The Bar Kokhba revolt was a rebellion of the Jews of Judea Province, led by Simon bar Kokhba, against the Roman Empire. Fought circa 132–136 CE, it was the last of three major Jewish–Roman wars, so it is also known as The Third Jewish–Roman War or The Third Jewish Revolt.
The revolt erupted as a result of religious and political tensions in Judea province. Simon bar Kokhba, the commander, was regarded by many Jews as the Messiah, a heroic figure who would restore Israel. Initial rebel victories established an independent state of Israel over parts of Judea for over two years, but a Roman army made up of six full legions with auxiliaries and elements from up to six additional legions finally crushed it.
The Bar Kokhba revolt resulted in an extensive depopulation of Judean Jewish communities, more so than the Great Revolt of Judea of 70 CE. Despite easing persecution of Jews following Hadrian's death in 138 CE, the Romans barred Jews from Jerusalem, except for attendance in Tisha B'Av. The Jewish community of Judea was devastated in events some scholars describe as a genocide.
Although Jewish Christians hailed Jesus as the Messiah and did not support Bar Kokhba, they were barred from Jerusalem along with the rest of the Jews. The war and its aftermath helped differentiate Christianity as a religion distinct from Judaism.
Judaea. Bar Kochba Revolt. 132-135 C.E. AR Zuz. 19mm, 3.37gr. Year 2 (133/4 AD). Obv: Bunch of grapes with branch, paleo-Hebrew inscription "Shimon" around. Rev: Palm branch, paleo-Hebrew inscription "Year two of the freedom of Israel" around. Mildenberg 40 (O8/R24); AJC 248; Hendin 1394. wonderful full strike with iridescent highlights. NGC MS★ 5/5, 5/5.
Judaea. Bar Kokhba War, 132-135 CE. AR Zuz. 18mm. 2.98gr., undated, attributed to year 3 (134/5 CE). Obv: Hebrew inscription of five letters (Simon) in two lines, within a wreath of thin branches wrapped around eight almonds, medallion at top, tendrils at bottom, there are a pair of dots, one inside and one outside, between each section. The order of the letters in the second line has changed. Rev: Fluted jug, handle at left, palm branch; Hebrew around (For the freedom of Jerusalem). Hendin 726. AJC II, 275, 66. Mildenberg 239, 133. Struck over Trajan denarius with clear visible traces of undertype. NGC Ch MS 4/5, 5/5.