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Chapter XIX.

A saying of S. Basil, the Bishop, directed against Syncletius. 900

There is current a saying of S. Basil, Bishop of Cæsarea, directed against a certain Syncletius, who was growing indifferent with the sort of lukewarmness of which we have spoken; who, though he professed to have renounced this world, had yet kept back for himself some of his property, not liking to be supported by the labour of his own hands, and to acquire true humility by stripping himself and by grinding toil, and the subjection of the monastery: “You have,” said he, “spoilt Syncletius, and not made a monk.”



Petschenig’s text has Syncletium as a proper name. Gazæus, however, thinks that it should be Syncleticum; i.e. Συγκλητικός or Senator: and in the saying of S. Basil at the close of the chapter actually reads (apparently without any ms. authority), Et Senatorem, inquit, perdidisti.

Next: Chapter XX. How contemptible it is to be overcome by covetousness.