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

Letter 102: A Recommendation

To Pylaemenes

I ask your friendship and protection for my dear Sosenas, born and brought up in learning, who is not meeting with the rewards from fortune which should follow learning. He throws the blame on his city's unfortunate condition, and some line of reasoning is persuading him that it is possible to change one's fortune with one's domicile. He is going to the Imperial city [Constantinople], persuaded as he is that where a king is, there Fortune is also, and will perchance discover him.

Accomplish for him whatever he desires, if it is in your power, for you are worthy to have power, and to assist to good fortune those that are in need. If Sosenas has any need of your friends, you will introduce him to them yourself.
Online 2007
Revision: 14 August 2007
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