Masada

*The location and geographical features of Masada – “As a historic site away from an urban center, its cultural integrity has been preserved. The site is well-maintained, and the signage is adequate. It offers vistas of the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley rock formations of unprecedented beauty.

*An overview of Roman Rule in Judaea and the organisation of a province – The Romans had come to create their empire and looked to take over the known world at that time. The Jews were the next target,  the Romans had once been deafeted by the Jews and werent going to settle for another defeat. The Romans had started to seige the city, Jotapata where Josephus had been staying. The Romans broke into the city before dawn and quietly slaughtered the Jews. Joesephus was captured by the Romans, but soon betrayed the Jews and went to live in Rome.    

*The cause of conflict between Jews and Romans – Personally I beleive that the cause of conflict  between the Jews and the Romans were the need for an Empire by the Romans and for the Jews, not wanting to be ruled by their enemy. But here are some military engagements between the two nations.   

There have been several military engagements between the Jews and the Romans:

  • the Roman general Pompey subdued Judaea in 63 BCE (after which it became a client kingdom)
  • in 6 CE, the emperor Augustus deposed king Archelaus, and his governor of Syria, Quirinius, established the province of Judaea (which became a prefecture)
  • in 66, a serious rebellion started, which led to the destruction of the Temple (September 70); this war was described by Flavius Josephus in his Jewish War
  • a little later, the Romans took the fortress Masada (in 74)
  • in 115, the Levantine Jews revolted against emperor Trajan
  • when the emperor Hadrian forbade circumcision, Simon bar Kochba started a Messianic war, which lasted until 136. It meant the end of the multiform Judaism of the first century.

 http://www.livius.org/ja-jn/jewish_wars/jwar01.htm

*Who and what were the Sicarii (Jewish Rebels)? – The Sicarii were originally assassins of Jedua. They would go into great festivals and huge gatherings (mainly religious) and they would knife their target in the back and quikly escape before detection. The people who were normally knifed were Romans, Roman followers and the rich and corrupt Jews, or people they don’t like.

 *The occupation of Masada – The occupation of Masada was the Sicarii or as they were known amoung the Jews as the Zealots. This fortress was built by Herod as a Fortress and was said to be impossible to seige, because of the geological and placment of this fortress.  

*Josephus and his Jewish War – Josephus was once the leader of a rebelion against the romans who had invaded Judea. Josephus was captured by Vipsannius and lukily survived. Josephus had told Vipsannius that he would one day become emperor. Josephus soon after became a roman citizen and started his historic accounts on the Jewish Wars.

*The archaeological evidence on the site of Masada and the work of Yigael Yadin – Yigael Yadin supervised the excavation at Masada in 1963. The biggest and the greatest archeaological artefact found is the Roman made ramp and also the city.

*The military campaign (strategy and tactics) and the role of Flavius Silva (Roman commander). – The Commander Flavius Silva marched and ran a campagin to the seige and destruction of the city Masada. He led the march of the tenth legion to the city of masada. The tenth legion built camps around the city and began attacks. Many failed, but the last attack was the attack that marched the romans to victory. The romans built a huge ramp which was supported by the land scape of that side of masada and managed to move a 25 tonne seige tower up this ramp which by the way was a very steep ramp. When they had accomplished this they catured the city with ease as the residents had probably committed mass suicide. 

*Evidence for the organisation of the Roman army and the arcaheological evidence found in the Roman camp  – The evidence found at the site of masada was of the Roman army which was the outline of the camp sites and also the peices of wood found to hold the ramp and to support the seige tower.  The weapons the Romans used such as catapults and arrows and swords were all artefacts.

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