On April 16, 73, legions of the Roman Empire penetrated the mountaintop fortress of Masada, in the Roman province of Judaea (what is today Israel). The defenders of Masada, a group of Jewish rebels called the Sicarii, had held off the Roman Empire for three years. The Fall of Masada marked the end of the rebellion known as the Great Jewish Revolt, but became a powerful symbol of Jewish resistance and resilience.Residents of Judaea, mostly Jews, resisted the politics involved in being a Roman province. There were religious tensions between Jewish and polytheistic Romans. Judaeans also had to pay taxes they objected to. The Roman Empire responded by sacking Jerusalem, the capital of the province, and imposing strict laws in the region.The Sicarii evacuated to the hilltop fortress of Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada was originally constructed as a palace, but had been used as a fort for years. After three years, the Sicarii realized they could not resist Roman attacks, especially after the legions began building a ramp to the fortress. When the Romans reached Masada, all but a few of the Sicarii had ritually killed each other, allegedly insisting that “a glorious death is preferable to a life of infamy.”
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry alleged Adjective
supposed or presumed.
city where a region's government is located.
Encyclopedic Entry: capital evacuate Verb
to leave or remove from a dangerous place.
protected place. Also called a fort.
very bad reputation.
having to do with the religion or culture of people tracing their ancestry to the ancient Middle East and the spiritual leaders Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
ancient Roman military unit, consisting of between 3,000 and 6,000 infantry and cavalry troops.
large home or mansion, often the home of a leader or dignitary.
supporting and celebrating a nation and its people.
to push through.
art and science of public policy.
having a belief in many gods and goddesses.
division of a country larger than a town or county.
Encyclopedic Entry: province rebel noun, adjective
person who resists the authority of government.
organized resistance to an authority.
ability to recover from something.
to oppose or confront.
rebellion or uprising.
series of customs or procedures for a ceremony, often religious.
Roman Empire Noun
(27 BCE-476 CE) period in the history of ancient Rome when the state was ruled by an emperor.
to capture, loot, and largely destroy a city or other targeted area.
always or almost always following limits, rules, or regulations.
something used to represent something else.
money or goods citizens provide to government in return for public services such as military protection.