By Natalie Abrams
Updated October 13, 2014 at 06:00 PM EDT
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Sam Neill has joined the cast of the CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers, EW has learned.

Based on Alice Hoffman’s novel, the four-part miniseries tells the story of four women whose lives intersect as they fight for survival when 900 Jews are besieged for months in a fortress at Masada.

Neill will play Josephus, the somewhat controversial first-century Jewish scholar and historian. In this project, he is seen interviewing the few adult survivors of the Siege of Masada in order to record the events that took place prior to and during the siege. These interviews are the firsthand accounts included among the vast annals of history of the Jewish-Roman War.

“We are delighted to have the incredibly talented Sam Neill, an actor whose breadth of experience will bring such depth and vision to the role of Josephus,” executive producer Roma Downey says. “Sam is a wonderfully exciting choice to bring Josephus to life in this gripping story of Masada.”

Neill, whose TV credits include Alcatraz and The Tudors, joins the previously cast Cote de Pablo, Rachel Brosnahan, Kathryn Prescott, and Diego Boneta.

The Dovekeepers, also executive produced by Mark Burnett, will air in 2015.

The Dovekeepers

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