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Re: orion-list Philo's "Suppliants"

     Thanks to Robert Kraft for his thoughtful comments.  His understanding 
of the use of iketeuw and related roots in Philo is about the same as mine.  
I would also point out for nuance the passages in Legatio ad Gaium where 
Agripps appears in the role of a suppliant before Gaius Caligula, i.e. as a 
denfenseless and obedient subject making an appeal before an all-powerful 
potentate, in the same pacifist tradition as the Jews who appealed to 
Petronius in the same matter of Gaius' statue being placed in the temple.
    With respect to the pattern of flight with seeking protection from a 
powerful host associated with the word iketeuw that Robert Kraft points out, 
this in my opinion fits well with the refugee situation in 38 CE.  I have no 
doubt that the owners of the houses or village on the low hill on the beaches 
near Alexandria where Philo located the "Therapeutae" had lived there for 
some time.  These houses obviously were not erected by the refugees.  Rather, 
this was a small pre-existing Jewish community.  In the riots they doubtless 
took in a number of refugees who were basically at the mercy of their 
goodwill.  Philo makes clear the community had the capability of defending 
themselves from "robbers" (a term Philo elsewhere applies to the rioters in 
Alexandria).  The community thus possessed a role of "protector" in this 
historical situation by defending the refugees from the violence and other 
dangers (starvation, disease) they had fled in Alexandria.  All this is well 
within the meaning of the word "suppliant" in my opinion.  That Philo 
included this word in his title probably indicates he originally planned to 
expand upon their status as suppliants.  Doubtless Philo would have 
spiritualized away the concrete political overtones of the term, explaining 
that these were suppliants in the sense of ones who sought refuge in God, 
much as he also spiritualizes the term Therapeutae (which in its first 
definition as healers in my opinion had its concrete basis in the healing air 
of the beach location, mentioned in both _The Contemplative Life_ and 
_Embassy to Gaius_).  
   I appreciate George Brooks' enthusiastic support of my theories that see 
the rise of the Dead Sea Scrolls community in the events of the Maccabean 
period.  IMO Philo's Therapeutae are an entirely different topic, though some 
see a connection with the scrolls.  George writes:

> Those who **do**
>  find a connection can point to a de-emphasis of sexual activity and
>  a "common property" basis of lifestyle (where people have to surrender
>  their personal assets before joining), as well as a generally monastic
>  style of life with a high-born devotion to Judaism and to humankind
>  as well, not to mention a purported skill in the healing arts (whether
>  physical or spiritual healing - - it doesn't really matter, does it?).   
>  more do we need to show that there is **some** mysterious connection
>  between these Egyptian dwellers of the wilderness and the Palestinian
>  dwellers of the wilderness?

    Although Josephus mentions theEssene interest in healing properties of 
rocks and plants, this detail does not occur in _The Contemplative Life_.  
Instead, the latter essay only mentions the healthy beach breezes at the 
site, which doesn't really connect with the Essenes.  In _The Contemplative 
Life_ those fleeing the city surrendered their property, not to the 
Therapeutae, but to their kinsmen they left behind in the cities.  This also 
fails to convincingly connect up with the Essenes.  
    Clearly Philo did intend to describe the group as a unique spiritually 
and philosophically inclined community.  To what extent this idealized, 
spiritualized portrayal had any basis in historical reality - much less 
correlates with the Essenes - is not yet apparent, at least to me.

    Best Regards,
    Russell Gmirkin

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