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Kingship Ideology: A Neglected Element In Aristeas Charter Myth For Alexandrian Judaism

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Chapter Summary

The Letter of Aristeas is familiar to modern readers because of its status as the earliest source describing the translation of the Torah into Greek. Kingship was an important development in the history and thought of the Hellenistic world, and this chapter examines the portrayal of three kings from that period as presented in the Letter in order to investigate its ideological roots in Graeco-Macedonian, Jewish and Egyptian kingship. The way in which these portraits have been constructed contributes to the view that this text is best understood as a 'charter myth' for Alexandrian Judaism in which the author produces a multifaceted narrative that, in addition to exalting the Greek translation of the scriptures, explains and justifies the Jewish presence in Egypt.

Keywords: Alexandrian Judaism; Charter Myth; Kingship



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