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The Forts of Judaea 168 BC-AD 73: From the Maccabees to the Fall of Masada (Fortress) Paperback – May 20, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...an excellent book on a subject that is both historically significant and fascinating to read. It is one I can highly recommend." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (November 2008)

"This small volume, after a brief history of the period, describes the design and development of the fortifications and offers a tour of the major sites. After describing life in the fortifications in peace and wear, the book focuses on several sieges of Jerusalem and on the epic Roman siegfe of Masada, which remains deeply embedded in the Israeli consciousness. This book is an interesting overview of a period of fortifications in a part of the world that dominates headlines today." -Bolling Smith, Coast Defense Journal (September 2008)

"If you're and ancient history buff, The Forts of Judaea 168 BC-AD 73 is for you. This is an illustrated primer on Hasmonaean and Herodian fortifications spanning the period from the Maccabean revolt to the Roman-Jewish war."- Sheldon Kirshner, The Canadian Jewish News (July 2008)

"This is one of the titles in the series that cover relatively new ground for most military history buffs and is well worth having." -J.E. Kauffman, SiteO Newsletter (June 2008)

About the Author

Samuel Rocca was born in Milan, Italy but now lives in Jerusalem with his wife and three sons. He served with the Israeli Defense Forces, and has worked as a teacher and a curator at the Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem. Having studied biblical and classical archaeology at undergraduate level at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he went on to complete his MA there, before researching his PhD on Herodian Judaea at Bar-Ilan University. Samuel has given papers at numerous international conventions, and written articles for several academic journals. This is his first book for Osprey Publishing. The author lives in Jerusalem, Israel.
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Product Details

  • Series: Fortress (Book 65)
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; First Edition edition (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846031710
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846031717
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #720,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Te Bada on May 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a seldom explored topic covering an often ignored period for this region of the Middle East. Other than the Bible, other popular books rarely cover this period. The latter part of this time span is only known for the birth of Christ and events of the New Testament. Actually it is a period where the remnants of the Jewish state struggle to survive and remove Hellenistic domination only to have to contend with other factions in the Middle East, civil wars and finally the Romans. The author provides good background information on Maccabee revolt that leads to the rule of Judea by the Hasmoeans to the takeover by Herod. He concludes with revolt of the Zealots and the major sieges of the Roman generals Vespassian, his son Titus, and Flavius Silva that ended the revolt.
Rocca describes the characteristics -from walls to gates and towers -of both the Hasmonaean and Herodian fortifications and includes good descriptions of several sites including Herodium, Gamla, Jotpata, Masada and Jerusalem. He describes the composition of the military forces from the best sources available and then covers several of the major sieges of the period.
In addition to drawings of several of the fortifications, the book includes a few photos of reconstructions that appear in museums in Jerusalem and the Holyland Hotel. Many of the names may be unfamiliar to the general reader, but the author does attempt to identify them and the sometimes rather confusing tangle of wars. This is one of the titles in the series that cover relatively new ground for most military history buffs and is well worth having.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Murphy on September 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fine visual source on the fortifications of the Maccabean, Hasmonean, and Herodian Jewish States from the 2nd Century BC to the 1st Century AD, full of diagrams and color photos, as well as detailed descriptions and analysises based both on archaeology and the writings of Flavius Josephus and others. The author, Samuel Rocco, is a veteran of the IDF and is an expert on Biblical and Jewish archaeology, specializing in the Herodian Period.

The fortifications of Judaea have an interesting history, their construction and appearance having both pre and post-exile Jewish, and Seleucid and Roman elements. Their strategic roles were various, though most were designed for internal purposes-the holding of political prisoners (Alexander and Aristobulus, the sons of Herod the Great, and John the Baptist being three famous examples) and places of refuge for the king in the event of a revolt.

Osprey has long neglected both the post-Alexandrian Hellenistic Period and the Classical Jewish states, but this title and the forthcoming `Army of Herod the Great' will help to fill that unfortunate gap. This is a solidly-written, well-researched, and visually impressive title, and anyone interested in the forts and architecture of Judaea/the late Hellenistic World should definitely buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda D. Barker on July 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent. The visuals were great and added to the text. I would recommend it to anyone interested in the history of Israel.
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By ELROCO on September 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
INFORMATIVE
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