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The word "letter" is the title is also inappropriate because Aristeas doesn't fit the format of ancient letters.
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The basic story tells how the Egyptian king Ptolemy II had a Greek translation of the Pentateuch made for the Library of Alexandria.
Josephus, as we shall see, gives us reason to believe that the text we have is interpolated but, as per Bob Kraft's article assigned for this course, the place to start is not with the putative original edition, but rather with the extant MS tradition, from which we must work backwards in the hope of ending up somewhere in the vicinity of an original text.
In 1968 Sidney Jellicoe knew of 23 MSS dating from the 11th century CE on (i.e., all MS evidence for Aristeas is medieval or later).
I am not aware of any new MSS recovered since then .
The most thorough discussion of the MS tradition was published by Thackery in 1914: he divides the available MSS into two groups whose archetype would take us back perhaps into the Byzantine period.