The Zealots: the Jewish Resistance Against Rome, A.D. 6-73

Not until three years after the fall of Jerusalem did Zealot resistance come to a bloody end. S.G.F. Brandon reviews the history of this fanatical sect, whose exemplary devotion and fortitude modern Israelis seek to emulate.

The long reign of Herod the Great ended in the spring of the year 4 B.C. The Jews rejoiced at his death; they hated him profoundly for his Idumaean ancestry, his pagan tastes and his tyrannical rule.1 Yet, notwithstanding his many faults, he had preserved them from direct Roman rule. The Empire of Rome now extended on every side of Judaea; but Herod had been a client-prince; so that taxes were paid to him and not to Caesar, and Roman troops did not garrison Jewish towns and fortresses.

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