10/09/2013 by syrbal-labrys
I was a history nut from childhood onwards. I grew up reading about ancient Rome…and those roaming Roman ways of militancy and tax collection. And of course, at some point, that meant I encountered the Roman response to the Mid-East issues of their day in ancient Israel/Judea.
They drove Jewish rebels to the hold-out of Masada. They built a huge earthen ramp-way that would enable the soldiers to storm up to the cliff-side citadel. When they got there, they found the rebels had committed mass suicide rather than go to Rome to be part of some general’s public event “triumph” before doubtless being executed and/or sold into slavery.
It seems that while at war, the Romans decided that starvation was a good tactic, so they worked really hard at a side-line of rendering a major food crop EXTINCT. So by the year 500 A.D. the Judean date palm was gone. Except, well, those hardy types who fled to Massada may be having the last laugh now. Because in a jar found on Masada were seeds of the date palm.
And now, the Judean date palm grows and blossoms again! It says it blossoms, but says nothing of fruit. I don’t know enough about dates, but I wonder if they need to sprout another tree for cross-fertilization?