Since 63 BC, Judaea had been a client-state ruled by a local king chosen by the Romans. When Augustus took the provinces that bordered the non-Roman world into his own care, they were garrisoned with Roman legions and governed by a deputy appointed by the emperor. Judaea officially became an imperial province in 6 AD. As the name of the province suggests, it was heavily populated by Jews.
There were two primary sources of tension between the Jews and their Roman overlords. First, the Jews were monotheists who were increasingly troubled by the imposition of the Roman imperial cult. Second, they perceived the Roman system of taxation as unjust and oppressive. In 66 AD, Nero, in need of money, ordered Gessius Florus, procurator in Judaea, to take it from the temple in Jerusalem. Things became violent, the Jews revolted, and the Roman general Vespasian, with his son Titus, launched a military campaign to bring them back into subjection. Jerusalem was sacked and its temple destroyed in 70 AD.