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Re: orion-list Agrippa in Pliny
Dear Russell Gmirkin,
I will answer your three questions, even though they seem to me not
the best approach to the issues at hand. Here, again, are my three,
unanswered, calls for evidence, (1) Evidence that Pliny used Nicolaus in
Book 5; (2) that a book 5 listed author extensively used Nicolaus; (3)
Address the issue that Nicolaus, *if* a source on Essenes in Josephus and
Philo [as you and others have previously claimed], would appear to be
contradicting Pliny on location(s) of Essenes.
But first let me say how unhelpful it was for your last post to
convey even yet more misinformation. I take merely one example.
"You have produced not the slightest scrap of evidence that the passage on
Essenes was not such an adaptation to the contemporary situation of the
The evidence that I have produced, and, at least some of which you
have read, and some of which you yourself have recently acknowledged, as,
at least, argument worth consideration (a fairly rare allowance when you
address me), is substantial and is found in many orion posts and at
No, I won't repeat it all here, but the evidence includes
archaeology of Ein Gedi destructions and rebuildings, recognition that
destruction of Ein Gedi referred to is circa 40 BC not circa 68 AD; that
destruction of Jerusalem is not necessarily linked here, as some
translations mislead; that Pliny was not in Judaea, which many writers on
Qumran have supposed; etc. "Not the slightest scrap of evidence"!?
Knee-jerk rejectionism, at least lately, from Dave Washburn or Greg Doudna
somehow no longer surprises me. (One hopes such attitudes will change; and
the false myth built on resentment fades.) But, given your potential for
contributions in historical research, such obliviousness seems particularly
a waste. There were, after all, no Essenes there that late to be "adapted."
Furthermore, why be so obtuse? If you think Nicolaus wrote the passage, you
also think the source is Herodian.
1) It could have included an account of Essenes. The nature of
these Commentarii are much debated. Pliny the Elder had huge commentarii,
according to Pliny the Younger. Pliny's citations of measurements do not
show the work was limited to measurements, as even Dilke's more recent text
than you presented affirms. These citations of authorship are *not random*
samples, but filtered through Pliny's sense of what called for citation. We
agree, I venture to say, that Pliny did not attach any author's name
directly to the Essene passage. One must needs look to his list. That Pliny
used Agrippa for more than numbers is obvious and a non-issue, outside this
2) I do not recall if Roddaz (a book, like most books, I do not
own) linked Agrippa's Autobiography and Books 3 to 6. I do recall he
accounts Book 7 as indicating Pliny knew the Autobiography of Agrippa
(something that, apparently, cannot be said for any text by Nicolaus). As
already noted, Pliny knows of Agrippa's breech birth, his gout....
3) I have not resolved whether Essenes were discussed in the
Commentarii or in the Autobiography--or in both.
Now, will you reciprocate, and give three responses to the three
calls for evidence I wrote in response to Albert Baumgarten's constructive
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