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Re: orion Posidonius and Agrippa on Essenes

The view that Philo used Posidonius more than he explicitly acknowledged is
hardly controversial. To suppose that Philo, who defended Jews, would be
either uninterested in the History of Posidonius or unable to obtain a copy
strains credulity.
Calling the view that Posidonius or Strabo could have heard or read an
Essene-influenced view of history "fantasy" does not, I suggest, advance
the discussion. Some Jews disliked Alexander. Strabo reports that.
Posidonius had friends. One of them was Pompey (not that I'm eager to bring
up the year 63). Perhaps some day you'll be more amenable to comparing
Porphyry, Contra Apion 2, 4QD, War 2, Posidonius, Strabo, Agrippa, Philo's
Apology, Epiphanius, etc.
To say that where Josephus, Strabo, Posidonius, and Essenes overlap
indicates somehow that Nicolas of Damascus is the relevant source escapes
It is surely a vague charge to write that I use "doubtful passages in
Josephus." Shall I assume that when you use Josephus you use only the
non-doubtful passages? You have asserted that the Ant 13 mention of Essenes
in 146 BCE cannot be used, but not shown why. The same with the Judah the
Essene account in War and Ant. I haven't read your Jerusalem paper, but on
orion, you haven't dealt with the widely-held conclusion  that Serek
ha-yahad is Essene.
As to doubts about the Hyrcanus setting of the dinner story in Josephus
(via Herod's employee Nicolas?), I already provided bibliography of three
scholar's responses,  to which one can add, e.g.,  various publications of
Wm. Brownlee.
My apologies for misspelling you name, Russell Gmirkin. Some day we may
agree more, but not likely today.
Regards, Stephen Goranson   goranson@duke.edu