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Re: 4Q318

> > As David Pingree's appendix to the latter article shows, there is nothing
> > exceptional in this: the Hellenistic world inherited Mesopotamian
> > astronomy and astrology, and as we find inmany cases, the Qumran
> > covenanters were a part of the Hellenistic world.
> > 
> The term Hellenistic can of course be used as a general term for the
> period after Alexander the Great and then the "Hellenistic world" is
> everything that happened after that.  More generally, though the term
> implies some sort of fusion, mixture, cohabitation of cultures, and I am
> not quite sure why we need to assume that Mesopotamian culture had to come
> to Qumran by means of the Hellenistic world.  Is it not possible that
> Babylonian culture directly influenced Palestine?  The fact the

Actually we are in agreement here. There is no question that Babylonian
culture influenced Palestine, and the Aramaic texts discussed by
Greenfield are an example. As Avigdor says, there is massive evidence for
translation from Akkadian to Aramaic and this is surely how the
Astronomical culture was transmitted. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear here.

Seth L. Sanders
Dept. of Near Eastern Studies
The Johns Hopkins University