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

orion "small sites"; "first Dead Sea Scroll"; etc.

Sometimes small phrases are worth a close look. E.g., Fred Cryer's use of
"small sites,"  as if Pliny wrote that of Essenes. The plural, as already
noted, was added recently. As to the "small," a quick check of the Pliny
text and the Vermes/Goodman translation of it turns up no such indication.
Rather, they are a "people" [gens] joined by a "throng of newcomers" which
is "daily re-born in equal number." People are said to "stream in in great
numbers." This was said to obtain for "thousands of centuries." While this
may be exagerration  ;-) ,  when describing what text Pliny copied, "small"
appears inappropriate. So the "small sites" were neither small nor sites,
according to Pliny.
	Another phrase which, though I suppose invented with good and
understandable intentions, I would question: calling Cairo Damascus the
"first Dead Sea Scroll." While, of course, CD is greatly important in
Qumran studies--and the recent conference materials on Orion are of quite
considerable interest--CD was not the "first" recovered Hebrew text, as it
was preceded by Ben Sirah; it was not from the "Dead Sea"; and it , being a
codex, is not a scroll. This reminds me of remarks about the "Holy Roman
Empire" (by Voltaire) and Harold Bloom's comments somewhere about "Freudian
literary criticism."
Best wishes,
 Stephen Goranson