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Re: orion An Archeleus-era historical allusion?
Greg Doudna makes some interesting comments about Magen Broshi's article,
"Ptolas and the Archeleus Massacre (4Q468g)" in the current JSJ. He writes:
> Does the 4Q468 reading provide evidence of an
> Archeleus-era historical allusion? The three-line fragment
> (as rendered in English) has "killing the multitude of men . . .
> Potlais and the people that . . ." Broshi notes that (a) the
> only known occurrence of the name in Josephus is Ant 17.219
> (equivalent to War 2.14), and that (b) in the Josephus account
> a massacre in the vicinity of the temple is followed
> by Archeleus setting out for Rome in the company of three friends,
> one of whom is named Ptollas.
I would point out that in War 2.14 the friends of Archelaus are listed as
"Poplas, Ptolemy, and Nicolas." That is, in Wars the name is Poplas [Popla]
rather than Ptollas [Ptollan]. There must be some doubt which is even the
correct name. Broshi evidently favors Ptollas. It seems to me (as a first
reaction) more likely that Poplas would have been changed to Ptollas from a
partial misreading under influence from the adjacent name, Ptolemy. The
semblance of the Greek letters pi and tau may have also led to a mistake in
copying. Given the uncertainty of the correct form of the name in Josephus,
it seems doubly dangerous to draw conclusions from 4Q468g. However, I have
not yet read the article; perhaps Broshi addresses these issues.
Also, like S. Goranson, I'd be very interested to know how common the names
Ptolas and Poplas were. (I don't recall encountering either name in my