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Modestus [1]

Modestus (3) , prefect of the Praetorium, persecutor of the Catholics under the emperor Valens (Socr. iv. 16; Soz. vi. 18; Theod. H. E. iv. 18; Tillem. vi. 510, 555, 562, 574), who commissioned him to offer Basil the choice between deposition and communion with the Arians. A severe sickness having supervened, which he regarded as a judgment for his insolent behaviour, he entreated Basil to visit his sick-bed, humbly asked pardon, and commended himself to his prayers. Attributing his recovery to St. Basil's intercessions, he regarded him with the greatest reverence (Greg. Naz. pp. 352, 353). From this time Basil's influence with Modestus was so great that persons came from a great distance to request letters from him to the prefect. Six of these remain (Basil. Epp. 104 [279], 110 [277], 111 [276], 279 [274], 280 [275], 281 [278]), in which Basil claims immunity from taxes for all ministers of the church, begs for a lessening of the taxes for the impoverished inhabitants of the Taurus range, commends to him a friend. summoned to the capital by legal charges, etc. Basil addresses Modestus with the respect due to his high official position, and expresses much gratitude for his readiness to listen to his requests.