Although out of Judea there was no feeling of reverence for these Hebrew
Scriptures as books of divine authority, there was still a strong
interest felt in them as very entertaining and curious works of history,
by all the Greek and Roman scholars who frequented Alexandria to study
at the Museum. Copies were accordingly made of the Septuagint
translation, and were taken to other countries; and there, in process of
time, copies of the copies were made, until at length the work became
extensively circulated throughout the whole learned world. When,
finally, Christianity became extended over the Roman empire, the priests
and monks looked with even a stronger interest than the ancient scholars
had felt upon this early translation of so important a portion of the
sacred Scriptures. They made new copies for abbeys, monasteries, and
colleges; and when, at length, the art of printing was discovered, this
work was one of the first on which the magic power of typography was
tried. The original manuscript made by the scribes of the seventy-two,
and all the early transcripts which were made from it, have long since
been lost or destroyed; but, instead of them, we have now hundreds of
thousands of copies in compact printed volumes, scattered among the
public and private libraries of Christendom. In fact, now, after the
lapse of two thousand years, a copy of Ptolemy's Septuagint may be
obtained of any considerable bookseller in any country of the civilized
world; and though it required a national embassage, and an expenditure,
if the accounts are true, of more than a million of dollars, originally
to obtain it, it may be procured without difficulty now by two days'
wages of an ordinary laborer.

[...]
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