Mormon studies, politics, Judea, outlaw, Masada, Judaism
Robbers, bandits, zealots, Sicarii, and other groups operating outside of normal legal channels were prominent features on the political landscape in and around the Roman province of Judea in the first century. To an extent, the Jewish insurgents who died at Masada can be viewed as robbers or bandits within the ancient meaning of those terms. Knowing something about the prevailing laws concerning robbery and the typical characteristics of social banditry helps modern people to understand these "outlaws" and to imagine how typical Roman rulers or average Jewish citizens in that day probably viewed both the group of dissidents who died at Masada and others like them mentioned in the New Testament.
Welch, John W.
"Legal and Social Perspectives on Robbers in First-Century Judea,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 36:
3, Article 10.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol36/iss3/10