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Re: orion-list Pliny Qumran analysis

On Sun, 8 Aug 1999 09:51:44 -0500, goranson@duke.edu writes:
>Replies to three posters in this thread:
>1) Russell Gmirkin. Your message on Marcus Agrippa might considerably
>mislead some readers. Pliny lists not only "dimensions" but many other
>topics as well, including ethnological ones, as your selective description
>obscures. M. Agrippa not only made a map but wrote a commentary. And his
>writing was not limited to this.  Without reiterating here the bibliography
>in my 1994 JJS article and essay on orion's web site (and adding to it): it
>is the demonstrated view of scholars of Marcus Agrippa that Pliny certainly
>used him as a source beyond those occasions where he explicitly named him.
>That Pliny names names when giving measurements does absolutely nothing to
>remove Agrippa elsewhere. Rather than repeat here other arguments for
>Marcus Agrippa as the source, let me ask: which author listed by Pliny for
>book 5 might you propose could possibly be more suitable?

    Sorry. You're reading beyond the words, assuming relationships
    not proved, as Greg notes.  See how far you'd get among a 
    group of Calssicists.  I'm glad my mentor, JEA Crake, is no
    longer alive.

>2) Dave Washburn. Your comments on the ostracon omit much. Briefly,
>omissions include noting the Cross and Eshel response to Yardeni. For my
>part, even if one brackets off the last word of line 8 as a questioned
>reading, other text of the ostracon (e.g., "in the second year" and other
>connections with serek hayahad) indicate its Essene provenance. I am sorry
>that you were misled by Norman Golb.
>3) Greg Doudna, Further response on your questions,though hypothetical
>questions can be helpful or not, and they can be tendentiously selected.
>	First, it is certainly a natural reading of Pliny to indicate
>Qumran and environs, or more generally, an area (a little west of the
>shore) south, downstream, of where the Jordan enters the Dead Sea
>[reluctantly, as Pliny's (or Agrippa's) text depicts it] and north of Ein
>Gedi. Adjacent to Jericho does not fit; adjacent to Ein Gedi does not fit;
>far inland does not fit. As to pre 1948 views, they varied--but it was not
>a big issue. There was considerable--textual--discussion of Essenes, but
>little archaeological discussion of Essenes (a little on the gate of the
>Essenes and offhand remarks by a handful of people who came to the Dead Sea
>with other concerns in mind--no big endeavor to find Pliny's location).
>Many archaeological sites in 1948 received little attention. A burial was
>opened and correctly described as unusual in type. Yes Dalman guessed maybe
>it was a fortress. But it was unexcavated then. We know more now; we know
>better now. In other words, why attempt to require that it be universally
>accepted as an Essene site--it *was* in the area--before scrolls and before
>	Second. Perhaps the answer is no. But again, so what? Are you
>suggesting you require obvious anti-Jerusalem architecture or suchlike? It
>was destroyed, probably shortly after Herod the Great died. Maybe then
>someone saw it as anti-Jerusalem.
>	Third, The link certainly suggests itself. Perhaps I do not have
>much practice for bracketing off and pretending away all other evidence. On
>the corollary, again: of course some of these Essene Jews would have been
>in Jerusalem some time. Josephus gives us examples explicitly, unless we
>will that away also (while, as some do, still quoting Josephus on Sadducees
>and Pharisees); most probably, some Essenes made the trip from Qumran to
>Jerusalem or vice-versa. Isn't the idea to *include* all reliable evidence?
>Norman Golb used such misleading (and non-falsifiable?) hypotheticals. (And
>his book, and translations of it, errors and all, is still being sold.)
>Rather than make believe that a different sequence of scroll finds would
>have left Essenes out of it, I suggest considering that today there is more
>evidence than ever before about Essenes.

   Rhetoric, I'd say, even pejoritive, and not persuasive.  Sorry, OM.

Tom Simms, another Senior

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