Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Translation and SurvivalThe Greek Bible of the Ancient Jewish Diaspora$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Tessa Rajak

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558674

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558674.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 February 2020

The Letter of Aristeas between History and Myth

The Letter of Aristeas between History and Myth

(p.24) 1 The Letter of Aristeas between History and Myth
Translation and Survival

Tessa Rajak (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the tradition of the seventy two (later seventy) translators brought to Alexandria from Jerusalem along with texts of the Torah. Tradition had it that King Ptolemy II Philadelphus sent an embassy to the High Priest and commissioned the translation for the great Alexandrian library. It emerges that here, as often, memory and myth are intertwined, and tradition is not wholly to be dismissed. The Septuagint's ‘charter text’, the Letter of Aristeas, contains an inseparable mixture of fact and fiction. It is suggested that the narrative evinces an ambivalent attitude to the King, in common with other literary reflections of the period. Extra twists are provided by the Jewish author's dual heritage.

Keywords:   seventy-two translators, Alexandria, High Priest, Jerusalem, Ptolemy Philadelphus, Alexandrian library, memory, myth, charter text, Letter of Aristeas

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .