The historian of the Roman period, Josephus Flavius, is the only source for a description of the battle between the Galilean Zealots, who barricaded themselves at Arbel, and Herod the Great, in 37 BCE. Josephus relates that Marc Antony had sent Herod to suppress a rebellion by Jews from “the village of Arbella” who were “…lurking in caves…opening up onto mountain precipices [that] were inaccessible from any quarter, except by some tortuous and extremely narrow paths leading up to them; the cliff in front of them dropped sheer down…” (Josephus, War 1: 305, 310). Herod overcame the rebels only after he had the best of his warriors lowered to the caves in cages suspended by ropes, from which the zealots became convenient targets for their fiery brands and arrows. The Zealots fought tothe death; Josephus describes one old man who, rather than surrender, closed his ears to the screams of his wife and his seven sons, killed them and threw them into the gorge, jumping after them to his own death. – parks.org.il/
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