, as a rule, did not undergo changes, although its parameters vary: height 5-7 meters, width about 6.5 meters, towers every two hundred meters (distance of the shot of an arrow or arquebus). They tried to draw the wall itself along the ridges of mountain ranges.

And in general they actively used the local landscape for fortification purposes. The length from the eastern to the western edge of the wall is nominally about 9000 kilometers, but if you count all the branches and layering, it comes out to 21,196 kilometers. On the construction of this miracle in different periods worked from 200 thousand to two million people (that is, a fifth of the then population of the country).

Destroyed section of the wall

Now most of the wall is abandoned, part of it is used as a tourist site. Unfortunately, the wall suffers from climatic factors: the downpours erode it, the drying heat leads to collapses … Interestingly, archaeologists still discover hitherto unknown fortification sites. This mainly concerns the northern "veins" on the border with Mongolia.

Adrian's shaft and Antonina's shaft

In the first century AD, the Roman Empire actively conquered the British Isles. Although by the end of the century, the power of Rome, transmitted through the loyal heads of local tribes, in the south of the island was unconditional, the tribes living to the north (primarily the Picts and brigants) were reluctant to submit to foreigners, making raids and organizing military skirmishes. In order to secure the controlled territory and prevent the penetration of the raiders' detachments, in 120 AD the Emperor Hadrian ordered the construction of a line of fortifications, which later received his name. By the year 128, the work was completed.

The shaft crossed the north of the British Isle from the Irish Sea to the North and was a wall 117 kilometers long. In the west, the rampart was made of wood and earth, it was 6 m wide and 3.5 meters high, and in the east it was made of stone, the width of which was 3 m, and the average height was 5 meters. Moats were dug on both sides of the wall, and a military road for the transfer of troops ran along the rampart on the south side.

Along the rampart, 16 forts were built, which simultaneously served as checkpoints and barracks, between them, every 1300 meters - smaller towers, every half a kilometer - signaling structures and cabins.

Location of Adrianov and Antoninov shafts

The rampart was built by the forces of three legions based on the island, with each small section building a small legion squad. Apparently, such a rotational method did not allow a significant part of the soldiers to be immediately diverted to work. Then these same legions carried out a guard duty here.

Remains of Hadrian's Wall today

As the Roman Empire expanded, already under Emperor Antoninus Pius, in 142-154, a similar line of fortifications was built 160 km north of the Andrianov Wall. The new stone Antoninov shaft was similar to the "big brother": width - 5 meters, height - 3-4 meters, ditches, road, turrets, alarm. But there were much more forts - 26. The length of the rampart was two times less - 63 kilometers, since in this part of Scotland the island is much narrower.

Shaft reconstruction

However, Rome was unable to effectively control the area between the two ramparts, and in 160-164 the Romans left the wall, returning for Hadrian's fortifications. In 208, the troops of the Empire again managed to occupy the fortifications, but only for a few years, after which the southern one - the Hadrian's shaft - again became the main line. By the end of the 4th century, the influence of Rome on the island was declining, the legions began to degrade, the wall was not properly maintained, and the frequent raids of tribes from the north led to destruction. By 385, the Romans had stopped serving Hadrian's Wall.

The ruins of the fortifications have survived to this day and are an outstanding monument of Antiquity in Great Britain.

Serif line

The invasion of nomads in Eastern Europe required the strengthening of the southern borders of the Rusyn principalities. In the XIII century, the population of Russia uses various methods of building defenses against horse armies, and by the XIV century, the science of how to correctly build "notch lines" is already taking shape. Zaseka is not just a wide clearing with obstacles in the forest (and most of the places in question are wooded), it is a defensive structure that was not easy to overcome. On the spot, fallen trees, pointed stakes and other simple structures made of local materials, impassable for the horseman, are stuck in the ground crosswise and directed towards the enemy.

In this thorny windbreak were earthen traps, "garlic", which incapacitated the foot soldiers, if they tried to approach and dismantle the fortifications. And from the north of the clearing there was a shaft fortified with stakes, as a rule, with observation posts and forts. The main task of such a line is to delay the advance of the cavalry army and give time to the princely troops to gather. For example, in the XIV century, Prince of Vladimir Ivan Kalita erected an uninterrupted line of marks from the Oka River to the Don River and further to the Volga. Other princes also built such lines in their lands.And the Zasechnaya guard served on them, and not only on the very line: horse patrols went out on reconnaissance far to the south.

The simplest option for a notch

Over time, the principalities of Russia united into a single Russian state, which was capable of building large-scale structures. The enemy also changed: now they had to defend themselves from the Crimean-Nogai raids. From 1520 to 1566, the Great Zasechnaya Line was built, which stretched from the Bryansk forests to Pereyaslavl-Ryazan, mainly along the banks of the Oka.

These were no longer primitive "directional windbreaks", but a line of high-quality means of fighting horse raids, fortification tricks, gunpowder weapons. Beyond this line were stationed troops of the standing army of about 15,000 people, and outside the intelligence and agent network worked. However, the enemy managed to overcome such a line several times.

Advanced option for serif

As the state strengthened and the borders expanded to the south and east, over the next hundred years, new fortifications were built: Belgorod line, Simbirskaya zaseka, Zakamskaya line, Izyumskaya line, woodland Ukrainian line, Samara-Orenburgskaya line (this is already 1736, after the death of Peter !). By the middle of the 18th century, raiding peoples were either subdued or could not raid for other reasons, and linear tactics reigned supreme on the battlefield. Therefore, the value of the notches came to naught.

Serif lines in the 16th-17th centuries

Berlin Wall

After World War II, the territory of Germany was divided between the USSR and the allies into the Eastern and Western zones.

Occupation zones of Germany and Berlin

On May 23, 1949, the state of the Federal Republic of Germany was formed on the territory of West Germany, which joined the NATO bloc.

On October 7, 1949, on the territory of East Germany (on the site of the former Soviet occupation zone), the German Democratic Republic was formed, which took over the socialist political regime from the USSR. She quickly became one of the leading countries of the socialist camp.

Exclusion zone on the territory of the wall

Berlin remained a problem: just like Germany, it was divided into eastern and western zones of occupation. But after the formation of the GDR, East Berlin became its capital, but West, nominally being the territory of the FRG, turned out to be an enclave. Relations between NATO and the OVD heated up during the Cold War, and West Berlin was a bone in the throat on the road to GDR sovereignty. In addition, the troops of the former allies were still stationed in this region.

Each side put forward uncompromising proposals in their favor, but it was impossible to put up with the current situation. De facto, the border between the GDR and West Berlin was transparent, with up to half a million people crossing it unhindered a day. By July 1961, over 2 million people fled through West Berlin to the FRG, which made up a sixth of the population of the GDR, and emigration was increasing.

Building the first version of the wall

The government decided that since it could not take control of West Berlin, it would simply isolate it. On the night of 12 (Saturday) to 13 (Sunday) August 1961, the troops of the GDR surrounded the territory of West Berlin, not allowing the inhabitants of the city either outside or inside. Ordinary German communists stood in a living cordon. In a few days, all streets along the border, tram and metro lines were closed, telephone lines were cut off, cable and pipe collectors were laid with gratings. Several houses adjacent to the border were evicted and destroyed, in many others the windows were bricked up.

Freedom of movement was completely prohibited: some could not return home, some did not get to work. The Berlin conflict on October 27, 1961, would then be one of those moments when the Cold War could turn hot. And in August, the construction of the wall was carried out at an accelerated pace. And initially it was literally a concrete or brick fence, but by 1975 the wall was a complex of fortifications for various purposes.

Let's list them in order: a concrete fence, a mesh fence with barbed wire and electrical alarms, anti-tank hedgehogs and anti-tire spikes, a road for patrols, an anti-tank ditch, a control strip. And also the symbol of the wall is a three-meter fence with a wide pipe on top (so that you cannot swing your leg). All this was served by security towers, searchlights, signaling devices and prepared firing points.

The device of the latest version of the wall and some statistics data

In fact, the wall turned West Berlin into a reservation. But the barriers and traps were made in such a way and in the direction that it was the inhabitants of East Berlin who could not cross the wall and get into the western part of the city. And it was in this direction that the citizens fled from the country of the Internal Affairs Department to the fenced-in enclave. Several checkpoints worked exclusively for technical purposes, and the guards were allowed to shoot to kill.

Nevertheless, in the entire history of the existence of the wall, 5,075 people successfully fled from the GDR, including 574 deserters. Moreover, the more serious the fortifications of the wall were, the more sophisticated were the escape methods: a hang glider, a balloon, a double bottom of a car, a diving suit, and makeshift tunnels.

East Germans blowing a wall under a jet of water cannon

Another 249,000 East Germans moved west "legally". From 140 to 1250 people died while trying to cross the border. By 1989, perestroika was in full swing in the USSR, and many of the GDR's neighbors opened borders with it, allowing East Germans to leave the country en masse. The existence of the wall became meaningless, on November 9, 1989, a representative of the GDR government announced new rules for entering and leaving the country.

Hundreds of thousands of East Germans, without waiting for the appointed date, rushed to the border on the evening of November 9. According to the recollections of eyewitnesses, the maddened border guards were told "the wall is no more, they said on TV," after which crowds of jubilant residents of the East and West met. Somewhere the wall was officially dismantled, somewhere the crowds smashed it with sledgehammers and carried away the fragments, like the stones of the fallen Bastille.

The wall collapsed with no less tragedy than the one that marked every day of its standing. But in Berlin, a half-kilometer stretch remained - as a monument to the senselessness of such usurpation measures. On May 21, 2010, the inauguration of the first part of the large memorial complex dedicated to the Berlin Wall took place in Berlin.

Trump Wall

The first fences on the US-Mexico border appeared in the middle of the 20th century, but these were ordinary fences, and they were often demolished by emigrants from Mexico.

Variants of a new "Trump wall"

The construction of a real formidable line took place from 1993 to 2009. This fortification covered 1,078 km of the 3145 km of the common border. In addition to a mesh or metal fence with barbed wire, the functionality of the wall includes auto and helicopter patrols, motion sensors, video cameras and powerful lighting. In addition, the strip behind the wall is cleared of vegetation.

However, the height of the wall, the number of fences at a certain distance, surveillance systems and materials used during construction vary depending on the section of the border. For example, in some places the border runs through cities, and the wall here is just a fence with pointed and curved elements on top. The most "multi-layered" and often patrolled sections of the border-wall are those through which the flow of emigrants was greatest in the second half of the 20th century. In these areas, it has dropped by 75% over the past 30 years, but critics say this simply forces emigrants to use less convenient overland routes (which often lead to their death due to harsh environmental conditions) or resort to the services of smugglers.

On the current section of the wall, the percentage of illegal immigrants being detained reaches 95%. But on sections of the border where the risk of drug smuggling or the crossings of armed gangs is low, there may be no barriers at all, which causes criticism about the effectiveness of the entire system. Also, the fence can be in the form of a wire fence for livestock, a fence made of vertically placed rails, a fence made of steel pipes of a certain length with concrete poured inside, and even a blockage from machines flattened under the press. In such locations, vehicle and helicopter patrols are considered the primary means of defense.

Long, solid stripe in the center

The construction of the separation wall along the entire border with Mexico became one of the main points of Donald Trump's election program in 2016, but the contribution of his administration was limited to moving the existing sections of the wall to other directions of migration, which practically did not increase the total length. The opposition prevented Trump from pushing the wall project and funding through the Senate.

The heavily media-covered issue of building the wall has resonated in American society and outside the country, becoming another point of contention between Republican and Democratic supporters. New President Joe Biden promised to completely destroy the wall, but this statement has remained words for now.

A securely protected section of the wall

And so far, to the delight of the emigrants, the fate of the wall remains in limbo.

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