The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria: A study in the narrative of the Letter of Aristeas

Sylvie Honigman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

150 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages210
ISBN (Electronic)0203498771, 020359956X, 0415280729, 1134462956, 128002478X, 9780203498774
ISBN (Print)0415280729, 9780203498774
StatePublished - 2003

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • Bible -- Greek -- Septuagint
  • Letter of Aristeas
  • Apocrypha -- Letter of Aristeas
  • Lettera di Aristea a Filocrate
  • Lettera di Aristea
  • Aristée
  • Libro d'Aristea
  • Apocrypha -- Aristeas Epistle
  • Aristeas to Philocrates
  • Apocrypha -- Lettre D'aristée
  • Aristeas' epistle
  • Aristeae Historia LXXII interpretum
  • Iggeret Aristeas
  • Aristeas (Letter of)
  • Historia LXXII interpretum
  • Aristeae Ad Philocratem epistula
  • Lettre d'Aristée
  • Ad Philocratem epistula
  • Apocrypha -- <<Der>> Aristeasbrief
  • Epistola ad Philocratem
  • Apocrypha -- Lettera di Aristea
  • Aristeasbrief
  • Apocrypha -- Aristée
  • Apocrypha -- Aristeas
  • Epistle of Aristeas


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