As my enemies encompass me about, I lift up my eyes to the heavens.
The great city is destroyed and your holy temple.
I regret the day that I was born because I witnessed Jerusalem’s downfall.
I saw your holy temple in flames.
They were evil flames which licked the very dust of the earth and tossed bitter ash into our eyes of tears.
Now, Lucius Flavius Silva and his Roman infidels are coming to this holy mount of Masada.
I would ask that you would preserve us, but alas, you seem to have assigned our utter destruction to the hands of the pagans.
Forgive us our transgressions against you, most holy of holies.
We cannot allow our wives and daughters to be soiled by the hands of these heathen.
We cannot allow our young ones to become slaves in foreign lands and to grow up without the knowledge of you.
We cannot allow ourselves to be taken to be placed on exhibition for Roman sport like the leaders of your people were.
May our deaths by our hands be a testament to future generations that you had a people once who faced your judgment and who died bravely as free men.
May the Romans know that they may have our lands, but they will never have our souls.
We shall soon join our families and friends in your kingdom.
I draw my sword and wet it with the blood of my left hand.
May the cry of our innocent blood from the land be heard down through the ages of time.
May your judgment on these hordes of barbarians be as swift as your judgment was on us, your people who have sinned a great sin.
Grant us, your last children in your chosen land, your peace and forgiveness.
When the 10,000 Romans entered Masada, there was a silence which they had never experienced before. As the day unfolded, the horror of what had transpired hours before was brought to Lucius Flavius Silva’s attention.
Their last enemies, the last of the Jewish resistance, were all dead by their own hands. These Romans had never witnesses such a thing.
It is said that Lucius Flavius Silva stood for a long time as the hot winds blew about him in total silence. He was shaken to his very core that a 1000 people would sacrifice themselves in such a noble fashion. A glorious victory was turned into a hollow commentary on the most powerful army the world had ever witnessed.
A few years later Lucius Flavius Silva would suffer the Damnatio memoriae.
His history and prestige were purged from the Roman archives. His family lost their privileged status.
G. D. Williams © 2018