By Charles Richard Smith; United States. Marine Corps
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Author’s photograph, with permission of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority) plaster. 4m thick, and the inner wall 1m. The width of the casemate is about 4m. Altogether there are 70 rooms. The 6m-wide towers were built at irregular intervals, according to the terrain and for tactical reasons. The shortest distance between them is 35m, the longest 90m. Some of the towers had stairs leading to the top. Each tower had an entrance, usually near the northern partition wall. Four gates from the time of Herod were all built according to the same general plan: a square room with two entrances, one in the outer wall, and one in the inner wall, and benches along the walls.
After three years of a hard-fought and bloody guerrilla war, mainly in southern Judaea, the Romans crushed the revolt. The results were even more demoralizing for the Jews than the First War. Judaea was completely emptied of its Jewish population. Moreover, Hadrian changed the name of the province from Judaea to SyriaPalaestina to erase the name of the Jews from the map. It seems that the ruins of the Herodium were utilized as a military base by the Jewish rebels, although by then not one of the Hasmonaean and Herodian forts considered in this book were in use, either by the Romans or by the rebels.
There the Roman Senate named Herod king of Judaea, following the suggestion of Antony and Octavian. Herod then returned to Judaea, where he faced Mattathias Antigonus and his supporters, although the Parthians, having been defeated by Antony’s Romans, had retired. First, Herod retook Galilee from Antigonus’s supporters. Antony sent Ventidius, the governor of Syria, and Silo to Herod to help speed the campaign. However, Silo was corrupted by Antigonus, as were other successive Roman commanders sent by Antony to assist Herod.