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Masada the Fortress

2022-03-19 16:28

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Israel, Dead Sea, Middle East, desert, Masada,

Masada the Fortress

Masada the FortressIsolation and identity. A colour palette that leads to dreams.

 

 

 

מצדה  fortress

 

 

 

Masada the Fortress

 

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Masada (Hebrew: מצדה metsada, "fortress") is an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau, akin to a mesa. It is located on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea 20 km (12 mi) east of Arad.

 

Herod the Great built two palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BCE.

 

According to Josephus, the siege of Masada by Roman troops from 73 to 74 CE, at the end of the First Jewish–Roman War, ended in the mass suicide of the 960 Sicarii rebels who were hiding there. However, the archaeological evidence relevant to this event is ambiguous at best and rejected entirely by some scholars. 

 

 

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In 73 CE, the Roman governor of Iudaea, Lucius Flavius Silva, headed the Roman legion X Fretensis and laid siege to Masada.[8] Another source gives the year of the siege of Masada as 73 or 74 CE.[14] The Roman legion surrounded Masada, building a circumvallation wall and then a siege ramp against the western face of the plateau.[8] According to Dan Gill,[15] geological investigations in the early 1990s confirmed earlier observations that the 114 m (375 ft) high assault ramp consisted mostly of a natural spur of bedrock. The ramp was complete in the spring of 73, after probably two to three months of siege, allowing the Romans to finally breach the wall of the fortress with a battering ram on April 16.[16][17] The Romans employed the X Legion and a number of auxiliary units and Jewish prisoners of war, totaling some 15,000 (of whom an estimated 8,000 to 9,000 were fighting men),[18] in crushing Jewish resistance at Masada. A giant siege tower with a battering ram was constructed and moved laboriously up the completed ramp. According to Josephus, when Roman troops entered the fortress, they discovered that its defenders had set all the buildings but the food storerooms ablaze and committed mass suicide or killed each other, 960 men, women, and children in total. Josephus wrote of two stirring speeches that the Sicari leader had made to convince his men to kill themselves.[8] Only two women and five children were found alive.

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