The Physique of The People of Masada

Drawings & Research by Audrey Sutter, Latin II, Period 2

The people of Masada consisted of Roman and Jewish men, women, children, soldiers, and slaves. These people lived around 70 AD; right after the city of Jerusalem had been conquered. The statuses of these people depended heavily on their physique and their looks.

Roman & Jewish Men

Roman men were bred to be leaders. The desired image at that time was one of power, so one would walk with their chest raised and head high. Broad shoulders, tall frames, symmetrical faces and curly, blond hair were common. If one’s features appeared to be lopsided or spotty, they were not as respected, and were therefore seen as lower class. Jewish men were usually short, and they exhibited dark hair, eyes and skin. They did, however, mix with many other races, causing some variation in children. Since the Jewish men weren’t bred to be leaders, a larger melting pot was present.

Roman & Jewish Women

Roman women were usually fair-skinned and tall. Their ‘lightness’ was seen as a form of purity, and women who didn’t exhibit that characteristic would look into a red or blonde wig and makeup to lighten the skin. The lower classes consisted of shorter, stockier, dark-haired women. Jewish woman were a mix of different races and sizes. The melting pot of the Jewish community was vast and spread-out. The women usually had dark hair, eyes and skin, as was the dominant trait in the community. The melting pot added a whole new mix of traits, causing the women to vary with not much differentiation between classes aside from hairstyle and clothing.

Roman & Jewish Children

Children of the Romans were culturally similar, considering that the melting pot in Ancient Rome was small. Jewish children usually had dark hair, eyes and skin, but the cultural diversity amongst the Jewish people allowed for variations in height and color of hair, eyes and skin. Children of both Roman and Jewish people were raised well. Roman boys were trained for the military and leadership roles, while young girls of both sides cleaned houses and learned to cook, clean and sew.

Jewish Slaves & Roman Soldiers

Jewish slaves tended to be younger and older men. Their physique was not the desired standard in the Roman community, and as captives they were treated very badly and sometimes worked to death. The female slaves were usually young, beautiful women, and they were used as personal tools for Roman men. Soldiers tended to be a mix of desirable, muscly men who had volunteered, and other men who were forced to enroll. Builds and skill levels of soldiers varied greatly.

Thank you for reading!.

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