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Basil to Libanius.

If γριπίζειν is the same thing as to gain, and this is the meaning of the phrase which your sophistic ingenuity has got from the depths of Plato, consider, my dear sir, who is the more hard to be got from, I who am thus impaled 3281 by your epistolary skill, or the tribe of Sophists, whose craft is to make money out of their words.  What bishop ever imposed tribute by his words?  What bishop ever made his disciples pay taxes?  It is you who make your words marketable, as confectioners make honey-cakes.  See how you have made the old man leap and bound!  However, to you who make such a fuss about your declamations, I have ordered as many rafters to be supplied as there were fighters at Thermopylæ, 3282 all of goodly length, and, as Homer has it, “long-shadowing,” 3283 which the sacred Alphæus has promised to restore. 3284



With a play on χάραξ, the word used for stakes.


i.e. three hundred.


Hom. iii. 346.


Non illepide auctor epistolæ fluvium obstringit restituendi promisso, ut gratuito a se dari ostendat.”  Ben. note.

Next: Libanius to Basil.