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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10328
Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 1.3-1.8


nanIII To his friend Filimatius [467 CE] INDICT me now by the laws against intrigue, degrade me from the Senate for keeping patient eyes on the promotion to which, after all, birth gives me claim, since my own sire and my wife's, my grandsire and his sire too before him were urban and praetorian prefects, or held high rank in court and army. [2] If it comes to that, consider our friend Gaudentius, who but now of tribune's rank, towers in the dignity of the Vicariate above the unenterprising sloth of our good citizens. Of course our young nobles grumble at his passing over their heads; as for him, his one sentiment is satisfaction. And they now respect a man scorned till yesterday; amazed at such a sudden rise, they look up to one as magistrate on whom as neighbour they looked down. He for his part sets his crier to stun the ears of his drowsy detractors; though envy goads them to hostility they always find a friendly bench reserved for them in court. [3] You too had best make good the loss of your old office by the membership of the prefect's council now offered you; if you fail to do so, if you sit without the advantage which such a position confers, you will be set down as one only fit to represent a Vicarius. Farewell.


nanIV To his friend Gaudentius [467 CE] CONGRATULATIONS, most honoured friend; the rods of office are yours by merit. To win your dignities you did not parade your mother's income, or the largess of your ancestors, your wife's jewels, or your paternal inheritance. In place of all this, it was your obvious sincerity, your proven zeal, your admitted social charm which won you favour in the imperial household. O thrice and four times happy man, whose rise means joy to friends, gall to enemies, and glory to your own posterity, to say nothing of the example given to the active and alert, and the spur applied to the listless and the slow. The man who tries to emulate you, be his spirit what it will, may haply owe the last success to his own exertions, but will certainly owe his start to your example. [2] I fancy I see among the envious, with all deference to better citizens be it said, the old miserable arrogance, the old scorn of service affected by men too slack to serve, men lost to all ambition, who crown their cups with sophistries about the charm of a free life out of office, their motive a base indolence, and not the love of the ideal which they pretend. . . .


nanV To his friend Heronius [467 CE] YOUR letter finds me at Rome. You are solicitous to know whether the affairs which have brought me so far go forward as we hoped, what route I took, and how I fared on it, what rivers celebrated in song I saw, what towns famed for their fair sites, what mountains reputed as the haunt of gods, what glorious battlefields; for it is your delight to check the descriptions you have read by the more accurate relation of the eye-witness. I am rejoiced that you inquire about my doings, because I know that your interest springs from the heart. Well then, though little accidents there were, I will begin, under kind Providence, with things of good event; it was the wont of our ancestors, as you know, to develop even a tale of mishap from fortunate beginnings. [2] As bearer of the imperial letter, I was able to avail myself of the public post on leaving our beloved Lyons [Rhodusianiae]; my path lay amid the homes of kinsmen and acquaintances; and I lost less time from scarcity of horses than from multiplicity of friends, so closely did every one cling about me, shouting each against the other best wishes for a happy journey and safe return. In this way I drew near the Alps, which I ascended easily and without delay; formidable precipices rose on either side, but the snow was hollowed into a track, and the way thus smoothed before me.


nanVI To his friend Eutropius [467 CE] I HAVE long wished to write, but feel the impulse more than ever now, when by the Christ's preventing grace, I am actually on the way to Rome. My sole motive, or at least my chief one, is to drag you from the slough of your domestic ease by an appeal to you to enter the imperial service. . . .


nanVII To his friend Vincentius [468 CE] THE case of Arvandus distresses me, nor do I conceal my distress, for it is our emperor's crowning praise that a condemned prisoner may have friends who need not hide their friendship. I was more intimate with this man than it was safe to be with one so light and so unstable, witness the odium lately kindled against me on his account, the flame of which has scorched me for this lapse from prudence. [2] But since I had given my friendship, honour bound me fast, though he on his side has no steadfastness at all; I say this because it is the truth and not to strike him when he is down. For he despised friendly advice and made himself throughout the sport of fortune; the marvel to me is, not that he fell at last, but that he ever stood so long. How often he would boast of weathering adversity, when we, with a less superficial sense of things, deplored the sure disaster of his rashness, unable to call happy any man who only sometimes and not always deserves the name.


nanVIII To his friend Candidianus [468 CE] You congratulate me on my prolonged stay at Rome, though I note the touch of irony, and your wit at my expense. You say you are glad your old friend has at last seen the sun, since on the Arar his chances of a good look at it are few and far between. You abuse my misty Lyons, and deplore the days so cloaked by morning fog that the full heat of noon can scarcely unveil them. [2] Now does this nonsense fitly come from a native of that oven of a town Cesena? You have shown your real opinion of your charming and convenient natal soil by leaving it. The midges of Po may pierce your ears; the city frogs may croak and swarm on every side, but you know very well that you are better off in exile at Ravenna than at home. In that marsh of yours the laws of everything are always the wrong way about; the waters stand and the walls fall, the towers float and the ships stick fast, the sick man walks and the doctor lies abed, the baths are chill and the houses blaze, the dead swim and the quick are dry, the powers are asleep and the thieves wide awake, the clergy live by usury and the Syrian chants the Psalms, business men turn soldiers and soldiers business men, old fellows play ball and young fellows hazard, eunuchs take to arms and rough allies to letters. [3] And that is the kind of city you choose to settle in, a place that may boast a territory but little solid ground. Be kinder, therefore, to Transalpines who never provoked you; their climate wins too cheap a triumph if it shines only by comparison with such as yours. Farewell.
NaN


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

1 results
1. Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6-1.7, 1.10-1.11, 4.22, 5.5, 8.3, 9.13 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
burgundians Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 21; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 21
dating' Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 21
dating Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 21
leo (visigothic adviser) Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 21; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 21
majorian Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 21; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 21
pliny, as a model Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 21; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 21
sidonius, praefectus urbis Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 21; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 21
syagrius Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 21; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 21
visigoths Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 21; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 21