Lucilius Bassus

Lucilius Bassus

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Lucilius Bassus was a Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 legatus
Legatus
A legatus was a general in the Roman army, equivalent to a modern general officer. Being of senatorial rank, his immediate superior was the dux, and he outranked all military tribunes...

 appointed by Emperor Vespasian
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 to the Iudaea Province
Iudaea Province
Judaea or Iudaea are terms used by historians to refer to the Roman province that extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel...

 in 71 AD. Assigned to finish off the last remnants of the Great Jewish Revolt in the province, he led the legion Legio X Fretensis
Legio X Fretensis
Legio X Fretensis was a Roman legion levied by Augustus Caesar in 41/40 BC to fight during the period of civil war that started the dissolution of the Roman Republic...

, destroying the Jewish strongholds Herodium
Herodium
Herodium or Herodion is a volcano-like hill with a truncated cone located south of Jerusalem, near the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank. Herod the Great built a fortress and palace on the top of Herodium, and may have been buried there...

 and Machaerus
Machaerus
Machaerus is a fortified hilltop palace located in Jordan fifteen miles southeast of the mouth of the Jordan river on the eastern side of the Dead Sea...

 on their march to the siege of Masada
Masada
Masada is the name for a site of ancient palaces and fortifications in the South District of Israel, on top of an isolated rock plateau, or horst, on the eastern edge of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada is best known for the violence that occurred there in the first century CE...

.Once while his men besieged a certain place, a young man named Eleazer got himself into a bit of trouble.Eleazer had been in several "close calls," and being liked by others and full of self-confidence,Eleazer decided to "show out" in front of his comrades. He went outside the ramparts and had begun to converse with his friends inside the ramparts.A legionnaire,Rufus, sneaked up behind the haughty young fellow, and tackling from behind, mananaged to drag him Eleazar back to the Roman lines. At this point Bassus seemed to have wanted some humor;perhaps he only wanted to teach Eleazer a lesson. At any rate, General Bassus ordered his new prisoner stripped,tied to a stake in the full view of his Jewish comrades, and flogged. After the beating was over,Bassus then ordered a cross to be erected. Eleazer, who at this point realized he was as not as not a brave as he thought himself, began to cry hysterically. The screams were so loud and unpleasant that defenders of the fortress made a compromise as this:if the Romans freed Eleazer, they would evacuate the fortress. It happened that way. After the war was over, Bassus fell ill and died on the way however, and was replaced by Lucius Flavius Silva
Lucius Flavius Silva
Lucius Flavius Silva Nonius Bassus was a late-1st century Roman general, governor of the province of Iudaea and consul. History remembers Silva as the Roman commander who led his army, composed mainly of the Legio X Fretensis, in 73 AD up to Masada and laid siege to its near-impenetrable mountain...

 in late 72 AD.
Before his appointment to Iudaea, Bassus was prefect
Prefect
Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition....

 of the fleet
Roman Navy
The Roman Navy comprised the naval forces of the Ancient Roman state. Although the navy was instrumental in the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean basin, it never enjoyed the prestige of the Roman legions...

 stationed at Ravenna
Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

. He betrayed Vitellius
Vitellius
Vitellius , was Roman Emperor for eight months, from 16 April to 22 December 69. Vitellius was acclaimed Emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors...

 by siding with Vespasian
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 during the Year of the Four Emperors
Year of the Four Emperors
The Year of the Four Emperors was a year in the history of the Roman Empire, AD 69, in which four emperors ruled in a remarkable succession. These four emperors were Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian....

.

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