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

Dear Robert Leonard,

Thank you for your thoughtful and interesting reply to the possibility I 
raised that the Copper Scroll may list treasures hidden by the former 
Jannaeus partisans exiled from Jerusalem in 76 BCE rather than during the 
First Revolt.

> While no Herodian Era placenames (Masada, Caesarea, etc.) are mentioned in 
>  the Copper Scroll, references to the Portico or Stoa (Column XI, Line 2) 
>  the Colonnades (Column XI, Line 8) may refer to Herod's reconstruction of 
>  the Temple.  Neither of these translations is universally accepted, 

This is an interesting argument.  That these features are commonly 
interpreted as referring to Herod's temple may however simply reflect the 
widespread assumption that the Copper Scroll dates to a time when that temple 
was standing.  In articles I have read I have seen no discussions of the 
possibility of referring these lines to the earlier temple.  Since this 
possibility that these lines refer to the pre-Herodian temple has (to my 
knowledge) never been raised, it has not yet been excluded.  Assuming the 
above translations are correct, and granted that Herod's temple contained a 
Royal Portico and Colonnades, this only points to the Herodian period if it 
can be demonstrated that the pre-Herodian temple lacked similar architectural 
features.  I would welcome further discussion on this point.

>  If there is thought to be any correlation between the hoarding described 
>  the Copper Scroll and recovered coin hoards from Israel in general, the 
>  First Revolt is still the most likely.  There are a number of shekel 
>  associated with the First Revolt, but none from c. 76 B.C.E. and 
>  few from the Second Revolt.  An Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards, 1973, 
>  the following hoards for Hellenistic Phoenicia - Palestine for this 
>  El-Jib (Gibeon), Judaea, c. 75 B.C.E., 23 copper coins; Golan 
>  (Gaulanitis/Trachonitis), c. 100-75 B.C.E., 40 copper coins; 
>  Samaria, after 74 B.C.E., 22 copper coins, 1 shekel of Tyre.  A large 
>  of shekels (200+) was recovered at Jericho, but the latest coin was dated 
>  103/2 B.C.E.  I haven't checked for hoards published after 1973, but would 
>  be surprised if they change this picture very much.

The First Revolt was of course unsuccessful and as a result many who hid coin 
hoards died before retrieving their treasures.  This was not the case in 76 
BCE.  The (Sadducee) former partisans on Alexander Jannaeus exiled to the 
Judean fortresses in 76 returned to power under Aristobulus II in the years 
67-63 BCE.  Doubtless they recovered their hoarded treasures.  Josephus, Ant. 
13.427 states that "in barely fifteen days he [Aristobulus] occupied 
twenty-two fortresses, and obtaining resources from these, he gathered an 
army from Lebanon, Trachonitis and the local princes."  That is, Aristobulus 
hired mercenaries for his revolt using funds provided by his loyalists in the 
fortresses to .  (At 13.429 the same word "resources" is applied to both an 
army and "money in the various treasuries.")  The historical argument can be 
made that the Jannaeus/Aristobulus partisans recovered the treasures of the 
Copper Scroll and used some of this wealth to finance their uprising and 
return to power.  One would therefore not expect the Copper Scroll treasures 
to still be in the ground in modern times.  

Best regards.
Russell Gmirkin
For private reply, e-mail to RGmyrken@aol.com
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