Herod the Great (or rather the Cruel) built near the Dead Sea a fortress where he could hide in case of a revolution.
In the year 73 CE, three years after the Temple and Jerusalem were ruined, fought here 960 Zealots under Elazar ben Jair fought against the Tenth Legion led by Lucius Flavius Silva.
Flavius Josephus tells us that at the end of the battle 10 of the defenders of Massada were chosen to kill the others and one of them to kill the other nine ones. The last survivor took his own life.
Flavius tells us that they preferred to die as free ones rather than living as slaves.