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orion misinformation corrected; more on dates and ID
For anyone who wishes to consult Pliny's list of sources--apparently
not I.H., who wrote of his opinion as if it were a court of law--Pliny
lists them for each book at the beginning of his work. For book 5 they
do indeed date overwhelmingly to pre-70. Scholars recognize that Pliny
did not visit Essenes.
Contrary to another misrepresentation by I.H., in my view some Qumran
texts and the ruins at Qumran and Ein Feshkha would be recognized as
Essene even if the text of Pliny (or, say, the independent and
confirming text of Dio in Synesius) had been lost to modern readers. So
his mantra sounds like a product of mesmerization by a disproven theory.
Also, I did not mention the "wash basin" for which de Vaux has been
ridiculed, among other things I.H. sought to associate with me.
In a gratuitous attempt at evasion, I.H. wrote that Josephus likely
recanted his War 2 account of Essenes by the time of Ant. I.H.'s
evasion was motivated by unhappiness that Josephus mentioned women and
marriage. But Josephus wrote in Ant 13.171-3, after a brief account of
the three groups: "However, I have given a more exact account of these
opinions in the second book of the Jewish War..."
The War 2 account of Essenes is--dare I say it--by a source--dare I say
it--in the opinion of scholars, who have written learned comparisons of
it with Philo, Hippolytus, and the Slavonic Josephus. Since Josephus
wrote War soon after the war, the chances that the War 2 account of
Essenes is from a pre-70 source are good. William of Ockham, I suppose,
would not have been averse to a pre-70 date and Essenes located in the
Qumran and Ein Feshkha area.