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Re: orion-list Full Suda Translation (rough draft)
As David Hindley and George Brooks point out, Epiphanius' Panarion
(H1.326/29.5) certainly does associate Christians, Essenes ("Jessaeans") and
the Therapeutae of the "monasteries in the region of Lake Marea [Mareotis]."
(The Contemplative Life contains the first occurrence of the word "monastery"
in Greek. Its precise meaning there is unknown.) Eusebius already
identified the Therapeutae of Philo as Christians (though not the Essenes -
showing the evolution of this chain of patristic tradition). Hindley appears
correct in his conclusion that
"The compiler of the article on Essenes found in the Suda seems to have
associated the Therapeutae and the Essenes in a manner similar to that made
by Jerome and Filastrius."
George suggests the following:
"I do not doubt the Egyptian-ness of Chaeremon. I doubt the
Egyptian-ness of his group of Egyptian Priests. I think they were Jewish
linked to the Egyptian Temple, and supported in part by revenues generated
from this Temple."
Chaeremon was certainly writing about Egyptian priests. Earlier I posted
that Jerome's Adversus Iovinianum II 14 deduces Essene vegetarianism from
Philo's _The Contemplative Life_. The preceding passage, Adversus Iovinianum
II 14, quotes extensively from Chaeremon's idealized account of the priests
of Egypt (and their vegetarianism) beginning as follows:
"Chaeremon the Stoic, a very eloquent man, tells about the life of the
ancient priests of Egypt, that they were always in the temple, laying aside
all worldly affairs and concerns, and that they contemplated the nature and
causes of all things and the order of the stars..."
A very similar picture is seen at Porphyry, De Abstinentia IV 6-8, etc.
There is simply no question that Chaeremon's topic was Egyptian priests.
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