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orion Re: moderator & Kilmon posts

1) 	Jack Kilmon wrote: "I was under the impression...that Pliny was
speaking/writing in the 1st  person from his excursion at a time when
Qumran was in ruins."
	Dear Jack Kilmon, I have written about this before and cited
bibliography (available in the archives), so I'll be brief. I think Pliny's
written source was M. Agrippa, writing circa 15 BCE.  But, my views aside,
Pliny scholarship has corrected a mistaken view (based on an inscription
misread over 100 years ago) that Pliny was in Judaea. Pliny scholars have
shown that Pliny was not in Judaea.  Pliny compiled his book from written
sources. His source here was from the time of Herod the Great. One
indication of this, as shown by Menahem Stern, is that En Gedi was not
listed as a toparchy in Pliny, but was in the later list in Josephus War
3.55. That's because, as Pliny's source wrote, En Gedi was destroyed
(namely in c. 40 BCE). Only after the time of Herod the Great was it
rebuilt sufficiently to be  listed as a toparchy. Qumran scholars sometimes
repeated the error that Pliny visited Qumran, so you may have read that
error. Many people, including myself until not long ago, repeated another
error: that Pliny updated his written account to note the 66-74 CE war. But
he didn't. That he didn't say Masada was destroyed is one indication of
that. Further, reading Pliny to locate Essenes west of En Gedi fails both
the text and the archaeology. I have submitted an article on the subject,
and should it be accepted, I can supply the reference later.

2) Because our moderator asked us to "direct your comments to the issues,
not personalities" I have not responded to certain previous posts, even
though, as one might guess, in my opinion, some included inaccurate and
unfair assertions.
Stephen Goranson    goranson@duke.edu