Apollonius of Tyrana


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Here's a subject I find interesting - though have yet to explore properly - notably because of the oft mentioned parallels with early Christian belief.

I've often wondered if the work by Philostratus can shed any light on early Christianity - either in terms of the Apollonius story borrowing from Christianity, or even early Christianity borrowing from Apollonius.

The only work on the matter I can find available online is Apollonius the Nazarene by Dr. R. W. Bernard - which I frankly thought of uploading to this site for the "Ancient Worlds" section. It does look more than slightly demogogic and a cursory glance shows little reference to anything other than other people's opinions, rather than actual primary sources. So I'm not sure it'll actually be a useful addition. Maybe later...

Anyway, for some bakcground reading on the actual issue of Apollonius of Tyrana:

Philostratus - Appolonius of Tyrana

Apollonius of Tyrana

And from here a short but intriguing comment with reference to Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius:

"He wrote numerous philosophical works, which were collected by the Emperor Hadrian and preserved in his palace at Antium. The Roman emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius admired Apollonius, saying “From Apollonius I have learned freedom of will and understanding, steadiness of purpose, and to look to nothing else, not even for a moment, except to reason."
I have read the GSR Mead account. I do not believe he is an historical character like most miracle workers of this age.
The miracle workers of any age are subject to representation by propaganda by over zealous followers and hate filled enemies. The priority of belief is to ascertain some reasonable ground inbetween.
I'm going to raise this subject again - see if I can find any more background information on this topic.

Interesting to see Wikipedia covering this as "Tyana" rather than "Tyrana" - not sure if that means I originally mis-spelled it?
Apollonius of Tyana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What's especially interesting is how the story also apparently covers a long travel to India - something that may have a parallel with the stories about the disciple Thomas.
Over at Sacred Texts are some excerpts from Apollonius' letters:

If your object is to please, you had better employ flute and lyre than argument; for they are the instruments which are made to minister to pleasure, and the art of doing so is named music. But argument finds out the truth; and at this you should aim in you actions, at this in your words, at least if you are really making a philosophic study of it.

Also another Conybeare Life, which I find easier to read than the narrow formatted one Brian gave.
Re: Apollonius of Tyana

The god Proteus takes birth as Apollonius:

To his mother, just before he was born, there came an apparition of Proteus, who changes his form so much in Homer, in the guise of an Egyptian demon. She was in no way frightened, but asked him what sort of child she would bear. And he answered: "Myself." "And who are you?" she asked. "Proteus," answered he, "the god of Egypt." Well, I need hardly explain to readers of the poets the quality of Proteus and his reputation as regards wisdom; how versatile he was, and for ever changing his form, and defying capture, and how he had a reputation of knowing both past and future. And we must bear Proteus in mind all the more, when my advancing story shows its hero to have been more of a prophet than Proteus, and to have triumphed over many difficulties and dangers in the moment when they beset him most closely.
Baha'u'llah made reference to Apollonius of Tyana "Balinus" in the Lahw-i-Hikmat:

I will also mention for thee the invocation voiced by Balinus who was familiar with the theories put forward by the Father of Philosophy regarding the mysteries of creation as given in his chrysolite tablets, that everyone may be fully assured of the things We have elucidated for thee in this manifest Tablet, which, if pressed with the hand of fairness and knowledge, will yield the spirit of life for the quickening of all created things.

Great is the blessedness of him who swimmeth in this ocean and celebrateth the praise of his Lord, the Gracious, the Best-Beloved. Indeed the breezes of divine revelation are diffused from the verses of thy Lord in such wise that no one can dispute its truth, except those who are bereft of hearing, of vision, of understanding and of every human faculty. Verily thy Lord beareth witness unto this, yet the people understand not.

This man hath said:

'I am Balinus, the wise one, the performer of wonders, the producer of talismans.' He surpassed everyone else in the diffusion of arts and sciences and soared unto the loftiest heights of humility and supplication. Give ear unto that which he hath said, entreating the All-Possessing, the Most Exalted:

'I stand in the presence of my Lord, extolling His gifts and bounties and praising Him with that wherewith He praiseth His Own Self, that I may become a source of blessing and guidance unto such men as acknowledge my words.'

And further he saith:

'O Lord! Thou art God and no God is there but Thee. Thou art the Creator and no creator is there except Thee. Assist me by Thy grace and strengthen me. My heart is seized with alarm, my limbs tremble, I have lost my reason and my mind hath failed me. Bestow upon me strength and enable my tongue to speak forth with wisdom.'

And still further he saith:

'Thou art in truth the Knowing, the Wise, the Powerful, the Compassionate.'

It was this man of wisdom who became informed of the mysteries of creation and discerned the subtleties which lie enshrined in the Hermetic writings.

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 147)