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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (St. Basil of Caesarea) > Letter 186

Letter 186

ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA

To Antipater, the governor.

Philosophy is an excellent thing, if only for this, that it even heals its disciples at small cost; for, in philosophy, the same thing is both dainty and healthy fare. I am told that you have recovered your failing appetite by pickled cabbage. Formerly I used to dislike it, both on account of the proverb, and because it reminded me of the poverty that went with it. Now, however, I am driven to change my mind. I laugh at the proverb when I see that cabbage is such a good nursing mother of men, and has restored our governor to the vigour of youth. For the future I shall think nothing like cabbage, not even Homer's lotus, not even that ambrosia, whatever it was, which fed the Olympians.

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Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202186.htm>.

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