Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth


Product Details

Princeton University Press
Publish Date
6.4 X 1.2 X 9.4 inches | 1.55 pounds

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About the Author

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 and Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus. In 1995, Magness codirected excavations in the Roman siege works at Masada, and since 2011 she has directed excavations at Huqoq in Galilee.


"Internationally renowned archaeologist Jodi Magness plunges the reader directly into the story of the fall of Masada, unpacking the dramatic tale as told by Josephus. She also recounts the fascinating adventures and misadventures of the region's explorers, from the nineteenth century through the 1960s, and 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
"Masada is the foremost archaeological site in Israel, the most spectacular and one of the most visited. No one knows the site or its wider contexts better than Jodi Magness. There are few archaeologists who could have pulled off the feat that she has accomplished in this book. It is a marvel of clarity and accessibility. Masada will be the indispensable companion to this site for the next fifty years."--Tessa Rajak, author of Josephus
"Filled with fascinating details; [Masada] is informative and judicious."---Glenn C. Altschuer, Jerusalem Post
"[Jodi Magness is] fascinating on the conflation of archaeology and nationalism in modern Israel's use of the 'Masada myth'."---Justin Marozzi, The Spectator
"In 74 CE, 967 Jews on top of the rock fortress of Masada purportedly took their own lives rather than surrender to a Roman army. Their defiant self-sacrifice became a modern, nationalist rallying cry: 'Masada shall not fall again!' But what really happened at Masada during the great Jewish revolt against Rome, and what is the historical significance of Masada's fall? Jodi Magness, who directed excavations of the Roman siege works at Masada and is one of the preeminent archaeologists of the ancient Mediterranean world, has written a superb book about Masada, describing its physical setting and development, the history of the site's excavation, the story of the Roman siege, and the creation of Masada's hotly contested modern myth. It is a triumph of scholarship and accessibility."--Guy MacLean Rogers, author of Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness
"Fascinating. . . . The overall high quality of [Masada] and its author's personal acquaintance with both the archaeological and literary source material cannot be questioned."---Daniel Sugarman, Jewish Chronicle
"All those interested in [Masada], or planning a visit, will find their understanding enriched by [Magness's] clear and readable guide."---Matti Friedman, Mosaic
"The appealing narrative launches itself in time-honoured fashion in medias res, with an account of the Roman siege that took place three years after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70."---Claire Gruzelier, Classics for All Reviews
"Archaeologist Jodi Magness succeeds in producing a rewarding and stimulating book that is accessible and up to date."---Michaël Girardin, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"Jodi Magness's new book, Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth, is an important contribution to our understanding of Masada and its historical context. Not only is it well-written, including personal experiences, her own research, and her association with the famous Israeli archeologists who supervised excavations at Masada; it also is a thorough presentation of what was discovered there, the historical period, and a comprehensive review of the literature and various theories about what happened there, and why. It is, therefore, an essential read."---Moshe Dann, The Jerusalem Report