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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 43, written in 402, is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald. Cf. Letter 102.

Letter 43: A Recommendation

To Anastasius

Some God or argument or demon has persuaded Sosenas that something is inherent in certain localities which attract or repels the blessings of the Divinity, for, not succeeding in our part of the world, he has entirely cut himself off from his own ancestral home.

He departs, for he hopes, that in journeying to Thrace
E'en there at last his lot may find some saving grace.

If by chance you are in the good graces of the goddess, use all your influence with her in behalf of this young man. May she afford him some opportunity of enriching himself! It is very easy for her if she wishes. The best proof of this is that she turned over to others the property of Nonnus, the father of Sosenas, without any difficulty. Let her, then, make Sosenas the heir of someone else's father. In this way justice will come out of injustice.also when you are about to return. For then they will be more favorable to you.
Online 2007
Revision: 14 August 2007
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