Et sapienter et eloquenter
Studies on Rhetorical and Stylistic Features of the Septuagint
1. Edition 2011
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments -
As the ancient Greek version of the Old Testament the Septuagint is probably the first great translation project of Greco-Roman antiquity. Together with the Septuagint text the religion and culture of ancient Judaism came to the fore of a Greek speaking audience, which did not have any access to the holy scriptures of the Jews in Hebrew. That translation project also manifested a transfer of religious, social, and anthropological categories and concepts of Semitic origin to another cultural world of language and science that itself was shaped by Hellenism.
Over the last years the Septuagint has gradually edged closer into the interest of Biblical scholars and into the centre of historical and philological research. In the course of this main attention has not only been paid to further particulars of its origination in Alexandria but also on various linguistic specifics and distinctive features with regards to content of the Greek Bible. The question, however, which has hardly been studied so far, is to what extent the Greek translation of the Bible consists of stylistic and rhetorical elements that are not present in the Hebrew source text. Did the translators made use of their rhetoric and stylistic skills to give their translations a distinctive ornatus? Can we, according to Augustine, rightly claim that not only the authors of the Biblical texts but also the translators knew to formulate et eloquenter et sapienter, i.e. in an eloquent and wise manner? This issue, neglected in current research, is taken up in this collected volume. Seven scholars investigate into stylistic and rhetorical elements present in various books of the Bible (e.g., Psalms, Amos, and Solomon’s Book of Wisdom) and establish a field of work that deserves to receive more attention in the future.
Contributors are Eberhard Bons, Jennifer M. Dines, Katrin Hauspie, Jan Joosten, Thomas J. Kraus, A. Léonas, and K. Usener.