December 15, 2006 at 8:59 pm #466StumpfootParticipant
I watched a special on the history channel about Masada today. They talked at length about how Josephus was the only source for what happened and how his conclusion that they all comited suicide does not add up to the archaelogical evidence. When he was trapped in a cave with his own men they made a suicide pact, all his men did the deed except Josephus who gave up and joined the Romans. They say this is what led up to him saying that the Zealots commited mass suicide, He was negative on the whole concept and some scholers beleive that he as trying to sooth his own conscience, What do you think, did they kill themselves?December 15, 2006 at 10:11 pm #7562PhidippidesKeymaster
I was under the impression that Josephus was not inside when this happened. In fact, I know that he was with the Romans (behind their lines) as Jerusalem was surrounded. I would expect that he wouldn't have been inside Masada when it was under siege. I wondered myself, though, how Josephus knew what was inside. I asked it in this thread here.December 15, 2006 at 10:52 pm #7563StumpfootParticipant
He wasn't inside, according to the show his information was garnered from the old woman who survived by hiding in one of the cisterns along with 5 children. They made the point that if she was hidden just before the suicide how did she know about all that went on and what was said before hand? Also they have only found 29 skeletons at the sight, and there was supposed to be nearly a thousand people there. Some say many escaped before the Romans laid siege.April 21, 2020 at 5:06 pm #58743PhidippidesKeymaster
Josephus was one of the leaders of the provisional government the Jews had set up after defeating the Roman provincial force. His territory was in the northern section of Israel territory, and so when Vespasian came through, beginning from Antioch in the far north, Josephus’ territory was one of the earlier places to be taken. Josephus was holed up in one of his fortresses, I think, and it was there that the Jewish soldiers he was with arranged a pact (obviously, Josephus didn’t go through with it).
So basically, this didn’t take place at Masada. After Josephus was captured but not killed after he predicted that Vespasian would go on to be emperor. Instead, be went with the Romans at the siege of Jerusalem and actually tried to persuade the Jews to give up.
After the fall of Judea, Josephus went back to Rome and basically worked for the Flavian family (hence the name Romanized name, Flavius Josephus).
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