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Re: orion "shores of the Essene"


Your recent posting correctly points out that I mistakenly said you were
understanding "gens" in apposition to the implied "they" of "nocent".  You
correct this by saying you take "gens" in apposition to the implied
subject of "fugiunt".  I apologize for getting the two verbs confused in
representing your argument. 

With this correction, however, my critique still stands: an apposition
between a word and an implied word does not make sense. 

Later, you agree with me that "gens" and "Esseni" are in apposition, but
you then say that you "don't think that they must agree in case".  I refer
you to Gildersleeve and Lodge's _Latin Grammar_, #321: "The word in
apposition agrees with the principal word (or words) in case, and as far
as it can in gender and number."  If "gens" and "Esseni" are in
apposition, then they agree in case. 

Regarding the abrupt shift in number you create by taking "Esseni" as a
genitive singular in apposition to the implied subject of "fugiunt", you
appeal to analogies in English: "a sheep runs" and "sheep run" (This is
not the best example of a collective noun since "sheep" is the English
plural of "sheep"). In standard English we do not say, "The Essene run," 
or, "The Essene, they run"; we say, "The Essene runs" or, "The Essenes

Your rendering of "litora Esseni fugiunt" makes an abrupt shift from
singular to plural: "The shores of the Essene, they flee..." This abrupt
shift is a major obstacle to accepting your reading. You could make a case
for "The shores of the Essene flee." It makes more sense to take "litora
Esseni fugiunt" as "The Essenes flee the shores."  

You suggest "Arabia" is an undeclined noun, the object of "prospicit" in
"Prospicit eum ab oriente Arabia Nomadum". In fact, the noun "Arabia" does
decline in the first declension. Since "Arabia" is either nominative or
ablative, it cannot be the direct object of "prospicit". The direct object
of "prospicit" is the accusative pronoun "eum". 

Regarding "Prospicit eum ab oriente Arabia Nomadum," you take exception to
my rendering "prospicit" as "faces".  Render "prospicit" as "looks toward"
if you prefer.  Then we have, "On the East, Arabia of the Nomads looks
toward it (i.e., the Dead Sea)." 

In my opinion, my three posts demonstrate that your interpretations
stretch both Pliny and Latin out of shape.  I leave it to others to judge
the value of our respective arguments. 


Jay C. Treat
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The University of Pennsylvania      email:  treat@ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Philadelphia PA  19104-6305         www:    http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jtreat/