Synesius of Cyrene

Synesius of Cyrene


Born between 370 and 375 A.D.; died circa 415 A.D. Greek orator, philosopher, and poet.

Synesius was chosen bishop in 410. In his speech On Royalty and in his Egyptian Recital, or On Divine Providence he set forth the political ideal of a philosopher-king. His hymns combine neoplatonic motifs and Christian themes. Several of Synesius’s speeches have been preserved.


Synesii Cvrenensis Hymni et opuscula, vols. 1–2. Editor, N. Terzaghi. Rome. 1939–44.
Epistolographi graeci. Editor, R. Hercher. Paris, 1875. Pages 638–739.
In Russian translation:
In Pamiatniki vizantiiskoiliteratury IV-IX vv. Moscow, 1968.


Levchenko, M. V. “Sinezii v (Constantinople i ego rech’ ‘O tsarstve.’” Uch.zap. LGU, 1951, no. 130, issue 18.

Synesius of Cyrene


Synesius of Cyrene was a fifth-century Greek convert to Christianity who eventually became a bishop of the Church. He wrote a relatively short work, On Dreams, that was perhaps the best book of its kind to be written by one of the church fathers. Synesius had a high opinion of dreams, reputedly even receiving editorial assistance during sleep.

Synesius believed that dreams were capable of lifting the human spirit to the higher spheres, there to acquire a deeper understanding of cosmic mysteries as well as spiritual upliftment. Synesius even encouraged using dreams for divination, although he warned against relying on dream dictionaries because each human being is unique. Finally, well in advance of his time, Synesius recommended keeping a dream diary, which he referred to as a “night book.”

References in periodicals archive ?
Since Khuzam was a gifted essayist, I was also helped along by his penultimate collection of essays, L'ospitalita intellettuale / Intellectual Hospitality (Morcelliana, 2012) -- a title inspired by Louis Massignon's statement that "one shouldn't annex the other, but rather become his guest" -- which treats the reader to wonderfully eclectic pieces on Synesius of Cyrene, Al-Ghazali, Fontaine, Flaubert and Mann, among many others.
The quote is taken from Synesius's Epistle 143, as here Englished by Augustine FitzGerald: "Now, in my opinion, it is much greater sacrilege to steal the verses of the dead than to steal their garments, a thing called grave-robbing." The Letters of Synesius of Cyrene (London: Oxford UP, 1926)238.
And if this is so for a first-rank thinker such as Simplicius, then the revelations will feel all the more startling when it comes to such relatively obscure figures as Hierocles of Alexandria or Synesius of Cyrene.
Synesius of Cyrene, a Landmark in the Religious <<Conflict>>?
Keywords: late roman world, Synesius of Cyrene, conversion, religious conflict.
(12.) BREGMAN, J.: Synesius of Cyrene. Philosopher-Bishop.
(8.) For a translation of this letter see Augustine FitzGerald, The Letters of Synesius of Cyrene (Oxford: Oxford Univ.
Some of his poems are historical reconstructions, like the series called "The Letters of Synesius," a dozen poems purporting to be the correspondence of a real man, Synesius of Cyrene, born in 390 A.D.