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Translation of the Septuagint
, Item # 1593-1633

1593-1633 On the Translation
of the Septuagint


ARISTEAS, pseud. Verissima Relatione d'Aristea . . . Delli settanta due Interpreti della Sacra Bibbia. Italian translation by Leonardo Cernoti. 

First edition of this translation of a Hellenistic Jewish literary composition on the translation of the Septuagint. The work first appeared in a Latin version in 1471, in Italian in 1477, and in the original Greek in 1561. EJ III, 439; Hoffmann I, 245.

Signature of Leonardo Trissino dated 1818. Treviso: Vangelista Deuchino, 1593


Very rare first edition in English of this Hellenistic text of the 2nd century BCE describing how the Septuagint was produced, based on the editio princeps, published in Basel in 1561. The Hellenized Greek speaking Jewish community needed a Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, as well as the Ptolemaic king of Egypt Ptolemy II Philadelphus, as the founder of the most famous library of the ancient world - described here for the first time - was interested to have this influential text corpus in his collection. This work relates how the Egyptian chief librarian urges his king to have Hebrew legal tests translated. He sends envoys to the Temple in Jerusalem and the High Priest choses 72 men (sometimes 70 - hence the name Septuagint) to translate independently the entire corpus and they arrived at almost identical Greek versions. Apart from the detailed narrative of the diplomatic correspondence between Alexandria and Jerusalem, and the philosophical debate about the result at the Egyptian court, the book gives details about the topography, population and trades of Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside as experienced by the Egyptian envoys on their journey. - This translation was frequently attributed to the poet John Donne, even by Keynes. ESTC S122439. 


1593 Edition

1633 Edition



Just The Facts

Item # 1593-1633

1593 - Edition is printed in Italian

1633 Edition is printed in English

Size: 6 x 4 x 1
Font: Gothic

Appraisal Value: $6,000

Sale Price: $3,495