Siege of Masada

849 WordsFeb 24, 20183 Pages
In their final stand against the Romans, 966 Sicarii committed suicide on top of the Masada Palace complex. After holding out on Masada for three years, Flavius Silva and the Tenth Legion of the Roman army confronted the Sicarii (Cite). Once the Romans got through the Sicarii’s last wall of defense, instead of trying to flee or fight back, the Sicarii heeded the words of their leader, Eleazar ben Yair. They resolved to end their lives before ever being conquered by the Romans. The Sicarii’s desire to be free from Roman oppression along with their extreme social ideology ultimately drove them to end their lives rather than submit to the Romans at Masada. The Sicarii’s yearning to be free of Roman rule drove them to commit suicide. This yearning sprang from a hatred towards Roman oppression and cruelty. First, the Romans exploited the Jewish people financially through thievery and taxation. The Roman procurator Florus stole a large amount of silver from the temple in Jerusalem in 66 CE (Cite). This greatly angered the Jews. Along with outright thievery, the Roman government imposed confiscatory taxes (Cite). Any money the procurator raised above the quota could be kept for himself. Judas of Galilee, the first leader of the Sicarii, urged many people to revolt against this taxation saying that paying taxes to the Romans was the equivalent of slavery (Cite). The Romans’ control of Jewish society also angered the Sicarii and drove their longing for freedom to an extreme. This
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