Ælia Capitolina

To prevent any resurgence of Jewish nationalism, Emperor Hadrian founded a new city, Aelia Capitolina – Aelia in his own honor (his nomen, or clan name, was Aelius) and Capitolina because it was to have a Capitol for honoring the Roman gods – where all memory of the Jewish and Christian presence was to be obliterated (the Romans did not distinguish very clearly between the two religions). The area of Golgotha, at the center of Aelia, disappeared under the new monumental constructions, but the memory of the sites was handed down by the non-Jewish Christian community that remained in the city. St. Jerome wrote in 395: “From the time of Hadrian to the reign of Constantine, a period of about one hundred and eighty years, a statue of Jupiter stood on the site of the Resurrection, while a marble statue of Venus was placed by the pagans on the rock of the Cross and became an object of worship. The authors of this persecution thought that by defiling the holy places with idols, they could take away our faith in the Resurrection and the Cross.”

Time Line

Aelia Capitolina