Synesius, Letter 135

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 of the letter that is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald, was Synesius' brother, who lived in Ptolemais. About a quarter of the entire correspondence was directed to Euoptius: letters 51 (394), 55, 56, 54, 136, 135, 110 (all 396), the long letter 4 about a shipwreck in 397, 120, 104, 113 (401), 3, 35, 39, 32, 52, 65, 92, 106, 114, 109, 36 (all in 402), 127, 50, 18 (404), 125, 132 (405), 108, 107, 122, 95 (407), 53, 82, 84, 85, 86, 105 (409), 8, 87, 89 (411).

Ancient text

Letter 135: A Recommendation

[1] To his Brother

Poemenius, who will give you this letter, was sent to us by Artabazaces, the man who was recently our governor, to take charge of all the property which he had acquired in these parts. In the performance of this task Poemenius showed himself gentle and considerate.

[2] And yet would any other man have used such an opportunity? No one in Libya groaned under the power of Poemenius during that time, and the best proof of this is the general regret that his departure caused. You will oblige me by giving him a warm reception, and by showing him all the consideration that his rectitude deserves.