What is historically known about the Essene sect? I’m looking for some decent books on this subject.
(Please, no arguing in this thread)
Look for books that deal with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Sorry, don’t have any to recommend off the top of my head.
Dead Sea Scrolls, Copper Text, Etc.
I was just wondering if anybody knows of any historians from other cultures (at that period of time) who may or may not have referred to them? I know of Philo and Josephus, but they were Roman citizens.
Philo and Josephus were both Jews. Josephus became a Roman citizen only after the fall of Jerusalem, which he documents in his Jewish war. Philo was a Helenized jew who lived in Alexandria.
As for the Essenes apearing in extra jewish literature, I would say that it would be unlikely. The Essenes were a small and secretive sect. Were it not for the war with Rome, it would probably be unlikely that they would have made much of an impact upon history. In fact, it was only the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls that brought the Essenes into cultural prominence. It seems that their influce upon Jewish thought was limited at best. Indeed, while some have speculated that Christianity was influenced by their philosophies, it would only seem to be the most tangetable of conections.
Most of what we know about them come from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and any book that comments on them, or presents them in translation, should have just about anything that there is to learn about them.