Synesius, Letter 025

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 25, written in 403, was directed to one Heliodorus, who probably was an orator or a courtier of the prefect of Egypt. Synesius also dedicated letters 17 and 117 to him.

Letter 25 speaks for itself and is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald.

Letter 25: A Reproach

To Heliodorus

[1] The power of love's spell grows stronger in me with my advancing years. Now it is the same with you, but if your innumerable occupations are such an obstacle in its way that you leave no time duly to honor now and again with a letter those to whom a letter is due; if you cannot snatch a moment from your affairs of state to write such a letter, at all events let me know that such is the case.

[2] If, on the other hand, you admit that a suspicion of your forgetfulness is justifiable, right the matter at once by your repentance, and restore yourself to us once more.