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Re: orion Essenes = 'osey hatorah?



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    On a final note, I point out again 29.5.1 where Philo^s description of the
Essenes are distorted into a sect of "Jessaeans", allegedly derived from Jesse
the father of David.  This documents the tendency of Epiphanius (and his
contemporaries) to adjust the names of groups in line with their perceived
etiologies or etymologies.  In this light, note that Abstract 18 says the name
Ossene means "those most reckless". This suggests (whoever authored the
Anakephalaieseis or Abstract of Epiphanius) that the name Ossene may be a
caricature put on this group by its opponents, rather than an accurate form of
their name.  The name "Ossene" is consequently of questionable value
philologically.
    Further, we have at 19.5.1 the statement that the Ossenes "do all the
things of the law."  Yet Epiphanius does not connect this with an etymology,
"doers of the law," as he thought the name meant "sturdy" (19.1.3).  This
indicates to me that "doers of the law" is simply here (and arguably
elsewhere) a stock phrase unconnected with the name Ossene (or Essene).
   In response to George Brooke's request, some basic sources are:
   Frank Williams, _The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis:  Book I (Sects
1-46)_ (NY:  E.J.Brill, 1987).
   Philip Amidon, _The Panarion of St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis:
Selected Passages_ (NY:  Oxford U Press, 1990).
   The original Greek (with translation into Latin) can be found in the series
Patrologiae Graecae Vol 41 (Panarion) and 42 (Anacephalaeosis), 1863.

   Russ Gmirkin

For private reply, e-mail to RGmyrken@aol.com
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