Online Encyclopedia

ARISTEAS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 494 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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ARISTEAS, the pseudonymous author of a famous Letter in which is described, in legendary form, the origin of the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint (q.v.). Aristeas represents himself as a Gentile Greek, but was really an Alexandrian Jew who lived under one of the later Ptolemies. Though the Letter is unauthentic, it is now recognized as a useful source of information concerning both Egyptian and Palestinian affairs in the 2nd and possibly in the 3rd century B.C. An English translation, based on a critical Greek text, was published by H. St J. Thackeray in the Jewish Quarterly Review, vol. xv. There are two modern editions of the Greek, one by the last named (in Swete's Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, Cambridge, 1900), the other by P. Wendland (Leipzig, 1900).
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