Vatican Library, ms. gr. 747/Photo by Kurt Weizmann

King Ptolemy, of Egypt, seated on his throne, right, orders his scribe to write a letter to the high priest Eleazar, in Jerusalem. In his letter, Ptolemy asks Eleazar to send to Alexandria a delegation of Jewish “elders of exemplary lives” who can translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek. This miniature illustrating the Letter of Aristeas and the miniature on page 37 appear in the opening to a Byzantine Octateuch (the first eight books of the Old Testament) dating to the 11th century.