Synesius, Letter 020

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.

Letters 18, 19, 20, and 21 are recommendations for an important man from Alexandria named Ammonius. They are offered here in the translation by A. Fitzgerald. The four letters were written in 404.

Letter 20: A recommendation

[1] To Diogenesnote

The blessed Theodorusnote was during his lifetime a popular host to the citizens of Pentapolis. He particularly attached my own parents to himself by the great kindness he showed them in every possible way, and by his delightful conversation and charm.

[2] Let us recall the grace of his many delightful traits by our actions in favor of his kinsman, Ammonius. I have paid my meed of gratitude. And what was the duty of the absent but to comment this man to such as near him at the moment? It is your duty to see that his stay among you should not be irksome to him.