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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.

The text of Letters 18, 19, 
20, and 21, recommendations for an important man from Alexandria, are offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald. They were written in 404.

Letter 19: A Recommendation

To Herodes and Martyrius

In writing a letter to you in common, I consider that I am in no way at fault. Rather would it have been a just reproach to me if I had divided in my letters those who are united in my heart. Accept all my best wishes, my dear friends, and to the man who is delivering the letter to you, who has journeyed on the public highway to convey gold to you, extend the warmest possible welcome, for he has been recommended to me by the entire senate.[1] I should like to be of some use to him. In fact, I do not know that others should care more for us and for the things we may undertake than you do.

Note 1:
The town council of Alexandria is meant.
Online 2007
Revision: 15 August 2007
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