The Sicarii

The Jewish Daggermen With a Thirst for Roman Blood

The Sicarii – which may be translated as ‘daggermen’ from the Latin – were a group of Jewish zealots who lived during the 1 st century AD. The Sicarii intended to expel the Romans and their collaborators from Judaea, and resisted their rule. One of the tools they employed in their effort to achieve this end was assassination, especially in crowded places, which was calculated to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. The Sicarii are often considered to be one of the earliest groups of terrorists in human history.

Rebel Beginnings

The Roman province of Judaea was formed in 6 AD, following the end of the Herodian Tetrarchy. The Romans had already established their presence in the area prior to the formation of this province, as the Herodians had been client-kings of the Romans. For certain Jews, the Roman occupation of their land was deemed illegitimate, and they were hoping to rid themselves of Roman rule. Several groups rose to challenge the Romans, one of which was the Sicarii.

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