"Masada" is the immortalized story of the siege of 980 zealot Jews who escaped the Roman sacking of Jerusalem in 7O A.D. by taking refuge in Herod the Great's elaborate winter palace on the mountain of Masada. For three years, as many as 10,000 Roman soldiers camped at the base of the mountain, intent on capturing this last stronghold of the Jewish rebellion against Roman Imperial authority. The Jews were constantly subjected to brutal and psychologically devastating attacks but managed repeatedly to stave them off, maintaining their unshakable ideal that "We shall know no master." Finally, when the Romans broke through the walls of the citadel, they encountered only an eerie silence-for the Jews had chosen death rather than a Roman master.
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