License: Creative Commons - Attribution-Share Alike Author: Dennis Jarvis
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Masada is situated on a plateau at the top of a mountain with steep sides. The story of the site reveals the courage of the defenders of Masada and their battle against the Romans.
The fortress of Masada was built in 30 B.C. by King Herod. At the start of the revolt against Rome in 68 B.C., the site was conquered by a group of Jewish zealots, and Masada became their last stronghold. In 72 B.C. the Romans besieged Masada and succeeded in reaching the steep fortress after constructing a huge earthen ramp on its western side (right side of picture). In 73 A.D., the 960 Jewish zealots living at the top of Masada chose to commit suicide rather than to fall into the hands of the Romans alive. Their deeds left behind a saga of courage, heroism, and martyrdom.