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Re: orion-list Pliny Qumran analysis (M. Agrippa)

Dear Stephen,
     Your recent posting completely fails to respond to a number of points, 
most notably the question of genre for either the passage in Pliny regarding 
the Essenes, or for the genre of writings by M. Agrippa used by Pliny.  This 
issue, which your published and posted writings neglect, is of central 
scholarly issue to resolving the question of Pliny's source.  It's rather as 
if you proposed a passage was a fragment of Pindar, but considered it a 
quibble whether the passage was poetry or prose.  The books written by 
Agrippa known to me which Pliny could have drawn upon are his commentary, as 
well as the _Divisio orbis_ and _Dimensuratio provinciarum_ (if these latter 
are by Agrippa), all of which deal with dry cartographic issues of boundaries 
and dimensions.  Am I to understand that you believe the passage in Pliny 
comes from some other work by Agrippa?  What, pray tell, might that be?  Was 
this work literary (as Pliny's source) or geographic/chorographic nature (as 
in all cited use of Agrippa by Pliny)?  Note that Agrippa only visited Judea 
in 14 BCE and died in 12 BCE -- with his great work on his map and associated 
commentary incomplete -- so the time frame in which this as-yet-unidentified 
work was written is rather tight.
     I have noted in your postings on Orion about Agrippa in the past that 
your cited literature has frequently failed to support the points they were 
supposed to document; indeed, supported the position that Pliny's use of 
Agrippa was much as my most recent post described.  If you can cite secondary 
literature suggesting Agrippa wrote such florid prose as we see in Pliny's 
Essene passage, I'd be quite interested to read it.  As for Nicolas, he is - 
unlike Agrippa - known to have written about the Essenes, and to have written 
in the style and genre of Pliny's passage, so you'll forgive me if I persist 
in my earlier proposal.

    Best wishes,
    Russell Gmirkin

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