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Synesius

(c. 370—413)


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(c.370–c.413),

Bp. of Ptolemais. A native of Cyrene, he was descended from an ancient family. In 403/4 he married a Christian. Having won the confidence of his fellow-countrymen by a successful embassy to the Imperial court, c.410 he was chosen Bp. of Ptolemais in Cyrenaica. After some hesitation, he was consecrated, without engaging to give up either his wife or his philosophical doctrines. Before he became a bishop he wrote a number of philosophical treatises, none of which betrays anything distinctively Christian. He also wrote nine hymns; the tenth in the collection, the well-known ‘Lord Jesus, think on me’, is the work of a copyist. His letters are a major source for the study of provincial Church life.

Subjects: Christianity.


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