The Septuagint and the Cultural World of the Translators

Programme

The Septuagint—a collection of Jewish writings dating roughly from the last three centuries BCE and encompassing both works translated from Hebrew and Aramaic and works originally composed in Greek—is an important corpus. It is the form in which the Hebrew scriptures first came to the attention of the wider world and a fundamental document to understand Hellenistic Judaism. It eventually became the “Old Testament” of the early church.

The translation of the Hebrew Scriptures involved momentous changes. Translation can be viewed as a process of cultural exchange: with the creation of the Septuagint, new concepts and ideas entered the Hellenistic world; but at the same time, the Greek language and culture transformed the content of Israel’s writing into something different.
The research unit aims to recover processes of cultural exchange reflected in the Septuagint. The Septuagint’s words, expressions, and stylistic usages are like so many windows on to the thought world of the translators, seeking to situate themselves as Jews in a Hellenistic context, struggling to preserve what they perceived to be unique in their Jewish heritage while also accepting what they came to value in Greek though and culture.

Keywords:

Septuagint, Greek Language, Papyrology, Translation Studies

Chairs

Jan Joosten
University of Oxford

Romina Vergari
University of Florence

Anna Angelini
University of Lausanne

Member Area

Warsaw 2019 Call for Papers

The research unit aims to recover processes of cultural exchange reflected in the Septuagint. The Septuagint’s words, expressions, and stylistic usages are like so many windows on to the thought world of the translators, seeking to situate themselves as Jews in a Hellenistic context, struggling to preserve what they perceived to be unique in their Jewish heritage while also accepting what they came to value in Greek though and culture. This year, one session of invited speakers will focus on ritual vocabulary and cultic realia; a second open session will host papers on any aspect concerning linguistic usages in the Septuagint in a wider cultural perspective. Items of vocabulary, which are particularly promising materials, will be especially welcome.

The Annual Conference is
in Warsaw 11-14 August 2019.
The call for papers is open
until the end of February.