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orion-list 63 BCE; 4QMishC

Dierk van der Berg wrote:

> A calendaric document doesn't belong of necessity to the genre of annals
> (as
> Greg claims), at least not if a certain historical person - an always
> still
> doubtful 'MLJWS (Scaurus)-  is used as a kind of mnemonic aid or add-on in
> reminder of a slaughter at the specific starting point of the weekly
> service
It is true that 4QMishC has been characterized as a calendar text with
holidays, but how certain is it that that is a correct identification of the
of the historical name-bearing fragments?  I think some of the MishC
including the "Aemilius" (Scaurus) fragment, may be from a simple historical

annal, giving names, events, and dates.  In any case I see no sign whatever 
that these are holidays being commemorated (as commonly presumed), or 
that "Aemilius killed < >" is a mnemonic aid as you suggest, etc.  

> course of the division of Jechezqe'l in Iyar 10th-16th, year 5 of the
> 6-year
> circle of the luni-solar calendar. But perhaps one must be a friend of the
> theory of 'high precision paleographic dating' (a term, which reminds of
> applied Birnbaum arithmetic...) to understand 4Q324a=4QMish(marot)C's
> 'ultimate' connection with the assumed deadline of the siege of Jerusalem
> in
> 63 BC.
I am no friend of "high precision palaeographic dating" as it is used in the
Qumran field (though I did coin the term).  You misunderstand if you think 
palaeographic date estimates have the slightest thing to do with the reasons

Ian and I propose to connect a text with names that run up to, and then 
stop, around 63 BCE, with 63 BCE.  

> N.B. Aem. Scaurus had the political 'license to kill' first after the fall
> of Jerusalem as governor of Syria (+ Judaea) late 63 - early 61 BC, thus a
> deposition under siege of a scroll, which mentions his name, is to be
> enjoyed with caution...
Your point noted, but its premise is factually not trustworthy, since (a)
is attested as present in Judea prior to 63 BCE by Josephus (but he is never

attested in Judea after 63 BCE) and (b) the notion that Scaurus, a general
Pompey, did not have licence to kill while involved in Pompey's campaigns is

gratuitous and implausible.  I think it should be considered that the battle

reported by Josephus in which Aristobulus II defeats Aretas/Antipater/
Hyrcanus II at Papyron, with reported 50,000 dead, after Scaurus ordered 
Aretas to retreat, could be a context for the Scaurus reference in 4QMishC.

Josephus says Scaurus was not involved, but Scaurus's non-involvement (in 
the Josephus-source account) could be argued to reflect tendenz motivated 
by later Roman favoritism toward Hyrcanus II (and the discrediting of 
Aristobulus II from the Roman point of view).  Compare another account of
same event in which a Roman historian appears to give a different version,
which there WAS Roman, i.e. Scaurus's, involvement in that battle:

     "Pompey turned against Aretas [63 BCE].  The latter was king of the
     Arabians . . . Previously he had done the greatest injury to Syria [c.
     BCE, the invasion of Judea with Hyrcanus II and siege of Aristobulus] 
     and had on this account become involved in A BATTLE WITH THE 
     ROMANS who were defending it . . ." (Dio, Roman History 37.1, )

Greg Doudna

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