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Re: orion-list Full Suda Translation (rough draft)

Dear George X. Brooks

     If I can get a better title on the Vermes book I will email you 
     I don't think the Suda account would derive from Philo's writings on the 
Essenes, in that they aren't characterized as ascetic or contemplative.  
(Indeed, _The Contemplative Life_ 1 contrasts the contemplative life of the 
Therapeutae with the active life of the Essenes:  "I have discussed the 
Essenes, who persistently pursued the active life... I will now proceed... 
[to] those that have embraced the life of contemplation.")  
     I haven't done an exhaustive study of references to the Essenes and/or 
Therapeutae in the Church Fathers.  But it seems to me the Suda is drawing on 
a patristic account (not necessarily Jerome) which in turn draws on Philo 
(and may, as I say, have confused or identified the Essenes and Therapeutae). 
 Filastrius also confuses Essenes and Therapeutae (Diversarum Hereseon Liber 
IX 1-2).  That is, both Jerome and Filastrius describe the Essenes with 
language obviously taken from _The Contemplative Life_.  There are doubtless 
others.  You might take a closer look at patristic sources that also discuss 
the Rechabites and connect them with the Essenes.

    Best regards,
    Russell Gmirkin

>  SUDA:
>  "Essenes: Jews, ascetics, who stand quite above [stand
>  quite aloof from] the Pharisees and Scribes with reference
>  to their mode of life, the progeny [as in stepchildren] of
>  Jonadab, son of Rechab the Just One [the Righteous].
>  They are fond of one another and more pious / devout with
>  respect to the other: these turn away from pleasure as if from an
>  evil, but take upon themselves as a virtue moderation, self-control,
>  and the capacity not to succumb to misfortunes. And marriage is
>  despised among them, but taking to themselves other people's
>  young children, and teaching them, they consider them, as it
>  were, kin, and stamp them with their own customs. 

    [This last ultimately derives from Pliny.]

>  And
>  they reject all baseness and practice every other virtue. These
>  cultivate moral speech, and reflection / contemplation generally
>  abides [among them]. And from this they are called Essaioi, 
>  ["Sitters"/"Sojourners"?]    with the name showing this, that is,
>  that they are    contemplators.
>  Thus the Essaioi very much excel and are very much superior
>  to the Pharisees throughout the country/state.
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