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Re: Above/Below Engedi
> 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.
Pliny may be talking about elevation using the Jordan as a reference. Perhaps
he started from somewhere in the Jordan Valley and moved DOWNstream,
continuing the reference as he went farther south along the Dead Sea.
Obviously the sea and the shore around it is at the same level, but the Jordan
descends rather dramatically as it flows southward--witness its very name,
which may mean "descender".