Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished in Israel during the late Hellenistic and early Roman periods, and which was characterized by its simple and communal way of life.

The Sources

The Essenes are explicitly mentioned only in Greek and Latin texts. Our principal sources were penned by four authors, who, while not Essenes themselves, were contemporaneous with the sect: Philo …

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Livneh, Atar, “Essenes”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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