The Essenes: Origin and Affinities of the Essenes



The prin- f I iHE ruling principle of the Restoration under Ezra was the the resto- isolation of the Jewish people from all influences of the

ration. surrounding nations. Only by the rigorous application of this principle was it possible to guard the nationality of the Hebrews. and thus to preserve the sacred deposit of religious truth of which this nationality was the husk. Hence the strictest attention was paid to the Levitical ordinances, and more especially to those which aimed at ceremonial purity. The principle, which was thus distinctly asserted at the period of the national revival, gained force and concentration at a later date from the active antagonism to which the patriotic Jews were driven by the religious and political aggressions of the Rise of Syrian kings. During the Maccalwean wars we read of a party or dssans. s^t called the Ckasidim or Asidceans ('AatSaloi), the 'pious' or 'devout,' who zealous in their observance of the ceremonial law stoutly resisted any concession to the practices of Hellenism, and took their place in the van of the struggle with their national enemies, the Antiochene monarchs (1 Mace ii. 42, vii . 13, 2 Mace. xiv. 6). But, though their names appear now for the first time, they are not mentioned as a newly formed party; and it is probable that they had their origin at a much earlier date.

The subsequent history of this tendency to exclusiveness and Phari- isolation is wrapt in the same obscurity. At a somewhat later saigm an ^^ ^ jg exhi|jite{l in thg Pharisees and the Essenes; but whether these were historically connected with the Chasidim as Essenism divergent offshoots of the original sect, or whether they represent the same independent developments of the same principle, we are without Pnnc1Plethe proper data for deciding. The principle itself appears in the name of the Pharisees, which, as denoting ' separation,' points to the avoidance of all foreign and contaminating influences. On the other hand the meaning of the name Essene is uncertain, for the attempt to derive it directly from Chasidim must be abandoned; but the tendency of the sect is unmistakable. If with the Pharisees ceremonial purity was a principal aim, with the Essenes it was an absorbing passion. It was enforced and guarded moreover by a special organization. While the Pharisees were a sect, the Essenes were an order. Like the Pythagoreans in Magna Graecia and the Buddhists in India before them, like the Christian monks of the Egyptian and Syrian deserts after them, they were formed into a religious brotherhood, fenced about by minute and rigid rules, and carefully guarded from any contamination with the outer world.

Thus the sect may have arisen in the heart of Judaism. Foreign The idea of ceremonial purity was essentially Judaic. But in Esse still, when we turn to the representations of Philo and Josephus, msm' it is impossible to overlook other traits which betoken foreign affinities. Whatever the Essenes may have been in their origin, at the Christian era at least and in the Apostolic age they no longer represented the current type of religious thought and practice among the Jews. This foreign element has been derived by some from the Pythagoreans, by others from the Syrians or Persians or even from the farther East; but, whether Greek or Oriental, its existence has until lately been almost universally allowed.

The investigations of Frankel, published first in 1846 in his Frankel'a Zeitschri/t, and continued in 1853 in his Monatsschrift, have well regiven a different direction to current opinion. Frankel maintains ceived> that Essenism was a purely indigenous growth, that it is only Pharisaism in an exaggerated form, and that it has nothing distinctive and owes nothing, or next to nothing, to foreign

influences. To establish this point, he disparages the representations of Fhilo and Josephus as coloured to suit the tastes of their heathen readers, while in their place he brings forward as authorities a number of passages from talmudical and rabbinical writings, in which he discovers references to this sect . In this view he is followed implicitly by some later writers, and has largely influenced the opinions of others; while nearly all speak of his investigations as throwing great light on the subject, trot It is perhaps dangerous to dissent from a view which has

less and found so much favour; but nevertheless I am obliged to confess |jji8ea' my belief that, whatever value Frankel's investigations may have as contributions to our knowledge of Jewish religious thought and practice, they throw little or no light on the Essenes specially; and that the blind acceptance of his results by later writers has greatly obscured the distinctive features of this sect. I cannot but think that any one, who will investigate Frankel's references and test his results step by step, will arrive at the conclusion to which I myself have been led, that his talmudical researches have left our knowledge of this sect where it was before, and that we must still refer to Josephus and Philo for any precise information respecting them.

Hisdouble Frankel starts from the etymology of the name. He

derivation ?» #

of the supposes that 'Eco-ato*?, Eo-otjj/o?, represent two different

Hebrew words, the former TDn chdsid, the latter jfljx tsanuat,

both clothed in suitable Greek dresses1. Wherever therefore

either of these words occurs, there is, or there may be, a direct

reference to the Essenes.

Fatal ob- Jt fs not too much to say that these etymologies are

jections to . . J Jo

it. impossible; and this for several reasons. (1) The two words

'Eaa-aios, 'T&aa-qvos, are plainly duplicate forms of the same

Hebrew or Aramaic original, like Sa/ti/ratos and 'S.afiyfrivo? (Epiphan. Haer. pp. 40, 47, 127, and even 2a/t>/rtt7;? p. 46), NafwpaZo? and Nafap^o?, Ynralo<; and Tirrtjvos (Steph. Byz. s. v., Hippol. Haer. vi. 7), with which we may compare Boo-t^aw? and Boorprjvos, MeXitotos and MeXirrjvos, and numberless other examples. (2) Again; when we consider either word singly, the derivation offered is attended with the most serious difficulties. There is no reason why in 'Eaaalos the d should have disappeared from chasid, while it is hardly possible to conceive that tsanuat should have taken such an incongruous form as 'Eaffijvos. (3) And lastly; the more important of the two words, chasid, had already a recognised Greek equivalent in 'Ao-tSato?; and it seems highly improbable that a form so divergent as 'Eaaalo<; should have taken its place.

1 Zeiiichrift p. 449' Fiir Esi&er liegt, Low im Orient, das Hebr. JMJX uahe';

wie Kchon von anderen Seiten bemerkt see also pp. 454, 455; Monatsichrifl

wurde, das Hebr. TDI1, fur Essener, p. 32. nach einer Bemerkung des Herrn L.

Indeed Frankel's derivations are generally, if not universally, Dependabandoned by later writers; and yet these same writers repeat the theory his quotations and accept his results, as if the references were j^^. equally valid, though the name of the sect has disappeared.tionThey seem to be satisfied with the stability of the edifice, even when the foundation is undermined. Thus for instance Gratz not only maintains after Frankel that the Essenes 'were properly nothing more than stationary or, more strictly speaking, logically consistent (consequente) Chasidim,' and 'that therefore they were not so far removed from the Pharisees that they can be regarded as a separate sect,' and 'accepts entirely these results' which, as he says, 'rest on critical investigation' (nl. p. 463), but even boldly translates chasiduth 'the Essene mode of life' (ib. 84), though he himself gives a wholly different derivation of the word 'Essene,' making it signify 'washers' or 'baptists' (see above, p. 327). And even those who do not go to this length of inconsistency, yet avail themselves freely of the passages where chasid occurs, and interpret it of the Essenes, while distinctly repudiating the etymology1.

But, although 'Eo-o-ato? or 'eo-o-7ji/o? is not a Greek form of The term


1 e.g. Eeim (p. 286) and Derenbourg Essene from K'DK 'a physician.' pp. 166, 461 sq.), who both derive

not ap- chasid, it might still happen that this word was applied to them specially as an epithet, though not as a proper name. Only in this case Essenes the reference ought to be unmistakeable, before any conclusions are based upon it. But in fact, after going through all the passages, which Frankel gives, it is impossible to feel satisfied that in a single instance there is a direct allusion to the Essenes. Sometimes the word seems to refer to the old sect of the Chasidim or Asidceans, as for instance when Jose ben Joezer, who lived during the Maccabaean war, is called a chasid1. At all events this R. Jose is known to have been a married man, for he is stated to have disinherited his children (Baba Batkra 133 b); and therefore he cannot have belonged to the stricter order of Essenes. Sometimes it is employed quite generally to denote pious observers of the ceremonial law, as for instance when it is said that with the death of certain famous teachers the Chasidim ceased*. In this latter sense the expression D^lBtnn Dn'Dl"i,' the ancient or primitive Chasidim' (Monatslchr. pp. 31, 62), is perhaps used; for these primitive Chasidim again are mentioned as having wives and children1, and it appears also that they were scrupulously exact in bringing their sacrificial offerings4. Thus it is impossible to identify them with the Essenes, as described by Josephus and Philo. Even in those passages of which most has been made, the reference is more than doubtful. Thus great stress is laid on the saying of R. Joshua ben Chananiah in Mishna Sotah iii. 4, 'The foolish chasid and the clever villain (on$? yem noit ? TDn), eta, are the ruin of the world.' But the connexion points to a much more general meaning of chasid, and the rendering in Surenhuis, 'Homo pius qui insipiens, improbus qui astutus,' gives the correct antithesis. So we might say that there is no one more mischievous than the wrong-headed conscientious man. It is true that the Gemaras illustrate the expression by examples of those who allow an over-punctilious regard for external forms to stand in the way of deeds of mercy. And perhaps rightly. But there is no reference to any distinctive Essene practices in the illustrations given. Again; the saying in Mishna Pirke Aboth v. 10, 'He who says Mine is thine and thine is thine is [a] chasid (TDn "|St ? "|Sen fVp ^>e*)>' is quoted by several writers as though it referred to the Essene community of goods1. But in the first place the idea of community of goods would require, 'Mine is thine and thine is mine': and in the second place, the whole context, and especially the clause which immediately follows (and which these writers do not give), 'He who says Thine is mine and mine is mine is wicked (yen),' show plainly that TDn must be taken in its general sense 'pious,' and the whole expression implies not reciprocal interchange but individual self-denial.

1 Mishna Chagigah ii. 7; Zeitschr. sq.; see below, p. 340.

p. 454, Monatischr. pp. 33, 62. See 'Niddah 38 a; see L6wy S.v. Es

Frankel's own account of this E. Jose saer.

in an earlier volume, Monatsichr. I. * Mishna Kerilhuth vi. 3, Nedarim

p. 405 sq. 10 a; see Monatsschr. p. 65.

2 Zeitschr. p. 457, Monatsschr. p. 69

It might indeed be urged, though this is not Frankel's plea, Possible that supposing the true etymology of the word 'Eo-c-ato?, ofw^a,-TM 'Ea-a-ifvos, to be the Syriac t*»cv>t. r*L*Jta*», ch'se, chasyo (a «""*cfc<Myo


possible derivation), chasid might have been its Hebrew equivalent as being similar in sound and meaning, and perhaps ultimately connected in derivation, the exactly corresponding triliteral root NDn (comp. Din) not being in use in Hebrew1. But before we accept this explanation we have a right to demand some evidence which, if not demonstrative, is at least circumstantial, that chasid is used of the Essenes: and this we have seen is not forthcoming. Moreover, if the Essenes had thus inherited the name of the Chasidim, we should have expected that its old Greek equivalent 'AaiSaloi, which is still used later than the Maccabaean era, would also have gone with it; rather than that a new Greek word 'Eo-o-aib? (or 'Eo-o^vd?) should have been invented to take its place. But indeed the Syriac Version of the Old Testament furnishes an argument against this convertibility of the Hebrew chasid and the Syriac chasyo, which must be regarded as almost decisive. Usage is The numerous passages in the Psalms, where the expressions able to 'My chasidim,' 'His chasidim,' occur (xxx. 5, xxxi . 24, xxxvii. this view. 28, Hi. 11, kxix. 2, lxxxv. 9, xcvii. 10, cxvi. 15, cxxxii. 9, cxlix. 9: comp. xxxii. 6, cxlix. 1, 5), seem to have suggested the assumption of the name to the original Asidaeans. But in such passages TDn is commonly, if not universally, rendered in the Peshito not by rdau*, r^ ■frw but by a wholly different word zadik. And again, in the Books of Maccabees the Syriac rendering for the name 'Ao-tSatot, Chasidim, is a word derived from another quite distinct root. These facts show that the Hebrew chasid and the Syriac chasyo were not practically equivalents, so that the one would suggest the other; and thus all presumption in favour of a connexion between 'Ao-i&uo? and 'Eo-o-ato? is removed. Frankel's Frankel's other derivation ym, tsanuat, suggested as an derivation equivalent to 'eo-o-tjixj?, has found no favour with later writers,

i Thus Gratz (m. p. 81) speaking of clau8e: 'The Cha8sid must have n0 .. , , _ .. property of his own, but must treat

the community of goods among the r r * ,

Essenes writes,'From this view springs i4 as belonging to the Society (VV

the proverb; Every Chassid says; itfin* TDn W ~p& "PS?)-' At least, as he

and thine belong to thee (not me)' thus gives no reference, I suppose that he

giving a turn to the expression which refers to the same passage. This very

in its original connexion it does not expression 'mine is thine and thine is

at all justify. Of the existence of such mine' does indeed occur previously in

a proverb I have found no traces. It the same section, but it is applied as a

certainly is not suggested in the pas- formula of disparagement to the Cam

sage of Pirke Aboth. Later in the haaret s (see below, p. 345), who expect

volume (p. 467) Gratz tacitly alters to receive again as much as they give.

the words to make them express, as he In this loose way Gratz treats the

supposes, reciprocation or community whole subject. Keim (p. 294) quotes

of goods, substituting 'Thine is mine' the passage correctly, but refers it

for 'Thine is thine' in the second nevertheless to Essene communism.

tsanua£ aQd mdeed ig too far removed from the Greek form to be considered, tenable. Nor do the passages quoted by him5 require or

suggest any allusion to this sect. Thus in Mishna Demai, vl 6, we are told that the school of Hillel permits a certain license in a particular matter, but it is added,'The <y»X of the school of Hillel followed the precept of the school of Shammai.' Here, as Frankel himself confesses, the Jerusalem Talmud knows nothing about Essenes, but explains the word by nco, i.e. 'upright, worthy"; while elsewhere, as he allows8, it must have this general sense. Indeed the mention of the 'school of Hillel' here seems to exclude the Essenes. In its comprehensive meaning it will most naturally be taken also in the other passage quoted by Frankel, Kiddushin 71 a, where it is stated that the pronunciation of the sacred name, which formerly was known to all, is now only to be divulged to the D'JMX, i.e. the discreet, among the priests; and in fact it occurs in reference to the communication of the same mystery in the immediate context also, where it could not possibly be treated as a proper name; VD' 'vm ncijn vyn yuvt?, 'who is discreet and meek and has reached middle age,' etc.

1 This is Hitzig's view (Geichichte Essenei means exactly the same u

del Tolkei Ierael p. 427). He main- 'Hasidim.'"

tains that "they were called 'Htuidim' * ZeitscJir. pp. 455,457; MoMtiichr.

by the later Jews because the Syrian p. 32.

Of other etymologies, which have been suggested, and Other supthrough which it might be supposed the Essenes are mentioned mologies by name in the Talmud, N'DK asya, 'a physician,' is the one j? '^e , which has found most favour. For the reasons given above (l) Aiya


(p. 328) this derivation seems highly improbable, and the 0ian,' passages quoted are quite insufficient to overcome the objections. Of these the strongest is in the Talm. Jerus. Yoma iii. 7, where we are told that a certain physician ('DK) offered to communicate the sacred name to R. Pinchas the son of Chama, and the not euplatter refused on the ground that he ate of the tithes—this the pas-? being regarded as a disqualification, apparently because it was ^ted in inconsistent with the highest degree of ceremonial purity*.its behalf. The same story is told with some modifications in Midrash Qoheleth iii . ll4. Here Frankel, though himself (as we have seen) adopting a different derivation of the word 'Essene,' yet supposes that this particular physician belonged to the sect,

1 Monatsschr. p. 32. Derenbourg p. 170 sq.

2 Zeitlchr. p. 455. 4 See Lowy Krit.-Talm. Lex. s. v.

3 Frankel Monatsschr. p. 71: oomp. Essaer.

on the sole ground that ceremonial purity is represented as a qualification for the initiation into the mystery of the Sacred Name. Lowy (l. c.) denies that the allusion to the tithes is rightly interpreted: but even supposing it to be correct, the passage is quite an inadequate basis either for Frankel's conclusion that this particular physician was an Essene, or for the derivation of the word Essene which others maintain. Again, in the statement of Talm. Jerus. Kethuboth ii. 3, that correct manuscripts were called books of •dx1, the word Asi is generally taken as a proper name. But even if this interpretation be false, there is absolutely nothing in the context which suggests any allusion to the Essenes8. In like manner the passage from Sanhedrin 99 b, where a physician is mentioned8, supports no such inference. Indeed, as this last passage relates to the family of the Asi, he obviously can have had no connexion with the celibate Essenes. (2) ta3afc Hitherto our search for the name in the Talmud has been unsuccessful. One possibility however still remains. The talmudical writers speak of certain rn^yo 'K'JK 'men of deeds'; and if (as some suppose) the name Essene is derived from nev have we not here the mention which we are seeking? Frankel rejects the etymology, but presses the identification'. The expression, he urges, is often used in connexion with chasidim. It signifies 'miracle workers,' and therefore aptly describes the supernatural powers supposed to be exercised by the Essenes'. Thus we are informed in Mishna Sotah ix. 15, that 'When R. Chaninah ben Dosa died, the men of deeds ceased; when R. Jose Ketinta died, the chasidim ceased.' In the Jerusalem

1 Urged in favour of this derivation Polyb. xxxi. 6. 5 oix i&feuye I> iavrvi by Herzfeld n. p. 398. yvunrp> aX\a ffweHipa rap iavrjj), i3

2 The oath taken by the Essenes also the meaning suggested here by (Joseph. B. J. ii. 8. 7) avyttip^aem... the context.

rd r;")! alpiaius airur /Si/SX<a can have 3 The passage is adduced in support

nothing to do with accuracy in tran- of this derivation by Derenbourg p.

scribing copies, as Herzfeld (n. pp. 175.

398, 407) seems to think. The natural * See Zeitschr. p. 438, JlonaUiehr.

meaning of avrrripeir, 'to keep safe or pp. 68—70.

close' and so 'not to divulge' (e.g. • See above, p. 330.

Talmud however this mishna is read, 'With the death of

R. Chaninah ben Dosa and R. Jose Ketinta the chasidim

ceased'; while the Gemara there explains R. Chaninah to

have been one of the nt?$tt3 'tWK Thus, Frankel concludes, 'the

identity of these with DH'Dn becomes still more plain.' Now it

seems clear that this expression ne>yo <EON in some places cannot

refer to miraculous powers, but must mean 'men of practical

goodness,' as for instance in Succah 51 a, 53 a; and being a

general term expressive of moral excellence, it is naturally

connected with chasidim, which is likewise a general term

expressive of piety and goodness. Nor is there any reason

why it should not always be taken in this sense. It is true

that stories are told elsewhere of this R. Chaninah, which

ascribe miraculous powers to him1, and hence there is a

temptation to translate it' wonder-worker,' as applied to him.

But the reason is quite insufficient. Moreover it must be

observed that R. Chaninah's wife is a prominent person in the

legends of his miracles reported in Taanith 24 b; and thus we

need hardly stop to discuss the possible meanings of nemo 'CJK,

since his claims to being considered an Essene are barred at the

outset by this fact*.

It has been asserted indeed by a recent author, that one

very ancient Jewish writer distinctly adopts this derivation,

and as distinctly states that the Essenes were a class of

Pharisees*. If this were the case, Frankel's theory, though

not his etymology, would receive a striking confirmation: and

it is therefore important to enquire on what foundation the

assertion rests.

Dr Ginsburg's authority for this statement is a passage The authority

1 Taanith 24 b, Yoma 53 b; see Su- who married (see Colossiansp. 83): berenhuis Mishna m. p. 313. cause the identification is meaningless

2 In this and similar cases it is un- unless the strict order were intended, necessary to consider whether the per- 3 Qinsburg in Eitto's Cyclopedia sons mentioned might have belonged s.v., i. p. 829: comp. Esaenei pp. 22, to those looser disciples of Essenism, 28.

for this from the Aboth of Rabbi Nathan, c. 37, which, as he gives traced to it> appears conclusive; 'There are eight kinds of Pharisees... an error. and those Pharisees who live in celibacy are Essenes.' But what are the facts of the case? First; This book was certainly not written by its reputed author, the R. Nathan who was vice-president under the younger Gamaliel about A.D. 140. It may possibly have been founded on an earlier treatise by that famous teacher, though even this is very doubtful: but in its present form it is a comparatively modern work. On this point all or almost all recent writers on Hebrew literature are agreed1. Secondly; Dr Ginsburg has taken the reading 'JXPy memo, without even mentioning any alternative. Whether the words so read are capable of the meaning which he has assigned to them, may be highly questionable; but at all events this cannot have been the original reading, as the parallel passages, Babl. Sotah fol. 22 b, Jerus. Sotah v. 5, Jerus. Berakhoth, ix. 5, (quoted by Buxtorf and Levy, s.v. era), distinctly prove. In Babl. Sotah l. c., the corresponding expression is njtryso 'min no 'What is my duty, and I will do it,' and the passage in Jerus. Berakhoth l. c. is to the same effect . These parallels show that the reading rucyxi 'rt3in ne must be taken also in Aboth c. 37, so that the passage will be rendered, 'The Pharisee who says, What is my duty, and I will do it.' Thus the Essenes and celibacy disappear together. Lastly; Inasmuch as Dr Ginsburg himself takes a wholly different view of the name Essene, connecting it either with }vn 'an apron,' or with N'Dn 'pious8,' it is difficult to see how he could translate '3NBT? 'Essene' (from Kt?y 'to do') in this passage, except on the supposition that R. Nathan was entirely ignorant of the orthography and derivation of the word Essene. Yet, if such ignorance were conceivable in so ancient a writer, his authority on this question would be absolutely worthless. But indeed

1 e.g. Geiger Zeitschrift f. Jildtichc col. 2032 gq. These two last references

Theologie vi. p. 20 sq.; Zunz Gottei- are given by Dr Ginsburg himself.

dienstliche Vortrage p. 108 gq.: comp. * Essenei p. 30; comp. Kitto's Cjf

Steingchneider Catal. Heb. Bibl. Bodl. elopadia, s.v. Essenes.

Dr Ginsburg would .appear to have adopted this reference to R Nathan, with the reading of the passage and the interpretation of the name, from some other writer1. At all events it is quite inconsistent with his own opinion as expressed previously.

But, though we have not succeeded in finding any direct Are tae mention of this sect by name in the Talmud, and all the identi- alluded to, fications of the word Essene with diverse expressions occurring na^fa "", there have failed us on examination, it might still happen thatthe T?al* allusions to them were so frequent as to leave no doubt about the persons meant. Their organisation or their practices or their tenets might be precisely described, though their name was suppressed. Such allusions Frankel finds scattered up and down the Talmud in great profusion.

(1) He sees a reference to the Essenes in the N"iun cfutbura P) The or 'Society,' which is mentioned several times in talmudical or Assowriters*. The chdber ("on) or 'Associate' is, he supposes, acia member of this brotherhood. He is obliged to confess that the word cannot always have this sense, but still he considers this to be a common designation of the Essenes. The chaber was hound to observe certain rules of ceremonial purity, and a period of probation was imposed upon him before he was admitted. With this fact Frankel connects the passage in Mishna Chagigah ii. 5, 6, where several degrees of ceremonial purity are specified. Having done this, he considers that he has the explanation of the statement in Josephus (B. J. ii. 8. 7, 10), that the Essenes were divided into four different grades or orders according to the time of their continuance in the ascetic practices demanded by the sect.

But in the first place there is no reference direct or indirect A. passage to the chaber, or indeed to any organisation of any kind, in the gigah conpassage of Chagigah. It simply contemplates different degrees S1

1 It is given by Landsberg in the out to me by a friend. -illgemeine Zeitung den Judenthums * Zeitschr. p. 450 sq., Monatsichr.

1802, no. 33, p. 459, a reference pointed pp. 31, 70.

of purification as qualifying for the performance of certain Levitical rites in an ascending scale. There is no indication that these lustrations are more than temporary and immediate in their application; and not the faintest hint is given of distinct orders of men, each separated from the other hy formal barriers and each demanding a period of probation before admission from the order below, as was the case with the grades of the Essene brotherhood described by Josephus. Moreover the orders in Josephus are four in number1, while the degrees of ceremonial purity in Chagigah are five. Frankel indeed is inclined to maintain that only four degrees are intended in Chagigah, though this interpretation is opposed to the plain sense of the passage. But, even if he should be obliged to grant that the number of degrees is five3, he will not surrender the allusion to the Essenes, but meets the difficulty by supposing (it is a pure hypothesis) that there was a fifth and highest degree of purity among the Essenes, to which very few attained, and which, as I understand him, is not mentioned by Josephus on this account. But enough has already been said to show, that this passage in Chagigah can have no connexion with the Essenes and gives no countenance to Frankel's views.

1 As the notices in Josephus (B. J. ii. 8) relating to this point have been frequently misunderstood, it may be well once for all to explain his meaning. The grades of the Essene order are mentioned in two separate noticeR, apparently, though not really, discordant. (1) In § 10 he says that they are 'divided into four sections according to the duration of their discipline' (SiTJ/njurai *ota Xp^'0y tris iaidiaeus eli polpai riaaapas), adding that the older members are considered to be defiled by oontact with the younger, i.e. each superior grade by contact with the inferior. So far his meaning is clear. (2) In § 7 he states that one who is anxious to become a member of the sect undergoes a year's probation, submitting to discipline but 'remaining outside.' Then,'after he has given evidence of his perseverance (ntrb. Ttjv trjs Kapreplai iirtSei(iv), his character is tested for two years more; and, if found worthy, he is accordingly ad

mitted into the society.' A comparison with the other passage shows that these two years comprise the period spent in the second and third grades, each extending over a year. After passing through these three stages in three successive years, he enters upon the fourth and highest grade, thai becoming a perfect member.

It is stated by Dr Ginsburg (Eaena p. 12 sq., comp. Kitto's Cyclopadia s.v. p. 828) that the Essenes passed through eight stages 'from the beginning of the noviciate to the achievement of the highest spiritual state,' this last stage qualifying them, like Elias, to be forerunners of the Messiah. But it is a pure hypothesis that the Talmudical notices thus combined have anything to do with the Essenes; and, as I shall have occasion to point out afterwards, there is no ground for ascribing to this sect any Messianic expectations whatever.

2 ZeiUchr. p. 452, note.

As this artificial combination has failed, we are compelled Difference to fall back on the notices relating to the chaber, and to ask the chaber whether these suggest any connexion with the account of the gssene. Essenes in Josephus. And the facts oblige us to answer this question in the negative. Not only do they not suggest such a connexion, but they are wholly irreconcilable with the account in the Jewish historian. This association or confraternity (if indeed the term is applicable to an organisation so loose and so comprehensive) was maintained for the sake of securing a more accurate study and a better observance of the ceremonial law. Two grades of purity are mentioned in connexion with it, designated by different names and presenting some difficulties1, into which it is not necessary to enter here. A chaber, it would appear, was one who had entered upon the second or higher stage. For this a period of a year's probation was necessary. The chaber enrolled himself in the presence of three others who were already members of the association. This apparently was all the formality necessary: and in the case of a teacher even this was dispensed with, for being presumably acquainted with the law of things clean and unclean he was regarded as ex officio a chaber. The chaber was bound to keep himself from ceremonial defilements, and was thus distinguished from the tarn, haarets or common people3; but he was under no external

1 The entrance into the lower grade the language of the Pharisees, Joh. vii. was described as 'taking D'SJa 'or 49 6 5x\os o5ros i nti yirdaKur riv 'wings.' The meaning of this expres- vi/nov irdparoi elaa>. Again in Acts sion has been the subject of much iv. 13, where the Apostles are dediscussion; see e.g. Herzfeld n. p. scribed as ISi&rai, the expression is 390 sq., Frankel Monatsschr. p. 33 sq. equivalent to £.<"» haarets. See the

1 The contempt with which a chaber passages quoted in Buxtorf Lex. p.

would look down upon the vulgar herd, 1626. the t"»« haarets, finds expression in

surveillance and decided for himself as to his own purity. Moreover he was, or might be a married man: for the doctors disputed whether the wives and children of an associate were not themselves to be regarded as associates1. In one passage, Sanhedrin 41 a, it is even assumed, as a matter of course, that a woman may be an associate (man). In another (Niddah 33 b)% there is mention of a Sadducee and even of a Samaritan as a chaber. An organisation so flexible as this has obviously only the most superficial resemblances with the rigid rules of the Essene order; and in many points it presents a direct contrast to the characteristic tenets of that sect.

(2) The (2) Having discussed Frankel's hypothesis respecting the kene$eth. chaber, I need hardly follow his speculations on the Biite

hakkSneseth, riDJsn '33, 'sons of the congregation' (Zabim iii. 2), in which expression probably few would discover the reference, which he finds, to the lowest of the Essene orders*.

(3) The (3) But mention is also made of a ' holy congregation' or gregatlon 'assembly' (NB>np t6np, ne>np my)' in Jerusalem'; and, followat Jernsa- ing Rapoport, Frankel sees in this expression also an allusion to

the Essenes4. The grounds for this identification are, that in one passage (Berakhoth 9 b) they are mentioned in connexion with prayer at daybreak, and in another (Midrash Qohdeth ix. 9) two persons are stated to belong to this ' holy congregation,' because they divided their day into three parts, devoting onethird to learning, another to prayer, and another to work The first notice would suit the Essenes very well, though the practice mentioned was not so distinctively Essene as to afford any safe ground for this hypothesis. Of the second it should be observed, that no such division of the day is recorded of the Essenes, and indeed both Josephus (B. J. ii. 8. 5) and Philo (Fragm. p. 633) describe them as working from morning till night with the single interruption of their mid-day meal1. But in fact the identification is beset with other and more serious difficulties. For this 'holy congregation' at Jerusalem is mentioned long after the second destruction of the city under Hadrian2, when not an on Frankel's own showing3 the Essene society had in all pro- commubability ceased to exist. And again certain members of it, mtve.g. Jose ben Meshullam (Mishna Bekhoroth iii. 3, vi. 1), are represented as uttering precepts respecting animals fit for sacrifice, though we have it on the authority of Josephus and Philo that the Essenes avoided the temple sacrifices altogether. The probability therefore seems to be that this 'holy congregation' was an assemblage of devout Jews who were drawn to the neighbourhood of the sanctuary after the destruction of the nation, and whose practices were regarded with peculiar reverence by the later Jews4.

1 All these particulars and others - See Herzfeld u. p. 386.

may be gathered from Bekhoroth 30 b, ''' Monatsichr. p. 35.

Mishna Demai ii. 2. 3, Jems. Demai * Zeitschr. pp. 458, 461, Slonatachr.

ii. 3, v. 1, Tosifta Demai 2, Aboth R. pp. 32, 34. Nathan c. 41.

(4) Neither can we with Frankel5 discern any reference to (4) The the Essenes in those j«p'rn Vathikin,'pious' or 'learned' men (whatever may be the exact sense of the word), who are mentioned in Berakhoth 9 6 as praying before sunrise; because the word itself seems quite general, and the practice, though enforced among the Essenes, as we know from Josephus

(B. J. ii. 8. 5), would be common to all devout and earnest Jewa If we are not justified in saying that these ppTil were not Essenes, we have no sufficient grounds for maintaining that they were.

(5) Nor again can we find any such reference in the D'Jpt (5) The D^it?mn or 'primitive elders6.' It may readily be granted that e£[TMI'lve this term is used synonymously, or nearly so, with D'TDn D'^B'N-in 'the primitive chasidim'; but, as we failed to see anything more than a general expression in the one, so we are naturally led to take the other in the same sense. The passages

1 It is added however in Midrash J ilonatsschr. p. 32.

Qoheleth ix. 9 'Some say that they J lb. p. 70.

(the holy congregation) devoted the * See Derenbourg p. 175.

whole of the winter to studying the * ilonatsschr. p. 32.

Scriptures and the summer to work.' * lb. pp. 32, 68.

where the expression occurs (e.g. Shabbath 64 b) simply refer to the stricter observances of early times, and do not indicate any reference to a particular society or body of men.

(6) The (6) Again Frankel finds another reference to this sect in bathers.' the nnne> ,(?30 TobUshach&riih, or 'morning-bathers,' mentioned

in Tosifta Yadayim c. 2*. The identity of these with the rifiepofiaTrrurral of Greek writers seems highly probable. The latter however, though they may have had some affinities with Essene practices and tenets, are nevertheless distinguished from this sect wherever they are mentioned'. But the point to be observed is that, even though we should identify these Tobleshacharith with the Essenes, the passage in Tosifta Yadayim, so far from favouring, is distinctly adverse to Frankel's view which regards the Essenes as only a branch of Pharisees: for the two are here represented as in direct antagonism. The Tobleshacharith say, 'We grieve over you, Pharisees, because you pronounce the (sacred) Name in the morning without having bathed.' The Pharisees retort, 'We grieve over you, Tobleshacharith, because you pronounce the Name from this body in which is impurity.'

(7) The (7) In connexion with the Toble-shacharith we may con

sider another name, Bandim (D'soa), in which also Frankel discovers an allusion to the Essenes*. In Mishna Mikvaoth ix. 6 the word is opposed to iia bar, 'an ignorant or stupid person'; and this points to its proper meaning 'the builders,' Le. the edifiers or teachers, according to the common metaphor in Biblical language. The word is discussed in Shabbath 114 and explained to mean 'learned.' But, because in Mikvaoth it is mentioned in connexion with ceremonial purity, and because in Josephus the Essenes are stated to have carried an 'axe and shovel' (B. J. ii. 8. 7, 9), and because moreover the Jewish historian in another place (Vit. 2) mentions having spent some time with one Banus a dweller in the wilderness, who lived on vegetables and fruits and bathed often day and night for the sake of purity, and who is generally considered to have been an Essene; therefore Frankel holds these Banaim to have been Essenes. This is a specimen of the misplaced ingenuity which distinguishes Frankel's learned speculations on the Essenes. Josephus does not mention an 'axe and shovel,' but an axe Josephus only (§ 7 al-i,vdpiov), which he afterwards defines more accu- preted. rately as a spade (§ 9 Ti) anidXlBt, Tolovtov ydp eari To &i$6/j.evov vir avr<bv dl-iviZiov Toi? veoo"vo-rdroi<;) and which, as he distinctly states, was given them for the purpose of burying impurities out of sight (comp. Deut. xxiii. 12—14). Thus it has no connexion whatever with any 'building' implement. And again, it is true that Banus has frequently been regarded as an Essene, but there is absolutely no ground for this supposition. On the contrary the narrative of Josephus in his Life seems to exclude it, as I shall have occasion to show hereafter1. I should add that Sachs interprets Banaim 'the bathers,' re- Another garding the explanation in Shabbath l. c. as a 'later accom- 0f Banamodation*.' This seems to me very improbable; but, if it ""• were conceded, the Banaim would then apparently be connected not with the Essenes, but with the Hemerobaptists.

1 Monatsschr. p. 67. * Zeitschr. p. 455.

'- See below, p. 391.

From the preceding investigation it will have appeared how Kesults of little Frankel has succeeded in establishing his thesis that' the tigation?8" talmudical sources are acquainted with the Essenes and make mention of them constantly'.' We have seen not only that no instance of the name Essene has been produced, but that all those passages which are supposed to refer to them under other designations, or to describe their practices or tenets, fail us on closer examination. In no case can we feel sure that there is any direct reference to this sect, while in most cases such reference seems to be excluded by the language or the attendant circumstances4. Thus we are obliged to fall back upon the

1 See below, p. 385. * Monatsichr. p. 31.

3 Beitriige n. p. 199. In this deri- * 'The attempt to point out the Es

vation he is followed by Gratz (in. senes in our patristic (i.e. rabbinical)

p. 82, 468) and Derenbourg (p. 166). literature,' says Herzfeld truly (n.

Philo and representations of Philo and Josephus. Their accounts are ourmain penned by eye-witnesses. They are direct and explicit, if authori- not 8o precise or so fuu ag we could have wished. The writers obviously consider that they are describing a distinct and exceptional phenomenon. And it would be a reversal of all established rules of historical criticism to desert the solid standing-ground of contemporary history for the artificial combinations and shadowy hypotheses which Frankel would substitute in its place. Frankel's But here we are confronted with Frankel's depreciation of

tionof these ancient writers, which has been echoed by several later

them is critics. They were interested, it is argued, in making their unreason- » '6' 6

able, and accounts attractive to their heathen contemporaries, and they nothing, coloured them highly for this purpose1. We may readily allow that they would not be uninfluenced by such a motive, but the concession does not touch the main points at issue. This aim might have led Josephus, for example, to throw into bold relief the coincidences between the Essenes and Pythagoreans; it might even have induced him to give a semi-pagan tinge to the Essene doctrine of the future state of the blessed (B. J. ii. 8. 11). But it entirely fails to explain those peculiarities of the sect which marked them off by a sharp line from orthodox Judaism, and which fully justify the term 'separatists' as applied to them by a recent writer. In three main features especially the portrait of the Essenes retains its distinctive character unaffected by this consideration. (i) The (i) How, for instance, could this principle of accommodation

ii voidjiiion

of sacri- have led both Philo and Josephus to lay so much stress on

accounted their divergence from Judaic orthodoxy in the matter of

for- sacrifices? Yet this is perhaps the most crucial note of heresy

which is recorded of the Essenes. What was the law to the

orthodox Pharisee without the sacrifices, the temple-worship,

the hierarchy? Yet the Essene declined to take any part in the sacrifices; he had priests of his own independently of the Levitical priesthood. On Frankel's hypothesis that Essenism is merely an exaggeration of pure Pharisaism, no explanation of this abnormal phenomenon can be given. Frankel does indeed attempt to meet the case by some speculations respecting the red heifer1, which are so obviously inadequate that they have not been repeated by later writers and may safely be passed over in silence here. On this point indeed the language of Josephus The nois not quite explicit. He says (Ant. xviii. 1. 5) that, though j08ephus they send offerings (dvad?}fiara) to the temple, they perform no and Pha° sacrifices, and he assigns as the reason their greater strictness sidered. as regards ceremonial purity (Bia<poporrjri ayveiav a$ vofil^oiev), adding that 'for this reason being excluded from the common sanctuary (re/ievwr/iato?) they perform their sacrifices by themselves (e<j> avrwv ta? dvaLas eirtreXoviri).' Frankel therefore supposes that their only reason for abstaining from the temple sacrifices was that according to their severe notions the temple itself was profaned and therefore unfit for sacrificial worship. But if so, why should it not vitiate the offerings, as well as the sacrifices, and make them also unlawful? And indeed, where Josephus is vague, Philo is explicit. Philo (n. p. 457) distinctly states that the Essenes being more scrupulous than any in the worship of God (iv tot? fidXtcrra depcnrevral ©eoO) do not sacrifice animals (oi) £o3a Kara0vovre<;), but hold it right to dedicate their own hearts as a worthy offering (a\X.' iepoirptiret<; To? eavrwv Siovoia? KaraaKevd^eiv dgiovvres). Thus the greater strictness, which Josephus ascribes to them, consists in the abstention from shedding blood, as a pollution in itself. And, when he speaks of their substituting private sacrifices, his own qualifications show that he does not mean the word to be taken literally. Their simple meals are their sacrifices; their refectory is their sanctuary; their president is their priest*. It should be added also that, though we once hear of an Essene

p. 397), 'has led to a splendid hypo- thesenjagd).' thesis-hunt (einer stattlichen Hypo- 1 Monatnchr. p. 31.

1 Monatsachr. 64. see also the passages quoted Coloman*

2 B. J. ii. 8. 5 KaB&rep els 07461/ Ti p. 89, note 3. tifuvos rapaylvovrai Ti Senn/ifHipiov:

Their statements con firmed by the doctrine of Christian Essenes.

apparently within the temple precincts (B. J. i. 3. 5, Ant xiii. 11. 2)1, no mention is ever made of one offering sacrifices. Thus it is clear that with the Essene it was the sacrifices which polluted the temple, and not the temple which polluted the sacrifices. And this view is further recommended by the fact that it alone will explain the position of their descendants, the Christianized Essenes, who condemned the slaughter of victims on grounds very different from those alleged in the Epistle to the Hebrews, not because they have been superseded by the Atonement, but because they are in their very nature repulsive to God; not because they have ceased to be right, but because they never were right from the beginning.

It may be said indeed, that such a view could not be maintained without impugning the authority, or at least disputing the integrity, of the Old Testament writings. The sacrificial system is so bound up with the Mosaic law, that it can only be rejected by the most arbitrary excision. This violent process however, uncritical as it is, was very likely to have been adopted by the Essenes3. As a matter of fact, it did recommend itself to those Judaizing Christians who reproduced many of the Essene tenets, and who both theologically and historically may be regarded as the lineal descendants of this Judaic sect3. Thus in the Clementine Homilies, an Ebionite work which exhibits many Essene features, the chief spokesman St Peter is represented as laying great stress on the duty of distinguishing the true and the false elements in the current Scriptures (it 38, 51, iii. 4, 5, 10, 42, 47, 49, 50, comp. xviii. 19). The saying traditionally ascribed to our Lord, 'Show yourselves approved money-changers' (yivea6e rpaire^itai Boki/jloi), is more than once quoted by the Apostle as enforcing this duty (ii. 51, iii. 50, xviii. 20). Among these false elements he places all those passages which represent God as enjoining sacrifices (iii. 45, xviii. 19). It is plain, so he argues, that God did not desire sacrifices, for did He not kill those who lusted after the taste of flesh in the wilderness? and, if the slaughter of animals was thus displeasing to Him, how could He possibly have commanded victims to be offered to Himself (iii. 45)? It is equally clear from other considerations that this was no part of God's genuine law. For instance, Christ declared that He came to fulfil every tittle of the Law; yet Christ abolished sacrifices (iii. 51). And again, the saying 'I will have mercy and not sacrifice' is a condemnation of this practice (iii. 56). The true prophet 'hates sacrifices, bloodshed, libations'; he' extinguishes the fire of altars' (iii. 26). The frenzy of the lying soothsayer is a mere intoxication produced by the reeking fumes of sacrifice (iii. 13). When in the immediate context of these denunciations we find it reckoned among the highest achievements of man 'to know the names of angels, to drive away demons, to endeavour to heal diseases by charms (<f>ap/uiKiat,<;), and to find incantations (eVootSas) against venomous serpents' (iii. 36); when again St Peter is made to condemn as false Essene those scriptures which speak of God swearing, and to set ^g work. against them Christ's command 'Let your yea be yea' (iii. 55); we feel how thoroughly this strange production of Ebionite Christianity is saturated with Jjjssene ideas \

The Cle-
this doc-
trine by
of the

1 See below, p. 360.

3 Herzfeld (n. p. 403) is unable to
reconcile any rejection of the Old Tes-
tament Scriptures with the reverence
paid to Moses by the Essenes (B. J. ii.
8. 9, 10). The Christian Essenes how-
ever did combine both these incongru-

ous tenets by the expedient which U
explained in the text. Herzfeld him-
self suggests that allegorical interpre-
tation may have been employed to
justify this abstention from the temple
3 See Galatiam p. 322 sq.

1 Epiphanius (Haer. xviii. 1, p. 38) Ta Kptur nerd\anfi&ytu' rj Bvai&friv ai

again describes, as the account was Toi's. (<paaKov yip rer\do-Bai ravra

banded down to him (lii i eh i/nSi i\B&iv Ta /9i/SX(a Kal (tilSh roirur irro Tdy

repUxa W70»), the tenets of a Jewish raripar yeyanjaBai. Here we have in

sect which he calls the Nasareans dirty combination all the features which we

Si oO rapiStxtto -rty Tto/t/)tiiixov, iWi are seeking. The cradle of this sect

A>fu>\6yei piy T6y Muijffta, Kal Sri iSi- is placed by him in Gilead and Bashan

|oto vonoetalav briar evev, ot ravrriv Si and 'the regions beyond the Jordan.'

ifrnoiv, dXX' kripoM. Wt» Ta piy rdvra He uses similar language also (xxx. 18,

<pv\dttoi,vi r&v 'lovSaluv 'UvSatoi foni, p. 142) in describing the Ebionites,

Bvalav Si oix tBvov oCn ln<p6xur whom he places in much the same

Uireixor, dXXA Mipurov rjv rap'airoti localities (naming Moab also), and

(ii) The (ii) Nor again is Frankel successful in explaining the

worahfp Essene prayers to the sun by rabbinical practices1. Following

of the Rapoport, he supposes that Josephus and Philo refer to the

not be ex- beautiful hymn of praise for the creation of light and the return

away. of day, which forms part of the morning-prayer of the Jews to

the present time3, and which seems to be enjoined in the

Mishna itself*; and this view has been adopted by many

subsequent writers. But the language of Josephus is not

satisfied by this explanation. For he says plainly (B. J. ii. 8. 5)

that they addressed prayers to the sun4, and it is difficult to

suppose that he has wantonly introduced a dash of paganism

into his picture; nor indeed was there any adequate motive for

his doing so. Similarly Philo relates of the Therapeutes (Vii.

Cont. 11, II. p. 485), that they 'stand with their faces and their

whole body towards the East, and when they see that the sun

is risen, holding out their hands to heaven they pray for a

happy day (einjiiepiav) and for truth and for keen vision of

reason (ogvioiriav Xoyiafiov).' And here again it is impossible

to overlook the confirmation which these accounts receive from

the history of certain Christian heretics deriving their descent

The Samp- from this Judaic sect. Epiphanius (Haer. xix. 2, xx. 3, pp. 40 gaeans are « i n a

an Essene sq., 47) speaks of a sect called the Sampsaeans or 'Sunworshippers5,' as existing in his own time in Peraea on the borders of Moab and on the shores of the Dead Sea. He describes them as a remnant of the Ossenes (i.e. Essenes), who have accepted a spurious form of Christianity and are neither Jews nor Christians. This debased Christianity which they adopted is embodied, he tells us, in the pretended revelation of the Book of Elchasai, and dates from the time of Trajan*. Elsewhere (xxx. 3, p. 127) he seems to use the terms Sampsaean, Ossene, and Elchasaite as synonymous (napa Toi<? lafi^rrjvoU

whose Essene features are unmistake- * See Ginsburg Eissnes p. 69 iq.

able: Octt yip Stxovrai 'rijy revt&rtvxoy 'Berakhoth i. 4; see Derenbonrg,

MuuWui iXijk a\\d riya prjfiara dro- p. 169 sq.

fidWovair. trav Si airroit ttrx/i repl * See Colossians p. 87, note 1.

ili\j/6xuv Ppueew K.t.\. These parallels 8 See Coloisiaiu p. 88.

will speak for themselves. 'See above, p. 80 sq., and below,

1 Zeitschr. p. 458. p. 392.

Kal 'Oaarivolf Kal 'EXKeirrTalois Ka\ovfievois). Now we happen

to know something of this book of Elchasai, not only from

Epiphanius himself (xix. 1 sq., p. 40 sq., xxx. 17, p. 141), but

also from Hippolytus (Haer. ix. 13 sq.) who describes it at

considerable length. From these accounts it appears that the M appears . . . . from their

principal feature in the book was the injunction of frequent sacred

bathings for the remission of sins (Hipp. Haer. ix. 13, 15 sq.). Eiohasai.

We are likewise told that it 'anathematizes immolations and

sacrifices (dvertai Kal iepovpyiai) as being alien to God and

certainly not offered to God by tradition from (e«) the fathers

and the law,' while at the same time it'says that men ought to

pray there at Jerusalem, where the altar was and the sacrifices

(were offered), prohibiting the eating of flesh which exists

among the Jews, and the rest (of their customs), and the altar

and the fire, as being alien to God' (Epiph. Haer. xix. 3, p. 42).

Notwithstanding, we are informed that the sect retained the Its Essene

rite of circumcision, the observance of the sabbath, and other ties.

practices of the Mosaic law (Hipp. Haer. ix. 14; Epiph. Haer.

xix. 5, p. 43, comp. xxx. 17, p. 141). This inconsistency is

explained by a further notice in Epiphanius (l. c.) that they

treated the Scriptures in the same way as the Nasaraeans1;

that is, they submitted them to a process of arbitrary excision,

as recommended in the Clementine Homilies, and thus rejected

as falsifications all statements which did not square with their

own theory. Hippolytus also speaks of the Elchasaites as

studying astrology and magic, and as practising charms and

incantations on the sick and the demoniacs (§ 14). Moreover

in two formularies, one of expiation, another of purification,

which this father has extracted from the book, invocation is

made to 'the holy spirits and the angels of prayer' (§15, comp.

Epiph. Haer. xix. 1). It should be added that the word

Elchasai probably signifies the 'hidden power''; while the book

1 See above, p. 352, note 2.

3 See above, p. 81, note 2. For another derivation see below, p. 393, note 1.

itself directed that its mysteries should be guarded as precious

pearls, and should not be communicated to the world at large,

but only to the faithful few (Hipp. Haer. ix. 15, 17). It is

hardly necessary to call attention to the number of Essene

features which are here combined1. I would only remark that

the value of the notice is not at all diminished, but rather

enhanced, by the uncritical character of Epiphanius' work; for

this very fact prevents us from ascribing the coincidences, which

here reveal themselves, to this father's own invention.

In this heresy we have plainly the dregs of Essenism, which

has only been corrupted from its earlier and nobler type by the

admixture of a spurious Christianity. But how came the

Doubtful Essenes to be called Sampsaeans? What was the original

bearing of . . . .

this Sun- meaning of this outward reverence which they paid to the sun?

wor p- Did they regard it merely as the symbol of Divine illumination,

just as Philo frequently treats it as a type of God, the centre

of all light (e. g. de Somn. i. 13 sq., I. p. 631 sq.), and even calls

the heavenly bodies ' visible and sensible gods' (de Mund. Op. 7,

I. p. 6)2? Or did they honour the light, as the pure ethereal

element in contrast to gross terrestrial matter, according to a

The suggestion of a recent writer'? Whatever may have been the

repugnant motive of this reverence, it is strangely repugnant to the spirit

to Jewish of orthodox Judaism. In Ezek. viii. 16 it is denounced as an orthodox;.

abomination, that men shall turn towards the east and worship

the sun; and accordingly in Berakhoth 7 a a saying of R. Menis reported to the effect that God is angry when the sun appears and the kings of the East and the West prostrate themselves before this luminary4. We cannot fail therefore to recognise the action of some foreign influence in this Essene practice—

1 Celibacy however is not one of milies.

these: comp. Epiphan. Haer. xix. i (p. - The important place which the

40) drexfldvM-ai St rp rap6mi^, /uae? heavenly bodies held in the system

St Tiiv iyKpireiav, dvayK&fii St ydnov. of Philo, who regarded them as ani

In this respect they departed from the mated beings, may be seen from

original principles of Essenism, alleg- Gfriirer's Philo l. p. 319 sq.

ing, as it would appear, a special reve- * Keim i. p. 289.

lation (<ii SuBer &rOKa\6<l/eus) in justifi- 4 See Wiesner SchoL ram Babyl.

cation. In like manner marriage is Talm. I. pp. 18, 20. commended in the Clementine Ho

whether Greek or Syrian or Persian, it will be time to consider


(iii) On the subject of marriage again, talmudical and (iii) The

rabbinical notices contribute nothing towards elucidating the tion of

practices of this sect. Least of all do they point to any affinity no""^6

between the Essenes and the Pharisees. The nearest resem- counted

for. blance, which Frankel can produce, to any approximation in

this respect is an injunction in Mishna Kethuboth v. 8 respecting the duties of the husband in providing for the wife in case of his separating from her, and this he ascribes to Essene influences1; but this mishna does not express any approval of such a separation. The direction seems to be framed entirely in the interests of the wife: nor can I see that it is at all inconsistent, as Frankel urges, with Mishna Kethuboth vii. 1 which allows her to claim a divorce under such circumstances. But however this may be, Essene and Pharisaic opinion stand generally in the sharpest contrast to each other with respect to marriage. The talmudic writings teem with passages implying not only the superior sanctity, but even the imperative duty, of marriage. The words 'Be fruitful and multiply' (Gen. i. 28) were regarded not merely as a promise, but as a command which was binding on all. It is a maxim of the Talmud that 'Any Jew who has not a wife is no man' (dik WN), Yebamoth 63 a. The fact indeed is so patent, that any accumulation of examples would be superfluous, and I shall content myself with referring to Pesachim 113 a, b, as fairly illustrating the doctrine of orthodox Judaism on this point*. As this question affects the whole framework not only of religious, but also of social life, the antagonism between the Essene and the Pharisee in a matter

1 Monatsichr. p. 37. iay etinopipov ris l$i>v briBvfv/jiri] airrijs

* Justin Martyr more than once K.t.x, ib. 141, p. 371 A, B, oToioi

taunts the Jewish rabbis with their i-pdrrowiv ol dr6 rod yivoin inuv &v

reckless encouragement of polygamy. 6puroi, Kara itaaax yrjr tvBa 8> iritiri

See Dial. 134, p. 363 o; rois affwiroii nfouo-ir rj rparrefupBuaiv ayinevM ivb

Ktd twp\oit BiSaaKd\oii vnuv, otrives Ko.1 /ian yifwu ywaiKas K.t.\., with Otto's

M^XP' *•'» Kox rtaaapat Kox ittvri txfiv note on the first passage. inas yvnuKai (Kaarov ffvyxupovai' Kox

so vital could not be overlooked.

(iv) The (iv) Nor again is it probable that the magical rites and

Essene . . ... . , '. » .,

practice incantations which are so prominent in the practice ol the

//tilfa*10 Essenes would, as a rule, have been received with any favour difficulty, hy the Pharisaic Jew. In Mishna Pesachim iv. 9 (comp. Berakkoth 10 b) it is mentioned with approval that Hezekiah put away a ' book of healings'; where doubtless the author of the tradition had in view some volume of charms ascribed to Solomon, like those which apparently formed part of the esoteric literature of the Essenes1. In the same spirit in Mishna Sanhedrin xi. 1 R. Akiba shuts out from the hope of eternal life any 'who read profane or foreign (i.e. perhaps, apocryphal) books, and who mutter over a wound' the words of Exod. xv. 26. On this point of difference however no great stress can be laid. Though the nobler teachers among the orthodox Jews set themselves steadfastly against the introduction of magic, they were unable to resist the inpouring tide of superstition. In the middle of the second century Justin Martyr alludes to exorcists and magicians among the Jews, as though they were neither few nor obscure*. Whether these were a remnant of Essene Judaism, or whether such practices had by this time spread throughout the whole body, it is impossible to say; but the fact of their existence prevents us from founding an argument on the use of magic, as an absolutely distinctive feature of Essenism. General Other divergences also have been enumerated8; but, as


these do not for the most part involve any great principles, and refer only to practical details in which much fluctuation was possible, they cannot under any circumstances be taken as crucial tests, and I have not thought it worth while to discuss them. But the antagonisms on which I have dwelt will tell their own tale. In three respects more especially, in the avoid

1 See Cololiian s p. 91, note 2. tBrr,, xpiijwoi <f o/wlfoi-ui «oi 6y/uiyan

2 Dial. 85, p. 311 0, IjSij )uvtoi of i% Kal *ota4Va^oi» xpurrai. biuir iropKunal Tij rt^m, wrrep Kal ra 3 Herzfeld II. p. 392 sq.

ance of marriage, in the abstention from the temple sacrifices, and (if the view which I have adopted be correct) in the outward reverence paid to the sun, we have seen that there is an impassable gulf between the Essenes and the Pharisees. No known influences within the sphere of Judaism proper will serve to account for the position of the Essenes in these respects; and we are obliged to look elsewhere for an explanation.

It was shown above that the investigations of Frankel and Frankel

°. . . . has failed

others failed to discover in the talmudical writings a single in esta

reference to the Essenes, which is at once direct and indis- njg^^j,

putable. It has now appeared that they have also failed (and

this is the really important point) in showing that the ideas

and practices generally considered characteristic of the Essenes

are recognised and incorporated in these representative books

of Jewish orthodoxy; and thus the hypothesis that Essenism

was merely a type, though an exaggerated type, of pure Judaism

falls to the ground.

Some affinities indeed have been made out by Frankel and Affinities

* between

by those who have anticipated or followed him. But these are Essenes

exactly such as we might have expected. Two distinct features g^ con. combine to make up the portrait of the Essene. The Judaic ^judaic element is quite as prominent in this sect as the non-Judaic, side. It could not be more strongly emphasized than in the description given by Josephus himself. In everything therefore which relates to the strictly Judaic side of their tenets and practices, we should expect to discover not only affinities, but even close affinities, in talmudic and rabbinic authorities. And this is exactly what, as a matter of fact, we do find. The Essene rules respecting the observance of the sabbath, the rites of lustration, and the like, have often very exact parallels in the writings of more orthodox Judaism. But I have not thought it necessary to dwell on these coincidences, because they may well be taken for granted, and my immediate purpose did not require me to emphasize them.

And again; it must be remembered that the separation

The di- between Pharisee and Essene cannot always have been so great of the" as it appears in the Apostolic age. Both sects apparently arose Essenes out of one great movement, of which the motive was the avoid

from the °'

Pharisees ance of pollution1. The divergence therefore must have been gradual. At the same time, it does not seem a very profitable task to write a hypothetical history of the growth of Essenism, where the data are wanting; and I shall therefore abstain from the attempt. Frankel indeed has not been deterred by this difficulty; but he has been obliged to assume his data by postulating that such and such a person, of whom notices are preserved, was an Essene, and thence inferring the character of Essenism at the period in question from his recorded sayings or doings. But without attempting any such reconstruction of history, we may fairly allow that there must have been a gradual development; and consequently in the earlier stages of its growth we should not expect to find that sharp antagonism between the two sects, which the principles of the Essenes when Hence the fully matured would involve. If therefore it should be shown of their ?th*t the talmudical and rabbinical writings here and there ?PP?arm8 preserve with approval the sayings of certain Essenes, this fact oordsof would present no difficulty. At present however no decisive Judaism, example has been produced; and the discoveries of Jellinek for instance3, who traces the influence of this sect in almost every page of Pirke Aboth, can only be regarded as another illustration of the extravagance with which the whole subject has been treated by a large section of modern Jewish writers. More to the point is a notice of an earlier Essene preserved in Josephus himself. We learn from this historian that one Judas, a member of the sect, who had prophesied the death of Antigonus, saw this prince 'passing by through the temple',' when his prophecy was on the point of fulfilment (about B.C. 110). At this moment Judas is represented as sitting in the midst of his disciples, instructing them in the science of prediction. The expression quoted would seem to imply that he was actually teaching within the temple area. Thus he would appear not only as mixing in the ordinary life of the Jews, but also as frequenting the national sanctuary. But even supposing this to be the right explanation of the passage, it will not present any serious difficulty. Even at a later date, when (as we may suppose) the principles of the sect had stiffened, the scruples of the Essene were directed, if I have rightly interpreted the account of Josephus, rather against the sacrifices than against the locality1. The temple itself, independently of its accompaniments, would not suggest any offence to his conscience.

1 See Colossiani p. 91 sq. but the less precise notice most be

2 Orient 1849, pp. 489, 537, 553. interpreted by the more precise. Eren * B. J. i. 3. 5 raptivra Sii. roS Upov. then however it is not directly stated

In the parallel narrative, Ant. xii. that Judas himself was within ttu

11. 2, the expression is rapiirra rb temple area. iepiv, which does not imply so much;

Nor again, is it any obstacle to the view which is here Theappromaintained, that the Essenes are regarded with so much pnilo ^j sympathy by Philo and Josephus themselves. Even though f08ePhu.9 the purity of Judaism might have been somewhat sullied in Aence of this sect by the admixture of foreign elements, this fact would doxy, attract rather than repel an eclectic like Philo, and a latitudinarian like Josephus. The former, as an Alexandrian, absorbed into his system many and diverse elements of heathen philosophy, Platonic, Stoic, and Pythagorean. The latter, though professedly a Pharisee, lost no opportunity of ingratiating himself with his heathen conquerors, and would not be unwilling to gratify their curiosity respecting a society with whose fame, as we infer from the notice of Pliny, they were already acquainted.

But if Essenism owed the features which distinguished it What was from Pharisaic Judaism to an alien admixture, whence were element in these foreign influences derived? From the philosophers of Ssemsm? Greece or from the religious mystics of the East? On this point recent writers are divided.

1 See Colomam p. 89, and above, p. 350 aq.

Theory of Those who trace the distinctive characteristics of the sect gorean in- to Greece, regard it as an offshoot of the Neopythagorean fluence. School grafted on the stem of Judaism. This solution is suggested by the statement of Josephus, that 'they practise the mode of life which among the Greeks was introduced (KaraBeSety/ievy) by Pythagoras1.' It is thought to be confirmed by the strong resemblances which as a matter of fact are found to exist between the institutions and practices of the two. Statement This theory, which is maintained also by other writers, as theory by for instance by Baur and Herzfeld, has found its ablest and e v' most persistent advocate in Zeller, who draws out the parallels with great force and precision. 'The Essenes,' he writes, 'like the Pythagoreans, desire to attain a higher sanctity by an ascetic life; and the abstentions, which they impose on themselves for this end, are the same with both. They reject animal food and bloody sacrifices; they avoid wine, warm baths, and oil for anointing; they set a high value on ceUbate life: or, so far as they allow marriage, they require that it be restricted to the one object of procreating children. Both wear only white garments and consider linen purer than wool. Washings and purifications are prescribed by both, though for the Essenes they have a yet higher significance as religious acts. Both prohibit oaths and (what is more) on the same grounds. Both find their social ideal in those institutions, which indeed the Essenes alone set themselves to realise—in a corporate life with entire community of goods, in sharply defined orders of rank, in the unconditional submission of all the members to their superiors, in a society carefully barred from without, into which new members are received only after a severe probation of several years, and from which the unworthy are inexorably excluded. Both require a strict initiation, both desire to maintain a traditional doctrine inviolable; both pay the highest respect to the men from whom it was derived, as

1 Ant. Xv. 10.4.

instruments of the deity: yet both also love figurative clothing for their doctrines, and treat the old traditions as symbols of deeper truths, which they must extract from them by means of allegorical explanation. In order to prove the later form of teaching original, newly-composed writings were unhesitatingly forged by the one as by the other, and fathered upon illustrious names of the past. Both parties pay honour to divine powers in the elements, both invoke the rising sun, both seek to withdraw everything unclean from his sight, and with this view give special directions, in which they agree as well with each other as with older Greek superstition, in a remarkable way. For both the belief in intermediate beings between God and the world has an importance which is higher in proportion as their own conception of God is purer; both appear not to have disdained magic; yet both regard the gift of prophecy as the highest fruit of wisdom and piety, which they pique themselves on possessing in their most distinguished members. Finally, both agree (along with the dualistic character of their whole conception of the world...) in their tenets respecting the origin of the soul, its relation to the body, and the life after death1...'

This array of coincidences is formidable, and thus skilfully Absence of marshalled might appear at first sight invincible. But a closer pythagoexamination detracts from its value. In the first place the two j^s in distinctive characteristics of the Pythagorean philosophy are the wanting to the Essenes. The Jewish sect did not believe in the transmigration of souls; and the doctrine of numbers, at least so far as our information goes, had no place in their system. Yet these constitute the very essence of the Pythagorean teaching. In the next place several of the coincidences are more apparent than real. Thus for instance the demons The ooinwho in the Pythagorean system held an intermediate place I^6^068

between the Supreme God and man, and were the result of a some cases

only ap

compromise between polytheism and philosophy, have no near parent,

ZeUer Philoiophie der Griechen Th. m. Abth. 2, p. 281.

relation to the angelology of the Essenes, which arose out of a wholly different motive. Nor again can we find distinct traces among the Pythagoreans of any such reverence for the sun as is ascribed to the Essenes, the only notice which is adduced having no prominence whatever in its own context, and referring to a rule which would be dictated by natural decency and certainly was not peculiar to the Pythagoreans1. When these imperfect and (for the purpose) valueless resemblances have been subtracted, the only basis on which the theory of a direct affiliation can rest is withdrawn. All the remaining coincidences are unimportant. Thus the respect paid to founders is not confined to any one sect or any one age. The reverence of the Essenes for Moses, and the reverence of the Pythagoreans for Pythagoras, are indications of a common humanity, but not of a common philosophy. And again the forgery of supposititious documents is unhappily not the badge of any one school. The Solomonian books of the Essenes, so far as we can judge from the extant notices, were about as unlike the tracts ascribed to Pythagoras and his disciples by the Neopythagoreans as two such forgeries could well be. All or nearly all that remains in common to the Greek school and the Jewish sect after these deductions is a certain similarity in the type of life, and in But granted that two bodies of men each held an esoteric not eug- teaching of their own, they would secure it independently in a historical similar way, by a recognised process of initiation, by a solemn oonnex- form of oath, by a rigid distinction of orders. Granted also, that they both maintained the excellence of an ascetic life, their asceticism would naturally take the same form; they would avoid wine and flesh; they would abstain from anointing themselves with oil; they would depreciate, and perhaps altogether prohibit, marriage. Unless therefore the historical conditions are themselves favourable to a direct and immediate connexion between the Pythagoreans and the Essenes, this theory of affiliation has little to recommend it.

1 Diog. Laort. viii. 17; see Zeller vi. 10) considerable stress is laid on

L o. p. 282, note 5. The precept in the worship of the snn (Zeller Lap.

question occurs among a number of 137, note 6); but the syncretism of

insignificant details, and has no spe- this late work detracts from its valus M

cial prominence given to it. In the representing Pythagorean doctrine. Life of Apollonius by Philostratus (e.g.


And a closer examination must pronounce them to be most Twofold unfavourable. Chronology and geography alike present serious to this obstacles to any solution which derives the peculiarities of the "wory* Essenes from the Pythagoreans.

(i) The priority of time, if it can be pleaded on either side, (i) Chromust be urged in favour of the Essenes. The Pythagoreans facts are as a philosophical school entirely disappear from history before a verse' the middle of the fourth century before Christ. The last Pythagoreans were scholars of Philolaus and Eurytus, the contemporaries of Socrates and Plato1. For nearly two centuries after their extinction we hear nothing of them. Here and Disappear

Jt 11C (J of

there persons like Diodorus of Aspendus are satirised by the the PythaAttic poets of the middle comedy as 'pythagorizers,' in other goreanawords, as total abstainers and vegetarians2; but the philosophy had wholly died or was fast dying out. This is the universal testimony of ancient writers. It is not till the first century before Christ, that we meet with any distinct traces of a revival. In Alexander Polyhistor", a younger contemporary of Sulla, for the first time we find references to certain writings, which would seem to have emanated from this incipient Neopythagoreanism, rather than from the elder school of Pythagoreans. And a little later Cicero commends his friend Nigidius Figulus as one specially raised up to revive the extinct philosophy4.

1 Zeller 1. c. p. 68 (oomp. i. p. 242). The words commonly used by these

While disputing Zeller's position, I satirists are rvBayopifciv, ruBayopiar^i,

have freely made use of his references. wBayopuryM. The persons so satirised

It is impossible not to admire the were probably in many cases not more

mastery of detail and clearness of ex- Pythagoreans than modern teetotallers

position in this work, even when the are Rechabites.

conclusions seem questionable. a Diog. Laert. viii. 24 sq.; see Zeller

2 Athen. iv. p. 161, Diog. Laert. L o. p. 74—78.

viii. 37. See the index to Meineke * Cio. Tim. i 'sic judico, post illos

Fragm. Com. s. w. *vBayopiKis, etc. nobiles Pythagoreos quorum disci

But so slow or so chequered was its progress, that a whole

century after Seneca can still speak of the school as practically

Priority of defunct1. Yet long before this the Essenes formed a compact, EsBenism . ... ,. ,

toNeopy- well-organized, numerous society with a peculiar system of

isiiu0rean doctrine and a definite rule of life. We have seen that Pliny the elder speaks of this celibate society as having existed 'through thousands of ages*.' This is a gross exaggeration, but it must at least be taken to imply that in Pliny's time the origin of the Essenes was lost in the obscurity of the past, or at least seemed so to those who had not access to special sources of information. If, as I have given reasons for supposing8, Pliny's authority in this passage is the same Alexander Polyhistor to whom I have just referred, and if this particular statement, however exaggerated in expression, is derived from him, the fact becomes still more significant. But on any showing the priority in time is distinctly in favour of the Essenes as against the Neopythagoreans. The Eb- And accordingly we find that what is only a tendency in

developed the Neopythagoreans is with the Essenes an avowed principle the Neopv0 an(* a definite ru^e of ^e- Such for instance is the case with thagorean. celibacy, of which Pliny says that it has existed as an institution among the Essenes per saeculorum millia, and which is a chief corner-stone of their practical system. The Pythagorean notices (whether truly or not, it is unimportant for my purpose to enquire) speak of Pythagoras as having a wife and a daughter4. Only at a late date do we find the attempt to represent their founder in another light; and if virginity is ascribed to Apollonius of Tyana, the great Pythagorean of the first Christian century, in the fictitious biography of Philostratus1, this representation is plainly due to the general plan of the novelist, whose hero is perhaps intended to rival the Founder of Christianity, and whose work is saturated with Christian ideas. In fact virginity can never be said to have been a Pythagorean principle, though it may have been an exalted ideal of some not very early adherents of the school. And the same remark applies to other resemblances between the Essene and Neopythagorean teaching. The clearness of conception and the definiteness of practice are in almost every instance on the side of the Essenes; so that, looking at the comparative chronology of the two, it will appear almost inconceivable that they can have derived their principles from the Neopythagoreans.

plina extincta est quodammodo, cum time, at which Josephus thinks it ne

aliquot saecula in Italia Siciliaque vi- oessary to insert an account of the

guisset, huno exstitisse qui illam reno- Essenes as already flourishing (Ant.

varet.' xiii. 5. 9), is prior to the revival of the

1 Sen. N. Q. vii. 32 'Pythagorioa Neopythagorean school. How mneh

ilia invidiosa turbae schola praeoep- earlier the Jewish sect arose, we ire

torem non invenit.' without data for determining.

* A". H. v. 15. The passage is qnoted > See CoUusians p. 83, note 1.

Coloisiani p. 85, note 3. The point of 4 Diog. Laert. viii. 43.

(ii) But the geographical difficulty also, which this theory (ii) Geoof affiliation involves, must be added to the chronological. The Hffieultiea home of the Essene sect is allowed on all hands to have been Jj^8 on the eastern borders of Palestine, the shores of the Dead Sea, a region least of all exposed to the influences of Greek philosophy. It is true that we find near Alexandria a closely allied school of Jewish recluses, the Therapeutes; and, as Alexandria may have been the home of Neopythagoreanism, a possible link of connexion is here disclosed. But, as Zeller himself has pointed out, it is not among the Therapeutes, but among the Essenes, that the principles in question appear fully developed and consistently carried out8; and therefore, if there be a relation of paternity between Essene and Therapeute, the latter must be derived from the former and not conversely. How then can we suppose this influence of Neopythagoreanism brought to bear on a Jewish community in the south-eastern border of Palestine? Zeller's answer is as follows*. Judaea was for more than a hundred and fifty years before the Macca

1 Vit. Apol. i. 15 sq. At the game others,

time Philostratua informs us that the * 1. 0. p. 288 sq.

conduct of his hero in this respect * 1. c. p. 290 sq. had been differently represented by

bean period under the sovereignty first of the Egyptian and then of the Syrian Greeks. We know that at tlns time Hellenizing influences did infuse themselves largely into Judaism: and what more natural than that among these the Pythagorean philosophy and discipline should have recommended itself to a section of the Jewish people? It may be said in reply, that at all events the special locality of the Essenes is the least favourable to such a solution: but, without pressing this fact, Zeller's hypothesis is open to two serious objections which combined seem fatal to it, unsupported as it is by any historical notice. First, this influence of Pythagoreanism is assumed to have taken place at the very time when the Pythagorean school was practically extinct: and secondly, it is supposed to have acted upon that very section of the Jewish community, which was the most vigorous advocate of national exclusiveness and the most averse to Hellenizing influences. The fo- It is not therefore to Greek but to Oriental influences that

ment of considerations of time and place, as well as of internal character, Essenism jgg^l us ^Q Joo^ for g^ explanation of the alien elements in sought in Essene Judaism. And have we not here also the account of any real coincidences which may exist between Essenism and Neopythagoreanism? We should perhaps be hardly more justified in tracing Neopythagoreanism directly to Essenism than conversely (though, if we had no other alternative, this would appear to be the more probable solution of the two): but were not both alike due to substantially the same influences acting in different degrees? I think it will hardly be denied to which that the characteristic features of Pythagoreanism, and especially thaRo? of Neopythagoreanism, which distinguish it from other schools

reaniem of Greek philosophy, are much more Oriental in type, than

may have . . . .

been in- Hellenic. The asceticism, the magic, the mysticism, of the

sect all point in the same direction. And history moreover

contains indications that such was the case. There seems to

be sufficient ground for the statement that Pythagoras himself

was indebted to intercourse with the Egyptians, if not with more strictly Oriental nations, for some leading ideas of his system. But, however this may be, the fact that in the legendary accounts, which the Neopythagoreans invented to do honour to the founder of the school, he is represented as taking lessons from the Chaldeans, Persians, Brahmins, and others, may be taken as an evidence that their own philosophy at all events was partially derived from eastern sources1.

But, if the alien elements of Essenism were borrowed not so much from Greek philosophy as from Oriental mysticism, to what nation or what religion was it chiefly indebted? To this question it is diflficult, with our very imperfect knowledge of the East at the Christian era, to reply with any confidence. Yet there is one system to which we naturally look, as furnish- Reseming the most probable answer. The Medo-Persian religion parsism. supplies just those elements which distinguish the tenets and practices of the Essenes from the normal type of Judaism. (1) First; we have here a very definite form of dualism, which (i) Dualexercised the greatest influence on subsequent Gnostic sects, and of which Manicheism, the most matured development of dualistic doctrine in connexion with Christianity, was the ultimate fruit. For though dualism may not represent the oldest theology of the Zend-Avesta in its unadulterated form, yet long before the era of which we are speaking it had become the fundamental principle of the Persian religion. (2) Again; (ii) Sunthe Zoroastrian symbolism of light, and consequent worship ofwore p' the sun as the fountain of light, will explain those anomalous notices of the Essenes in which they are represented as paying

reverence to this luminary8. (3) Moreover; the 'worship of(i»)Angelangels' in the Essene system has a striking parallel in the invocations of spirits, which form a very prominent feature in the ritual of the Zend-Avesta. And altogether their angelology is illustrated, and not improbably was suggested, by the doctine of intermediate beings concerned in the government of nature and of man, such as the Amshaspands, which is an (iv)Magio. integral part of the Zoroastrian system1. (4) Aud once more; the magic, which was so attractive to the Essene, may have received its impulse from the priestly caste of Persia, to whose world-wide fame this form of superstition is indebted for its (v) Striv- name. (5) If to these parallels I venture also to add the puntv.61 intense striving after purity, which is the noblest feature in the Persian religion, I do Bo, not because the Essenes might not have derived this impulse from a higher source, but because this feature was very likely to recommend the Zoroastrian system to their favourable notice, and because also the particular form which the zeal for purity took among them was at all events congenial to the teaching of the ZendAvesta, and may not have been altogether free from its influences.


1 See the references in Zeller I. p. practice. The commentators on Ta

218 sq.; comp. m. 2, p. 67. citus quote a similar notice of the

9 Keim Geichichte Jeni von Nazara Parthians in Herodian iv. 15 a/m Si

I. p. 303) refers to Tao. Hut. iii. 24 i)\l<# &vlaxovn itpdmj 'Apr&pavos airv

'Undique clamor; et orientem mlem litylarip rXijfa i o-rpatov • &<nraaiptvoi

(ita in Syria mos est) tertiani salu- Si rbr ij\iov,us tBmairraii, ol fldpfiapoi

tavere,' as illustrating this Essene K.t.x.

Other I have preferred dwelling on these broader resemblances,

coinoi- , .

dences ac- because they are much more significant than any mere coincidence of details, which may or may not have been accidental Thus for instance the magi, like the Essenes, wore white garments, and eschewed gold and ornaments; they practised frequent lustrations; they avoided flesh, living on bread and cheese or on herbs and fruits; they had different orders in their society; and the like3. All these, as I have already remarked, may be the independent out-growth of the same

1 See e.g. Vendidad Farg. sax; and (in. 2, p. 276), but defends bis pori

the liturgical portions of the book are tion again (Zeitschrift zi. p. 347 sq.),

largely taken up with invocations of though with no great success. Among

these intermediate beings. Some ex- other points of coincidence Hilgenfeli

tracts are given in Davies' Colossians remarks on the axe (Jos. B. J. ii. 8.

p. 146 sq. 7) which was given to the novites

9 Hilgenfeld (Zeitschrift x. p. 99 sq.) among the Essenes, and eonneou it

finds coincidences even more special with the ifironayreta (Plin. .V. H.

than these. He is answered by Zeller xxxvi. 19) of the magi. Zeller eonverse

temper and direction of conduct, and need not imply any direct

historical connexion Nor is there any temptation to press

such resemblances; for even without their aid the general

connexion seems to be sufficiently established1.

But it is said, that the history of Persia does not favour the The de

struction hypothesis of such an influence as is here assumed. The of the

destruction of the Persian empire by Alexander, argues Zeller2, emp^ and the subsequent erection of the Parthian domination on its not ad ruins, must have been fatal to the spread of Zoroastrianism. From the middle of the third century before Christ, when the Parthian empire was established, till towards the middle of the third century of our era, when the Persian monarchy and religion were once more restored8, its influence must have been reduced within the narrowest limits. But does analogy really hutfavoursuggest such an inference? Does not the history of the Jews spread of themselves show that the religious influence of a people on the Parslsmworld at large may begin just where its national life ends? The very dispersion of Zoroastrianism, consequent on the fall of the empire, would impregnate the atmosphere far and wide; and the germs of new religious developments would thus be implanted in alien soils. For in tracing Essenism to Persian influences I have not wished to imply that this Jewish sect consciously

tents himself with replying that the Oriental element in Essenism most

use of the axe among the Essenes for commonly ascribe it to Persia: e.g.

purposes of divination is a pure con- among the more recent writers, Hil

jecture, not resting on any known genfeld (1. c), and Lipsius Schenkel'i

fact. He might have answered with Bibel-Lexikon s. v. Easier p. 189.

much more effect that Josephus else- - 1. o. p. 275.

where (§ 9) defines it as a spade or 3 See Gibbon Decline and Fall

shovel, and assigns to it a very dif- e. viii, Milman History of Christianity

ferent use. Hilgenfeld has damaged n. p. 247 sq. The latter speaks of

his cause by laying stress on these this restoration of Zoroastrianism, as

accidental resemblances. So far as 'perhaps the only instance of the

regards minor coincidences, Zeller vigorous revival of a Pagan religion.'

makes out as good a case for his It was far purer and less Pagan than

Pythagoreans, as Hilgenfeld for his the system which it superseded; and

magians. this may account for its renewed life.

1 Those who allow any foreign

incorporated the Zoroastrian philosophy and religion as such, but only that Zoroastrian ideas were infused into its system by more or less direct contact. And, as a matter of fact, it seems quite certain that Persian ideas were widely spread during this Indica- very interval, when the Persian nationality was eclipsed It influence was tnen that Hermippus gave to the Greeks the most detailed

dunngthia account of this religion which had ever been laid before them1.

period. °

It was then that its tenets suggested or moulded the speculations of the various Gnostic sects. It was then that the worship of the Persian Mithras spread throughout the Roman Empire. It was then, if not earlier, that the magian system took root in Asia Minor, making for itself (as it were) a second home in Cappadocia*. It was then, if not earlier, that the Zoroastrian demonology stamped itself so deeply on the apocryphal literature of the Jews themselves, which borrowed even the names of evil spirits* from the Persians. There are indeed abundant indications that Palestine was surrounded by Persian influences during this period, when the Persian empire was in abeyance.

Thus we seem to have ample ground for the view that

certain alien features in Essene Judaism were derived from the

Are Bud- Zoroastrian religion. But are we justified in going a step

fluenoes further, and attributing other elements in this eclectic system

^pUbfe? to the more distant East? The monasticism of the Buddhist

will naturally occur to our minds, as a precursor of the ceno

bitic life among the Essenes; and Hilgenfeld accordingly has

not hesitated to ascribe this characteristic of Essenism directly

to Buddhist influences4. But at the outset we are obliged to ask whether history gives any such indication of the presence

1 See Miiller Fragm. Bist. Graee. K.t.x.

in. p. 53 sq. for this work of Hermip- * At least in one instance, Anno

pus rtj>i Mayor. He flourished about deus (Tob. iii. 17); see M. Mailer

B.C. 200. See Max Miiller Lectures on Chipi from a German Workihof L

the Science of Language 1st ser. p. 86. p. 148 sq. For the different dates u

* Strabo zv. 3. 15 (p. 733) "Br Si rjj signed to the book of Tobit see Dr

Karraooniif (roxi> yap in fi ri rur M4- Westcott's article Tobit in Smith a

yuv <f>v\ov, o! Kol ripaiBoi Ka\ovrrai. Dictionary of the Bible p. 1525.

rroMd Si Kox Tci V TlepaiKur Beur lepi) * Zeitschrift X. p. 103 sq.; oomp.

of Buddhism in the West as this hypothesis requires. Hilgen

feld answers this question in the affirmative. He points con- Supposed

n Buddhist

fidently to the fact that as early as the middle of the second establish

century hefore Christ the Buddhist records speak of their faith Asanas flourishing in Alasanda the chief city of the land of Yavana. driaThe place intended, he conceives, can be none other than the great Alexandria, the most famous of the many places bearing the name1. In this opinion however he stands quite alone. The au_ Neither Koppen3, who is his authority for this statement, nor th?rity any other Indian scholar*, so far as I am aware, for a moment preted contemplates this identification. Yavana, or Yona, was the common Indian name for the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom and its dependencies4; and to this region we naturally turn. The Alasanda or Alasadda therefore, which is here mentioned, will be one of several Eastern cities bearing the name of the great conqueror, most probably Alexandria ad Caucasum. But indeed I hardly think that, if Hilgenfeld had referred to the original authority for the statement, the great Buddhist history Mahawanso, he would have ventured to lay any stress at all on

XL p. 351. M. Beuan also (Languei f. Witsensch. u. Literatur, Braun

Sfmitiques m. iv. 1, Vie de Jesus schweig 1853; Lassen Indische Alter

p. 98) suggests that Buddhist influences thumskunde n. p. 236; Hardy Manual

operated in Palestine. of Budhism p. 516.

1 z. p. 105 'was schon an sioh, * For its geographical meaning in

znmal in dieser Zeit, schwerlich Alex- older Indian writers see Koppen 1. o.

andria ad Caucasum, sondern nur Since then it has entirely departed

Alexandrien in Aegypten bedeuten from its original signification, and

kann.' Comp. xi. p. 351, where he Yavana is now a common term used

repeats the same argument in reply to by the Hindoos to designate the Mo

Zeller. This is a very natural in- hammedans. Thus the Greek name

ference from a Western point of view; has come to be applied to a people

but, when we place ourselves in the which of all others is most unlike the

position of a Buddhist writer to whom Greeks. This change of meaning ad

Bactria was Greece, the relative pro- mirably illustrates the use of "EM^v

portions of things are wholly changed. among the Jews, which in like man

* Die Religion dee Buddha I. p. 193. ner, from being the name of an alien

* Comp. e.g. Weber Die Verbin- nation, became the name of an alien dungen Jndiene mit den Liindern im religion, irrespective of nationality; Wcsten p. 675inthe^%em. Monatsichr. see the note on Gal. ii. 3.

and wholly this notice, as supporting his theory. The historian, or rather worthy in fabulist (for such he is in this earlier part of his chronicle), is itself. relating the foundation of the Maha thupo, or great tope, at Ruanwelli by the king Dutthagamini in the year B.C. 157. Beyond the fact that this tope was erected by this king the rest is plainly legendary. All the materials for the construction of the building, we are told, appeared spontaneously as by miracle—the bricks, the metals, the precious stones. The dewos, or demons, lent their aid in the erection. In fact

the fabric huge Hose like an exhalation.

Priests gathered in enormous numbers from all the great Buddhist monasteries to do honour to the festival of the foundation. One place alone sent not less than 96,000. Among the rest it is mentioned that 'Maha Dhammarakkito, thero (i.e. senior priest) of Y6na, accompanied by 30,000 priests from the vicinity of Alasadda, the capital of the Yona country, attended1.' It is obvious that no weight can be attached to a statement occurring as part of a story of which the other details are so manifestly false. An establishment of 30,000 Buddhist priests at Alexandria would indeed be a phenomenon of which historians have shown a strange neglect. General Nor is the presence of any Buddhist establishment even on

0fBud- a mucn smaller scale in this important centre of western t'hTwest civ^isation at a^ reconcilable with the ignorance of this religion, which the Greeks and Romans betray at a much later date5. For some centuries after the Christian era we find that the information possessed by western writers was most shadowy and confused; and in almost every instance we are able to trace it to some other cause than the actual presence of Strabo. Buddhists in the Roman Empire*. Thus Strabo, who wrote under Augustus and Tiberius, apparently mentions the Buddhist priests, the sramanas, under the designation sarmance (Sap/iaviR)1; but he avowedly obtains his information from

1 Maliaicaiuio p. 171, Turnour's the language which is quoted in ihe

translation. next note?

3 How for instance, if any such • Consistently with this view, *•

establishment had ever existed at may allow that single Indians would

Alexandria, could Strabo have used visit Alexandria from time to time for

purposes of trade or for other reasons, and not more than this is required by the rhetorical passage in Dion Chrysost. Or. xxxii (p. 373) bpu yap tyuyf

ov /idvoif "EWijvas rap vpuv d\\a

col Jhucrplovs Kal Sxitfai Kal Htpaas Kai 'lvSCiv tivii. The qualifying -nvas shows how very slight was the communication between India and Alexandria. The mission of Pantanus may have been suggested by the presence of such stray visitors. Jerome (Vir. III. 36) says that he went 'rogatus ab illiua gentis legatis.' It must remain doubtful however, whether some other region than Hindustan, such as Ethiopia for instance, is not meant, when Pantsenus is said to have gone to India: see Cave's Lives of the Primitive Fathers p. 188 sq.

How very slight the communication was between India and the West in the early years of the Christian era, appears from this passage of Strabo (zv. I. 4, p. 686); mil ol ydr Si i( Aiyv-rTov rMovtis ifiropiKol rip NtC\ip Kal tip 'kpaftiu Kiip iUXp1 tris IrSutijs araVlol lib Kal repnrfr\tiKaai pJxt"- t0" rd77ov, xal Outoi 5' ISiurrai Kal oiSiv rpbs laroplav tuiv rbritiv xpri^1^01* after which he goes on to say that the only instance of Indian travellers in the West was the embassy sent to Augustus (see below p. 378), which came a<p' Ms Tirov Kal rap' ivbs fSaai\tm.

The communications between India and the West are investigated by two recent writers, Reinaud Relations Politiques et Cosnmerciales de VEmpire Romain avec VAsie Centrale, Paris 1863, and Priaulx The Indian Travels of Apollonius of Tyana and the Indian Embassies to Rome, 1873. The latter work, which is very thorough and

satisfactory, would have saved me much labour of independent investigation, if I had seen it in time.

1 Strabo xv. i. 59, p. 712. In the uss it is written FappAyai, but this must be an error either introduced by Strabo's transcribers or found in the copy of Megasthenes which this author used. This is plain not only from the Indian word itself, but also from the parallel passage in Clement of Alexandria (Strom, i. 15). From the coincidences of language it is clear that Clement also derived his information from Megasthenes, whose name he mentions just below. The fragments of Megasthenes relating to the Indian philosophers will be found in Muller Fragm. Hist. Oraec. n. p. 437. They were previously edited by Schwanbeck, Megasthenis Indica (Bonnie 1846).

For Zappavai we also find the form Za)iavaioi in other writers; e.g. Clem. Alex. 1. a, Bardesanes in Porphyr. de Abstin. iv. 17, Orig. e. Celi. i. 24 (i. p. 342). This divergence is explained by the fact that the Pali word sammana corresponds to the Sanskrit sramana. See Schwanbeck, 1. c. p. 17, quoted by Muller, p. 437.

It should be borne in mind however, that several eminent Indian scholars believe Megasthenes to have meant not Buddhists but Brahmins by hig ?.appAvas. So for instance Lassen Rhein, lius. 1833, p. 180 sq., Ind. AUerth. n. p. 700: and Prof. Max Muller (Pref. to Rogers's Translation of Buddhaghosha's Parables, London 1870, p. lii) says; 'That Lassen is right in taking the Zapnavai, mentioned by Megasthenes, for Brahmanic, not for Buddhist ascetics, might be proved also by their dress. Dresses

Megasthenes, who travelled in India somewhere about the year 300 B.C. and wrote a book on Indian affairs. Thus too Bardesanes at a much later date gives an account of these Buddhist ascetics, without however naming the founder of the religion; but he was indebted for his knowledge of them to conversations with certain Indian ambassadors who visited Syria on their way westward in the reign of one of the Antonines1. Clement of Alexandria, writing in the latest years of the second century or the earliest of the third, for the first1 time mentions Buddha by name; and even he betrays a strange ignorance of this Eastern religion8.


Clement of Alexandria.

made of the bark of trees are not
Buddhistic' If this opinion be correct,
the earlier notices of Buddhism in
Greek writers entirely disappear, and
my position is strengthened. Bnt for
the following reasons the other view
appears to me more probable: (1) The
term sramana is the common term
for the Buddhist ascetic, whereas it
is very seldom used of the Brahmin.

(2) The Z6.piw.vos (another form of
sramana), mentioned below, p. 378,
note 1, appears to have been a
Buddhist. This view is taken even
by Lassen, Ind. Alterth. in. p. 60.

(3) The distinction of Bpaxuavei and
Sap/iaviu in Megasthenes or the writers
following him corresponds to the dis-
tinction of Spaxnavei and Sa^axaioi
in Bardesanes, Origen, and others;
and, as Schwanbeok has shown (1. c),
the account of the Zap/uxyiu in Mega-
sthenes for the most part is a close
parallel to the account of the Zo/uu-aloi
in Bardesanes (or at least in Por-
phyry's report of Bardesanes). It
seems more probable therefore that
Megasthenes has been guilty of con-
fusion in describing the dress of the
SapMavai, than that Brahmins are in-
tended by the term.

The Pali form, Zanavaioi, as a de-
signation of the Buddhists, first occurs
in Clement of Alexandria or Barde-
sanes, whichever may be the earlier

writer. It is generally ascribed to Alexander Polyhistor, who flourished B.c. 80—60, because his authority is quoted by Cyril of Alexandria (c. Julian, iv. p. 133) in the same context in which the lanavouoi are mentioned. This inference is drawn by Schwanbeok, Max Miiller, Lassen, and others. An examination of Cyril's language however shows that the statement for which he quotes the authority of Alexander Polyhistor does not extend to the mention of the S&mansei. Indeed all the facts given in this passage of Cyril (including the reference to Polyhistor) are taken from Clement of Alexandria (Strom, i. 15; see below, p. 378 n. 1), whose account Cyril has abridged. It is possible indeed that Clement himself derived the statement from Polyhistor, but nothing in Clement's own language points to this.

1 The narrative of Bardesanes is given by Porphyry de AbsU iv. 17. The Buddhist ascetics are there called Za/iaraibi (see the last note). The work of Bardesanes, recounting hU conversations with these Indian ambassadors, is quoted again by Porphyry in a fragment preserved by Stobens Eel. iii. 56 (p. 141). In this last passage the embassy is said to have arrived M rrjt Baai\elai tijs 'Kyruyinv roi # 'Epuaur, by which, if the words be correct, must be meant Elagabalui (a.d. 218—222), the spurious Antonine (see Hilgenfeld Bardesanes p. 12 sq.). Other ancient authorities however place Bardesanes in the reign of one of the older Antonines; and, as the context is somewhat corrupt, we cannot feel quite certain about the date. Bardesanes gives by far the most accurate account of the Buddhists to be found in any ancient Greek writer; but even here the monstrous stories, which the Indian ambassadors related to him, show how little trustworthy such sources of information were.

Still later than this, Hippolytus, while he gives a fairly Hippolyintelligent, though brief, account of the Brahmins8, says not a word about the Buddhists, though, if he had been acquainted with their teaching, he would assuredly have seen in them a fresh support to his theory of the affinity between Christian

1 Except possibly Arrian, Ind. viii. 1, who mentions an ancient Indian king, Budyas (BovSOai) by name; but what he relates of him is quite inconsistent with the history of Buddha, and probably some one else is intended.

- In this passage (Strom, i. 15, p. 359) Clement apparently mentions these same persons three times, supposing that he is describing three different schools of Oriental philosophers. (1) He speaks of Sa.uaiWoi Bin-pur (comp. Cyrill. Alex. 1. c.); (2) He distinguishes two classes of Indian gymnosophists, whom he calls I'ao/uarai and Bpaxnwai. These are Buddhists and Brahmins respectively (see p. 375, note 1); (3) He says afterwards tla\ Si Tur 'IvSuv ol Tois Bovrra rtiBdnevoi rapayv^fyuwH', &v Si urep^o\ijv aen

Bchwanbeck indeed maintains that Clement here intends to describe the same persons whom he has just mentioned

as Xapfiavai; but this is not the natural interpretation of his language, which must mean 'There are also among the Indians those who obey the precepts of Buddha.' Probably Schwanbeok is right in identifying the Sapuanu with the Buddhist ascetics, but Clement appears not to have known this. In fact he has obtained his information from different sources, and so repeated himself without being aware of it. Where he got the first fact it is impossible to say. The second, as we saw, was derived from Megasthenes. The third, relating to Buddha, came, an we may conjecture, either from Pantenus (if indeed Hindostan is really meant by the India of his missionary labours) or from some chance Indian visitor at Alexandria.

In another passage (Strom, iii. 7, p. 539) Clement speaks of certain Indian celibates and ascetics, who are oalled Xc/ivoi. As he distinguishes them from the gymnosophists, and mentions the pyramid as a sacred building with them, the identification with the Buddhists can hardly be doubted. Here therefore Xtnvol is a Grecized form of Za/iavaiM; and this modification of the word would occur naturally to Clement, because aepuroL, aeiwetov, were already usedoftheascetic life: e.g. Philo de Vit. Cont. 3 (p. 475 M.) Uabv 8 naXeiteu fftnytioy Kal novafft-fipioir hf <p fiovov<xevoi Ta Tov ainvov fitov pvarfipia. ttNod'tai.

8 Haer. L 24.

A Buddhist at Athens.

heresies and pre-existing heathen philosophies. With one doubtful exception—an Indian fanatic attached to an embassy sent by king Porus to Augustus, who astonished the Greeks and Romans by burning himself alive at Athens1—there is

1 The chief authority is Nioolaus of Damascus in Strabo xv. I. 73 (p. 720). The incident is mentioned also in Dion Cass. liv. 9. Nicolaus had met these ambassadors at Antioch, and gives an interesting account of the motley company and their strange presents. This fanatic, who was one of the number, immolated himself in the presence of an astonished crowd, and perhaps of the emperor himself, at Athens. He anointed himself and then leapt smiling on the pyre. The inscription on his tomb was Zapnavoxriybs 'lvSbs drb Bapytxrris *ard Ta r&rpia 'lyS&y tBij iambv ara6avariaas *eirai. The tomb was visible at least as late as the age of Plutarch, who recording the selfimmolation of Calanus before Alexander (Fit. Alex. 69) says, Tovto Itowdis (reaiv li<rrepoy aXXos 'IrSbs ev 'A6-fim.ii Kaiaapi avuiiv trolriae, Kol SeUvvrax ndxpi vvv rb}ptwv 'IvSov n-poaayoptvintvov. Strabo also places the two incidents in conjunction in another passage in which he refers to this person, xv. I. 4 (p. 686) o KaraKaiaas iavrov'kB-fivriai ao<piari]s'IvSis, naBarep Kal i Kd\avos r.t.X.

The reasons for supposing this person to have been a Buddhist, rather than a Brahmin, are: (1) The name 'Aapnavoxvyo-s (which appears with some variations in the Mss of Strabo) being apparently the Indian sramanakarja, i.e. 'teacher of the ascetics,' in other words, a Buddhist priest; (2) The place Bargosa, i.e. Barygaza, where Buddhism flourished in that age. See Priaulx p. 78 sq. In Dion Gassius it is written Zippapos.

And have we not here an explanation of 1 Cor. xiii. 3, if fro KavBiponax

be the right reading? The
being written before the fires of the
Neronian persecution, requires expla-
nation. Now it is clear from Plutarch
that the 'Tomb of the Indian' was
one of the sights shown to strangers
at Athens: and the Apostle, who ob-
served the altar &[-NooCttoi Oeioi.
was not likely to overlook the sepul-
chre with the strange inscription
e&YTON Aitaoanm-icac Kcitai. In-
deed the incident would probably be
pressed on his notice in his discussions
with Stoics and Epicureans, and he
would be forced to declare himself as
to the value of these Indian self-im-
molations, when he preached the doc-
trine of self-sacrifice. We may well
imagine therefore that the fate of this
poor Buddhist fanatic was present to
his mind when he penned the words
Kox ib* rapaSu rb ff&n& pov...dydvyjr &
nil I x«, ovSi v ibipf\ovfuu. Indeed it would
furnish an almost equally good illus-
tration of the text, whether we read Iya
KavB-fyropai or iVa xarx^uusi. Dion
Cassius (1. c.) suggests that the deed
was done irb <pi\onplas or els Irlfeijiy.
How much attention these religious
suicides of the Indians attracted in the
Apostolic age (doubtless because the
act of this Buddhist priest had brought
the subject vividly before men's minds
in the West), we may infer from the
speech which Josephus puts in the
mouth of Eleazar (B. J. vii. 8. 7), ;3\<-
\pupev els lvSois roin fftxplav aaKeiy It-
loxvovnhovs ...oJ Si...rvpi rb o-um
rapaSbvres, Srus Sij mil Katiapura-rr?
&roKplyuai Too auparos trjy ^vx1!*! i"■-
vovpevoi te\evrwn...ap of* oi/K aiboipxQA
Xeipov 'IvSuv tppovovvtiS;

apparently no notice in either heathen or Christian writers, which points to the presence of a Buddhist within the limits of the Roman Empire, till long after the Essenes had ceased to exist1.

And if so, the coincidences must be very precise, before we The ai

./. , . ., .... _ . leged coin

are justified in attributing any peculiarities ot Lssenisrn to cidenoes

Buddhist influences. This however is far from being the case. ^hLg.

They both exhibit a well-organized monastic society: but the

monasticism of the Buddhist priests, with its systematized Monasti

mendicancy, has little in common with the monasticism of the

Essene recluse, whose life was largely spent in manual labour.

They both enjoin celibacy, both prohibit the use of flesh and of Asceticism. wine, both abstain from the slaughter of animals. But, as we

have already seen, such resemblances prove nothing, for they

may be explained by the independent development of the same

religious principles. One coincidence, and one only, is noticed

by Hilgenfeld, which at first sight seems more striking and

might suggest a historical connexion. He observes that the Four or

four orders of the Essene community are derived from the four four steps.

steps of Buddhism. Against this it might fairly be argued that

such coincidences of numbers are often purely accidental, and

that in the present instance there is no more reason for

connecting the four steps of Buddhism with the four orders of

Essenism than there would be for connecting the ten precepts

of Buddha with the Ten Commandments of Moses. But indeed

a nearer examination will show that the two have nothing

whatever in common except the number. The four steps or

paths of Buddhism are not four grades of an external order, but

four degrees of spiritual progress on the way to nirvana or

annihilation, the ultimate goal of the Buddhist's religious aspira

1 In the reign of Claudius an em- bably Rama is meant (Priaulx p. 116).

bassy arrived from Taprobane (Ceylon); From this and other statements it

and from these ambassadors Pliny de- appears that they were Tamils and

rived his information regarding the not bingalese, and thus belonged to

island, N. H. vi. 24. Respecting their the non-Buddhist part of the island;

religion however he says only two see Priaulx p. 91 sq. words 'coli Heroulem,' by whom pro

tions. Thejr are wholly unconnected with the Buddhist

monastic system, as an organization. A reference to the

Buddhist notices collected in Hardy's Eastern Monachism

(p. 280 sq.) will at once dispel any suspicion of a resemblance.

A man may attain to the highest of these four stages of

Buddhist illumination instantaneously. He does not need to

have passed through the lower grades, but may even be a

layman at the time. Some merit obtained in a previous state

of existence may raise him per saltum to the elevation of a

rahat, when all earthly desires are crushed and no future birth

stands between him and nirvana. There remains therefore no

coincidence which would suggest any historical connexion

Buddhist between Essenism and Buddhism. Indeed it is not till some

seen firs? centuries later, when Manicheism1 starts into being, that we

in Mani- gnd for the first time any traces of the influence of Buddhism cheism. _ _ *

on the religions of the West*.

1 Even its influence on Manicheism cessors of Alexander, by which religious however is disputed in a learned article freedom was secured for the Buddhists in the Home and Foreign Review m. throughout their dominions. If this p. 143 sq. (1863), by Mr P. Le Page interpretation had been correct, we Renouf (see Academy 1873, p. 399). must have supposed that, so far as

2 An extant inscription, containing regards Egypt and Western Asia, the an edict of the great Buddhist king treaty remained a dead letter. But Asoka and dating about the middle of later critics have rejected this interprethe 3rd century B.C., was explained by tation of its purport: see Thomas's Prinsep as recording a treaty of this edition of Prinsep's Essays on Indian monarch with Ptolemy and other sue- Antiquities n. p. 18 sq.