The Letter of Aristeas embellishes its account of Ptolemy’s gift of a table and bowls to the Jerusalem Temple with what Greek rhetoric calls ekphrasis, a graphic description of a thing or person intended to bring the subject vividly to the eyes of the reader. What is the purpose of this embellishment?Professor Wright has recently published a commentary on the Letter of Aristeas. And there's more on his work here. Some other PaleoJudaica posts on the Letter are here, here, and here. And an old essay of mine on it is here.
The story in the Letter of Aristeas is fictional, but Ptolemy II was a real Egyptian king. For more on him and his family, see here, here, here, and here.
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