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Re: Above/Below Engedi

>Folks:  In a translation of Pliny I find the following: "On the west side the
>Essenes avoid the baleful shoreline.  Below them lay the town of Engedi once
>second only to Jerusalem in fertility and palm groves, now simply a second
>sepulchre.  Then comes the rock fort of Masada . . . ."  Why is it the
>"below" in this context is taken to mean "south of."  I understand that when
>one talks of going to Jerusalem he/she may say that " I am going up to
>Jesusalem" even if may be geographically located north, south, east or west
>of Jerusalem.  Is it unreasonable to speculate that "below" may mean "at a
>lower elevation?"  I suppose that if Essenes were involved in agricultre that
>might be part of the answer.  Mark Dunn

We might suspect that the inhabitants of Palestine would speak of Jerusalem
as being "up"; but we cannot expect that a Roman would adopt the same idea.
Pliny is most likely simply using "below" in its normal geographical sense-
without any interest in elevation.

Elsewise we would have to look at other examples in Pliny to see if he
adopted the natives descriptions in other geographical contexts.

Jim West