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orion Re: Pliny's statements reconsidered
On Prof. Kraft's reasonable comments on Pliny I would quibble only that it
is not a "travelogue," at least not based on Pliny's travel, and add:
1. The list in #70 is important: "The rest of Judaea is divided into ten
local government areas [toparchies] in this order: The district of
Jericho...Emmaus...[etc.]..., the district that formerly contained
Jerusalem,...and Herodium." Of this list Stern (466) wrote that Pliny "used
a source reflecting the conditions of the age of Herod."
2. M. V. Agrippa, governor of Syria (and interested in Herod's
administration) was Herod's guest in Jerusalem and Herodium circa 15 BCE.
Agrippa is the first-listed source for Book 5.
3. In #73 there appears to be a mix-up (perhaps by Pliny or a copiest) in
saying En Gedi, today a tomb, had been second only to *Jerusalem* in
fertility and palm groves. The area's city of palms par excellence, as
noted above (and in other texts) is *Jericho*.
4. Josephus also calls Essenes a *genos* (Ant. 13.172, etc.).
5. Synesius of Cyrene, in his life of Dio Chrysostomus (3,2), wrote that
Dio, a late first century Stoic, mentioned in his work the Essenes, who had
"a whole and blessed [eudaimonia] city near the Dead Sea..." Ant. 13.
171-172, which appears to appreciate Essenes for their view of heimarmene,
I have suggested, comes from Strabo, who drew on the Stoic Posidonius.
Stephen Goranson firstname.lastname@example.org