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IOU: pre-1532 scholarship on Essenes? (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 06 Mar 1997 07:02:33 -0400 (EDT)
To: First Century Judaism Discussion Forum <ioudaios-l@Lehigh.EDU>
Subject: IOU: pre-1532 scholarship on Essenes?
In my opinion, sufficient evidence is now available to conclude
that the name "Essenes" (Greek, Essaioi and Esshnoi) derives from
Hebrew 'asah, as in 'osey ha-torah, found as a self-designation in
The earliest appearance of this etymology in "modern" scholarship,
to my knowledge, is in Chronica, Johan Carion, Wittenberg, 1532.
Philip Melanchthon took the mathematical and astrological notes of the
late Carion and edited and expanded them and likely wrote the relevant
portion. Folio 68 verso reads: "Essei / das ist / Operarii /
vom wort Assa / das ist wircken." After a Latin edition, an English
version appeared: Thre Bokes of Cronicles..., London, 1550. Of Essenes
it reads that they emphasized the "dede," and would be called Essey,
that is workers or doers, for Assa, whence the name Essey commeth,
sygnifieth to worke..."
My question is: does anyone know of a pre-1532 scholarly
reference to this etymology? (Melanchthon's uncle was the notable
Hebrew scholar Johann Reuchlin, but I do not know if he wrote on the
Stephen Goranson UNC-Wilmington firstname.lastname@example.org
706 Louise Circle J, Durham NC 27705