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orion-list Bannus

I guess I should be more explicit, even if pointed and a bit polemical. 
I wrote that I thought Bannus might have had an Essene past. This is about
as far as seems to me right to infer. His diet and frequent purifications
would support this conclusion. The diet in particular fits with what
Josephus says is the situation of expelled Essenes.
I did not write that Bannus was an Essene, as this seems to me to go
further than reasonable inference. Bannus lived in the desert. Essenes
according to Josephus lived in villages and towns. Bannus seems to have
been a hermit, while Essenes lived in communities. Essenes wore standard
clothing, notable for its uniformity and simplicity. Bannus's clothing,
whatever the passage means, was of a higher standard of removal from
ordinary clothing.  
I hope that unpacks my views a bit more.
Al Baumgarten
Bar Ilan University

For private reply, e-mail to Albert Baumgarten <baumgaa@mail.biu.ac.il>
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