Friday, April 1, 2011

The Roman Ramp at Massada

The Roman Ramp

After seeing the vertical sides of Massada one wonders how the Roman Army could have captured it. Well look at this picture a wonder no more.

The Romans built a ramp up one side of the mountain. They were clever these Romans for the defenders of Massada could have very easily killed any one working on the ramp but they didn't. The ramp builders were bran new slaves that the Romans had captured at Jerusalem. Jews built the ramp for the Roman army and the defenders of Massada would not kill their fellow country men and women.

In the end the defenders committed suicide rather than be captured by the Romans.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

King Herod Slept Here

Did King Herod Sleep Here?

On the third floor of Herod's Palace at Massada is this room touted as the King's bed room. 

The tour guide leading the group of tourist ahead of us was laying it on thick pointing out to them where each of Herod's nine wives slept. 

Oh yes he named each one of them. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

At Massada

Looking Up At Massada

One of the most awesome places to go in Israel is Massada. King Herod the Great was a man driven by the idea that every one was out to kill him so he built fortresses all over Israel. Massada was the most amazing of the lot. It was perched high up on this mountain with a twisting narrow trail that lead up to the top. He had three levels for his living spaces.

In 70 AD with the fall of Jerusalem the Jews made this their last stand against the Roman army and held them off for three years. Using new Jewish slaves, captured at Jerusalem, the Romans built a ramp up the side and hauled siege engines up to shatter the wall. Rather than be captured the Jews killed their families and them selves.

Here I am in 1999 just before we went up Massada.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Storage Rooms at Massada

Storage Rooms

The fortress of Massada had huge storage rooms that once filled allowed the defender to hold out for many years. They held out against the Roman army for three long years. These are the ruins of just a few of the storage rooms there. 

It was an awesome feeling to be there and know what happened in 70 to 73 AD!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Roman Bath at Massada

Here is an interesting view of the Roman Bath Herod built at Massada. 

The lower level is where slaves kept a fire going to heat the pool of water above it. Can you imagine yourself feeding those fires? That would have been hot and dangerous work. It would be a lot more pleasant to think of your self enjoying a hot bath.

Quite a system those Romans invented for a hot bath for you and your closest friends.