XLIV. To the Patrician 1687 Senator.
Thanks be to the Saviour of the world because to your greatness He is ever adding dignity and honour. The reason of my not writing up to this time to exhibit the delight which I have felt at the colophon 1688 of your honour, has been my wish not to trouble your magnificence. At the moment of my now thus writing, the district which Providence has committed to my care stands as the proverb has it on a razors edge. 1689 You will remember the visitation which was made at the time when we first were benefited by your presence among us; how it was p. 265 with difficulty established in the time of the most excellent prefect the Lord Florentius; 1690 and how it was confirmed by the present holder of the office. An individual who bears the name of bishop, but of ways unworthy even of stage players, has fled from the episcopal synod at a time when he was lying under sentence of excommunication and is endeavouring to calumniate and discredit the visitation, while through his hatred to the illustrious Philip he assails the truth. I therefore beseech your excellency to make his lies of none effect, and that the visitation lawfully confirmed may remain undisturbed. It is indeed becoming to your greatness to reap the fruit of this good deed among the rest, to receive the acclamations of those whom you are benefiting, and so to do honour at once to the God of all and to his true servant the very man of God the Lord Jacob, 1691 who joins with me in sending you this supplication. Had it been his wont to write he would have written himself.
From the time of the Emperor Constantine the title patrician designated a high court functionary.264:1688
Cf. note on page 262.264:1689
Cf. note page 107.265:1690
To the same Florentius is addressed the important letter LXXXIX wherein Theodoret defends himself from charges of heterodoxy. Before 449 he had six times attained the high position of Prefect of the East.265:1691
i.e. the ascetic mentioned in letter XLI.