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orion Pliny again
Dave is correct. I tried to type "very" but this darn machine typed
something else - once before it typed goldern eagle instead of golden eagle.
I must be missing some posts by Orion members. I agree with SG that it is
likely that some Essenes survived (probably) the period of the first revolt
and that some could have gone to Ein Gedi afterward. I also agree that it is
more likely that if Essenes survived qua Essenes (rather than as a broken sect
that became indistinquishable) it would be more probable that they would have
crossed the Jordon.
What is it that Pliny said that describes the Essenes supra Ein Gedi as a
larger and longer lasting settlement?
Who said that Pliny was a visitor to Judea in 75 CE? I don't remember
Hirschfeld as being quoted as making such a claim. The article I read merely
says that: "Most convincing for Hirschfeld, however, is a description of the
Essene settlement by Pliny the Elder, a Roman officer who visited about A.D.
75 when the Romans were crushing a Jewish revolt." I do not read this quote
as assert that it was Hirschfeld who said that Pliny visited Judea in in 75
CE. It seems more likely that the second clause in that sentence came from
someone writing the newspaper article rather than from Hirschfeld himself.
Maybe in the age of the Clinton administration I am getting too picky about
things like this.
Nor does the identication of the Hirschfeld site exclude the possibility that
Q was also an Essene site from say 100 BCE to 68 CE with its greatest
expansion during the Herodian period - as strongly implied in the BAR Jan. 98
article. However, it does seem to me more likely that if the Hirschfeld site
is an Essene settlement, then it is more probable that Pliny's source was
talking about the Hirschfeld site rather than Q because (1) Ein Gedi is infra
the Hirschfeld site, and (2) the Hirschfeld site is out of range of the
noxious exhaltations of the coast of the Dead Sea whereas it seems more likely
from the comments of people like Magness in the BAR Jan. 98 article that Q was
not out of range of the noxious exhaltations of or the coast of the Dead Sea
during the relevant time.
In a way, dumping reliance on Pliny and sticking to things like the scrolls
found at Q is more convincing. Finally, what does the phrase "communal
archaeology" mean? The BAR article favors a fortified farm explaination. Is
that "communal archaeology"? Farmer does not equal Essene even when living in
a community. It does not exclude Essene either.