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orion palms; towers; myths about myths

1) Pliny no doubt saw Judaea Capta coins depicting a palm tree. Those
interested in symbolism, who haven't seen it, may wish to read Steven Fine,
"On the Development of a Symbol: The Date Palm in Roman Palestine and the
Jews," J. for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 4 (1989) 105-18.
2) A tower does not make a fort; towers are common; no Qumran Hasmonean
evidence I've seen or read about shows a military garrison.
3) The viceral rejection, by some, of the Essene identification of some
Qumran scrolls and Kh. Qumran, has, in my opinion, a number of sources (and
must have, in order to resist evidence so staunchly), only one of  which
has been:  a confusion between two types of resentment: a resentment on the
(previous) withholding of texts, a frustration which is, or, rather, was,
rational, with a resentment of an imaginary conspiratorial "foisting" of
the "Essene hypothesis." The latter is a demonstrably-false myth. Please
ask yourselves: How well did de Vaux, Allegro (e.g., a former Methodist
seminary student become militant athiest, one of whose books was re-dubbed
Phallus in Fungusland), Dupont-Sommer, Trever, Brownlee, Sowmy, Milik,
Strugnell, Sukenik, Samuel, Starckey, Yadin, Cross, Vermes, Fitzmyer,
Wilson, Carmignac, et al. agree on other issues (historical,  political,
religious,  etc.)?  Yet they all called Essenes Essenes. Some conspiracy!

Stephen Goranson        goranson@duke.edu