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orion-list Re: Copper Scroll Mercenaries

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Russell's argument:

> The (Sadducee) former partisans on Alexander Jannaeus exiled to the
> Judean fortresses in 76 returned to power under Aristobulus II in the
> 67-63 BCE.  Doubtless they recovered their hoarded treasures.  Josephus,
> 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,
> hired mercenaries for his revolt using funds provided by his loyalists in
> fortresses to .  (At 13.429 the same word "resources" is applied to both
> army and "money in the various treasuries.")


So it had rained Hellenistic (probably Idumaean) mercenaries to increase the
military efficiency of an Anti-Hellenistic uprising vs. Antipater and Hyrcan
II (which after all had led to the dominion of the Pax Romana).
But that sounds like Western (i.e., Hellenistic) way of war, introduced by a
certain Alexander, surnamed the Great; or more likely, it sounds like
thinking exclusively in Western categories of warfare.
Following the inner logic of Russell's argument, Peitholaos' professionals
likewise were mercenaries. If so, why did these Idumaean continue their
military operations vs. Gabinius 56/5 BC and Cassius 53/2 BC (cf. Jos. Bell.
1.8.3 ff., Jos. Ant. xiv 5.2, 6.1, 7.3) by defending after all lost
strategic positions? That's an utmost atypical (emotional) behavior for
mercenaries, who normally prefer to retreat or to change the frontline when
the spring of money runs dry "in the end of the(ir) days".


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