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Re: orion Spoken DSS Hebrew

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Again I am forced to agree with John: as to percentages and the like of one
or another sort of language speaker, we just have no informa-
tion, unless, of course, the distribution of the DSS reflects Palestinian
society in general, which would of course be a rash generalisation to make.
As far as Greek is concerned, note that John Collins is a European, and
Europeans tend to use the word "Hellenistic" to refer to the period from
Alexander the Great to Roman times, while Americans seem to speak of a much
more limited timeframe. We have been over this ground before, but: Greek
was the language of the Roman administration in the eastern end of the
Mediterranean, for the simple reason that that language was in place *as an
administrative language* already when they got there. How many people
actually *spoke* Greek, or even needed to have any acquaintance with it, is
a serious question, as we don't  get Greek-language ostraca in Palestine
until the 1st century bce, and even then not in great quantity (of the 30
or so from Qumran and Ein Feshka, only 1 is in Greek).
There will clearly have been no great demographic pressure to learn Greek
for quite some time: Alexander garrisoned the whole of Syria-Palestine and
Egypt with only 6,000 men, according to Curtius. So we are talking about
the gradual erection of trading centres and the equally gradual
dissemination of Greek that proceeded from them.

Fred Cryer