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Hellenism and the Local Communities of the Eastern Mediterranean400 BCE-250 CE$
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Boris Chrubasik and Daniel King

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805663

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805663.001.0001

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Text and Wisdom in the Letter of Aristeas

Text and Wisdom in the Letter of Aristeas

(p.155) 8 Text and Wisdom in the Letter of Aristeas
Hellenism and the Local Communities of the Eastern Mediterranean

Myrto Hatzimichali

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Letter of Aristeas, a text that presents Jewish-Greek interaction in a number of arenas, including political power, pilgrimage and travel, material wealth, and everyday life, as well as literary heritage and religious/philosophical wisdom. It focuses on the last two aspects, tracing first how ideas from the Jewish religious tradition are combined with aspects of Greek philosophy and political thought in the ‘sympotic’ scenes where the Greek king receives advice from his wise visitors. It then argues that the measures taken for the preservation of the error-free accuracy of the translated Torah, which in turn secure its position in the library, reveal the same preoccupations as those of the Alexandrian textual critics. Rather than condemning textual criticism, Aristeas warns against the same corruptions that textual criticism was invented to confront.

Keywords:   Aristeas, library of Alexandria, Septuagint, kingship, gnomic wisdom, textual criticism, Aristarchus, Homer

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