Aristeas, Epistle of

Aristeas, Epistle of In spite of the many editions and translations which exist of this famous epistle, furnishing us with the history of the origin of the Septuagint (q.v.), no critical Greek text has as yet been given to the learned world. That it could have been done we may see from Hody's remark in his De Bibliorum Textibus, etc. (Lond. 1685): "Non me fugit servari in Bibliotheca Regia Parisiana, aliisque quibusdam, exemplaria istius MS. Sed de tali opusculo, quod tanquam feetum kuppositicium penitus rejicio, amicos sollicitare et in: partes longinquas mittere, vix operde pretium existimavi! Eas curas relinquo illis, quibus tanti esse res videbitur." But such a disparaging opinion is ill becoming any scholar, and -the world at large will never be served by such measures. Perhaps others have been of the same opinion as Hody. At any rate, whatever has been written on this subject will needs be sifted, since we now possess the first critical edition, published with great acumen, from two Parisian MSS., by Prof. Schmidt, in Merx's Archiv Jfir wissenschcufliche Enforschung des Alten Testaments (Halle, 1869), i, 242 sq. Schmidt is inclined to the opinion that.the author of this σύνταγμα, as Epiphanius calls it, was neither-a Greek nor one sufficiently acquainted with the Greek language. On the contrary, he thinks that the author was a Jew who lived at the court of Ptolemy; See Van Dale, Dissertatio super Aristeam de LXX Interpretibus (Amsterd. 1705), and especially the -most recent work by Kurz, Aristewc Epistula ad Philocratenm (Bern, 1872). SEE ARISTEAS. (B. P.)

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