The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A Study in the Narrative of the 'Letter of Aristeas', 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria

A Study in the Narrative of the 'Letter of Aristeas', 1st Edition

By Sylvie Honigman


224 pages

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Paperback: 9780415518543
pub: 2012-01-31
Hardback: 9780415280723
pub: 2003-10-16
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The Letter of Aristeas tells the story of how Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt commissioned seventy scholars to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek.

Long accepted as a straightforward historical account of a cultural enterprise in Ptolemaic Alexandria, the Letter nevertheless poses serious interpretative problems. Sylvie Honigman argues that the Letter should not be regarded as history, but as a charter myth for diaspora Judaism. She expounds its generic affinities with other works on Jewish history from Ptolemaic Alexandria, and argues that the process of translation was simultaneously a process of establishing an authoritative text, comparable to the work on the text of Homer being carried out by contemporary Greek scholars.

The Letter of Aristeas is among the most intriguing literary productions of Ptolemaic Alexandria, and this is the first book-length study to be devoted to it.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
RELIGION / Judaism / History