Synesius, Letter 022

Synesius of Cyrene (c.370-c.413) was a Neo-Platonic philosopher who became bishop of Ptolemais in the Cyrenaica. He left behind a small corpus of texts that offer much information about daily life in Late Antiquity, and about the christianization of the Roman world.

Letter 22, written in 406, is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald. The addressee had just been appointed as the teacher of the children of the emperor Arcadius.

Ancient text

Letter 22: Congratulations

[1] To Anastasiusnote

I am rejoiced, but for what reason, think you? From the very bottom of my heart I am rejoiced when I hear that these golden children have by the word of the Emperor become legally your own.

[2] Most of all do I rejoice because of my love for you. Whom should I love with more justice? Then again, I abhor those wicked creatures whose hopes, fostered in dark and secret places, this good fortune of the children has destroyed.