Aristeas

Aristeas (Α᾿ριστέας) or Aristeus (Α᾿ρισταῖος), a Cyprian by nation, was a high officer at the court of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and was distinguished for his military talents. Ptolemy, being anxious to add. to his newly-founded library at Alexandria.(B.C. 273) a copy of the Jewish law, sent Aristeas and Andreas, the commander of his body-guard, to Jerusalem. They carried presents to the Temple, and obtained from the high-priest, Eleazar, a genuine copy of the Pentateuch, and a body of seventy elders, six from each tribe, who could translate it into Greek. On their arrival, they are said to have completed the Alexandrian version of the Old Testament, usually termed the "Septuagint" from the number of translators. The story about the translation rests chiefly on the reputed letter of Aristeas himself, but it is told, with a few differences, by Aristobulus, the Jewish philosopher (Euseb. Praep. Ev. 13:12), by Philo Judaeus (Vit. Mos. 2), and Josephus (Ant. 12, 2); also by Justin Martyr (Cohort. ad Graec. p. 13; Apol. p. 72; Dial. cum Tryph. p. 297), Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. 3, 25), Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. 1, 250), Tertullian (Apolog. 18), Euseb. (Praep. Ev. 8:1), Athanasius (Synsp. S. Scrip. 2, 156), Cyril of Jerusalem (Catech. p. 36, 37), Epiphanius (De Mens. et Pond. 3), Jerome (Praef. in Pentateuch; Qucest. in Gen. Promm.), Augustine (De civ. Dei, 18, 42, 43), Chrysostom (Adv. Jud. 1, 443), Hilary of Poictiers (In Psalm. 2), and Theodoret (Proof. in Psalm.). The letter was printed, in Greek and Latin, by Schard (Basil. 1561, 8vo); reprinted at Oxford (1692, 8vo); best ed. in Gallandii Biblioth Patr. 2, 771 (Fabricii Bibl. Graec. 3, 669; in Engl. by Lewis (Lond. 1715, 12mno). Sec First, Bibl. Jud. 1, 51 sq. SEE SEPTUAGINT.

 
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