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Masada (Hebrew מצדה, pronounced Metzada "fortress") is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel on top of an isolated rock plateau, or large mesa, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada isn't mentioned by name in the Bible, although it was an important site during the New Testament era, during the first century AD. King Herod, according to the first-century Jewish historian named Josephus, built a fortress on Masada to protect himself in case there was a revolt. Herod was appointed "king" by the Romans to govern over the Jewish people. He was extremely unpopular with the people. Decades after Herod died, there was a massive revolt among the Jewish people to free themselves from the oppressive rule of the Roman Empire. A group of Jewish fighters defeated a Roman garrison and captured Masada, which then was used for about two years as a base for some of the Jewish fighters. After the First Jewish-Roman War (also known as the Great Jewish Revolt) a siege of the fortress by troops of the Roman Empire led to the mass suicide of Jewish rebels, who preferred death to surrender. 

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