[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Copper Scroll (was Re: orion-list Essenes, Zias article, etc.

In a message dated 99-12-16 19:48:31 EST, George Brooks wrote:

<< Now that I'm catching up on my Orion mail, I have to say that I concur
 with Prof. Goranson about the likelihood of "ascetic groups" amassing
 great wealth.
 Certainly the one thing we learned about monastic communities during
 the POVERTY of the Middle Ages is that they TOO could become extremely
 wealthy ... and the economy was no where near as robust at that time
 as it was during the height of Greek and Roman civilization.
 I see NO reason to think that the DSS community could not have VAST
 financial resources.>>
 On Fri, 10 Dec 1999 05:43:15 -0500 Stephen Goranson <goranson@duke.edu>
 > Dear Robert D. Leonard Jr.,
 > Again you asserted that only the temple and not Essenes could have 
 > the
 > amount you calculate. But that assertion is not self-evident. 
 > Long-lasting
 > ascetic groups sometimes amass great wealth.>>

Probably the best example of monastic groups amassing great wealth is the 
Knights Templar, who literally supplied a king's ransom to Louis IX.  But the 
issue here is whether the Essenes could have accumulated 302.5 talents of 
gold plus 2,304.6 talents of silver (less, perhaps, some comparitively small 
removals if Stephen Goranson's suggestion is correct).  The annual revenues 
of the Temple do not survive, but something on the order of 300 talents of 
silver annually is probably close for this period.  The whole period from 
Herod the Great to the First Revolt is thus needed to arrive at the amount 
listed in the Copper Scroll, after deduction for expenses.  The Essenes, with 
smaller expenses, would not have had to collect as much, but still it is hard 
to see a parallel collection that would approach the Copper Scroll totals.  
And if they had that kind of money, why was only 0.4 talents hidden at Qumran?

Best wishes,

Robert D. Leonard Jr.
Winnetka, IL
For private reply, e-mail to RLWinnetka@aol.com
To unsubscribe from Orion, e-mail to majordomo@panda.mscc.huji.ac.il with
the message: "unsubscribe Orion." For more information on the Orion Center
or for Orion archives, visit our web site http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il.