Who were the Zealots?
The Zealots were a very radical group of Jews who were important because of their resistance to the Roman rule of what was then called the Province of Judaea. The Zealots wanted to conduct an armed rebellion against the Roman occupiers and eject them from the area. This movement started during the first century BCE. The Zealots conducted acts of violence not only against the Romans but against Jews, like the Sadducees, who were seen as allies of the Romans. The Zealots are most famous in history for their long defense of their fortress at Masada and for their mass suicide when finally defeated there.