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XXIX. To Apellion.

The sufferings of the Carthaginians would demand, and, in their greatness, perhaps out-task, the power of the tragic language of an Æschylus or a Sophocles. Carthage of old was with difficulty taken by the Romans. Again and again she contended with Rome for the mastery of the world, and brought Rome within danger of destruction. Now the ruin has been the mere byplay of barbarians. Now dignified members of her far-famed senate wander all over the world, getting means of existence from the bounty of kindly strangers, moving the tears of beholders, and teaching the uncertainty and instability of the lot of man.

I have seen many who have come thence, and I have felt afraid, for I know not, as the Scripture says, “what the morrow will bring forth.”16641664    Prov. xxvii. 1 Not least do I admire the admirable and most honourable Celestinianus, so bravely does he bear his misfortune, and makes the loss of his happiness an occasion for philosophy, praising the governor of all, and holding that to be good which God either ordains or suffers to be. For the wisdom of divine Providence is unspeakable. He is travelling with his wife and children, and I beg your excellency to treat him with an hospitality like that of Abraham. With perfect confidence in your benevolence I have undertaken to introduce him to you, and I am telling him how generous is your right hand.16651665    The name Celestinianus varies in the mss. with Celestiacus. Theodoret’s letter in his behalf may be placed shortly after the sack of Carthage by Genseric in 439.


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