Anna Angelini

The Reception and Idealization of the Torah in the Letter of Aristeas: The Case of the Dietary Laws

Volume 9 () / Issue 4, pp. 435-447 (13)
Published 25.02.2021

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In the Letter of Aristea, the dietary laws are presented as a paradigm for the entire Torah. However, the summary of the dietary laws provided by the author of the Letter for the most does not quote literally the biblical texts, but shows a considerable degree of interpretation of these laws. This paper examines the relationship between biblical traditions and Greek cultural referents in the presentation of the dietary and sacrificial laws of the Letter, against the background of other texts of Second Temple period which show a reception of these laws (e. g. Philo, Josephus, Qumran texts). It argues that, while the representation of the dietary laws in the Letter attests to a considerable authority of this section of the Torah from a symbolic point of view, they offer still little evidence as for the practice and the contents of a dietary halacha.

Anna Angelini Born 1979; 2003 MA in Hebrew Language at the University of Milan; 2008 PhD in Classics at the University of Siena; since 2012 Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Geneva and Lausanne; since 2020 Post-doctoral researcher at the University of Zürich.