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Reconstruction of an event: the siege of masada

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For Discussion
What perspective is represented in Josephus’ reconstruction of what happened at Masada?

Josephus was a 1st century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70. He sponsored Imperial Patronage and captured both views of the Jewish as a commander of the Romans, and wrote on a Pro-Roman perspective. On his viewpoint, the Romans had prepared to make a final assault upon the fortress. But when the Romans attacked they saw that they were no enemy and there was complete silence. The Romans then made a shout which eventually made the people inside aware of what had just happened.

What perspective does Yadin offer?

Yigael Yadin was a general and a patriot nationalist. He was the Chief of Operations of the Israel Defence Force. Yadin’s perspective basically offers us that the work of Josephus was plausible but the Masada story was too, a complex story that he had written. He says at times his accounts are somewhat on the perspective Josephus’ own viewpoint. Yadin states whether or not the story that Josephus provides a full and complete story on Masada.

What purposes can you identify in the reconstructions of Josephus and Yadin?

Yadin’s purpose was basically to evaluate the account of Josephus, commenting on the reliability of the account. He also provides his own accounts because he, himself wrote in a Pro-Jewish perspective. Josephus’ purpose was to inform viewers on his accounts on the Jewish Revolt ‘Bellum Judaicum’. Josephus wrote in a Pro-Roman perspective. These accounts of Josephus and Yadin are fundamental in tailoring the important events of what occurred in Masada.

How are their respective audiences involved?

These accounts both involve the concerns of respective audiences. On the siege of Masada, Josephus had written of the Romans on a Pro-Roman perspective only whereas Yadin wrote for the Jewish people, on a Pro-Israeli perspective. Both accounts provide their views on Masada.

How have both Josephus and Yadin selected and omitted sources?

Josephus had omitted sources which were of a Pro-Jewish account, since writing from a Pro-Jewish perspective. Yadin had used omitted sources on Josephus’ account to contest on the validity of Josephus’ account. Both Josephus and Yadin wrote about their specific views which were important to the audience of the Romans and Jewish. Both Josephus and Yadin sources selected and omitted sources that helped reconstruct the siege in Masada. Yadin had used Josephus’ account to provide his viewpoint on the siege of Masada.

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