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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10328
Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 9.11


nanXI To the Lord Bishop Lupus [478 CE(?)] THAT unfortunate book which you regard as sent not so much to you as through you, has inspired a letter which I in my turn regard as written not so much to me as against me. I cannot reply to your reproaches with an eloquence equal to yours; I rely only on the justice of my cause; how indeed am I to plead 'not guilty' when you imply the opposite? At the very outset, therefore, I frankly ask your pardon for my offence, such as it is; but I confess only to an error born of diffidence and by no means of improper pride. [2] The strictness of your judgement is no less formidable to me in literary than in moral questions, but I must admit that when I opened the volume it was the thought of the friendship you profess for me which oppressed me most. And that I think is natural; for it is human nature for a friend who suspects an injury to be severer than any one else. [3] It is true enough, as you point out, that my book is a medley packed and piled with multifarious subjects, episodes and personal facts; it would have been outrageous had I been so infatuated with my work as to imagine that no part of it would displease you. Whatever your judgement might prove to be, it was evident that I should derogate from my loyalty, if I failed to give you at least the first sight of the volume, even though I might not formally present it. If I were lucky enough to meet with your approval, you could not accuse me of having arrogantly neglected you; if on the other hand I were less fortunate, you could not say that I had forced my work upon your notice. [4] Nor did I expect to find it very difficult to excuse the motive which saved me from possibly having to blush for myself. I imagined you to be as well aware as I myself that modesty becomes the writer of a new book better than assurance, and that timidity is far more likely to win the vote of the severe critic than a provocative spirit. On the other hand, if a man boldly announces a volume on a fresh subject, however much he may really have done to satisfy the legitimate expectation of the public, he will soon find that he will be expected to do more. Whatever strictures you may pass on the tenor of this reply, I prefer to make a clean breast of it rather than resort to disingenuous evasions.


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

6 results
1. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 1.9 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.9. To Minucius Fundanus. It is surprising how if you take each day singly here in the city you pass or seem to pass your time reasonably enough when you take stock thereof, but how, when you put the days together, you are dissatisfied with yourself. If you ask any one, "What have you been doing to-day?" he will say, "Oh, I have been attending a coming-of-age function; I was at a betrothal or a wedding; so-and-so asked me to witness the signing of a will; I have been acting as witness to A, or I have been in consultation with B." All these occupations appear of paramount importance on the day in question, but if you remember that you repeat the round day after day, they seem a sheer waste of time, especially when you have got away from them into the country; for then the thought occurs to you, "What a number of days I have frittered away in these chilly formalities!" That is how I feel when I am at my Laurentine Villa and busy reading or writing, or even when I am giving my body a thorough rest and so repairing the pillars of my mind. I hear nothing and say nothing to give me vexation; no one comes backbiting a third party, and I myself have no fault to find with anyone except it be with myself when my pen does not run to my liking. I have no hopes and fears to worry me, no rumours to disturb my rest. I hold converse with myself and with my books. It is a genuine and honest life; such leisure is delicious and honourable, and one might say that it is much more attractive than any business. The sea, the shore, these are the true secret haunts of the Muses, and how many inspirations they give me, how they prompt my musings! Do, I beg of you, as soon as ever you can, turn your back on the din, the idle chatter, and the frivolous occupations of Rome, and give yourself up to study or recreation. It is better, as our friend Attilius once very wittily and very truly said, to have no occupation than to be occupied with nothingness. Farewell.
2. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 1.9 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.9. To Minucius Fundanus. It is surprising how if you take each day singly here in the city you pass or seem to pass your time reasonably enough when you take stock thereof, but how, when you put the days together, you are dissatisfied with yourself. If you ask any one, "What have you been doing to-day?" he will say, "Oh, I have been attending a coming-of-age function; I was at a betrothal or a wedding; so-and-so asked me to witness the signing of a will; I have been acting as witness to A, or I have been in consultation with B." All these occupations appear of paramount importance on the day in question, but if you remember that you repeat the round day after day, they seem a sheer waste of time, especially when you have got away from them into the country; for then the thought occurs to you, "What a number of days I have frittered away in these chilly formalities!" That is how I feel when I am at my Laurentine Villa and busy reading or writing, or even when I am giving my body a thorough rest and so repairing the pillars of my mind. I hear nothing and say nothing to give me vexation; no one comes backbiting a third party, and I myself have no fault to find with anyone except it be with myself when my pen does not run to my liking. I have no hopes and fears to worry me, no rumours to disturb my rest. I hold converse with myself and with my books. It is a genuine and honest life; such leisure is delicious and honourable, and one might say that it is much more attractive than any business. The sea, the shore, these are the true secret haunts of the Muses, and how many inspirations they give me, how they prompt my musings! Do, I beg of you, as soon as ever you can, turn your back on the din, the idle chatter, and the frivolous occupations of Rome, and give yourself up to study or recreation. It is better, as our friend Attilius once very wittily and very truly said, to have no occupation than to be occupied with nothingness. Farewell.
3. Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 1.1, 1.10, 2.2, 2.9, 4.16, 4.21, 4.24, 6.1, 7.18, 8.1, 8.16, 9.3, 9.7, 9.9 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

4. Epigraphy, Lsam, 46

5. Epigraphy, Seg, 57.1674

6. Epigraphy, Ngsl, 3



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
anthemius Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 174; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 174
aper Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 164; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 164
constantius Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 174; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 174
dating Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 174; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 174
faustus of riez Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 162, 176; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 162, 176
humour, name puns Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 174; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 174
lupus Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 176; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 176
maximus (palatinus and presbyter) Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 164; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 164
mimesis Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 164; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 164
petronius Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 174; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 174
pliny, as a model Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 174; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 174
pliny, epistulae Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 162; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 162
remigius Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 176; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 176
sidonius, episcopacy Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 174; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 174
sidonius, persona Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 162, 164; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 162, 164
sidonius, praefectus urbis Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 174; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 174
travel' Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 176
travel Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 176
virgil, allusions Hanghan, Lettered Christians: Christians, Letters, and Late Antique Oxyrhynchus (2019) 174; Hitch, Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world (2017) 174