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Re: orion Solinus, Dio, Pliny, M. Agrippa
Steven Goranson writes:
> Josephus in Ant. 13 drew on Strabo's History for information on Essenes...
> Why would Russell Gmirkin so resist the possibility that Strabo,
> here, as often, drew on Posidonius?...
Steven, this possibility, which you raised in your JJS article, was indeed
intriguing and I approached it with an open mind. However, it lacks
supporting evidence. Further, Strabo, Geo. 16.2.35-39 has been convincingly
argued to derive from Posidonius (see the cautious summary of arguments at
Stern, p. 264, and more recently Bar-Kochva's book on Pseudo-Hecataeus).
This passage is simply a Stoicized version of Hecataeus, shows no knowledge of
individual Jewish sects, and has nothing in common with the passage at Ant.
13. Your proposal that Posidonius had an intimate knowledge of Jewish sects
and their practices is thus inconsistent with what we do know of Posidonius.
Rather than respond to Steven's other points, I would also simply pose a
couple questions. In previous posts I pointed out the literary quality of the
accounts of the Essenes in Pliny and Solinus, and the parallel interests with
Nicolas' _Collection of Remarkable Customs_; nor do I discount the possibility
that Agrippa obtained some information directly from Nicolas during the time
Agrippa was entertained by Herod.
(1) How does Steven suppose M. Agrippa obtained his knowledge of the Essenes?
(2) I have never seen Steven acknowledge a single Essene-related passage in
any classical source as deriving from Nicolas of Damascus. Does Steven
believe Nicolas wrote nothing about the Essenes? Or what specific passages
would he concede comes from Nicolas' history or other writings?