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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 149, written in 408, is offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald.

Letter 149: Presents Received

To Olympius

Although absent, you live always present in our memory, for not even if we greatly desired it, could we forget the sweetness of your disposition and your most sincere character, brother admirable in all things. Nothing can be more precious to me than my recollection of you, nothing except the prospect of embracing your revered head again. May God grant this happiness, and may we see you and hear the sweet sound of your voice!

You delighted us also by what you sent: we received them all. But you have saddened us more by the thought of the living comrade of whom we are deprived, although not by death. May the moment of good fortune come some day, and may God bring me this good fortune.
Online 2007
Revision: 17 August 2007
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