Throughout the Classical Period in the Mediterranean, the Greeks had a profound effect upon many societies that resided in the regions under their control. Many nations who aligned themselves with the Greeks assimilated their societal interactions to those that were more Greek-like. This absorbance of the Greek way of life came to be known as Hellenistic Culture. One civilization that was influenced by the ruling Hellenists was that of the descendants of the Israelites. These people practiced Judaism but based on the transcription of some stories in their bible, called the Septuagint, we can see how Hellenistic culture and the Jews interacted.
By viewing the Book of Esther obtained from the Greek Septuagint, we are able to understand Hellenistic influences on Jewish life in the classical period. What the Greek additions to the story do for us is give us greater detail for the story but also as to how the Hellenist Jews viewed themselves. Addition A gives us some background information about Mordecai. It is very characteristic of the Greeks to give us background about characters instead of diving straight into the story. Another aspect of Greek culture that is added to the Book of Esther is the story going into much greatest detail, specifically in the two letters mentioned in the story, as well as Mordecai and Esther’s prayers to god. If performed in a play-like form, which many Greek dramas were, the addition of the actual letters sent and the prayers would’ve allowed for monologues, which are popular methods of storytelling in Greek theater.
Since this text exists in the format it does, we can assume that its intended audience was that of Hellenistic culture, as well as Jewish background. Greeks like things that are Greek, therefore to integrate their society into a more Greek-like way, they must also coalesce their stories to become more Greek. Because of this Greek translation, the people in this society must have already... [continues]
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