Philostratus' Life of Apollonius: third-century biography of a charismatic teacher and miracle worker from the first century CE, who is often likened to Jesus of Nazareth.
In the Life of Apollonius, 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. (A summary of this work can be found here.) It is an apologetic vie romancée, in which Philostratus tries to prove that Apollonius was a man with divine powers, but not a magician.
The translation was made by F.C. Conybeare and was published in 1912 in the Loeb Classical Library.
[4.46] About this time Musonius lay confined in the dungeons of Nero, a man who they say was unsurpassed in philosophic ability by anyone. Now they did not openly converse with one another, because Musonius declined to do so, in order that both their lives might not be endangered; but they carried on a correspondence through Menippus and Damis, who went to and fro the prison. Such of their letters as did not handle greater themes I will take no notice of, and only set before my reader the indispensable ones in which we get glimpses of lofty topics:
Apollonius to Musonius the philosopher, greeting.
I would fain came unto you, to share your conversation and lodgings, in the hope of being some use to you; unless indeed you are disinclined to believe that Heracles once relased Theseus from hell; write what you would like me to do. Farewell.
Musonius to Apollonius the philosopher, greeting.
For your solicitude on my behalf, I shall never do anything but commend you: but he who has strength of mind to defend himself, and has proved that he has done no wrong, is a true man. Farewell.
Apollonius to Musonius the philosopher sends greeting.
Socrates of Athens, because he refused to be released by his own friends, went before the tribunal and was put to death. Farewell.
Musonius to Apollonius the philosopher sends greeting.
Socrates was put to death, because he would not take the trouble to defend himself; but I shall defend myself. Farewell.note[In this exchange of letters, Apollonius is clearly the looser and Musonius the winner. This suggests that it was not invented by Philostratus; he must have found it in the Letters collection.]
[4.47] When Nero took his departure for Greece,note[In 67; Philostratus has already described this in §4.24.] after issuing a proclamation that no one should teach philosophy in public at Rome, Apollonius turned his steps to the Western regions of the earth, which they say are bounded by the Pillars, because he wished to visit and behold the ebb and flow of the ocean, and the city of Gadeira.note[Cadiz.] For he had heard something of the love of wisdom entertained by the inhabitants of that country, and of how great an advance they had made in religion; and he was accompanied by all his pupils, who approved no less of the expedition than they did of the sage.