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Re: orion Further on Pliny

Stephen Goranson wrote:

>	The hypothesis that Pliny used "infra" only to mean "lower in altitude"
>has been disproven (e.g., by E.-M. Laperrousaz RB 69 [1962] 369-80).

Dear Stephen,

I don't think anyone has recently claimed that "infra" only meant "lower in
altitude". However, I do think that your interpretation of the word should
wait, because:

1) Pliny's description of the place doesn't fit Qumran: 

A: at the time in question, the water level was higher and therefore Qumran
was closer to the water and yet Pliny says that the site was "out of range
of the noxious exhalations of the coast" -- yet Qumran was almost on the coast;

B: they had "only palm-trees for company", though the only place we know
about in the area that had palm trees was in fact En Gedi;

2) the dating of the writing has sufficiently been challenged by Golb to
suggest that the text was written after the fall of Jerusalem (see "Who
wrote the dss", p15-20), making the passage irrelevant to the situation at
Qumran, which after all was in the hands of the Romans after 70 CE.

I can't really see any point in forcing one specific interpretation of
"infra" when there's no real justification for doing so. It may help your
cause, but it seems totally arbitrary.

Ian Hutchesson

But grasp this writing so that you know how to preserve the books which I
will give you, which you will put in order and anoint with cedar oil and
place in vessels of clay in the place which he made from the beginning of
the creation of the world... (TMos 1:16-17)