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The so-called letter of Aristeas to Philocrates appeared first in print in a Latin translation by Matthias Palmerius of Pisa (Rome, 1471). The editio princeps of the Greek text was not published until 1561, when Simon Schard brought out at Basle a text based on a MS. hitherto supposed to be lost, with a few readings taken from a second (Vatican) MS. Wendland in his recent edition (1900) has made it practically certain that Schard's principal MS. was Codex Monacensis 9, which at that time was at Tübingen and easily accessible to him. As to his second MS., there exists in the Library at Basle (MS. O. IV. 10, no. 21 in Omont's Catalogue of Swiss MSS.) a MS. presented to it by Schard, which is beyond a doubt a copy of the Vatican MS. denoted by K in the present text; and a list of readings appended to Schard's edition under the heading 'castigationes in Aristeam juxta exemplar Vaticanae' appears to be a scanty selection of the readings of K. Schard's edition was followed by others in the seventeenth century based upon his work; but it does not appear that any fresh collation of MSS. was undertaken10101010The earlier editions are enumerated by Schmidt in his preface to the text (Merx, Archiv, Bd. 1. 1870).. Until 1870 the latest edition of the text was that which Hody prefixed to his work De Bibliorum Textibus, published at Oxford in 1705. This was merely a reprint of the text of Schard, Hody naïvely confessing in his preface that he did not consider the work of collating MSS. of a work of such doubtful authenticity to be worth the trouble. "Non me fugit servari in Bibliotheca Regia Parisina, aliisque quibusdam, exemplaria istius MSS. Sed de tali opusculo, quod tanquam foetum supposititium penitus rejicio, Amicos solicitare, et in Partes longinquas mittere, vix operae pretium existimavi. Eas curas relinquo illis, quibus tanti esse res videbitur."

The first step towards a critical edition of the text was taken by Moriz Schmidt, who in 1870 brought out in Merx's Archiv (Band 1.) a text based on a complete collation of two Paris MSS., which he denoted by B and C, and a partial collation of a third, A, which was used to supply the opening of the letter which was missing in B and C. Schmidt's edition, though a valuable beginning, is far from satisfactory. A full use was not made of the evidence for the text afforded by the paraphrase of Josephus and the extracts of Eusebius. Moreover a large number of MSS. of the letter is now known to exist; and fresh light has been thrown on the language by the papyri of the Ptolemaic period which have at various times been discovered in Egypt.

The valuable help which these papyri offer as an illustration of the letter, shewing that the writer possessed an accurate knowledge 534of the official titles and phraseology of the Ptolemaic court, was first pointed out by Prof. Lumbroso. He says10111011Recherches sur l’économie politique de l’Égypte sous les Lagides, par G. Lumbroso (Turin, 1870), p. xiii., 'Depuis quarante ans, un rayon de lumière inattendu a jailli des inscriptions et des papyrus, qui jette sur elle un jour nouveau; chose frappante: il n'est pas un titre de cour, une institution, une loi, une magistrature, une charge, un terme technique, une formule, un tour de langue remarquable dans cette lettre, il n'est pas un témoignage d’Aristée concernant l’histoire civile de l’époque, qui ne se trouve enregistré dans les papyrus ou les inscriptions et confirmé par eux'10121012Some instances are the titles ἀρχισωματοφύλακες, οἱ ἐπὶ τῶν χρειῶν, χρηματισταί, οἱ ὑπηρέται τῶν ταγμάτων (cf. ταγματικοῖς ὑπηρέταις Wilcken, Actenstücke Pap. VIII.), the phrase ἐὰν φαίνηται, the correct use of εὐτύχει at the close of a petition from a subordinate to a higher official, the words ἑκατοντάρουρος and παρεύρεσις, the phrase παραγενέσθαι εἰς τοὺς τόπους.. A close examination of the larger evidence from the papyri now available will probably corroborate the opinion, to which other evidence seems to point, that the letter was written under some one of the later Ptolemies. In any case the evidence of the papyri is an important factor to be taken into account in establishing a text.

Another illustration of the text is afforded by a kindred work, also dealing with the history of the Jews of Egypt under the Ptolemaic rule, the third Book of Maccabees10131013Cf. especially 3 Maccabees iii. 25—28 (προστετάχαμεν—διειλήφαμεν—μηνύειν δὲ τὸν βουλόμενον) with Ar. p. 523. 23 ff. (προστετάχαμεν―διειλήφαμεν—τὸν δὲ βουλόμενον προσαγγέλλειν)..

Prof. Lumbroso further supplemented Schmidt's work upon the text by collating the Paris MS. A throughout, and also a MS. in the British Museum (F), and one at Venice (G); he a1so indicated the existence of five MSS. in the Vatican, but it does not appear that he has published any collations of these Roman MSS.

In 1893 the want of an edition of the letter was represented to the present writer, and in a journey to Italy in the autumn of that year he collated the five Vatican MSS. mentioned by Lumbroso (HKLIM), and one in the library of the Barberini palace (P), and revised the collations which had already been made of the MSS. at Venice (G) and Paris (ABC); at Paris he also collated the fragment Q and the MS. D, so far as was necessary to establish the fact that it was a copy of A. He has since collated a MS. at Florence (T) and another at Zurich (Z). On his learning subsequently that Prof. Mendelssohn of Dorpat had for many years been preparing an edition of the letter, which was nearly ready, the work which he had begun was put aside. Prof. Mendelssohn's death postponed the appearance of the expected German edition; a fragment only, consisting of the text of about 535a fifth of the letter with commentary but without introduction, was published soon after his death10141014Aristeae quae fertur ad Philocratem epistulae initium, ed. L. Mendelssohn et M. Krascheninnikov (Dorpat, 1897).. The remainder of his work was placed in the hands of Prof. Wendland, who has now brought out a text on which no pains have been spared, followed by the testimonia critically edited, and full and valuable indices10151015Aristeae ad Philocratem Epistola etc. Ludovici Mendelssohn schedis usus edidit Paulus Wendland (Leipzig, Teubner, 1900).. The present writer had, before the appearance of the German edition, been entrusted by Dr Swete with the preparation of a text of the letter from such materials as he had at hand. In this second edition he has made free use of Wendland's work, as also of his translation of the letter in Kautzsch's Apokryphen und Pseudepigraphen des Alten Testaments. The apparatus criticus will show how many obscurities have been cleared up by the acute conjectures of Mendelssohn, Wendland, and their collaborateurs. For one happy emendation (§ 105, p. 538) the writer is indebted to the Rev. H. A. Redpath. For convenience of reference Wendland's sections have been inserted in the margin. It must be added that one early MS. (Cod. Monacensis 9), which stands by itself, and is probably the parent of Schard's edition, is unrepresented in the present text.

The following genealogical table will show approximately how the MSS. which have been used are related to each other.



The MSS. denoted in the above table are as follows:

H Vat. 747, M Ottobon. 32.
A Paris 128. Q Paris 950.
D Paris 130. T Florence Laur. Acquisti 44.
F Brit. Mus. Burney 34. B Paris 129.
L Vat. 746. C Paris 5.
K Vat. 383 P Barberini IV. 56.
R Basle O. IV. 10 (Omont 21). S Vat. 1668
I Palat. 203. Z

Zurich Bibl. de la Ville C. 11 (Omont 169).


It will be seen that the MSS. fall into two main groups, which may for convenience be described as the A and B groups, the A group again falling into two smaller groups HKA and GIM, and the B group into two smaller groups TB and CPSZ. The real problem in fixing the text is to determine the relative value of the A and B groups. An examination of the readings shows, in the opinion of the present writer, that the B group, which was followed by Schmidt, while presenting a specious text, is in reality based on a recension, although in a few passages it has kept the original readings; in the A group no correction has taken place, and though the text which has here been handed down is by no means free from corruption, yet the true reading is in most cases rather to be looked for here than in the revised B text.


The group HA(DFL)K(R).


H, CODEX VATICANUS. Rome. Vat. Gr. 747, saec. xi. membr. foll. 260.


fol. 1. Aristeas.

12. Letter of Theodoret to Hypatius. καὶ ἄλλοι μὲν φιλομαθεῖς ἄνδρες—εἰς προοίμιον τῆς θεοπνεύστου γραφῆς.

13. Catena of Theodoret and other patristic writers on the Octateuch.

259. πόσαι παραδόσεις εἰσὶ τῆς θείας γραφῆς.

260. ποσάκις καὶ ποτε ἐπορθήθησαν οἱ ἐξ Ἰσραήλ.


A beautiful MS., in clearly written cursive characters, which hang from ruled lines, containing coloured illustrations throughout (five in the Aristeas portion), ornamental red head-pieces and red initial letters in the margin. Single column, 48 lines in a page: size of page 14 x 10½ in., of writing 11¼ x 7¾ in.

The Catena is apparently by the same hand as the Aristeas, the LXX. text being in the same size of writing as the Aristeas, and the marginal Catena m smaller writing (80 lines in a page). There is one large omission in the Aristeas, two leaves of the MS. apparently having been lost. The verso of fol. 3 ends with τὴν τράπεζαν (p. 530. 8), and λείπει is written in an early hand at the foot of the page; fol. 4 begins with μὲν πεδινῶν (538. 11) and ÷ is written in the margin.



K, CODEX VATICANUS. Rome. Vat. Gr. 383, saec. xii.—xiii. membr. 319 foll.


fol. 1.    Aristeas.

29.        Theodoret to Hypatius.

19vo.    Catena on Genesis.

187.      Catena on Exodus.


Size of page 12¾ x 9 in., of writing 10½ x 7¼ in.: 38 lines in a page. The leaves at the beginning are soiled and worm-eaten. The words hang from ruled lines: the right-hand margin is irregular, the writing going beyond the perpendicular line in places. The writing is upright with very thick strokes, clear, but rather untidy.


R, CODEX BASILEENSIS. Basle. Codd. Gr. O. IV. 10 (Omont10161016Catalogue des Manuscrits Grecs des Bibliothèques de Suisse (Leipzig, 1886). 21). This MS., written in the sixteenth century, apparently for Schard's edition, but only very sparingly used by him in an appendix of readings, is clearly a direct transcript of the preceding MS. This may be shown by the following instances out of many: ου KR (ων cett.) p. 5I9. 4, διαθεσις καθαρα KR (καθ. διαθεσις cett.) p. 519. 8, κυριωτερον KR (κυριωτατον cett.) p. 519. 9, οι ανδρες ασφαλως KR (ασφ. οι ανδρες cett.) p. 528. 10, σαλισγουμενοι KR (συναλισγ. cett.) p. 543. 23, χρωμεθα KR (χρωμενα cett.) p. 544. 10, om. και περι τουτων—σεμνοτητα KR p. 548. 16 f. The MS. has the inscription at the end, 'donum Simonis Schardii Magdiburgiensis'


A, CODEX REGIUS. Paris. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 128, saec. xii. membr. 61O pagg.


p.  1.     Aristeas.

    26.    Theodoret to Hypatius.

    27.    Preface to Genesis from Gregory of Nyssa, inc. ἐπειδήπερ εἰσαγώγιμον πρὸς θεογνωσίαν . . .

    28.    Catena on the Octateuch.

  608.    On the versions of Holy Scripture, the names of God, etc.


Single column: words hang from ruled lines, 47 lines in a page: a neat writing in brown ink, initial letters in crimson: size of page 14½ x 10¾ in., of writing 11 x 7 in. A hand of the fourteenth century (Lumbroso10171017Atti della R. Accad. di Torino, vol. IV. 1869.) has added some marginal notes (on Theopompus and Theodectes, a saying of Alexander the Great, etc.), many of which are rubbed and almost illegible, but they may he read in D which has copied them. Montfaucon (Bibl. Bibliothecarum, II. 725) mentions this MS., and describes it as written 'manu XII. circiter saeculi.' On p. 610 is written a note, + ισιν εν (?) ταυτα εις δοξαν | θῡ και της αγιας τριαδος φι|λα [? φυλλα] τριακοσια γ ητοι (?) τ  γ +.



Descendants of A(DFL).

D, CODEX REGIUS. Paris. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 130, saec. xv. chart. 288 foll.


fol. 1.    Aristeas.

26vo.    Theodoret to Hypatius.

27.        Gregory of Nyssa's Preface.

28.        Catena on Genesis and Exodus, 1—12.


The rest of the Catena and the remaining matter contained in A are to be found in MS. Paris 132, written by the same hand as D. Omont's Catalogue describes the MS. as 'copied by George Gregoropoulus'; Omont takes this apparently from the 1740 catalogue which says 'videtur a Gregoropulo exaratus'; the name of the scribe does not seem to occur in the MS. A clearly written MS. in a hand similar to that of M (of the same century). Page 13¾ X 9½ in.: writing 9 x 5½ in. Another hand has underlined in red ink passages where there are clerical errors and has corrected the text to that of A. This MS. was not collated throughout, as it appeared certain from an examination of a few passages that it was a copy of A (see below).


F, CODEX BURNEIENSIS. British Museum. Burney MS. 34, saec. xv. chart. 645 pagg.


Same contents as A, viz.

p. 1.    Aristeas.

21.      Theodoret to Hypatius.

22.      Passages from Gregory of Nyssa's book on the six days of creation.

25.      Catena on the Octateuch.

643.    πόσαι παραδόσεις κ.τ.λ.

644.    ποσάκις καὶ ποτε ἐπορθήθησαν οἱ ἐξ Ἰσραήλ.

644.    Evagrius Scitensis on the ten names of God.

645.    Three chronological notes.

645.    On the works of God in the six days.


L, CODEX VATICANUS. Rome. Vat. Gr. 746, pt. i., saec. xv. (partim saec. xi.—xii.?) membr. 251 foll.


fol. 1.      Aristeas.

      12.    Theodoret to Hypatius.

      13.    Catena on Genesis and Exodus.


The portion of the MS. containing the Catena is certainly old (eleventh or twelfth century) and possibly a copy of H or of an ancestor of H. There are the same illustrations of O.T. history as in H, better preserved but not so beautifully painted. The writing too is rougher, not so neat as in H, but in the same style. The Aristeas (together with the letter to Hypatius and the first page of the Catena) is supplied by a much later hand on white shiny unruled parchment, the Catena being on a browner parchment, and the letters there hanging from ruled lines. The Aristeas is written in a single column: size of page 53913 x 11 in., of writing 11¾ x 8¾ in., the number of lines in a page varying from 21 to 43. It is written apparently in two different hands; pp. 1—3 are written rather diffusely; from εἰσὶ δὲ πρώτης φυλῆς p. 528. 10) the writing becomes more compact and neat, with more lines in a page: with the words τὰ συμβαίνοντα τοῖς φίλοις (p. 565. 14.) the diffuse writing comes in again. The beginning of the Aristeas is lost; the MS. begins with -ματων ω βασιλευ (p. 521. 24.). It ends with ριστεας ιλοκρατει (sic). This ending marks a peculiarity of the MS.; the rubricator has omitted to fill in the initial capital letters, hence we find αι for και, ρος for προς, αμβανειν for λαμβανειν, etc.


HKA. It is clear from their general agreement in readings that these MSS. form one group. Notice the omissions which they have in common:


(1)    p. 564. 1. προς τουτ—ποιησεσιν επιτελοι (50 letters) om HKA(DFL) ins GIM and B group.

(2)    p. 566. 10. εστιν επιτελεια—διατηρεις της (53 letters) om HKA(DFL) ins GIM and B group.

(3)    p. 559. 19. καθως υπο—διοικειται κατα (51 letters) om HKA(DFL)GIM ins B group.


From the first two of these omissions it appears that HKA must be derived from an original (γ) which omitted these lines, an ancestor of γ having probably had lines of the length of 50 letters; from the evidence of GIM we deduce that this group, while connected with the HKA group, is not derived from γ. H and A are more closely connected than H and K; notice 551. 18 αναπτω (σιν sup lin) H αναπτω A; 562. 20 απαν H (τ suprascr Hcorr) απαν A.


ADFL. That these MSS. form a united group within the HKA group is shown by their almost universal agreement. Notice e.g. the readings 536. 1 χρωμενοι ADFL (συγχρωμενοι cett.), 537. 4 εισεληλυθεναι ADFL (εληλυθεναι cett.), 547. 3 ευλογιας ADFL (λογιας cett.), 569. 21 επαυεπαυσατο (sic) ADFL, and the omissions which they have in common:


539. 27. ουτος δε εξεισιν—Αζωτιων χωραν } om ADFL.
550. 21. γαρ ων ανθρωπος—συνεστρωσε δε παντα
554. 8. προς ευφροπυνην—ελυθη τη δε


That D is a direct transcript of A is proved by its omitting exactly a line of A, so that on p. 558. 9 it reads μεταδορημενα (sic) σοι διαμενη, where the lines in A are divided thus: μεταδο|τικος ων και μεγαλομερης ουδεποτ αν αρολιποι δοξης ινα δε τα προει|ρημενα σοι διαμενη. Moreover, certain marginal notes in A, which are there almost illegible, have been copied by D, where they are all clear: e.g. on 553. 25 ὃ καὶ Ἀλέξανδρος εἶπεν ἐρωτηθεὶς πῶς ἐν ὀλίγῳ 540μεγάλα κατώρθωσεν, ὅτι, φησίν, οὐδέποτε πράγματα ἐπιβαλὼν ἠμελήθη. At 541. 11 συμβουλευοντω of A (the stroke over the ω being very faint) has become συμβουλευοντα in D. That F is a direct transcript of A is proved by its repeating a line of A twice over, reading at 550. 16 α μεν ετι και νυν εκαστον αποτελειν· ην γαρ ουτω διατεταγμενον υπο του βασιλεως α μεν ετι και νυν ορας· οσαι γαρ κ.τ.λ. The lines in A are arranged thus: εκελευσε την ετοιμασιαν εις | εκαστον αποτελειν· ην γαρ ουτω διατεταγμενον υπο του βασιλεως α μεν ετι και νυν | ορας· οσαι γαρ κ.τ.λ. Lastly, that L is a direct transcript of A is made practically certain10181018It should be noted, however, that in 572. 20 L reads ποιητικως with HK as against A. by 529. 21, where L omits the words συνιδειν πραγματων—λκαλλονην εκελευσε which form exactly a line in A. Just below (530. 1) L negligently inserts in the text (where it is quite unsuitable) after του χρυσου a gloss which occurs in the margin of A, and which is quoted in the apparatus criticus.

These cases appear to put the parentage of these three MSS. beyond a doubt, and their evidence has therefore not been recorded in the apparatus. The few deviations from their parent MS. which they exhibit may be neglected.


The group GIM(Q).

This group presents few substantial variants from the HKA text. It differs chiefly from that text in matters of orthography, the frequent use of itacisms, etc. Its retention of two lines which are omitted by HKA (see above) proves that it is not derived from the immediate parent of those MSS., while its omission of another line in common with HKA is proof that both groups go back to a common ancestor rather higher up in the line.


G, CODEX VENETUS. Venice. Bibl. Marciana, Gr. 534, saec. xi. (circa, Zanetti's catalogue) membr. 296 foll.

fol. 1.           Aristeas.

6vo.       Theodoret to Hypatius.

7.           Catena on the Octateuch.

296.       πόσαι παραδόσεις εἰσὶ τῆς θείας γραφῆς.


Size of page 12¼ x 9½ in., of writing 9¾ x 7 in. It is written in minuscules hanging from ruled lines in one column containing 67 closely packed and closely written lines, the whole of the Aristeas being compressed into 5¼ leaves. The Aristeas with the Theodoret seems to have been tacked on to the MS. later, as there is a second numbering of pages (α, β, γ, etc.) beginning on fol. 7, but it is by the same hand as that which wrote, at any rate, the first few lines of the Catena; the text of the Septuagint appears to have been the work of several hands. The Aristeas is very much stained and blotted, especially the first leaf, which has been in parts rewritten, but in places the writing is utterly illegible. In the Venice Catalogue it is placed first in an 'Appendix Graecorum Codicum ex legato Jacobi Contareni, Jo. Bapt. 541Recanati Aliorumque'; a note in the catalogue adds 'catenam hanc in Bibliotheca Julii Justiniani D. M. Procuratoris vidit Montfauconius et descripsit in Diario Italico10191019See Montfaucon, Diar. Ital. (Paris, 1702), 433 ff., where a list of the MSS. in Justinian's library is given, including a Catena on the Octateuch of the eleventh century. This is apparently the MS. referred to in the Venice Catalogue; but Montfaucon does not appear to mention that it contained Aristeas..'


I, CODEX PALATINUS. Rome. Bibl. Vatic. Pal. Gr. 203, saec. xi. membr. 304 foll.


fol. 1.            Aristeas.

22.            Theodoret to Hypatius.

23vo.        Catena on Genesis and Exodus.

304vo.      ends in the middle of Exodus. At the end is written 'deest unum et alterum folium.'


It is written in double columns, the words hanging from ruled lines the size of page being 14¼ x 10½ in., of writing 11½ x 3½ in. The Aristeas and the Catena are by the same hand. The bookplate (apparently common to all the Palatine collection) has the words 'Sum de bibliotheca, quam Heidelberga capta spolium fecit et P. M. Gregorio XV trophaeum misit Maximilianus utriusque Bavariae Dux etc. S. R. I. Archidapifer et Princeps Elector, anno Christi MDCXXIII.'


M, CODEX OTTOBONIANUS. Rome. Bibl. Vatic. Ottobon. Gr. 32, saec. xv. chart. 70 foll.


fol. 1—14. Παλλαδίου περὶ τῶν τῆς Ἰνδίας ἐθνῶν καὶ τῶν Βραγμάνων.
      15,16 blank
fol. 17—27 τοῦ φιλοπόνου Ἰωάννου εἰς τὸ ἐπίλοιπον τῆς φυσικῆς ἀκροάσεως.
      28. blank.
      29—44. τοῦ φιλοσοφωτάτου καὶ ῥητορικωτάτου Κϋρου Θεοδωρούτου προδρόμου.
      45—70vo. Ἀριστέας Φιλοκράτῃ.


Size of page 14½ x 9½ in., of writing 9¼ x 5 in.; the writing is in single column, bounded by two vertical lines, but no horizontal lines are visible. The contents are all written by the same neat hand in which the tall τ is the chief characteristic; the Aristeas sheets are rather broader than the rest. On the first leaf is written a list of the contents and the name of a former owner of the MS.: 'Anonymi Geographia, Philosophia anonym., Palladius de rebus et moribus Indicis, Aristeas. Ex codicibus Ioannis Angeli Ducis ab Altaemps10201020The library of Colonna was bought by Jean Ange duc d’Altemps in 1611; in 1689 part of the collection was transferred to the Ottobonian palace. See Batiffol, La Vaticane de Paul III. à Paul V. (Paris, 1890), pp. 57—59..'



GIM agree in almost all cases, including omissions such as 528. 10 om ασφαλως GIM, mistakes such as 529. 14 καταθηκουσας GIM (καθηκ. cett.), 534. 1 μεγαλοις GIM (μεγαλοι cett.), 552. 26 δυναμενων GIM (δυναμεων cett.), and peculiarities of spelling and vocalization. They almost always insert ν ἐφελκυστικόν before consonants, write iota adscript, interchange ο and ω (προτευουσα, πασχωμεν [= πασχομεν], μεταφερον [= -ων]) and ιand η (φιλικοος, δαψηλως, τινικαυτα, προδιλως), and use itacisms such as βουλεσθε for βουλεσθαι, αιρειν for εριν.

It appears that G and I are copied from one and the same MS.; their contemporary date and a few cases where they are at variance (e.g. 520. 12 η παιδεια αυτη G, παιδειας διαγωγη I) make it improbable that either is a transcript of the other.

M is undoubtedly a direct copy of I. With the exception of some slight corrections or blunders on the part of M, they are in entire agreement. Notice e.g. 531. 5 προς την χρησιν την τραπεζαν IM (την τραπ. προς την χρ. cett.), 540.7 μετα IM (μεταλλα cett:), 541. 3 γεγραπται IM (γεγραφεναι cett.), 543. 25 βροτων IM (βρωτων cett.), 571. 24 γραφης IM (μεταγραφης cett.). At 573. 21 M omits the words και τα ακολουθα παντα, which form exactly a line in the double-column MS. I. The readings of M have therefore not been recorded in the apparatus.


We may mention here:


Q, CODEX REGIUS. Paris. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 950, saec. xiv. bombycinus, 576 pagg.


This MS. contains a very miscellaneous collection of fragments beginning with (p. 1) an anonymous fragment on the resurrection, (p. 2) a fragment of Athanasius on the heresy of Paul of Samosata, and including (p. 111) a fragment on the ten feasts of the Jews, and (p. 217) an anonymous work on the measurement of the earth. On p. 341 occur the letters of Abgarus and Christ, on p. 343 a fragment of Photius, 'de termino vitae et de Spiritus Sancti processione,' on pp. 351—371 the fragments of Aristeas, followed on p. 371 by the treatise already included περὶ τῶν δέκα ἐορτῶν (here given at greater length), and other fragments which need not be enumerated. The Aristeas fragments are not a sixth part of the letter; they are (p. 351) 520. 15 inc. κατασταθεις επι της—521. 9 υποχειρια ποιουμενος, and (p. 353) 529. 24 inc. δυο πηχεων το μηκος—537. 21 προκαθημενου προς θεωριαν. They are introduced by the heading επιστολης Αριστεως προς Φιλοκρατην εκφρασις. χρυσης τραπεζης ην εποιησεν ο βασιλευς Πτωλομαιος και απεστειλεν εις Ιερουσαλημ προς τον τοτε αρχιερεα Ελεαζαρον. Omont's catalogue merely calls the fragments 'De Ptolemaeo rege et lege mosaica'; the folio catalogue of 1740 more correctly describes them as 'fragmenta ex Aristea.'

There are 24 lines in a page; the writing is rough and untidy with thick strokes, and very rough red initial capitals. Some of its readings and spellings connect it with the GIM group e.g. 532. 28 (λιαν for λειαν), 534. 8 αναστασιν (for ανατασιν), 535. 4 σμιξιν (for σμηξιν), but its text bears a closer relation to that of the otherwise solitary Codex Monacensis. Its evidence has not been recorded in this edition.



The group TBCPSZ.


We now come to a group which presents considerable variations from those which we have considered. The readings of this group are at first sight attractive and have the appearance of representing a purer text. A closer examination will however, show that a certain amount of revision must have gone on here, not only in some common ancestor of the group, but also in the individual members of it. We find that various members of the group have sometimes corrected the text in different ways, that even where they are consistent in their readings, they seldom have the support of Eusebius, who has introduced other slight alterations of his own into the text, and again we find that in places the reading of the HKA and GI groups, which the B text has rejected, is corroborated by the usage of Alexandrian papyri which are contemporary or nearly contemporary with the pseudo-Aristeas. While, then, in some places it is possible that the B text has retained or has successfully restored the right reading, the text of this group is usually to be regarded with suspicion, as an ingenious attempt to remove the obscurities of a Greek which had become unintelligible. The group is here spoken of as the B group, because the MS. B is that on which Schmidt's text was based, and it is also the MS. which exhibits the greatest number of variants; but a far older member of the group and one which exhibits the Aristeas text entire has now come to light, namely the Florence MS. T, which we will describe first.


T, CODEX LAURENTIANUS. Florence. Bibl. Mediceo-Laurent. Acquisti 44.


According to the Catalogue of Rostagno the date of the Aristeas, Pentateuch and Catena is the tenth century, of Joshua and the remaining books about the thirteenth. It seems doubtful whether the former part is earlier than the eleventh century. The material is parchment: number of leaves 384: size of page 14½ x 12 in. There are quires of 8 leaves with signatures of the (?) thirteenth century. To the end of the Pentateuch the writing is in single column with 46 lines in a page; in the latter part there are two columns with 65 lines to a page. The writing hangs from ruled lines.


fol. 1. Aristeas to Philocrates.

11vo. Introduction to O.T. books: τὰ ἐν τῇ παρούσῃ βίβλῳ ἀναγεγραμμένα τεύχη . . . . . . διατί ἕκαστον τούτων οὕτως καλεῖται καὶ ἀπὸ μέρους τί περιέχει ἕκαστον . . .

14vo.  Theodoret, εἰς τὰ ἄπορα τῆς θείας γραφῆς.

15.      Pentateuch with Catena.

311.    Joshua—Chronicles, Esdras 1—3, Esther, Judith, Maccabees 1—4, Tobit (to 3. 15).



It contains the inscription, 'Codicem a Liguria advectum proponente A. M. Bandinio comparavit Ferdinandus III magnus dux Etruriae et Bibl. Laurent. donavit die 3 Aug. MDCCXCVIII.'


B, CODEX REGIUS. Paris. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 129, saec. xiii. bombycinus, 539 foll.



fol. 2 Aristeas inc. (522. 12) ανων υποτιθεμενος λογον.
     15. Catena on the Octateuch.


It is written in double columns: size of page 13¼ x 9¼ in., of writing 10½ x 3¼ in.; the writing is enclosed by vertical lines, but there are no horizontal lines except at the top and bottom of the page. The Aristeas is in bad condition, being torn and stained. There are a few plain red initial letters. The writing is rather sloping, and fairly large and clear. Schmidt says, 'This MS. has been subsequently collated most carefully with its original by the rubricator, when the writer himself had already performed this duty quite conscientiously. Hence all corrections of the rubricator and of the first hand are equivalent to the authority of the original MS.' A later hand has added a few headings in the margin (περὶ τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, etc.). The Catena is apparently by the same hand as the Aristeas, but has more ornamentation and red initials. In some places part of a leaf has been cut or torn away.


C, CODEX REGIUS. Paris. Bibl. Nat. Gr. 5, saec, xiii.—xiv. chart. et bombyc., 402 foll.


fol. 1.     Aristeas fragments.
14.     Anonymous introduction to the books of the O.T. (inc. το μεν ουω βιβλιον).
45.     Catena on the Octateuch.


The Aristeas is written in a single column: the size of page being 12½ x 9 in., of writing varying from 9 x 7 in. to 7¾ x 5¾ in. The Aristeas and the introduction to O.T. are by the same hand, a large square upright writing with thick strokes and red initials in the margin: the page is unruled. In the latter part of the MS., foll. 45—60 are written in double columns in a rougher hand; at fol. 61 the first hand begins again, and the remainder is sometimes in single, sometimes in double columns, text and commentary coming alternately and the order of books being confused (Judges, Joshua, Deuteronomy, Numbers). The fragments of Aristeas contained are less than half the letter; they are 528. 17 Σαββαταιος—532. 17 δυο μεν ησαν τη, 553. 10 ο δε ειπεν ευχομενος—563. 16 ηρωτα, 567. 7 -σιλευ κροτω δε—end.


P, CODEX BARBERINUS. Rome. Bibl. Barberina Gr. IV. 56, saec.? xiii. membr., 229 foll.


fol. 1. Pseudo-Athanasian Synopsis (frag.).
    inc. πασα γραφη ημων των Χριστιανων θεοπνευστος εστι, at end λειπει.
  2. Fragment of Aristeas inc. (538. 10) πινοησαντες· της γαρ χωρας expl. (568. 1) περιβαλλοντας το ζην· ως (note λειπει).
10. Catena on the Octateuch.
224. Catena on the Apocalypse inc. δηλει (sic) τον της συντελειας καιρον.


It is written in double columns in a very minute upright and neat hand, with about 60 lines packed into a column, the words hanging from ruled lines; the size of page is 9¾ x 7 in., of writing 8¼ x 3¾ in. At the bottom of fol. 1 is written 'Carob Strozzae Thomae filii 1635.'


S, CODEX VATICANUS. Rome. Vat. Gr. 1668, saec. ? xiii. membr., 358 foll.


It is written in single column, with 29 lines in a page, the size of page being 12¼ x 8½ in., and the writing hanging from ruled lines; there are quires of 8 leaves.


fol. 1—37vo. Aristeas (complete).
  37vo.—358 Catena on Genesis.


On the recto of the first leaf is the note 'Emptus ex libris illmi Lelii Ruini epi Balneoregien. 1622.'


This MS. escaped notice when the other Roman MSS. were examined and has consequently not been collated in full; but some collations of selected passages kindly made by Mr N. McLean, Fellow of Christ's College, are sufficient to show that it belongs to this group.


Z, CODEX TURICENSIS. Zurich. Stadtbibliothek C. 11 (169 Omont's catalogue), saec. xiii. bombyc., 736 pagg.10211021The greater part of this MS. was collated from the original. The collation of the last few pages has been made from photographs, for which the writer is indebted to the courtesy of the Librarian, Dr Hermann Escher.


p. 1. Aristeas.

p. 1 (= 21). Catena on the Octateuch.

p. 669. Ιερωνυμου επιστολη προς Δεξτρον επαρχον πραιτωρῑ απο ρωμαικ εις ελληνικα μεταβληθεισα ('S. Hieronymi liber de viris illustribus a Sophronio graece versus,' Omont). It is written in single column, the size of page being 13½ x 9 in., and the writing hangs from ruled lines. The Aristeas portion is badly preserved; a hole passes through the twenty pages which contain it, causing lacunae. There are several marginal readings, some of which are obviously conjectural (e.g. ισως φιλοφρονησεσι, ισως μαλλον). The Jerome is not by the hand which has written the remainder of the MS.


That the above MSS. form a single group appears primarily from their omissions. The following lines are omitted by all10221022S omits (1), (3), and (7). It has not been tested for the other passages. the 546members of the group which are extant at the several passages referred to.


(1) 523. 9.     εγκρατεις εγενοντο—και την χωραν (78 letters) om BTZ.

(2) 529. 11.   βουλεσθαι και—δισταζειν δε (51 letters) om BCTZ.

(3) 532. 17.   απο της βασεως—τορεια και (48 letters) om BTZ.

(4) 533. 13.   θεσιν ηθελεν—ως αν τις (41 letters) om BTZ.

(5) 547. 12.   και κακοποιουσι—τροφην αλλα (48 letters) om BPTZ.

(6) 548. 13.   -τας ημερα θυσιαζειν—οι προσφερον- (46 1etters) om BPTZ.

(7) 552. 13.   γενοιο—τη περι σεαυτον (47 letters) om BPTZ.

(8) 564. 25.   θεου δε—τοις αξιοις (45 letters) om BPTZ.

(9) 566. 24.   ησαν γαρ ικανοι πρεσβεις (20 letters) om BPTZ.


Also at 533. 4 the words προς την της αληθειας—τεθεντων (48 letters) are omitted by TtxtSZ (C and P do not contain the passage); but they are inserted in the margin of T, apparently by the first hand, and are found in B. These omissions show that an ancestor of the group was written by a careless scribe who dropped several lines (averaging 48 1etters) of his archetype. From the last instance quoted, and from numerous other passages, it appears that B and T bear a specially close relationship; indeed it is conceivable that B is a copy of T, but in that case it has introduced several corrections of its own, not found in the parent MS.10231023The divergence of the two subdivisions of the B group is seen in the difficult passage (531. 6) where BT omit the words ωστε και την των κυματων θεσιν, while CSZ retain them and add πεποιησθαι καθ ο αν μερος.

As to the value of the readings of this group, it appears that the 'singular' readings of B are in nearly all cases due to a correction of the text. Instances of these are 522. 18 the insertion of εν λογω before βραχει, 525. 12 εαν ουν φανηταισοι εννομον B (εαν ουν φανηται cett., εαν ουν φαινηται Eus.). The phrases εαν φαινηται σοι and εαν φαινηται are abundantly attested by the Alexandrian papyri in petitions of subordinates to high officials, but the insertion of εννομον receives no support. Again we have 526. 13 χαριστηριον B (χαριστικον cett. Eus.), 527. 18 ανδρες των τετιμημενων παρα σοι Ανδρεας και Αριστεας B (Ανδρεασ των τετ. παρα σοι και Αρ. cett.: B has misunderstood the genitive), 529. 18 οιδα γαρ ως δαψιλους της υλης αυτοις ουσης B (ετι γαρ επι τα της ουσης cett. Eus.), 538. 1 σχημα, B (χυμα = 'size' cett.: B has removed a characteristic word of Aristeas, cf. 521. 17, 567. 11). The readings of BT, where the other members of the group are opposed to them, are also generally to be rejected: e.g. 525. 25 νομισματα BT (νομισματος cett. Eus. Jos.), 526. 25 δυναμενους BT (δυνατους cett. Eus.): they have occasionally corrected the order of words, 551. 19 διατελοιη εχων BT (εχ. διατ. cett.), 547569. 5 των ιδιωτων τινες BT (τιωεσ τ. ιδ. cett.). Where however the members of the group unite as against the HKA and GI groups, the reading gains in probability, and more especially is this the case where the group has the support of either Eusebius or the GI group. Thus in 526. 2 ανασπαστους BTZGI Eus¹ (αναρπαστους HKA), 526. 6 προοντας BcorrTZ Eus. (παροντας cett.), 547. 7 ins και ποτων PZGI Eus¹ (om cett.), the B reading is right. But to some places the whole group has been affected by correction. Thus in 519. 11 TSZ (the only extant members at this point) read εαυτους προεδωκαμεν εις τον προειρημενον ανδρα πρεσβειαν, but the reading εαυτους επεδωκαμεν κ.τ.λ. of the other MSS. is corroborated by the usage of the papyri of the second century B.C. (Paris Pap. 49 καταπεπειραμαι . . . εις παν το σοι χρησιμον εμαυτον επιδιδοναι, Par. Pap. 63 col. 6 προθυμως εαυτους επιδιδοντων, Grenfell, Erotic Fragment, etc. XLII. 6 εις τε παν το παρανγελλομενον | προθυμ]ως εαυτους επιδεδωκοτων).

A few instances where correction is seen at work may be quoted. At 550. 10 HKAGI read παντα δυναμιν ειπε παρεσται καθηκοντως, οις συγχρησησθε (-σεσθε), καμοι μεθ υμων. Παντα δυναμιν, which is clearly wrong, is corrected by BTZ to πασαν δυναμιν, by P to παντ(= πανθ)α δυναιμην; παρεσται is further corrected by BT to παρεσταναι and καμοι to καμε, corrections which give a grammatical but hardly an intelligible sentence. The slight alteration of δ᾿ υμιν for δυναμιν (a correction of Mendelssohn, which had also suggested itself to the present writer) restores sense to the passage, and the B text is seen to be due to conjecture. Similarly at 555. 1 B and P have corrected in different ways the characteristic word απεφηνατο ('answer'), B reading ειπε and P απεκρινατο: a little before (553. 21) B reads αποκρινεσθαι where the remaining MSS. have αποφαινεσθαι. At 527. 1 BTZ read αρχισωματοφυλακα (B at first wrote σωματοφυλακα: των αρχισωματοφυλακων cett.), thus removing an idiomatic use of the genitive, frequently attested by the papyri. The above instances will afford sufficient proof that a good deal of recension has gone on in this group. At the same time it is clear that in other places it has escaped the corruptions which the other groups have undergone, though it is sometimes difficult to say whether a reading of this group is primitive or due to correction. The agreement of the group with Eusebius (where his evidence exists) is, as was said, sometimes a test; but in the majority of cases the B text is not corroborated by Eusebius, and in a few instances where one or two members only of the group agree with Eusebius, this appears to be due to a fortuitous coincidence in emendation. Such a passage is 527. 4 γραφε BT Eus. (γραφων cett.). In this instance Eusebius altered the form of the sentence by reading γραφε and inserting γαρ after κεχαρισμενος; in BT the change to γραφε was due to κεχαρισμενος εση having become 548corrupted to και χαρισαμενος εση; the participle γραφων is corroborated by Josephus (ἐπιστέλλων περὶ ὧν ἄν θέλῃς ποιήσεις κεχαρισμένα).


The extracts of Eusebius, consisting of about a quarter of the letter, are contained in the eighth and ninth books of the Praeparatio Evangelica (VIII. 2—5, 9, IX. 38). The Eusebian MSS. which are to be followed in these books are, as Heikel10241024De Praeparationis Evangelicae Eusebii edendae ratiοne (Helsingforsiae, 1888). has shown, I (Codex Venetus Marcianus 341) and O (Codex Bononiensis 3643). The extracts from Aristeas in these two MSS. have been collated for the present text, anti their evidence is quoted as Eus¹ and Eus². For the other Eusebian MSS. the text of Gaisford (Oxford, 1843) has been used; O was unknown to Gaisford, and his collation of I was incomplete. The Venice MS. by its general agreement with the Aristeas MSS. shows itself to be far the best text of Eusebius; the Bologna MS. or one of its ancestors has been very carelessly copied, and there are numerous omissions which did not always appear worthy of record in the apparatus to the present text. With regard to the value of the Eusebian text, it may be well to quote the verdict of Freudenthal10251025Hellenistische Studien, Alexander Polyhistor (Breslau, 1875) p. 7 f. See also the note on p. 203 on Eusebius and Pseudo-Aristeas. on the general character of his extracts from earlier writers. He says, 'Eusebius shows himself more reliable in the text (Wortlaute) of his originals than in the names and writings of the excerpted authors. It is true that he occasionally allows himself small alterations in the text, most frequently in the opening words of the extracts. He often abbreviates his originals, drops repetitions (beseitigt Doppelglieder), omits individual words and whole sentences, and no small number of inaccuracies of other kinds are also to be met with. On the other hand it is only in extremely rare cases that he inserts additions of his own, and the cases in which we meet with fundamental alterations of the text are still more uncommon.' This estimate is quite borne out by the Eusebian extracts from Aristeas, where there are frequent instances of slighter alterations and omissions, which the paraphrase of Josephus often helps us to detect. Among omissions we have 520. 16 ει δυνατον om Eus. (ins Jos. Ar. codd.), 525. 10 και πολιτευομενων οm Eus. (ins Ar. codd. Jos. however omits the words in his paraphrase, and they may be a gloss). Of alterations we may note out of numerous instances 525. 24 where the strange word ρισκοφυλακας is altered to χρηματοφυλακας (Jos. paraphrases τοὺς φύλακας τῶν κιβωτῶν, ἐν αἷς ἐτύγχανον οἱ λίθοι), 526. 17 επικρινων κατεστησα (a bad correction, because 549the royal plural used throughout the rest of the letter of Ptolemy is dropped), 572. 9 ακριβως (ηκριβωμενως Ar. codd.), 573. 2 κατα δε την αιτηησιν (κατα δε την ανεσιν Jos. Ar. codd.). In a few cases a rather longer addition is made; at 544. 22 before των συγγενικων the words ουτε των υποβεβηκοτων ουτε are possibly, and at 546. 14 the words επι των πολεων και οικησεων δια το σκεπαζεσθαι are certainly to be attributed to the hand of Eusebius; just before the last passage (546. 11) συντηρουντας τας αρχας και μεσοτητας και τλευτας is an unintelligible10261026Wendland suggests that the words are an interpolation from Plato, Legg. 715 E, ὁ μὲν δὴ θεός, ὥσπερ καὶ ὁ παλαιὸς λόγος, ἀρχήν τε καὶ τελευτὴν καὶ μέσα τῶν ὄντων ἀπάντων ἔχων κ.τ.λ. alteration of the correct reading και συντηπουντος. Among passages where Eusebius is certainly right may be mentioned 526. 2 ανασπαστους Eus¹ GIBTZ (αναρπαστους cett.), 542. 10 ενδεικτικως (ενδικως Ar. codd.), 547. 7 the insertion of και ποτων Eus¹ GIPZ, and lastly 541. 21. The readings in this passage are instructive:


(1) προς τα δι μων επιζητηθεντα Eus.

(2) προς δι ημων επιζητηθεντα GIMZ*.

(3) προς ημων επιζητηθεντα HKADFL.

(4) προς δε ημων επιζητηθεντων BPTZcorr.


Eusebius preserves the true text; the τα then dropped out, and while in the HKA group the reading was still further corrupted, in the B group sense was restored to the passage by a conjectural emendation. Passages where Eusebius and Josephus unite as against the Aristeas MSS. are 524. 18 αναγραφης (αντιγραφης Ar.), 525. 5 τετυχηκε (τετευχε Ar.), 526. 8 omission of the negative, ? 528. 7 the perfect απεσταλκαμεν (Jos. has the perfect πεπομφαμεν: απεστειλαμεν Ar.), 572. 20 ποιητων Jos. Eus. B (ποιητικων or ποιητικως Ar. cett.); in such cases the patristic reading should generally be followed. On the whole the Eusebian evidence is of the greatest importance; it tends to show that the GI group, especially if supported by any member of the B group, is nearest to the primitive text.

Lastly, with regard to the evidence of Josephus, he gives in the twelfth book of the Jewish Antiquities a paraphrase of about two-fifths of the letter, omitting the central portion, namely the visit to Palestine, the discourse with Eleazar and the seventy-two questions and answers. He has taken the trouble to reshape nearly every sentence, while retaining many of the characteristic words of Aristeas. Under the circumstances it is not always possible to reconstruct his text, and at some of the most difficult passages his evidence is uncertain; in some cases the text was certainly unintelligible to him. He is however often useful in enabling us to detect the alterations which have been introduced into the text 550by Eusebius or the B group. It is needless to add that Niese's text of Josephus has been followed.

Beside the MSS. of Aristeas above mentioned the following are known to the present writer, which he has not had the opportunity of collating: Codex Monacensis 9 (saec. xi.), quoted in Wendland's edition, Codex Atheniensis 389 (circa saec. xv., chart., foll. 328, Aristeas and Catena)10271027Κατάλογος τῶν χειρογράφων τῆς ἐθν. βιβλ. τῆς Ἐλλάδος ὑπὸ Ἰωάννου Σακκελίωνος καὶ Ἀλκ. Ι. Σακκελίωνος (Athens, 1892). , Codex Scorialensis Σ. 1. 6 (dated 1586, and written χειρὶ Νικολάου Τουρριανοῦ καὶ βασιλικοῦ ἀντιγραφέως, Aristeas and Catena on Genesis and Exodus)10281028E. Miller, Catalogue des Manuscrits Grecs de la Bib1. de l’Éscurial (Paris, 1848). An examination of a few pages of this MS. which the Rev. P. M. Barnard, B.D., kindly made for the writer in 1894 shows that it agrees most often with the GI group. Passages where it stands alone are 548. 15 om του, 549. 8 ποσεων, 549. 21 μια φωνη (for υπο μ. φ.), 550. 14 προσκελευσαμενος, 572. 20 om των ιστορικων, 573. 19 κυλινδιον..

The collations here given are not absolutely complete. Itacisms and other orthographical details have not been generally recorded, neither have all the slight omissions of the Codex O of Eusebius; but apart from these no substantial variants have, it is hoped, been omitted. The dates of the various correctors' hands have not been accurately ascertained; the symbol B¹, T¹ has been used to denote a correction probably by the first hand or a hand nearly contemporary with the date of the MSS. B and T. Words are enclosed within daggers † † where the MS. reading is left in the text, although possibly corrupt: angular brackets denote emendations of, or insertions introduced into, the reading of the MSS.; square brackets [ ] signify that words found in the MSS. are probably to be omitted.

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