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ARISTEAS, the presumed author of this book, was an officer in the service of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and of Jewish extraction. This Ptolemy desired Eleazar, the High Priest of the Jews, to send him some persons properly qualified to translate the Books of the Jewish Law out of Hebrew into Greek.
Eleazar selected seventy-two for this purpose, from which circumstance this Version obtained the name of the Septuagint. This book of Aristeas gives the history of this Version ; but it is fabulous, and not the work of Aristeas, a heathen, and an officer of Ptolemy, but of an Hellenistic Jew of Alexandria.
That it was an imposture, there can be no doubt, from the numerous anachronisms by which it is distinguished. In sanction of this opinion, Archbishop Usher thus expresses himself in his Historia Dogmatica Controversiæ inter Orthodoxos et Pontificios de Scripturis et Sacris Vernaculis. P. 317.
“ Non illubens equidem concedo Aristeæ historiam ab Impostore quodam Judæo longe post Philadelphi tempora confectam esse, ante Philonis tamen et Josephi tempora a quibus laudatur emissam constat."
Consult Simon Histoire Critique du Vieux Testament. L. 2. C. 2.
“ Il est certain, que pour peu qu'on fasse de reflexion sur l'histoire d'Aristée en la lisant avec application, on sera convaincu que quelque Jaif Helleniste a écrit ce livre sous le nom d'Aristée en faveur de sa nation. Les miracles qui y sont rapportés, et la maniere même dont tout le livre est écrit, representent parfaitement l'esprit des Juifs," &c. &c.
See also Dodwell de Veter. Græcorum Romanorumque Cyclis.
Grammatica Græca, &c. Mediolani, per Di
onysium Paravisinum. Anno 1476. 4to.
THIS is one of the scarcest books in the world, and is the first Greek book that was printed.
See it imperfectly described by De Bure, No. 2217, who had only seen one copy, and that wanted the letter of Demetrius Cretensis, which is prefixed; which letter De Bure, in more than one place, describes as Epitre Lascaris.
See also Maittaire Annal. Typograph. Tom. I.
Latini jam ex omni penè facultate et scientia libri in cruditorum manus per plurimas passim Europæ partes Typographicæ artis auxilio venerant. Græca autem lingua non aded frequentabatur; nec à prima artis origine usque ad annum 1480, ullus liber mihi occurrit integer eo sermone excusus præter Lascaris Grammaticam, ann. 1476.”
The beautiful copy of this book, which is in the Cracherode Collection, was bequeathed him as a legacy by the learned Mr. Crofts, as appears
by the following note in Mr. Cracherode's hand writing
“ Legatum ex Testamento amicissimi Viri. Thomæ Crofts, M. A. . Anno MDCCLXXXI.”
This copy is perfect, and has the letter of Demetrius Cretensis both in Greek and Latin, which De Bure had not seen,
Dr. Askew's Lascar of this date was purchased for the Royal library for 21l. 10s. and this was very cheap. It would now produce at least 50 pounds.
There was no copy, either in the Pinelli or the Valliere Collections.
It is also not unworthy of remark, that an edition of Lascar was the first book published at the Aldine Press. It appeared in 1494.
IGNATII SANCTI MARTYRIS
AN edition of the Epistles of Ignatius was published by Dr. Aldrich, of Christ Church, at the Clarendon Press in 1708.
in the copy of this work which is in the Cracherode Collection, we find the following letter in Dr. Aldrich's hand writing.
Excellentissimo atq. Illustrissimo Dom. D. Henrico Newton Serenissimæ Britanniarum Réginæ ad Celsissimum Etruriæ Principem Le
Excellentissime atq. Illustrissime Domine,
Qui inter ardua Reipublicæ negotia bonis unà literis inservire satagis; hisce S. Ignatii reliquijs vacare ne recuses, Quæ tua potissimum ope in publicum jam prodeunt. Pro Tuis, Vir Illustrissime, in rem literariam beneficijs, gratias per me agit Bibliotheca Bodleiana; Quæ inter pretiosa Veterum Scriptorum, monumenta MSM. a. Te donatum gratissimè conservat. Si quid Illa habeat, Tuis Studiis