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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 4.17

nanXVII To his friend Arbogast [c. 477 CE] YOUR friend Eminentius, honoured lord, has delivered a letter dictated by yourself, admirable in style, and bearing in every line the evidence of three shining virtues. The first is the friendliness which leads you to esteem the lowly talents of one so far away, and so anxious to avoid publicity. The second is the modesty which makes you over-sensitive to blame, but deservedly wins you praise. The third is the gentle humour which makes you in the wittiest way accuse yourself of writing wretched stuff, whereas you have drunk at the well-spring of Roman eloquence, and no draughts from the Moselle can take the taste of Tiber from your mouth. You have your conversation among barbarians, yet you permit no barbarism to pass your lips; in eloquence and valour you equal those ancient generals whose hands could wield the stylus no less skilfully than the sword. [2] The Roman tongue is long banished from Belgium and the Rhine; but if its splendour has anywhere survived, it is surely with you; our jurisdiction is fallen into decay along the frontier, but while you live and preserve your eloquence, the Latin language stands unshaken. As I return your greeting, my heart is glad within me that our vanishing culture has left such traces with you; continue your assiduous studies, and you will feel more surely every day that the man of education is as much above the boor as the boor in his turn above the beast. [3] Were I to obey your wish and send you a commentary on some part of the Scriptures, it would be sorry verbiage; you would do far better to direct your request to the clergy of your own district. They are venerable in years, approved in faith, known by works; they are ready in speech and tenacious in memory, my superiors in all sublimer gifts. Even if we leave out of the account the bishop of your city, a character of supreme perfection, blessed in the possession and repute of all the virtues, you may far more appropriately consult on any kind of problem the celebrated fathers of the Church in Gaul; Lupus and Auspicius are both within your reach, and however inquisitive you may be, you will not get to the bottom of a learning such as theirs. In any case, you must pardon me for disobeying you in this matter, and that not only out of kindliness, but from simple justice; for if it is fair that you should escape from incompetence, it is equally right that I should avoid conceit. Farewell.

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

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1. Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 3.13, 4.7, 5.5 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
simplicius Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 33; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 33
trier' Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 33
trier Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 33