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(TV Mini-Series)

(1981)

Quotes

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: These aren't Britons or Gauls we're fighting, good honest rustics who stand out in the sun like archery targets and dare you to do something about it. These are more like the Egyptians, brainy bastards without a dram of ethics.

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Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: I've had very few conversations with Jews that didn't end in a brawl.

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Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: This pretending to be indifferent to your own death is a trick you've picked up from us. I've always been good at it and I can smell it a mile off.

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Gen. Marcus Quadratus: Sir, the tax payment has been promised.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: I know.

Gen. Marcus Quadratus: It may already be part of the budget. You know how the treasury works.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: They won't be disappointed. I'll cover it from my personal funds. The Empire and I have the same banker, it's merely a question of paperwork.

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Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: I haven't asked you here to negotiate. I don't negotiate with bandits, whatever they call themselves. You've been called here so that I can tell you face to face, once and once only. If it takes the balance of the year or even another year on top of that one, your band will be captured and annihilated. It is not a threat, merely a statement of fact. No matter how many granaries you burn, no matter how long you can keep the distance between the legion and yourself, the end will be the same.

Eleazar ben Yair: Still in all, you know a way to avoid that.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: One way only. Disperse now! Listen to me. I've been here for seven years. Every one of those small insignia on my standard is a representation of of at least 20,000 dead Jews. I have no wish to add to that record. I am sick of dead Jews, live Jews, men, women and children and of your miserable, unyielding country!

Eleazar ben Yair: Then do yourself a kindness. Go!

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: I was about to do just that when you made it impossible.

Eleazar ben Yair: But in the rush, General, you would have left 5,000 men behind.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: The legion will stay, of course.

Eleazar ben Yair: And we also, of course. To keep fighting.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: For how long? How long do you think 400 can escape 5,000?

Eleazar ben Yair: That's what you want to know. I won't give you a head count of our troops. But 400? Not even as a joke. At any rate it's not my worry. You want us to disperse and let your Syrians turn our barley into your money? We won't. You tell me you will catch us and kill us? I invite you to try.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: You invite me to try? Your country is one long and narrow graveyard already. Your cities are flatter than your deserts, your temple has been destroyed and most of the survivors are slaves. All for seven years of us trying. Give us our due, man, we know how to kill.

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Eleazar ben Yair: As long as one of us is alive and remembers how to start a fire or hold a sword, this war will go on.

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Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: Honor is like family. It has its limits.

Eleazar ben Yair: Spoken like a Roman.

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Eleazar ben Yair: I'll tell you a secret not even Nero knew. Do you want to know how to destroy the Jews? Leave them in peace. They'll be at each other's throats soon enough. But as long as we have an enemy, we are brothers.

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Eleazar ben Yair: We want our freedom back. We want our country back.

Gen. Cornelius Flavius Silva: Back? When was it ever yours? It has always belonged to somebody. Babylon, Egypt. For a thousand years it has been a recognized war trophy. A costly one.

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Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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