Baron Wolman

Perched atop an isolated mesa in the Judean desert, Masada was the site of the final confrontation between the Jewish rebels and the Roman Empire at the end of the First Jewish Revolt. The rebels had seized King Herod’s cliff-top palace-fortress during the early days of the revolt and were subsequently joined by additional combatants, as well as fleeing civilians, after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. The Roman army spent approximately three months besieging the fortress in order to stamp out the last remnants of the Jewish resistance. According to Josephus, when the Romans finally breached the Jewish defenses, they discovered that the Jews had chosen to commit mass suicide rather than surrender and be enslaved.