Two thousand years ago, 967 Jewish men, women, and children—the last holdouts of the revolt against Rome following the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Second Temple—reportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to the Roman army. This dramatic event, which took place on top of Masada, a barren and windswept mountain overlooking the Dead Sea, spawned a powerful story of Jewish resistance that came to symbolize the embattled modern State of Israel. Incorporating the latest findings, Jodi Magness, an archaeologist who has excavated at Masada, explains what happened there—and what it has come to mean since. Featuring numerous illustrations, this is an engaging exploration of an ancient story that continues to grip the imagination today.
Awards and Recognition
- Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in History
Jodi Magness is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her books include The Archaeology of the Holy Land from the Destruction of Solomon’s Temple to the Muslim Conquest.
"Magness’s conversational style will inform and entertain both the general and specialist reader…After reading the book you’ll want to book a trip to see it for yourself."—Lindsay Powell, Ancient History
"Beautifully produced…A wonderful presentation to supplement the huge literature on the archaeology of Masada."—Eric M. Meyers, Dead Sea Discoveries
“Filled with fascinating details; [Masada] is informative and judicious.”—Glenn C. Altschuler, Jerusalem Post
“Magness vividly describes the archaeological evidence.”—Josephine Quinn, London Review of Books
“Magness plunges the reader directly into the story of the fall of Masada, unpacking the dramatic tale. . . . [She] compellingly describes the excavations there, including her own, providing a welcome tour of the site.”—Eric H. Cline, author of 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed
“A beautiful book…. Undoubtedly, it will become a classic.”—Michaël Girardin, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
“Riveting and thoroughly readable.”—Karen B. Stern, American Journal of Archaeology