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orion: The parts of an elephant (was Autograph, etc.)


You wote:

   >I meant "evolved" in the simple sense of complex and at the same
   >time standardised:

Yep, standardized. Standardization means political control... as in Akkad
under Sargon I, Babylonia under Hammurabi, Greece under the Oligarchy,
Rome under Augustus... and so on, again and again and again and again,
down the centuries. (Those poor things... thinking that their "PC" is
a new invention.)

   > and as was palpably not the case in
   >Syria-Palestine of the first century bce.
Of course not. A writing system, all parts - script, format, size,
etc., equals identity.... it's the equivalent of a national flag.

   >The DSS do not reveal an
   >internally consistent scribal practice: too many different scripts,
   >too many different orthographies, only a small minority of the
   >texts (Tov numbers between 120 and 130 mss) show the influence of
   >the so-called "Qumran scribal practice" with respect to editing and
   >layout and even orthography, nor is there uniformity even with
   >respect to the languages employed.

You've already been answered.

>>Content determines which size, layout, and script is used. In turn,
>>content is constrained by political and religious affiliations.<3>

   >[cut]   but the DSS do not
   >reflect the conventions of Babylonian and Assyrian scribes
   >accomodating syllabic and logographic writing to clay tablets; nor
   >do they reflect the conventions of Egyptian scribal practice. We
   >may guess at the influence of the great wealth of Phoenician and
   >Aramaic literatures that may be presumed to have existed, and which
   >no doubt exercised an influence on Israelite and Judaean scribal
   >practices, but we possess virtually none of it, and that sort of
   >straw-man argumentation is pointless.

Look to the Meshe & Yadi stelae, not to Assyria or Babylonia...
BTW, the borrowing of an official authoritative script, in this case
the square Aramaic, is another commonplace event in history and must
be examined within the context of the complete writing system.

   >Nor do the DSS *pace* Michelle Altman

Michelle is my 11 year old granddaughter... and while I think she's
remarkably bright, I'm Rochelle.

   >The "sources and analogues" approach has profound limits, and
   >we encounter them on this issue speedily.

You've been answered on this, too.

>>We must not conflate script systems with writing systems. It leads
>>to misinterpretations and some very odd theories.<4>

While it is easier to dismiss factual data as "straw man" arguments,
if you want to understand what is going on in those texts, you must
look at the entire elephant, not just the tree and the rope.



Dr. R. I. S. Altman                                  RISA@CONCENTRIC.NET      
Voice/FAX: 602-834-6640                                   XNK@DELPHI.COM