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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10328
Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 4.10-4.12


nanX To his friend [Magnus] Felix [477 CE] IT is many years since I have written to you, my good lord, and this greeting breaks a long silence; I had not the heart to keep up the old frequent correspondence while I was living in banishment from my country, and my spirit was broken by the hard lot of an exile. You ought to have compassion on one who admits his delinquency as I do; for whosoever is brought low should go humbly and not attempt to preserve the same familiar footing as before with those towards whom affection may be less in place than reverence. That is why I have said nothing so long, and why, after the arrival of my son Heliodorus, I could at least acquiesce in your silence, though I could hardly be expected to regard it with satisfaction. [2] You used to say, in jest, that you stood in positive awe of my eloquence. Even were it seriously meant, the ground for that excuse is gone; for as soon as I had finished my volume of Letters, which, though I say it, was a careful piece of work, I reverted to the every-day style in everything else. And indeed my fine style itself is much on the same level; for what is the use of giving finish to phrases which will never see the light? If, however, you are faithful to an old friendship and allow our correspondence once more to follow its former course, I too will return to the old track and be as communicative as ever. Nay more, if Christ will guide my steps and my patron on his return will only sanction my departure, how eagerly will I fly to meet you wherever you may be, and revive by my presence a friendship which my negligent pen has left to languish. Farewell.


nanXI To his friend Petreius [c. 473 CE] I MOURN the loss of your great uncle Claudianus, snatched from us only the other day; it is the loss of our age; perhaps we shall never see his. like again. He was a man of wisdom, prudence and learning; eloquent, and of an active and ingenious mind above all his compatriots and contemporaries. He was a philosopher all his days without prejudice to his faith. It was only by his faith, and by his adoption of ordinary dress, that he dissociated himself from his friends of the Platonic school; for he never let his hair and beard grow long and would make fun of the philosopher's mantle and staff, sometimes with much bitterness. [2] How delightful it used to be when a party of us would visit him just for the pleasure of hearing his opinion! With what freedom from diffidence or pretence would he at once open his whole mind for our common benefit, delighted if some insoluble and thorny point arose to prove the vast resources of his knowledge! If there were many of us, he expected us all, of course, to listen, but nominated a single spokesman, probably the one whom we ourselves should have chosen; then in his methodical way, now addressing one, now another, and giving each his turn, he would bring forth all the treasures of his learning, not without the accompaniment of trained and appropriate gesture. [3] When he had finished, we would put our adverse criticisms in syllogistic form; but nothing was admitted which was not well considered and susceptible of proof, for rash objections he would at once demolish. Most of all we respected him for his tolerance of some men's persistent dullness of apprehension. It amounted almost to an amiable weakness; we could admire his patience, but it was beyond our imitation. Who could shrink from consulting on any recondite point a man who would gladly suffer in argument the stupid questions of the ignorant and the simple?


nanXII To [his kinsmen] Simplicius and Apollinaris [c. 472 CE] THE excitable mind of man is like nothing so much as a wrecking sea; it is lashed to confusion by contrary tidings as if it bred its own rough weather. A few days ago, I and the son whom we both regard as ours were together enjoying the admirable Hecyra of Terence. Seated at his side as he studied, I forgot the cleric in the father; to increase his ardour and incite my docile scholar to a more perfect appreciation of the comic rhythms, I had in my own hands a play with a similar plot, the Epitrepontes of Menander. [2] We were reading, and jesting, and applauding the fine passages — the play charmed him, and he me, we were both equally absorbed, — when all of a sudden a household slave appears, pulling a long face. 'I have just seen outside', he said, 'the reader Constans, back from his errand to the lords Simplicius and Apollinaris. He says that he delivered your letters, but has lost the answers given him to bring back.' [3] No sooner did I hear this, than a storm-cloud of annoyance rose upon the clear sky of my enjoyment; the mischance made me so angry that for several days I was inexorable and forbade the blockhead my presence; I meant to make him sorry for himself unless he restored me the letters all and sundry, to say nothing of yours, which as long as I am a reasonable being I shall always want most because they come least often. [4] However, after a time my anger gradually abated; I sent for him and asked whether, besides the letters, he had been entrusted with a verbal message. He was all a-tremble and ready to grovel at my feet; he stammered in conscious guilt, and could not look me in the face, but he managed to answer: 'Nothing.' The message from which I was to have received so much instruction and delight, had been all consigned to the pages which had been lost. So there is nothing else for it; you must resort to your tablets once more, unfold your parchment, and write it all out anew. I shall bear with such philosophy as I may this unfortunate obstacle to my desires until the hour when these lines reach you, and you learn that yours have never yet reached me. Farewell.


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

7 results
1. Euripides, Hecuba, 1556-1600, 1555 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

2. Euripides, Iphigenia At Aulis, 1556-1600, 1555 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

1555. that you may lead me to the altar of the goddess and sacrifice me, since this is Heaven’s ordice. May good luck be yours for any help that I afford! and may you obtain the victor’s gift and come again to the land of your fathers. So then let none of the Argives lay hands on me
3. Xenophon, The Persian Expedition, 5.3.9 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

5.3.9. After this Clearchus gathered together his own soldiers, those who had come over to him, and any others who wanted to be present, and spoke as follows: Fellow-soldiers, it is clear that the relation of Cyrus to us is precisely the same as ours to him; that is, we are no longer his soldiers, since we decline to follow him, and likewise he is no longer our paymaster. 5.3.9. Here Xenophon built an altar and a temple with the sacred money, and from that time forth he would every year take the tithe of the products of the land in their season and offer sacrifice to the goddess, all the citizens and the men and women of the neighbourhood taking part in the festival. And the goddess would provide for the banqueters barley meal and loaves of bread, wine and sweetmeats, and a portion of the sacrificial victims from the sacred herd as well as of the victims taken in the chase.
4. Quintilian, Institutes of Oratory, 1.6.43-1.6.45 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

1.6.43. Usage remains to be discussed. For it would be almost laughable to prefer the language of the past to that of the present day, and what is ancient speech but ancient usage of speaking? But even here the critical faculty is necessary, and we must make up our minds what we mean by usage. 1.6.44.  If it be defined merely as the practice of the majority, we shall have a very dangerous rule affecting not merely style but life as well, a far more serious matter. For where is so much good to be found that what is right should please the majority? The practices of depilation, of dressing the hair in tiers, or of drinking in excess at the baths, although they may have thrust their way into society, cannot claim the support of usage, since there is something to blame in all of them (although we have usage on our side when we bathe or have our hair cut or take our meals together). So too in speech we must not accept as a rule of language words and phrases that have become a vicious habit with a number of persons. 1.6.45.  To say nothing of the language of the uneducated, we are all of us well aware that whole theatres and the entire crowd of spectators will often commit barbarisms in the cries which they utter as one man. I will therefore define usage in speech as the agreed practice of educated men, just as where our way of life is concerned I should define it as the agreed practice of all good men.
5. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.18.11 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7.18.11. Every year too the people of Patrae celebrate the festival Laphria in honor of their Artemis, and at it they employ a method of sacrifice peculiar to the place. Round the altar in a circle they set up logs of wood still green, each of them sixteen cubits long. On the altar within the circle is placed the driest of their wood. Just before the time of the festival they construct a smooth ascent to the altar, piling earth upon the altar steps.
6. Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 4.11-4.12 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

7. Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, 2.22 (6th cent. CE - 6th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
claudianus mamertus Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 54; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 54; Pollmann and Vessey, Augustine and the Disciplines: From Cassiciacum to Confessions (2007) 94
controversy, values Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 53; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 53
gregory of tours Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 57; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 57
liberal arts or disciplines, personified Pollmann and Vessey, Augustine and the Disciplines: From Cassiciacum to Confessions (2007) 94
martianus capella Pollmann and Vessey, Augustine and the Disciplines: From Cassiciacum to Confessions (2007) 94
maximus of tyre Pollmann and Vessey, Augustine and the Disciplines: From Cassiciacum to Confessions (2007) 94
muses Pollmann and Vessey, Augustine and the Disciplines: From Cassiciacum to Confessions (2007) 94
paideia' Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 57
paideia Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 57
pliny, as a model Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 57; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 57
sidonius, as a source Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 57; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 57
sidonius, episcopacy Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 53, 57; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 53, 57
sidonius, literary style Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 57; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 57
sidonius, persona Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 57; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 57
terence Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 54, 57; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 54, 57
varro, marcus terentius, disciplinarum libri Pollmann and Vessey, Augustine and the Disciplines: From Cassiciacum to Confessions (2007) 94