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Re: orion-list Re: Copper Scroll Mercenaries

I wrote:

>  > 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 
>  > by his loyalists in the fortresses...

Dierk replied:

>  So it had rained Hellenistic (probably Idumaean) mercenaries to increase 
>  military efficiency of an Anti-Hellenistic uprising vs. Antipater and 
>  II (which after all had led to the dominion of the Pax Romana).

I don't follow this analysis.  Aristobulus' mercenaries (from Lebanon and 
Trachonitis) were secretly acquired during his allegedly "failed" military 
mission for Salome to Damascus a year or two earlier, according to modern 
scholarship.  There is no indication of Idumean mercenaries here, unless you 
are making a sideways reference to the Idumeans earlier stationed in 
Trachonitis by Jannaeus (as I recall).  The Idumeans, according to all 
available indications, were aligned with Hyrkanus and his chief supporter, 
Antipater governor of Idumea.  Idumea appears to have been the one part of 
"Judea" that Hyrkanus could still claim to hold during the civil war of 66-63 

>  But that sounds like Western (i.e., Hellenistic) way of war, introduced by 
>  certain Alexander, surnamed the Great; or more likely, it sounds like
>  thinking exclusively in Western categories of warfare.

I don't quite follow the introduction of Hellenistic military style here.  Is 
there an assumption of leftover Greek military colonists among the Idumeans 
you propose formed part of Aristobulus' army?

>  Following the inner logic of Russell's argument, Peitholaos' professionals
>  likewise were mercenaries. 

Perhaps, but this goes beyond the evidence.  It's worth considering, at least.

>  If so, why did these Idumaean continue their
>  military operations vs. Gabinius 56/5 BC and Cassius 53/2 BC (cf. Jos. 
>  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".
>  Dierk

Again, I don't follow the logic in presuming a predominant Idumean element in 
the troops of Aristobulus II when this isn't present in our source 
(Josephus).  Clarification?

Russell Gm.
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