The Letter of Aristeas

Van Dale, Antonius (1638-1708)

Dissertatio super Aristea de LXX interpretibus: cui ipsius praetensi Aristeae textus subjungitur. Additur Historia baptismorum cum Judaicorum, tum potissimum priorum Christianorum, tum denique & rituum nonnullorum, &c. Accedit et Dissertatio super Sanchoniathone [eiusque concordia cum sacris nostris scripturis].

Published: Amsterdam: J. Wolters, 1705


pp. [xx], 229, [ii, half-title], 231-506, gathering Ff is inverted (half-title + pp. 231-225) without loss. Decorative initials and woodcut ornaments, crisp copy with full margins, title-page printed in black and red with copper engraved printer's mark 'Aliis inserviendo consumor'. Greek and Latin facing texts of Aristea's letter to Philocrates, Greek letter passages and some hebrew citations throughout.

For an extensive analysis of Van Dale's apologetic writings see Ralph Häfner, Götter im Exil. Frühneuzeitliches Dichtungsverständnis im Spannungsfeld christlicher Apologetik und philologischer Kritik (ca. 1590-1736). Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2003.

Van Dale's study of Aristeas and the bible translation of the Septuagint. The so-called 'Letter of Aristeas' is a Jewish text relating how Hebrew Law was translated from Hebrew to Greek by seventy-two Jewish scholars from Jerusalem who came to Alexandria around the middle of the third century BC. A suite of seventy-two quaint moral sayings where stoïc philosophy is found side by side with genuine principles of Judaism. A propagandist work, political as much as religious, defending the Jewish diaspora and designed to support the literary authenticity and divine inspiration of the biblical version of the Septuagint, the first to be adopted by Eastern Orthodox Churches and Western Christians alike and the text still in use by the Greek Church today. This text is followed by a history of Jewish and Christian baptism rites and a dissertation on the ancient Phoenician writer Sanchuniathon (fl. 14th/13th c. BC?), probable author of a Phoenician history translated into Greek by Philo of Byblos (fl. AD 100) and handed down by Eusebius Pamphili (260 - 341 AD), Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine. Here Van Dale examines whether a concordance can be found between Sanchuniathon's history and Sacred Scripture.

Very good

Contemporary half calf and sprinkled boards with spine label gilt. Minor wear to corners and head of spine.


Offered by Christian F Verbeke Rare Books