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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



5662
Eusebius Of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 5.8.14


nanBut when they came together in the presence of Ptolemy, and compared their several translations, God was glorified, and the Scriptures were recognized as truly divine. For all of them had rendered the same things in the same words and with the same names from beginning to end, so that the heathen perceived that the Scriptures had been translated by the inspiration of God.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

6 results
1. Philo of Alexandria, On The Life of Moses, 2.26-2.43 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2.26. In olden time the laws were written in the Chaldaean language, and for a long time they remained in the same condition as at first, not changing their language as long as their beauty had not made them known to other nations; 2.27. but when, from the daily and uninterrupted respect shown to them by those to whom they had been given, and from their ceaseless observance of their ordices, other nations also obtained an understanding of them, their reputation spread over all lands; for what was really good, even though it may through envy be overshadowed for a short time, still in time shines again through the intrinsic excellence of its nature. Some persons, thinking it a scandalous thing that these laws should only be known among one half portion of the human race, namely, among the barbarians, and that the Greek nation should be wholly and entirely ignorant of them, turned their attention to their translation. 2.28. And since this undertaking was an important one, tending to the general advantage, not only of private persons, but also of rulers, of whom the number was not great, it was entrusted to kings and to the most illustrious of all kings. 2.29. Ptolemy, surnamed Philadelphus, was the third in succession after Alexander, the monarch who subdued Egypt; and he was, in all virtues which can be displayed in government, the most excellent sovereign, not only of all those of his time, but of all that ever lived; so that even now, after the lapse of so many generations, his fame is still celebrated, as having left many instances and monuments of his magimity in the cities and districts of his kingdom, so that even now it is come to be a sort of proverbial expression to call excessive magnificence, and zeal, for honour and splendour in preparation, Philadelphian, from his name; 2.30. and, in a word, the whole family of the Ptolemies was exceedingly eminent and conspicuous above all other royal families, and among the Ptolemies, Philadelphus was the most illustrious; for all the rest put together scarcely did as many glorious and praiseworthy actions as this one king did by himself, being, as it were, the leader of the herd, and in a manner the head of all the kings. 2.31. He, then, being a sovereign of this character, and having conceived a great admiration for and love of the legislation of Moses, conceived the idea of having our laws translated into the Greek language; and immediately he sent out ambassadors to the high-priest and king of Judea, for they were the same person. 2.32. And having explained his wishes, and having requested him to pick him out a number of men, of perfect fitness for the task, who should translate the law, the high-priest, as was natural, being greatly pleased, and thinking that the king had only felt the inclination to undertake a work of such a character from having been influenced by the providence of God, considered, and with great care selected the most respectable of the Hebrews whom he had about him, who in addition to their knowledge of their national scriptures, had also been well instructed in Grecian literature, and cheerfully sent them. 2.33. And when they arrived at the king's court they were hospitably received by the king; and while they feasted, they in return feasted their entertainer with witty and virtuous conversation; for he made experiment of the wisdom of each individual among them, putting to them a succession of new and extraordinary questions; and they, since the time did not allow of their being prolix in their answers, replied with great propriety and fidelity as if they were delivering apophthegms which they had already prepared. 2.34. So when they had won his approval, they immediately began to fulfil the objects for which that honourable embassy had been sent; and considering among themselves how important the affair was, to translate laws which had been divinely given by direct inspiration, since they were not able either to take away anything, or to add anything, or to alter anything, but were bound to preserve the original form and character of the whole composition, they looked out for the most completely purified place of all the spots on the outside of the city. For the places within the walls, as being filled with all kinds of animals, were held in suspicion by them by reason of the diseases and deaths of some, and the accursed actions of those who were in health. 2.35. The island of Pharos lies in front of Alexandria, the neck of which runs out like a sort of tongue towards the city, being surrounded with water of no great depth, but chiefly with shoals and shallow water, so that the great noise and roaring from the beating of the waves is kept at a considerable distance, and so mitigated. 2.36. They judged this place to be the most suitable of all the spots in the neighbourhood for them to enjoy quiet and tranquillity in, so that they might associate with the laws alone in their minds; and there they remained, and having taken the sacred scriptures, they lifted up them and their hands also to heaven, entreating of God that they might not fail in their object. And he assented to their prayers, that the greater part, or indeed the universal race of mankind might be benefited, by using these philosophical and entirely beautiful commandments for the correction of their lives. 2.37. Therefore, being settled in a secret place, and nothing even being present with them except the elements of nature, the earth, the water, the air, and the heaven, concerning the creation of which they were going in the first place to explain the sacred account; for the account of the creation of the world is the beginning of the law; they, like men inspired, prophesied, not one saying one thing and another another, but every one of them employed the self-same nouns and verbs, as if some unseen prompter had suggested all their language to them. 2.38. And yet who is there who does not know that every language, and the Greek language above all others, is rich in a variety of words, and that it is possible to vary a sentence and to paraphrase the same idea, so as to set it forth in a great variety of manners, adapting many different forms of expression to it at different times. But this, they say, did not happen at all in the case of this translation of the law, but that, in every case, exactly corresponding Greek words were employed to translate literally the appropriate Chaldaic words, being adapted with exceeding propriety to the matters which were to be explained; 2.39. for just as I suppose the things which are proved in geometry and logic do not admit any variety of explanation, but the proposition which was set forth from the beginning remains unaltered, in like manner I conceive did these men find words precisely and literally corresponding to the things, which words were alone, or in the greatest possible degree, destined to explain with clearness and force the matters which it was desired to reveal. 2.40. And there is a very evident proof of this; for if Chaldaeans were to learn the Greek language, and if Greeks were to learn Chaldaean, and if each were to meet with those scriptures in both languages, namely, the Chaldaic and the translated version, they would admire and reverence them both as sisters, or rather as one and the same both in their facts and in their language; considering these translators not mere interpreters but hierophants and prophets to whom it had been granted it their honest and guileless minds to go along with the most pure spirit of Moses. 2.41. On which account, even to this very day, there is every year a solemn assembly held and a festival celebrated in the island of Pharos, to which not only the Jews but a great number of persons of other nations sail across, reverencing the place in which the first light of interpretation shone forth, and thanking God for that ancient piece of beneficence which was always young and fresh. 2.42. And after the prayers and the giving of thanks some of them pitched their tents on the shore, and some of them lay down without any tents in the open air on the sand of the shore, and feasted with their relations and friends, thinking the shore at that time a more beautiful abode than the furniture of the king's palace. 2.43. In this way those admirable, and incomparable, and most desirable laws were made known to all people, whether private individuals or kings, and this too at a period when the nation had not been prosperous for a long time. And it is generally the case that a cloud is thrown over the affairs of those who are not flourishing, so that but little is known of them;
2. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 3.21.2-3.21.3 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3. Justin, First Apology, 31.2 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

4. Babylonian Talmud, Megillah, None (3rd cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)

5. Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, 5.8.9-5.8.13 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

5.8.9. And he refers to Justin the Martyr, and to Ignatius, using testimonies also from their writings. Moreover, he promises to refute Marcion from his own writings, in a special work. 5.8.11. Shortly after he adds:For before the Romans had established their empire, while the Macedonians were still holding Asia, Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, being desirous of adorning the library which he had founded in Alexandria with the meritorious writings of all men, requested the people of Jerusalem to have their Scriptures translated into the Greek language. 5.8.12. But, as they were then subject to the Macedonians, they sent to Ptolemy seventy elders, who were the most skilled among them in the Scriptures and in both languages. Thus God accomplished his purpose. 5.8.13. But wishing to try them individually, as he feared lest, by taking counsel together, they might conceal the truth of the Scriptures by their interpretation, he separated them from one another, and commanded all of them to write the same translation. He did this for all the books.
6. Anon., Letter of Aristeas, 9

9. Demetrius of Phalerum, the president of the king's library, received vast sums of money, for the purpose of collecting together, as far as he possibly could, all the books in the world. By means of purchase and transcription, he carried out, to the best of his ability, the purpose of the king. On one occasion when I was present he was asked, How many thousand books are there in the library?


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
(great) library of alexandria Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 82, 83
alexandria, library of Kalmin, Migrating tales: the Talmud's narratives and their historical context (2014) 87
aquila Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 82
athens Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 83
demetrius of phalerum, as imagined by aristeas Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 82, 83
demetrius of phalerum Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 82, 83
greek (language), translation of the torah into Kalmin, Migrating tales: the Talmud's narratives and their historical context (2014) 87
irenaeus, anti-jewish tendency Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 83
irenaeus Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 82, 83
jerusalem Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 83
jews in alexandria, anti-jewish literature Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 83
macedonia/macedonian Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 82, 83
philo, writings cited and preserved by christian authors Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 83
philo Kalmin, Migrating tales: the Talmud's narratives and their historical context (2014) 87
ptolemy, king Kalmin, Migrating tales: the Talmud's narratives and their historical context (2014) 87
ptolemy i Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 82, 83
septuagint' Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 83
septuagint, legend of the composition of, in babylonian rabbinic sources Kalmin, Migrating tales: the Talmud's narratives and their historical context (2014) 87
septuagint, legend of the composition of, in christian sources of the roman east Kalmin, Migrating tales: the Talmud's narratives and their historical context (2014) 87
septuagint, legend of the composition of, in hellenistic jewish sources Kalmin, Migrating tales: the Talmud's narratives and their historical context (2014) 87
septuagint Schliesser et al., Alexandria: Hub of the Hellenistic World (2021) 82
talmud, babylonian, incorporation of nonrabbinic material Kalmin, Migrating tales: the Talmud's narratives and their historical context (2014) 87
translation Kalmin, Migrating tales: the Talmud's narratives and their historical context (2014) 87