Selections from the Works of Synesius of Cyrene
Platonist and Bishop
Letters of Synesius  Essays and Hymns

   The following works have been taken from the two-volume set of Letters;  Essays and Hymns of Synesius translated by A. Fitzgerald. They were published by Oxford University Press in 1926 and 1930.
    Synesius was a close friend to Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria. Theophilus was the uncle and predecessor of  St. Cyril of Alexandria. He was also a student under the Platonist, Hypatia of Alexandria, whom we know was recognized to have a great intellect and ability at philosophy.

Letters:

Letter 1   (To Nicander, about Synesius's "Eulogy of Baldness")
Letter 2   (To Joannes: fear your enemies)
Letter 3   (To his Brother)
Letter 5   (To the Elders, against followers of Eunomius)
Letter 6   (To Anysius)
Letter 7   (To Theodorus and his Sister)
Letter 8   (Tto his Brother)
Letter 9   (To Theophilus, praising his Paschal Letters)
Letter 10 (Written to Hypatia, longing for contact with her)
Letter 11 (To the Elders, on his elevation to the Bishopric)
Letter 12 (To Cyril; encouraging him back into the Church)
Letter 13 (To Peter the Elder; Sending the Paschal letters to Peter)
Letter 14 (To Anysius)
Letter 15 (Written to Hypatia, asking for the help in the production of a hydroscope).
Letter 16 (Written to Hypatia, expressing his grief for the death of his sons).
Letter 17 (To Heliodorus, praising him).
Letter 18 (To his brother, about a senator).
Letter 19 (To Herodes and Martyrius)
Letter 20 (To Diogenes, asking him to make sure Theodorus' stay is not irksome)
Letter 21 (To the Governor, asking for respect to Theodorus' kinsman)
Letter 22 (To Anastasius, congratulating him)
Letter 23 (To Diogenes)
Letter 24 (To Simplicius)
Letter 25 (To Heliodorus, asking for a letter in return)
Letter 26 (To Troilus)
Letter 27 (Written to Constans, asking Constans to help the cousin of a dead philosopher).
Letter 28 (To Simplicius)
Letter 29 (To Pentadius the Augustalis, telling him how to prevent an influx of suppliants)
Letter 30 (Written to Pentadius to prevent him from committing an injustice)
Letter 31 (Written to and as a praise to Aurelian)
Letter 32 (To his Brother)
Letter 33 (Fragment of a letter to Hypatia)
Letter 34 (To Aurelian)
Letter 35-36 (Written to his brother).
Letter 37 (To Anysius, saying Joannes is ill)
Letter 38 (To Aurelian, asking for help for a relative)
Letter 39 (To his Brother)
Letter 40 (To Uranius, Synesius has given him a gift of a horse)
Letter 41 (To a friend, telling the friend Synesius hired a good boat for his use).
Letter 42 (To Cledonius, asking for his help in court for a relative)
Letter 43 (To Anastasius)
Letter 44 (Lengthy letter to Joannes telling him how to defend himself against charges of murder or how to act if he committed the murder).
Letter 45 (Very short letter.Synesius asks his friend Olympius to help defend the Church).
Letter 46 (To Anastasius)
Letter 47 (To Theotimus; asking to help bring a criminal to justice and defend one who is trying to have the criminal convicted properly)
Letter 48 (To Pylaemenes)
Letter 49 (To Theotimus)
Letters 50-52 (To his Brother)
Letters 53-56 (To his Brother)
Letter 57 (Against Andronicus)
Letter 58 (To the Bishops, Excommunicating Andronicus)
Letter 59 (To Anysius)
Letter 60 (To Auxentius; desiring to end hostilities and return to friendship)
Letter 61 (To Pylaemenes)
Letter 62 (To the General)
Letters 63-4 (Two small letters of Synesius to Joannes).
Letter 65 (To his Brother)
Letter 66 (Letter to Theophilus, on the fate of Alexander who sided with St. John Chrysostom)
Letters 68-9 (Two letters to Theophilus; one to receive a messenger, the other for prayers)
Letter 70 (Letter to Proclus)
Letter 71 (Letter to Pylaemenes)
Letter 72 (To the Bishops, about Andronicus)
Letter 73 (To Troilus, asking for help for Cyrene so it won't be destroyed so quickly)
Letter 74 (to Pylaemenes, asking for a critique of a work Synesius wrote)
Letter 75 (to Nicander, asking for his help for Synesius's brother-in-law)
Letter 76.(To Theophilus, needing his agreement on the ordination of Antonius)
Letters 77-78 (To Anysius)
Letter 80 (To Theophilus)
Letter 81 (Letter to Hypatia, asking for her influence to help some of his friends)
Letter 82 (To his Brother)
Letter 83 (To Chryses)
Letters 84-87 (To his Brother)
Letter 88 (To Pylaemenes)
Letter 89 (To his Brother)
Letter 90 (Letter to Theophilus, asking for his decision on Andronicus).
Letter 91 (To Troilus)
Letter 92 (To his Brother)
Letter 93 (To Hesychius)
Letter 94 (To Anysius)
Letter 96 (Synesius, full of sorrow for being made a Bishop, writes to his friend Olympius to tell Olympius of his grief).
Letters 97-99 (To Olympius)
Letters 100-101 (To Pylaemenes)
Letters 102-103 (To Pylaemenes)
Letter 105 (To his Brother, a long letter describing his personal beliefs and hesitancy of becoming a bishop)
Letters 106-108 (To his Brother)
Letters 109-110 (To his Brother)
Letters 111-112 (To Troilus)
Letters 113-114 (To his Brother)
Letter 115 (To the Doctor Theodorus)
Letter 116 (To Auxentius)
Letter 117 (To Heliodorus)
Letter 118 (To Troilus)
Letter 119 (To Trypho)
Letter 120 (To his brother).
Letter 121 (Synesius to Athanasius, telling Athanasius he would have Athnasius condemned to death if he had the power to do so).
Letter 122 (To his brother, on the valiant deeds of Faustus)
Letter 123 (To Troilus)
Letter 124 (Synesius to Hypatia, bemoaning the fate of his city).
Letter 125 (To his Brother)
Letter 126 (To Asclepiodotus)
Letter 127 (To his Brother)
Letter 128 (Synesius to a Bishop who had been put into exile because he did not become Arian)
Letter 129 (To Pylaemenes)
Letter 130 (To Simplicius)
Letter 131 (Synesius asks Pylaemenes to help Diogenes who is being blackmailed).
Letter 132 (To his Brother)
Letter 133 (To Olympius)
Letter 134 (To Pyaemenes)
Letters 135-136 (Early letters to his brother, but later in the collection)
Letter 137 (To Herculian, praising their friendship together and the study of philosophy)
Letter 138 (To Herculian, an interesting observation on letter writting)
Letter 139 (To Herculian)
Letter 140 (To Herculian)
Letters 141-2 (To Herculian)
Letter 143 (To Herculian, asking him to keep some elements of philosophy from the mob).
Letter 147 (To Joannes, congratulating him in becoming a monk)
Letter 150 (To Pylaemenes, wishhing him to befriend the philosopher Alexander)
Letter 151 (To Pylaemenes, wishing him to continue his advances in philosophy)
Letters 152-3 (To Pylaemenes)
Letter 154 (Synesius to Hypatia, asking for counsel).
Letters 155-156 (To Domitian the Jurist)
Letters 157-158 (To Chryso-)
Letter 159 (To an unknown correspondent)

Essays and Hymns:

Against Andronicus (Though put into the collection of letters, it was an address to a meeting of Bishops)
Constitutio
Homily I (Short excerpt of a homily of Synesius; only a fragment remains)
Homily II (Two fragments of Synesius joined together as a "homily" in the collected works)
Hymn I
Hymn II
Hymn III
Hymn IV
Hymn V
Hymn VI
Hymn VII
Hymn VIII
Hymn IX
Hymn X
On Dreams

 

 

Back to the Christian Platonism Page