An Introduction to the Essenes - The Ancient Anarchist Jews

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October 5th was Yom Kippur, a holiday observed by Jewish people and recognized as a state holiday in the state of Texas. In honor of that holiday, I am going to be talking about a part of Jewish history that - like a bunch of parts of history related to ancient anarchism, libertarianism, and various other parts of human history related to freedom - gets often ignored to talk about controlling kings and statists of history. I am going to be talking about a group of ancient religious Jewish anarchists known as the Essenes sect of Judaism.

This sect is mentioned in a peer-reviewed historical book called Foundations of Christianity by Karl Kautsky which was written back in 1953. Essenes is mentioned in the third volume of the text and it was founded in the 2nd century BCE. This particular branch of Judaism was referenced by various different texts from the time period. For example, Pliny the Elder mentioned the Essenes in his text Natural History. The Dead Sea Scrolls are believed by certain historians studying the group and ancient Judaism to be the main text of the Essenes and a part of their library.

This group was a society that was stateless or at least without a controlling state with a monopoly on violence. However, according to the Hebrew Josephus, the Essenes settled "in large numbers in every town" while practicing a hippie-like communal style of living everywhere they existed. This branch of Judaism existed until it was dissolved in the 1st century CE, so it existed for about two hundred(ish) years before vanishing.

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A person working in cybersecurity and living in the United States who loves to write about topics like U.S. history, technology news, and a bit of philosophy.

Wingate, NC

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