Synesius, Letter 117

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 117, written in 403, was directed to one Heliodorus, who probably was an orator or a courtier of the prefect of Egypt. Synesius dedicated letters 17 and 25 to him. Letter 117 speaks for itself and is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald.

Ancient text

Letter 117: A Recommendation

[1] To Heliodorus

Rumor says that you have great influence with the present prefect of Egypt, and in this it speaks the truth. You are worthy of such an influence, for you use your power honorably. 

[2] Here then is an excellent opportunity for displaying your kindness as well as your power. My dear Eusebius stands in need of both. Hear what he has to say, and you will learn that I am recommending to you one who is also an orator.