Masada

Masada



Year:
1981
1,271 Views

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva:
I haven't asked you here to negotiate. I don't negotiate with bandits, whatever they call themselves. You've been called here so that I can tell you face to face, once and once only. If it takes the balance of the year or even another year on top of that one, your band will be captured and annihilated. It is not a threat, merely a statement of fact. No matter how many granaries you burn, no matter how long you can keep the distance between the legion and yourself, the end will be the same.

Eleazar ben Yair:
Still in all, you know a way to avoid that.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva:
One way only. Disperse now! Listen to me. I've been here for seven years. Every one of those small insignia on my standard is a representation of of at least 20,000 dead Jews. I have no wish to add to that record. I am sick of dead Jews, live Jews, men, women and children and of your miserable, unyielding country!

Eleazar ben Yair:
Then do yourself a kindness. Go!

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva:
I was about to do just that when you made it impossible.

Eleazar ben Yair:
But in the rush, General, you would have left 5,000 men behind.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva:
The legion will stay, of course.

Eleazar ben Yair:
And we also, of course. To keep fighting.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva:
For how long? How long do you think 400 can escape 5,000?

Eleazar ben Yair:
That's what you want to know. I won't give you a head count of our troops. But 400? Not even as a joke. At any rate it's not my worry. You want us to disperse and let your Syrians turn our barley into your money? We won't. You tell me you will catch us and kill us? I invite you to try.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva:
You invite me to try? Your country is one long and narrow graveyard already. Your cities are flatter than your deserts, your temple has been destroyed and most of the survivors are slaves. All for seven years of us trying. Give us our due, man, we know how to kill.


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