Synesius, Letter 068

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.

The addressee, Theophilus,was patriarch of Alexandria from 384/385 to 412. He is generally considered a Christian "hardliner" and was responsible for the destruction of the Serapeum in 392. In 409, he appointed Synesius bishop. Other letters to Theophilus are 9, 66, 67, 9076, 69, and 80.

Letter 68 was written in 411 and is offered here in the translation of A. Fitzgerald.

Ancient text

Letter 68: A Recommendation

[1] To Theophilus

The man to whom I have given this letter is being dispatched to carry out a piece of business which piety does not allow me to specify; but that he has cultivated virtue from his youth upwards, this is just for me to say, and it is the truth itself. You will honor him therefore as a good man.

[2] In regard to the accusation he has made, let that fulfill its own destiny, for you surely would never meddle with a justifiable homicide.