Synesius, Letter 042

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 42 is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald. It was written in 411 and directed to someone who is not otherwise known.

Ancient text

Letter 42: A Recommendation

[1] To Cledonius

One of my relatives is suffering an injustice. You are my friend, and it has fallen to your share to hold the court. You are therefore, in a position to satisfy yourself, myself, and at the same time the law of the land.

[2] Accordingly let Asphalius come again into possession of his wine jars in peace, receiving a decision of the court to confirm his father's will. Let not the prosecution impede the immediate hearing of the case, for when should we do justice better than at the moment in which we are especially engaged in the lifting up our hands to God?