Synesius, Letter 112

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.

Born in Side, this man was a well-known rhetorician. Synesius wrote letters 112, 123, 118, 111, 73, 91, and 26, and mentions him in Letter 47.

This letter, written in 399 CE, is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald.

Ancient text

Letter 112: On Praise and Love

[1] To Troilus

Praise and Love cannot be explained by the same motives, and they are not regulated by the same faculties of the soul.

[2] Feeling determines love and hatred, whereas it is by the use of the critical and rational faculties that we praise and blame.