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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 111 is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald. It is written in 409.

Letter 111: On Declamation

To Troilus

You ask me how many lines Dioscorus declaims every day? Fifty. He renders them without a mistake, without repeating himself, or stopping for a moment to recall them. Once he has commenced he goes forward without pausing, and silence marks the end of his declamation.
Online 2007
Revision: 17 August 2007
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