Tuesday 3 October 2023

Romans in Armageddon

In the heart of northern Israel lies Armageddon, the fabled city known for its apocalyptic destiny. Layers of human civilization stretch back to the Neolithic. Recent excavations shed light on the lives of Roman soldiers. Megiddo, the city beneath the shadows of Armageddon was excavated in 1902. The area showed evidence of Roman occupation with an enigmatic circular depression. Scholars speculated it might have been a military amphitheater. That has been confirmed. Ecavations uncovered insights into the life of the Legio VI Ferrata (the 6th Ironclad Legion), the guardians of Rome's interests in Judea.

Military amphitheaters served as multifunctional spaces for training, speeches, and recreation. Occupying soldiers, far from home, didn’t have a lot of outlets.
The Romans built an amphitheater, complete with stone seating and access gates. An exquisitely preserved gold coin from 245 AD, dating to Emperor Diocletian was among the finds.