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Roman Fortifications Question

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Yeah, I've been careful about recounting the story in detail, because Josephus seems to be the only source of the legend (unless you know otherwise and can share).

    But it DOES make for a great story!
    It's not a legend and Josephus is our only source, apparently from the testimony of women who hid with their children in the cisterns and survived the mass suicide.

    The legions, auxiliaries and client forces that had proved necessary to carry out the siege of Jerusalem were rapidly reduced after 70 C.E, leaving the new governor of the province, Lucilius Bassus, with only one legion (and some auxiliary regiments) to deal with the remaining threat. Given that the war had been officially "won" - to wit Titus' triumph in Rome - it was unlikely that much glory would have been accorded to a commander engaged in what were viewed as "mopping up" operations once the enormous task of eliminating the enemy's capital had been achieved.

    However, the enemy could not be permitted to continue to defy Rome's might and to simply ignore them until they [eventually] starved to death risked them leaving their stronghold and again whipping up trouble in territories that had recently [and at dreadful cost to both sides] been pacified. So they had to be eliminated.

    However, as we know this was neither the first nor last rebellion by the Jews against Rome, and the next would be even bloodier.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
      It's not a legend
      A legend - not that it didn't happen - but that it has taken on a life of its own, with various inflections.

      and Josephus is our only source, apparently from the testimony of women who hid with their children in the cisterns and survived the mass suicide.

      The legions, auxiliaries and client forces that had proved necessary to carry out the siege of Jerusalem were rapidly reduced after 70 C.E, leaving the new governor of the province, Lucilius Bassus, with only one legion (and some auxiliary regiments) to deal with the remaining threat. Given that the war had been officially "won" - to wit Titus' triumph in Rome - it was unlikely that much glory would have been accorded to a commander engaged in what were viewed as "mopping up" operations once the enormous task of eliminating the enemy's capital had been achieved.

      However, the enemy could not be permitted to continue to defy Rome's might and to simply ignore them until they [eventually] starved to death risked them leaving their stronghold and again whipping up trouble in territories that had recently [and at dreadful cost to both sides] been pacified. So they had to be eliminated.

      However, as we know this was neither the first nor last rebellion by the Jews against Rome, and the next would be even bloodier.
      And, on that, I have no disagreement.
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        A legend - not that it didn't happen - but that it has taken on a life of its own, with various inflections.
        Ah! My misunderstanding.



        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        And, on that, I have no disagreement.
        Indeed.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
          Ah! My misunderstanding.
          For example, the 'ceremony' I witnessed with the dozen IDF soldiers - the tour guide explained that this happens frequently, and that the commander conducting the ceremony explains that, at a certain point, the spirits of the dead killed on Masada inhabit and inspire the newly commissioned IDF soldiers such that... (don't remember the rest of the "such that", but I believe it included that no IDF soldier who ever went through that ceremony ever failed to be less than glorious in battle.....)

          I have to remember, however, that tour guides are notorious for embellishing a tad... Like in Savannah, Georgia when we went through the "most haunted section of town", and the tour guide says, in a spooky voice, "They say, that at night, you can hear the screams of the ...."

          Who can argue with "they say"?
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            For example, the 'ceremony' I witnessed with the dozen IDF soldiers - the tour guide explained that this happens frequently, and that the commander conducting the ceremony explains that, at a certain point, the spirits of the dead killed on Masada inhabit and inspire the newly commissioned IDF soldiers such that... (don't remember the rest of the "such that", but I believe it included that no IDF soldier who ever went through that ceremony ever failed to be less than glorious in battle.....)
            That seems rather an odd viewpoint. The occupants of Masada did not die in battle they committed mass suicide rather than surrender.

            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            I have to remember, however, that tour guides are notorious for embellishing a tad... Like in Savannah, Georgia when we went through the "most haunted section of town", and the tour guide says, in a spooky voice, "They say, that at night, you can hear the screams of the ...."

            Who can argue with "they say"?
            Well, adding a little "colour and texture" goes with the job.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
              That seems rather an odd viewpoint. The occupants of Masada did not die in battle they committed mass suicide rather than surrender.
              EGGzackly --- hence the "Never Again Masada". That is spoken several times throughout the ceremony, and, apparently is the 'motto' on the shoulder patch they then wear.

              The commissioning is seen, apparently, as "avenge for us".

              Reuven shared with us that IDF units are still sworn in on Masada’s southern point to this day, inspired by Eleazar’s words, as is all of Israel, and affirming that the Jewish state, like “Masada, shall never fall again.”

              Well, adding a little "colour and texture" goes with the job.
              It do!
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                EGGzackly --- hence the "Never Again Masada". That is spoken several times throughout the ceremony, and, apparently is the 'motto' on the shoulder patch they then wear.

                The commissioning is seen, apparently, as "avenge for us".

                Reuven shared with us that IDF units are still sworn in on Masada’s southern point to this day, inspired by Eleazar’s words, as is all of Israel, and affirming that the Jewish state, like “Masada, shall never fall again.”
                Ah a reference to foreign powers taking control in the [Holy Land of] Israel. However, that is also ironic given what happened after the Second Jewish War and Jerusalem.

                Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                It do!
                Indeed.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                  Ah a reference to foreign powers taking control in the [Holy Land of] Israel. However, that is also ironic given what happened after the Second Jewish War and Jerusalem.
                  Perhaps that's included in the background for "never again"? Since 1948, they've been on a roll.

                  Indeed.
                  Yes indeedie.
                  "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    Perhaps that's included in the background for "never again"? Since 1948, they've been on a roll.
                    That has come with its own price.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                      That has come with its own price.
                      What, of value, does not?
                      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                      • #26
                        With regards to the OP's question in relation to Masada, IIRC the Romans did employ slave labor to help build their fortifications.

                        I'm always still in trouble again

                        "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                        "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          With regards to the OP's question in relation to Masada, IIRC the Romans did employ slave labor to help build their fortifications.
                          Gwyn Davies notes in his 2018 article on the Masada campaign in Biblical Archaeology Review, "It is also likely that Silva drafted Jewish corvée laborers to act as porters manning his supply lines. Even indirect participants in the operation such as these, however, would have increased the logistical demands on the besieging force, so they would have been kept to a necessary minimum.

                          However, the Roman army did not take large groups of slave labour with it on its campaigns. Personal slaves, cooks, medical assistants, scribes etc. are another matter.
                          Last edited by Hypatia_Alexandria; 07-10-2020, 08:27 AM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                            Gwyn Davies notes in his 2018 article on the Masada campaign in Biblical Archaeology Review, "It is also likely that Silva drafted Jewish corvée laborers to act as porters manning his supply lines. Even indirect participants in the operation such as these, however, would have increased the logistical demands on the besieging force, so they would have been kept to a necessary minimum.

                            However, the Roman army did not take large groups of slave labour with it on its campaigns. Personal slaves, cooks, medical assistants, scribes etc. are another matter.
                            IIRC, it was Simon "Si" Sheppard's The Jewish Revolt AD 66-74 where I read that Silva's besieging force included several thousand prisoners who would of course been used as slave labor.

                            I'm always still in trouble again

                            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                              IIRC, it was Simon "Si" Sheppard's The Jewish Revolt AD 66-74 where I read that Silva's besieging force included several thousand prisoners who would of course been used as slave labor.
                              I will stay with the opinions of a trained archaeologist rather than those of a graduate in Political Science. However, thank you for the comment.

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