A member of an ascetic Jewish sect that existed in ancient Palestine from the second century B.C. to the second century A.D.
- Esse´nian (è-sê´nê-en) or Essen´ic (è-sèn´îk) adjective
- Esse´nism noun
Qumrân, also called
Khirbet Qumrân (stone ruin), ancient Jewish settlement in Palestine,
near which the so-called Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947.
About the time of Christ, Qumrân was the center of a large religious
community, probably one of the Essene sect. Qumrân was probably settled
about 135 BC and was destroyed by the Romans in AD 68. Archaeologists,
excavating the site following the discovery of the scrolls, identified
a number of rooms and found a cemetery with more than 1000 graves.