Year: 1974 Source: Speech Monographs, v.41, (November 1974), p.339-347 SIEC No: 19842629

The addresses of Eleazar ben Yair to the besieged at Masada as reported by Josephus would rank preeminent among speeches to persuade. To try to gain insight into why there were so effective is the main purpose of this essay. the procedure will follow in sequence: historicity, analysis of the speeches, meaning & significance. Since the siege terminated in mass suicide by its 960 defenders, the analysis will utilize the classic theory of Emile Durkheim, which should help to understand this event.