SeptuagintSeptuagint - After Alexander the Great conquered the Middle East, the region became Hellenized; that is, its residents adopted Greek culture as a way of life. Part of that Hellenization included speaking the Greek language. Greek became so common that it was referred to as koine (κοινή), which means "common tongue". As a result, most of the Jews in the region lost the ability to speak Hebrew, the language of their forefathers, and spoke only Greek. The construction of the Library of Alexandria offered Jewish scholars a unique opportunity to make the Hebrew Bible accessible to non-Hebrew speaking Jews. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (as well as his successors) made every effort to obtain every book known to man. The Hebrew Bible was not rare, but because so few people could read Hebrew, not many people could understand it. Ptolemy II intended to change that by translating the Hebrew Bible into Greek. The resulting work is known as the Septuagint. The name comes from the number of scholars gathered to do the translating. Septuaginta is Latin (yes I see the irony) for "70" and the symbol for the Septuagint is the Roman numeral "LXX". In reality, 72 scholars translated the Hebrew Bible into Greek, rounding the name down apparently for simplification. The entire Hebrew Bible is believed to have taken close to a century to translate, with the Pentateuch (first five books) being translated during the time of Ptolemy II.