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Re: orion Hirschfeld's Excavations

> In the Nando Times News article it is reported that Adolfo Roitman, director
> of the Israel Musemum's Shrine of the Book "challenged Hirschfeld's theory,
> saying it was based on an improper translation of the Latin word 'infra'.  In
> this case, Roitman said, Pliny meant Ein Gedi was south of the Essene site --
> not below it physically as Hirschfeld contends."

> In Rackman's translation he translates "infra" as "below", however, it appears
> that below sometimes means physically below as opposed to "south of."  For
> example:

[more snip]
We went around and around about this topic last year.  The strongest 
argument that I recall in favor of "south of" was that there was no 
identifiable site physically above Ein-Gedi that might qualify as the 
Essene location, hence "infra" was more likely "south of" in that 
context and the Essene location had to be Qumran.  If in fact this 
newly found site has a good chance of being an Essene settlement (I 
doubt we will ever be 100% certain), that argument vanishes.  The 
only Latin dictionary I have gives several synonyms of "below" or 
"beneath" as meanings for "infra" and doesn't even list "south of."  
However, as we all know and as I am well aware, context is the 
ultimate determiner of a word's meaning.  Nevertheless, the most 
common meaning is usually the most likely unless there are compelling 
reasons to conclude otherwise.  In this case, it would seem that the 
compelling reason may no longer exist.

Dave Washburn
If you don't know where you're going, don't lead.