10 January 2008

E-Scholarship Today

Here's a chance story about how technology assists learning today.

Last week, I became interested in the question of the origin of the Septuagint. The first step in thinking about this: actually to purchase a Septuagint Bible (I've had an electronic version on my hard drive for a while). So I go to Abebooks, purchase a book for a very reasonable sum, and four days later the beautiful 1500 page Zondervan edition arrives in my mailbox in perfect condition.

At the same time I ordered Thackeray's edition of the Letter of Aristeas through Amazon Prime, which arrived yesterday.

When I read Thackeray and had questions about Philo's Greek, this was easy to find through search. The Letter of Aristeas, I discovered, is also online in Greek in the "Christian Classics Ethereal Library".

And then yesterday in my e-mail there arrives: from The Medieval Review, a review of Wasserstein and Wasserstein, The Legend of the Septuagint: From Classical Antiquity to Today (CUP 2006), which clarifies for me the state of the question. (The review seems not to have been posted yet on the Medieval Review's website.)

Now I didn't have to walk more than 20 feet away from my desk at any point in all this. And the time I spent in acquiring resources -- about five minutes.


J. K. Gayle said...


Thanks for your story on how e-easy it is to learn today. Thanks for providing the links (especially to The Letter of Aristeas).

So, on the origin of the Letter and the genesis of the Septuagint, Sylvie Honigman's work, especially The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria A Study in the Narrative of the 'Letter of Aristeas' is the best. I see that David J. Wasserstein, in the book you show us, acknowledges Honigman's help.

Moshe Simon-Shoshan also has an excellent article, "The Tasks of the Translators: The Rabbis, the Septuagint, and the Cultural Politics of Translation," which can be accessed (online with an account) from Prooftexts Volume 27, Number 1, Winter 2007. Or contact the author, who gives his email in comments at this blog post.