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Late Antique Letter CollectionsA Critical Introduction and Reference Guide$
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Cristiana Sogno, Bradley K. Storin, and Edward J. Watts

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281448

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281448.001.0001

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The Letter Collection of Synesius of Cyrene

The Letter Collection of Synesius of Cyrene

(p.205) Thirteen The Letter Collection of Synesius of Cyrene
Late Antique Letter Collections

David Maldonado Rivera

University of California Press

With its 156 letters Synesius’s collection is modest in size when compared with other late antique collections, and there is no doubt that the extant letters are only a fraction of the letters that Synesius wrote in the course of his lifetime. As usual, the letters are not ordered chronologically, but key proposographical dossiers are easily identified. Among the forty recipients addressed in the collection, pride of place goes to Synesius’s brother Evoptius, who received a total of forty-one. An anonymous compiler – perhaps his brother Evoptius or another figure close to Synesius – seems to have organized and published Synesius’s letters along with his other works during the second half of the fifth century or early in the sixth century. The traditional stance on Synesius’s epistolary collection characterizes it as a chaotic assemblage, but the existence of thematic currents such as legal concerns, the responsibilities of the nobility, and epistolary style) can be traced.

Keywords:   David Maldonado, Synesius of Cyrene, Evoptius, Hypatia, Thematic nuclei

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