Roman Preparations to Attack Masada in Israel - Encircle Photos

11 Roman Preparations to Attack Masada in Israel

By 73 AD, the Romans had successfully crushed the Jewish resistance except for the Sicarii on Masada. This last target would not fall easily. The Roman governor of Judea, Lucius Flavius Silva, was given the task. He commanded nearly 5,000 soldiers of the prestigious army Legio X Fretensis plus 5,000 to 10,00 additional soldiers and slaves. They vastly outnumbered the nearly one thousand rebels and their families. At first, the Romans tried traditional attacks of arrows, catapults and foot assaults. When these failed, they established eight camps around the base of the mount similar to this one on the east side. Then, the Romans built a two mile wall encircling the perimeter so no one could escape. The hardest part was constructing an enormous ramp on the west side of Masada. It measured 295 feet deep and 720 feet long! The engineering feat required two months. Toward the end, the workers were constantly bombarded from above by the rebels.


Masada National Park, Israel


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