[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

orion history and ?

Dear Orion readers,
I tried to send this before, but apparently failed. If you receive two
copies, my apologies.
S. Goranson
>To attempt a sentence with which N.P. Lemche, F. Cryer and I could--perhaps
>: - ) --agree: writing history isn't always easy, and others may be
>derisive of one's efforts. But, lately, we more often disagree.  As the
>review of N. Golb by L. Grabbe (DSD 4.1 [1997] 124-28) expressed rather
>well, Golb spent more energy attempting to kick out supports of other
>hypotheses than in making a coherent case for his own. If one finds (rather
>than imagines) such, presenting real contraindications to a hypothesis is
>of course a necessary part of the process. But I wish some Golb-supporter
>(and it appears that many of them subscribe to orion) would read and
>respond to that review's itemized reasons why Golb's hypothesis is
>"incredible." But on orion we have lately seen other approaches. Asking for
>proof while stipulating that one won't consider Pliny (or the ostracon's
>links with the clearly-Essene Serek hayahad, or etymology, or
>predestination, etc.) is not serious or scholarly.
>	Strugnell hasn't written many articles, but some of the early ones
>are quite good. The IEJ article cited his important JBL article on Ant 18,
>an article I have commended on orion before. F. Cryer raised the issue of a
>slave. Fair enough. But did he, as a historian (or D. Washburn, who
>mischaracterized the IEJ discussion on this,  and omitted the options it
>offered) take the simple effort of reading the JBL article? I haven't heard
>their historian's analysis of it. I have read from F. Cryer that (he hopes)
>I'm at the "end of my tether"--language more apt for hunting than
>history-writing. From D. Washburn, I've been advised to "get real" and so
>on, instead. N. P. Lemche called my reading ability "monstreus" and
>unintelligent. I don't consider him unintelligent, though raising
>Wellhausen after the fact was irrelevant. To look, e.g., at the Dan
>inscription and declare it does not refer to "house of David" and if it
>does it's a fake is not an act of intelligence but an act of will. An
>example of misreading is D. Washburn claiming that when I wrote of
>"ancient historians" I meant Qumranites rather than the obvious Josephus et
>al. Regrettably, part of writing history involves looking into past efforts
>to distort history. Perhaps it would be more useful now to address
>publications than posts.
>	Lena Cansdale's book, Qumran and the Essenes (Tuebingen, 1997) is a
>revised dissertation. I do not personally know Dr. Cansdale. Since Qumran
>literature is so vast, not surprisingly, she refers to some publications I
>have not read (her references to early visitors to the Dead Sea are useful,
>and include some new to me); on the other hand she omits important
>literature and relies on some poor choices in cases. I can't review the
>whole book here, but address two issues. First, the publisher and/or author
>really should have corrected the very many spelling errors. Misspellings
>and the sorts of opinions that appear in non-peer reviewed posts are one
>thing, but, for the expensive volumes from Mohr Siebeck, this is not too
>much to ask. Second, her treatment of Pliny is quite poor.
>	On pp. 26-27 she declares what I (and most) consider the correct
>reading of "infra" in NH 5.73 is "quite unacceptable." Does she refer to
>the many articles which, inter alia, painstakingly analyse the 17 uses of
>"infra" in the Geographic sections of the book? Does she cite Burchard,
>Laperrousaz, Stern, Sallmann, Schuerer, Serbat, Momigliano, Reinach, or my
>brief first article on M. Agrippa? No. Her only secondary literature cited
>is her BAR article (with Crown). She points out that Pliny sometimes used
>terms for north and south, etc.--a fact which was never at issue.  She
>writes as if unaware that Pliny used over 100 sources. She writes as if
>Israel had not been the subject of archaeological surveys (including a
>systematic one, now in process of mutli-volume publication).  I could go
>on, but this post is already too long.  In brief, it is Cansdale's
>treatment of Pliny which is "quite unacceptable."
>If past experience is a good guide, some orion readers, including some
>vocal ones, will not fairly consider these observations. I write in the
>hope that some others will.
>Best wishes,
>Stephen Goranson   goranson@duke.edu