Synesius, Letter 153

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.

This letter, written in 409, was sent to a close friend of Synesius, living in Constantinople. Pylaemenes also was the recipient of letters 61, 88, 152, 74, 100, 101, 103, 102, 129, 131, 134, 71, 150, 151, and 48.

Letter 153 is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald.

Ancient text

Letter 153: A Polite Reproach

[1] To Pylaemenes

A letter comes to us from you every year, as though the seasons themselves brought it with them, and this fruit is perchance sweeter to me than that which the circling months and the husbandmen bring to maturity.

[2] You would do me an injustice if you deprived me of the joy I find in this. Change your mind, then, and send me, this year at least, an abundance of letters.