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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.

Letter 34, written in 398, is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald. It appears to be a warning for the Gothic Crisis that is behind The Egyptian Tale.

Letter 34: A Warning

To Aurelian

Not as yet does Providence care for the Romans, but it will care for them some day. They [1] will not lead a quiet life in their houses for ever, they who are themselves able to save the state. As to the orator, our old housemate, the power you possess at present suffices for what he needs. May he enjoy this protection by himself now, and later also in common with all nations!


Note 1:
Perhaps the Goths of Gainas.
Online 2007
Revision: 12 August 2007
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