MASADA by Phil Carradice
Mass Suicide in the First Jewish-Roman War, c. AD73
This is another title from Pen & Sword in the “History of Terror” series. 128 pages, soft cover.
Masada, in case you are unaware, was a mountain top fortress in Judea, where Jewish men, women and children fought off veteran Roman legions for 2 years. The traditional story is that facing defeat, the 960 defenders committed mass suicide.
There is only one source for the story, and that was Josephus Flavius, a contemporary Jewish general who was captured by, then joined the Romans. His information, veracity, motives and biases are therefore suspect; however, some aspects of the story have been validated by modern archeological evidence.
The account of the siege, the defences, the huge ramp which was constructed by the Romans, and the details of the ultimate Roman victory, is compelling, riveting reading. The dissection of the available evidence is thorough, and various alternative possible scenarios are weighed.
Modern use of the Masada story by the nation of Israel is also discussed.
Australia’s worst military defeat (Gallipoli) is our national Remembrance Day. It is telling that Masada, also a defeat, has become the source of national pride for Israel.
An excellent read.
Dr John Viggers.
And just for some perspective of the site, watch this superb video
We have plenty of malasadas out here, but truth be told I’ve never heard of Masada until now. What a gruesome subject, made me think of the Jonestown massacre where 912 people died but under much different circumstances. But I’m sure it is archaeologically interesting, judging from some of the photos.
I’ll stick to the donuts for now.
Richard, I have added a link to that Masada post, which is well worth watching, of a drone’s eye view of the site.
what is a malasada?
Wow! That was a fabulous tour via drone. I’m dumbfounded. I need to read more about it. I’m trying to imagine what the area was like 2000 years ago that would motivate people to live at such a height without funiculars or paved roads.
Like they say “Location,location, location.” Guess the view was one to die for.
Read the book Richard. It is very good!
A malasada is a Portuguese confection, a doughnut, made of small balls of yeast dough, coated with granulated sugar. The traditional Portuguese malasadas don’t contain holes or any type of filling, but the ones made in Hawaii (brought by imported Portuguese plantation laborers) contain haupia, custard, chocolate or other fillings, much like a jelly donut.
sounds like my sort of food. Unfortunately. (borderline diabetic)
BTW, I hope you have a fabulous trip to England. I’m curious about your final itinerary. Jet lag going from Oz to GB must be staggering. Have a bland flight!
Yeah. It (jet lag) is a bit off putting. Sometimes the first couple of days are a write off.