Details the rise of Herod to throne of Judea, acting as an agent of Rome. On one hand Herod pursued Jewish rebels on Rome's behalf but on the other he embarked on ambitious building projects, especially an unprecedented reconstruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.
A final group of zealots takes refuge at Masada, a desert fortress built by King Herod. The Romans surround the plateau on which it sits and begin a siege. The rebels decide to take their own lives rather than be defeated and killed or taken prisoner.