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Fathers of the Church

Epistle CLIV: to Olympius


Gregory writes a complimentary letter to Olympius after his term was done as Prefect.


Olympius was Prefect of Cappadocia Secunda in 382, to whom Gregory wrote many letters recommending certain persons to his patronage.

by Gregory Nazianzen in Unknown | translated by Charles Gordon Browne, M.A., James Edward Swallow, M.A

To me you are Prefect even after the expiry of your term of office—for I judge things differently from the run of men—because you embrace in yourself every prefectoral virtue. For many of those who sit on lofty thrones are to me base, all those whose hand makes them base and slaves of their subjects.(a) But many are high and lofty though they stand low, whom virtue places on high and makes worthy of greater government. But what have I to do with this? No longer is the great Olympius with us, nor does he bear our rudder-lines. We are undone, we are betrayed, we have become again the Second Cappadocia, after having been made the First by you. Of other men's matters why should I speak? but who will cherish the old age of your Gregory, and administer to his weakness the enchantment of honours, and make him more honourable because he obtains kindness for many from you? Now then depart on your journey with escort and greater pomp, leaving behind for us many team, and carrying with you much wealth, and that of a kind which few Prefects do, good fame, and the being inscribed on all hearts, pillars not easily moved. If you preside over us again with greater and more illustrious rule, (this is what our longing augurs), we shall offer to God more perfect thanks.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (LNPF II/VII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.

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