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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 115, offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald, was directed to Synesius' brother-in-law and is too short to understand.

Letter 115: On Want

To the Doctor Theodorus

Scarcity of food is a good forced upon us. Someone else might even scoff at the idea, but that is not permitted to you, the admirer of Hippocrates, who defined want as the mother of health.

Online 2007
Revision: 4 November 2007
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