8. These Radicals Were as Terrible as an Ancient ISIS
After seizing the Masada fortress and slaughtering hundreds of Romans, the Sicarii joined the Zealots and other rebels to attack and capture Jerusalem in 66 AD. Once in control of the city, the Sicarii went on a terrible rampage. They began killing known and suspected collaborators en masse, as well as any opponents, suspected opponents, and those who failed to express sufficient enthusiasm for the Sicarii cause. That extremism led to a backlash and uprising by the city’s population, and a falling out with the other rebels. It culminated in Sicarii defeat, the capture, torture, and execution of their leader, and the group’s expulsion from Jerusalem.
The surviving Sicarii retreated to the fortress of Masada, and contented themselves with plundering the surrounding countryside. In the meantime, the Zealots and other radicals managed to crush a popular backlash, and retained control of Jerusalem until it was besieged, conquered, and razed by the Romans in 70 AD. The Romans then began mopping up operations, and eventually reached the final holdouts, the Sicarii in Masada, whom they besieged. Realizing that all was lost and that their fate would be terrible if they were captured, the Sicarii committed mass suicide, killing their families and then themselves.