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Statue of a sophist from the reign of Septimius Severus. Archaeological museum of Izmir (Turkey).

Flavius Philostratus:

The Life of Apollonius

Translated by F.C. Conybeare



In the Life of Apollonius, the Athenian author Philostratus, a sophist who lived from c.170 to c.247, tells the story of Apollonius of Tyana, a charismatic teacher and miracle worker from the first century CE who belonged to the school of Pythagoras. (A summary can be found here.) It is an apologetic work, in which Philostratus tries to show that Philostratus was a man with divine powers, but not a magician. He also pays attention to Apollonius' behavior as a sophist.

Although the hero is known from several other sources, Philostratus' vie romancée is our most important source. Scholars studying the life of the Tyanaean sage -whose miraculous acts have often been compared to the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth- have tried to establish the sources of Philostratus' books (e.g., letters and Damis) in order to come as close as possible to the historical truth. These attempts are described here.

On the following webpages, you will find the translation by F.C. Conybeare, which was published in 1912 in the Loeb Classical Library. The summaries were -with permission- copied from J.J. Flinterman, Power, paideia & pythagoreanism (1995 Amsterdam). Additions in green and notes by Jona Lendering.

Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

Book 1 (summary)
§1
§2
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§4
§5
§6
§7
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§40
Book 2 (summary)
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Book 3 (summary)
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§58


Book 4 (summary)
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Book 5 (summary)
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Book 6 (summary)
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Book 7 (summary)
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Book 8 (summary)
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§7.1
§7.2
§7.3
§7.4
§7.5
§7.6
§7.7
§7.8
§7.9
§7.10
§7.11
§7.12
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§7.14
§7.15
§7.16
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§31






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