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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 97, written in 403, is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald.

Letter 97: Greetings

To Olympius

On reading the letter wherein you spoke to me of your illness, I was at first alarmed. At last I was reassured, for after first alarming me about a danger you had incurred, you ended by announcing the good news of your recovery. As to the things you asked me to send or bring to you, all that are possible will certainly be sent or brought. But which of them are possible, and which impossible, it is needless to say, for the gift will declare itself.

Live on in health and happiness, and acceptance with God, friend thrice dear! May we soon be together again, and rejoice in one another! Do not set out before we meet. But if Heaven decide otherwise, at least remember me, in spite of separation. You will meet with many better people than Synesius, but you will never find any others who love you more.
Online 2007
Revision: 15 August 2007
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