Letters of Julian/Letter 83

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Letters by Julian, translated by Emily Wilmer Cave Wright
83. Eustathius the Philosopher to Julian

From The Works of the Emperor Julian, volume III (1913) Loeb Classical Library.

83. Eustathius[1] the Philosopher to Julian[edit]

What an advantage it was for me that the token[2] came late! For instead of riding, in fear and trembling, in the public[3] carriage and, in encounters with drunken mule-drivers and mules made restive, as Homer[4] says, from idleness and overfeeding, having to endure clouds of dust and a strange dialect and the cracking of whips, it was my lot to travel at leisure by a road arched over with trees and well-shaded, a road that had numerous springs and resting-places suitable to the summer season for a traveller who seeks relief from his weariness on the way; and where I always found a good place to stop, airy and shaded by plane trees or cypresses, while in my hand I held the Phaedrus or some other of Plato's dialogues. Now all this profit, Ο beloved, I gained from the freedom with which I travelled; therefore I considered that it would be unnatural not to communicate this also to you, and announce it.[5]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. See Introduction, under Eustathius.
  2. The "tessera," whether ring, coin or document, served as a passport.
  3. The epithet δημόσιος is used (1) of the public carriage, (2) of the "state," or reserved, carriage. The first is meant here.
  4. Iliad 6. 506.
  5. The journey of Eustathius is probably that for which Julian gave his permission in Letter 44.