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A native of Sinopé in Asia Minor. He first applied himself to the study of mathematics and architecture; and the emperor Hadrian, according to Saint Epiphanius, made him a superintendent of public buildings, and gave him charge of the restoration and enlargement of Jerusalem, under its new name of Aelia Capitolina. This commission afforded him an opportunity of becoming acquainted with Christianity, which he subsequently embraced, and received the rite of baptism. Becoming afterwards addicted, however, to judicial astrology, he was excommunicated, and then attached himself to Judaism. Aquila is rendered famous by his Greek version of the Old Testament, which he published A.D. 138. It is the first that was made after the Septuagint translation, and appears to have been executed with great care. Aquila's method was to translate word for word, and to express, as far as this could conveniently be done, even the etymological meaning of terms. Although his version was undertaken with the view of opposing and superseding that of the Septuagint, of which last the churches made use after the example of the apostles, still the Fathers found it in general so exact that they often, in preference, drew their texts from it. St. Jerome, who had at first censured it, afterwards praised its exactness. The Hellenistic Jews preferred it also for the use of their synagogues Some fragments of it are preserved in the Hexapla of Origen. Aquila joined to a second edition of his version some Jewish traditions which he had obtained from the rabbi Akiba, his preceptor. This edition was still more favourably received by the Hellenistic Jews than the previous one had been. The emperor Justinian, however, interdicted the reading of it, on the ground that it only made the Jews more stubborn in error. See Clarke, Succession of Sacred Lit. i. 44.


Romānus. A Latin rhetorician of the third century A.D., author of a work De Figuris. Text by Halm (1863).

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