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Re: orion Solinus, Dio, Pliny, M. Agrippa
Russell Gmirkin has chosen not to respond to several issues. For
example: 146 BCE in Polybius, Posidonius, Strabo, and Josephus Ant. 13 on
How M. Agrippa learned of Essenes is no big mystery: he visited
Judaea (including Jerusalem and many other places) as governor of Syria and
guest of Herod, in 15 BCE, as already noted. Additionally, he may have read
the History of Posidonius.
M. Stern, on the page cited (I, 264) wrote that the account of
Moses in Strabo "recalls that of Hecataeus." Not, as Russell Gmirkin may
have led some to believe, that the whole account is merely Stoicized
Hecataeus. Hecataeus, having been dead for quite some time, would have had
difficulty writing about Alexander Jannaeus. As to the passage in Strabo,
Geography 16.2.34-46, I have already discussed the fact that Alexander
Jannaeus is described as superstitious and tyrannical. A remnant of Jews
did not follow him. Qumran Essene manuscript descriptions are available, to
Given the lack of full response, I am not encouraged to pursue a
long discussion on B. Bar-Kochva's book. By the way, he has one in the
works on Posidonius, I'm told (and has a related article in Zion 61, 1996).
Russell Gmirkin did not discuss Philo's Homer use in DVC. Ctistae
does not appear in known Nicolaus text--but in Posidonius/Strabo;
admittedly, it is an emendation in Josephus. To say Nicolaus made the
comparison with Essenes--not known in any certain Nicolaus text--begs at
least one question.
Did Nicolaus write anything on Essenes? I do not foreclose the
possibility, though as a proposed Pliny source, he makes a poor candidate.
Agrippa, on the other hand, as a source (for Pliny) on Essenes, makes
sense. So (for Josephus via Strabo) does Posidonius.