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Dio Chrysostom On The Essene Landscape

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author considers Dio Chrysostom in terms of the evidence on the Essenes, arguing for his independence of Pliny, and examines how he may contribute to the understanding of who the Essenes were and where they were located within the landscape of Judaea. In terms of the immediate context of the arrival of the Essenes in the piece, Synesius criticises Philostratus for mentioning Dio's In Praise of a Parrot and the Euboean Discourse in the same breath, when the former is sophistry and the latter clearly philosophy. The emphasis for Synesius is on how uncommon and seemingly unworthy the Essenes are as a subject of philosophical discourse, but they are not to be equated with the parrot of Dio's sophistry. The chapter also addresses the following questions: what then of the attestation that the Essenes lived by the Dead Sea; and Is this perhaps derivative of Pliny.

Keywords: Dio Chrysostom; Essenes; Judaea; Pliny; Synesius

10.1163/ej.9789004167841.i-552.95
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