Herod The Great’s Fortification
Sometimes, you just have to be there, to get some idea of what’s gone on behind the scenes. This picture, above, reminds me so much of Montsegur. But that’s where I am reminded that the victors get to write history. The losers cannot, because they’re dead.
Flavius Josephus wrote about this siege and its denouement in his Jewish Wars. But Josephus wrote about a great many other things, and I should point out that the translation here gives a very useful background to the times of Jesus Christ and beyond.
Like all good writers, Josephus did not have to be factual to be effective. In fact, using Shakespeare as an example, history takes on a life of its own through the written word. And speeches quoted by the writer can be paraphrased and adapted from other sources and even other incidents. Read the article from Haaretz to see how others have gauged Josephus’ reliability as a scribe of history.
Today, Israelis see Masada as a symbol of Jewish resistance to foreign domination. Amen.