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The site, on a steep rocky hill, of the ruins of a palace and fortification built by Herod the Great on the SW shore of the Dead Sea in the 1st century bc. It was a Jewish stronghold in the Zealots' revolt against the Romans (ad 66–73) and was the scene in ad 73 of mass suicide by the Jewish defenders when the Romans breached the citadel after a siege of nearly two years. The name may be used allusively of a readiness to anticipate threatened defeat by bringing about one's own destruction first.

Subjects: Religion — Archaeology.

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