One must hate literature in order to be a philosopher

To the Philosopher

I have brought out two books this year. One of them as I was moved thereto by God Himself, the other because of the slander of men.

Some of those who wear the white or dark mantle [Pagans and Christians] have maintained that I am faithless to philosophy, apparently because I profess grace and harmony of style, and because I venture to say something concerning Homer and concerning the figures of the rhetoricians. In the eyes of such persons one must hate literature in order to be a philosopher, and must occupy himself with divine matters only. No doubt these men alone have become spectators of the knowable. …

A letter from student to teacher; Synesius of Cyrene (370-413) to neoplatonist Hypatia of Alexandria (355-415)

Through these years of the Christians’ brutal attempts to dismantle philosophy, and the violent abuse and murder of philosophers such as Hypatia, Synesius wrote.

He wrote homilies. He wrote letters. He wrote speeches. He wrote essays.

There is no excuse not to write, and every reason to do so.

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