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*The location and geographical features of Masada

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*The location and geographical features of Masada
The cliffs on the east edge of Masada are about 1,300 feet (400 m) high and the cliffs on the west are about 300 feet (90 m) high; the natural approaches to the cliff top are very difficult. The top of the plateau is flat and rhomboid-shaped, about 1,800 feet (550 m) by 900 feet (275 m). There was a casemate wall around the top of the plateau totaling 4,300 feet (1.3 km) long and 12 feet (3.7 m) thick, with many towers, and the fortress included storehouses, barracks, an armory, the palace, and cisterns that were refilled by rainwater. Three narrow, winding paths led from below up to fortified gates.

*An overview of Roman Rule in Judaea and the organization of a province

In 37 BCE, Herod, a son-in-law of Hyrcanus II, was appointed King of Judea by the Romans. Granted almost unlimited autonomy in the country's internal affairs, he became one of the most powerful monarchs in the eastern part of the Roman Empire. A great admirer of Greco-Roman culture, Herod launched a massive construction program, which included the cities of Caesarea and Sebaste and the fortresses at Herodium and Masada. He also remodeled the Temple into one of the most magnificent buildings of its time. But despite his many achievements, Herod failed to win the trust and support of his Jewish subjects.

Ten years after Herod's death (4 BCE), Judea came under direct Roman administration. Growing anger against increased Roman suppression of Jewish life resulted in sporadic violence which esclated into a full-scale revolt in 66 CE. Superior Roman forces led by Titus were finally victorious, razing Jerusalem to the ground (70 CE) and defeating the last Jewish outpost at Masada (73 CE).

*The cause of conflict between Jews and Romans

Rome, the toughest military power the world had ever seen, experienced an uprising led by the Jewish people of Judea that officially started the first Jewish and Roman war in the year 66. Not all Jews wanted to revolt against Rome, as some remained loyal to their leaders. By the time Rome had dominant power in the East, the Jews of Judea had survived the rule of the Babylonians, the Persians, the Macedonians, the Egyptians, and the Syrians. Even though there was always bitterness between the Jews and the Roman crown, the Jews remained in violation of Roman rule. After researching diligently about the relationships between the Romans and the Jews of Judea, and what led up to the massacre of nearly 1,000 Zealots on top of Masada according to Josephus, a consciences analytic view will be applied to this incredible era in Roman history. The first Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, granted special privileges to Jewish communities because their ancestral laws predated Rome. Jews had legal privileges giving them the right to assemble, have common meals and property, govern and tax themselves,......

*Who and what were the Sicarii (Jewish Rebels)?

The Sicarii resorted to terror to obtain their objective. Under their cloaks they concealed sicae, or small daggers, from which they received their name. At popular assemblies, particularly during the pilgrimage to the Temple Mount, they stabbed their enemies (Romans or Roman sympathizers, Herodians, and wealthy Jews comfortable with Roman rule), lamenting ostentatiously after the deed to blend into the crowd to escape detection. Literally, Sicarii meant "dagger-men".

*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's two most important works are Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94). Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Rome (66-70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective. These works provide valuable insight into the background of 1st-century Judaism and early Christianity.

*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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