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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (St. Basil of Caesarea) > Letter 147

Letter 147

ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA

To Aburgius.

Up to this time I used to think Homer a fable, when I read the second part of his poem, in which he narrates the adventures of Ulysses. But the calamity which has befallen the most excellent Maximus has led me to look on what I used to think fabulous and incredible, as exceedingly probable. Maximus was governor of no insignificant people, just as Ulysses was chief of the Cephallenians. Ulysses had great wealth, and returned stripped of everything. To such straits has calamity reduced Maximus, that he may have to present himself at home in borrowed rags. And perhaps he has suffered all this because he has irritated some Læstrygones against him, and has fallen in with some Scylla, hiding a dog's fierceness and fury under a woman's form. Since then he has barely been able to swim out of this inextricable whirlpool. He supplicates you by my means for humanity's sake to grieve for his undeserved misfortunes and not be silent about his needs, but make them known to the authorities. He hopes thus that he may find some aid against the slanders which have been got up against him: and if not, that at all events the intention of the enemy who has shown such an intoxication of hostility against him may be made public. When a man has been wronged it is a considerable comfort to him if the wickedness of his enemies can be made plain.

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Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202147.htm>.

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