Back to Masada

Author: Amnon Ben-Tor
Publisher: Biblical Archaeology Society
ISBN: 9652210757
Release Date: 2009-01-01
Genre: History

Masada in the Hasmonean period -- Masada in the Herodian period -- Building materials -- Ornamentation -- Construction at the time of the procurators and the Roman garrison -- Construction during the priod of the rebels -- The eastern gate -- Building 8 (the commandant's residence?) -- The storerooms -- The large bathhouse -- The approach to the northern palace -- The northern palace -- The water supply system -- The synagogue -- The casemate wall -- Building 9 (hostel?) -- Building 10 : the western palace -- The small palaces -- The layout of the palaces -- The phases of construction of Herodian Masada -- Pottery Written finds -- Coins -- Other finds -- The battle for Masada -- Masada in the Byzantine period -- Archaeology and the Masada myth.


Author: Gloria D. Miklowitz
ISBN: 1439578826
Release Date: 2008-11-25
Genre: Juvenile Fiction

As the Roman army marches inexorably across the Judean desert towards the fortress of Masada, Simon and his family and friends prepare, along with the rest of the Jewish Zealots, to fight and never surrender.


Author: Yigael Yadin
Publisher: Phoenix
ISBN: 1857999495
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Excavations (Archaeology)

Illustrated on-site account of the author's archaeological expedition to excavate the Jewish stronghold that fell to Rome in 73 A.D.

The Dovekeepers

Author: Alice Hoffman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451617498
Release Date: 2011-10-04
Genre: Fiction

The Dovekeepers is Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing novel: “striking….Hoffman grounds her expansive, intricately woven, and deepest new novel in biblical history, with a devotion and seriousness of purpose” (Entertainment Weekly). Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against armies of Romans on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. According to the ancient historian Josephus, two women and five children survived. Based on this tragic and iconic event, Hoffman’s novel is a spellbinding tale of four extraordinarily bold, resourceful, and sensuous women, each of whom has come to Masada by a different path. Yael’s mother died in childbirth, and her father, an expert assassin, never forgave her for that death. Revka, a village baker’s wife, watched the murder of her daughter by Roman soldiers; she brings to Masada her young grandsons, rendered mute by what they have witnessed. Aziza is a warrior’s daughter, raised as a boy, a fearless rider and expert marksman who finds passion with a fellow soldier. Shirah, born in Alexandria, is wise in the ways of ancient magic and medicine, a woman with uncanny insight and power. The lives of these four complex and fiercely independent women intersect in the desperate days of the siege. All are dovekeepers, and all are also keeping secrets—about who they are, where they come from, who fathered them, and whom they love.

Masada Myth

Author: Nachman Ben-Yehuda
Publisher: Univ of Wisconsin Press
ISBN: 9780299148331
Release Date: 1996-01-01
Genre: Social Science

In 73 A.D., legend has it, 960 Jewish rebels under siege in the ancient desert fortress of Masada committed suicide rather than surrender to a Roman legion. Recorded in only one historical source, the story of Masada was obscure for centuries. In The Masada Myth, Israeli sociologist Nachman Ben-Yehuda tracks the process by which Masada became an ideological symbol for the State of Israel, the dramatic subject of movies and miniseries, a shrine venerated by generations of Zionists and Israeli soldiers, and the most profitable tourist attraction in modern Israel. Ben-Yehuda describes how, after nearly 1800 years, the long, complex, and unsubstantiated narrative of Josephus Flavius was edited and augmented in the twentieth century to form a simple and powerful myth of heroism. He looks at the ways this new mythical narrative of Masada was created, promoted, and maintained by pre-state Jewish underground organizations, the Israeli army, archaeological teams, mass media, youth movements, textbooks, the tourist industry, and the arts. He discusses the various organizations and movements that created “the Masada experience” (usually a ritual trek through the Judean desert followed by a climb to the fortress and a dramatic reading of the Masada story), and how it changed over decades from a Zionist pilgrimage to a tourist destination. Placing the story in a larger historical, sociological, and psychological context, Ben-Yehuda draws upon theories of collective memory and mythmaking to analyze Masada’s crucial role in the nation-building process of modern Israel and the formation of a new Jewish identity. An expert on deviance and social control, Ben-Yehuda looks in particular at how and why a military failure and an enigmatic, troubling case of mass suicide (in conflict with Judaism’s teachings) were reconstructed and fabricated as a heroic tale.


Author: Ernest Kellogg Gann
Publisher: Jove Books
ISBN: 0515054437
Release Date: 1981
Genre: Fiction

A historical novel of the invasion of Israel by 15,000 Romans in 73 A.D., focusing on the bravery of the 900 Jews who resisted the attackers rather than submit to slavery

Sacrificing Truth

Author: Nachman Ben-Yehuda
ISBN: STANFORD:36105111761941
Release Date: 2002
Genre: History

Legend states that a group of heroic Jews committed mass suicide at the site of Masada in the Judean desert of Israel, rather than surrender to their Roman oppressors. The author of this book charges Professor Yigael Yadin and his co-excavators who worked at the site between 1963 and 1965, with 'falsifying historical evidence and concealing facts, adapting techniques and inventing historical realities'. Ben-Yehuda retraces the progress of the archaeological investigation that took place through transcripts of daily meetings held by Yadin and his workers. He explores how they reached particular interpretations of the finds and overcame or ignored facts that did not fit the story they were trying to justify. Broader questions of moral responsibility and deception are raised throughout.


Author: Neil Waldman
Publisher: Morrow Junior
ISBN: 0688144810
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

Discusses the history of Masada, from the building of Herod's Temple through its use by Zealots as a refuge from the Romans to its rediscovery in the mid-20th century.

Die Zeloten von Massada

Author: Moshe Pearlman
ISBN: 9652800740
Release Date: 2004-05-01
Genre: Israel

Describes the excavation of Masada, Herod the Great's stronghold built near the Dead Sea in 30 B.C.

The Road to Masada

Author: Roger Elwood
Publisher: Moody Pub
ISBN: 0802479383
Release Date: 1994
Genre: Fiction

The Road to Masada rcounts the tales of lives altered dramatically by the presence of Jesus Christ.

Jerusalem s Traitor

Author: Desmond Seward
ISBN: 9781458777850
Release Date: 2010-10-29

When the Jews revolted against Rome in 66 CE, Josephus, a Jerusalem aristocrat, was made a general in his nation's army. Captured by the Romans, he saved his skin by finding favor with the emperor Vespasian. He then served as an adviser to the Roman legions, running a network of spies inside Jerusalem, in the belief that the Jews' only hope of survival lay in surrender to Rome. As a Jewish eyewitness who was given access to Vespasian's campaign notebooks, Josephus is our only source of information for the war of extermination that ended in the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the amazing times in which he lived. He is of vital importance for anyone interested in the Middle East, Jewish history, and the early history of Christianity.

The Siege of Masada

Author: Jodie Lane
Publisher: Jodie Lane
ISBN: 9780994649805
Release Date: 2015-12-05
Genre: Fiction

A time-travel adventure novel that mixes historical & science fiction: Gwyn accidentally goes back in time to the famous Siege of Masada, where the Jewish defenders of the fortress are making their last stand against the Roman invaders. She must try return to her time before the siege reaches its bloody end, but is entangled in the plot of the owner of the time machine who is from the future.

The Siege of Masada

Author: Charles River Charles River Editors
ISBN: 1542753740
Release Date: 2017-01-26

*Includes pictures of Masada and other important places and events *Includes a table of contents *Includes a bibliography of other books about Masada "Since we long ago resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God Himself, Who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice ... We were the very first that revolted, and we are the last to fight against them; and I cannot but esteem it as a favor that God has granted us, that it is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom." - Elazar ben Yair Many Westerners have never even heard of the Siege of Masada, and those who have may simply know it as an obscure reference to a minor battle fought in a remote location of the Roman world. By contrast, virtually all Israeli school children know the story of Masada as a premier example of nationalistic pride. According to historian Klara Palotai, "Masada became a symbol for a heroic 'last stand' for the State of Israel and played a major role for Israel in forging national identity" Indeed, the heroic story of a small band of fighters facing incalculable odds has many elements that are reminiscent of both the Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of the Alamo. The refrain "Masada shall not fall again," coined in a poem on the subject by Yitzak Lamdan, became a cry of resolve in battle for Israeli soldiers in the 20th century, just as the cry of "Remember the Alamo" had galvanized Americans. For decades, the Israelite military used the site of Masada as the location for swearing in their new recruits, and the choice of the site was obviously designed to evoke within the new soldiers a deep sense of connection with their national history. The Siege of Masada was the final battle in a long series of fights that constituted the First Jewish-Roman War. The Roman Empire had established control over the region in the 1st century BCE, when the Roman proconsul Pompey the Great took control of Jerusalem and ceremonially defiled their temple by entering it. This mix of political control and religious desecration was a contentious issue for the Judeans throughout the Roman period, and militant activists opposed to Roman rule, often espousing strongly held religious beliefs, frequently developed large followings to challenge the Roman authorities. This led to multiple violent clashes between the Judeans and the Romans, and the First Jewish-Roman War (66-73 CE) was one such clash (albeit on a larger scale than most). The Roman troops marched through and made their military might felt, first in the northern region of Galilee, then down the coast where they finally laid siege to the capital city of Jerusalem. This left three Roman fortress outposts, including Masada, that had been built by Herod the Great but had been taken over by various Judean factions. Masada was the last of these fortresses that the Romans attacked and proved the most difficult for them to seize, but seize it they did. However, what made this battle qualitatively different from most was not just the difficulty Rome had in retaking control of it with incredibly disproportional military equipment and numbers, but also the actions of the Judean defenders. In the final hours of the battle, just as the Romans were about to breach the walls of the city, the defenders gathered together and committed mass suicide, rather than being killed or taken captive by the Romans. The Siege of Masada: A Historical Drama of the Famous Battle Between the Jews and Romans is a historical drama that portrays the famous battle from the standpoint of a fictional survivor.