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614 Capture of Jerusalem ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Outcome: The Persians captured and razed Jerusalem and a massacre followed April-May 614
War  &  Enemy: Enemy:
Sassanid Persians
Byzantine-Persian Wars
Battle Type:
City Capture
The Battlefield Jerusalem Location:
Modern Country:
  The Byzantines(emperor:  Heraclius) The Enemies
Commander: Patriarch Zacharias General Shahrbaraz
Forces: Unknown Unknown
Losses: 50,000 massacred, total 66,509
Background story: In 602, when Emperor Maurice was murdered by Phocas, who usurped the Byzantine throne, Khosrau II launched an offensive against Constantinople, ostensibly to avenge Maurice's death, but clearly aiming at expanding his empire to the west, taking advantage of the turmoil in Byzantine affairs. His armies invaded and plundered Syria and Asia Minor, and in 608 advanced into Chalcedon.
The Battle:
Three years after capturing Antioch, Persians under General Shahbaraz advanced along the coast from Ceasarea and besieged Jerusalem. The Persians were aided by the Jews of Palestine, who had risen up against the Byzantines. After failed negotiations and 21 days of relentless siege warfare, the city was taken by storm and sacked. Shahrbaraz ordered a swift razing and looting of Jerusalem and many Christian churches and other buildings, and notably the Church of the Holy Sepulcure were destroyed. Some 50,000 Christians were massacred (mostly by the Jews). Patriarch Zacharias and thousands of prisoners were taken to Persia, along with Christianity’s most precious relic, the True Cross which was carried away in triumph.
Aftermath: Jerusalem was handed to the Jewish rebels, under the leadership of Nehemiah ben Hushiel and Benjamin of Tiberias, becoming the capital of shortly lived Jewish-Sassanid Commonwealth. The city and the Holy cross remained in Persian hands for 15 years.