Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other

Synesius of Cyrene


Mosaic depicting an angel. Museum of Ptolemais. Photo Marco Prins.
Mosaic depicting an angel. Museum of Ptolemais
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 14 is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald. It was written in 412. Cf. Letter 6.

Letter 14: A Horse Thief

To Anysius

Thus do sons defend their fathers! I thank you for this. Carnas came to me as a suppliant, and God Himself made the prayer more sacred. How can a priest overlook the arrest of a man, on his own mandate too, during a day of fasting? Whoever, therefore, brought him, did not surrender the fellow, but was deprived of him by force.

Wherefore, if on account of this violence I am to be punished, I have come to the point of showing humanity to those who have wronged me, and having wronged the very people who have done no wrong.

Note 1:
Tyrants of Syracuse on Sicily.
Online 2007
Revision: 20 August 2007
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other