History of Terrorism Part 1: The Zealots

JB Shreve
January 2, 2018 2 mins to read
Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the first century AD, ancient Palestine was occupied by the Romans. A unique group of fighters arose to resist the Roman occupation. Many called them the Sicarii because of the type of weapons they carried. To history, they are known as the Zealots, the world’s first terrorist group. This podcast episode is part of my History of Terrorism podcast series. We look at the stories of history to determine who were the Zealots. We also look at the Zealots and terrorism as part of the origin story of our topic and series.

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If you enjoyed this podcast episode check out the complete series on the History of Terrorism.

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The History of Terrorism series tells the story of how terrorism developed from the ancient world to ISIS.


In the course of this episode, we will look at one of Jesus’ disciples who legends say was a member of the Zealots. We will also look at how the people of first-century Jerusalem came to fear the Zealots. Finally, we will explore how the efforts of this early terrorist organization backfired and helped to lead to the fall and destruction of ancient Jerusalem as well as the diaspora of the Jewish people.

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The first episode in our new series on the History of Terrorism begins in the 1st century with a group of religious fanatics in Palestine whose activity in revolt against Rome inadvertently brought about the destruction of Jerusalem. The Zealots foreshadowed much of the tactics and extremism seen in terrorist groups today throughout much

of the world especially on the front of religious or ideological fanaticism.

History of Terrorism – Part 1: The Zealots

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 * Song at the end of this episode is Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones and performed by Jane’s Addiction

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