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Title: Apollonius of Tyana, the Philosopher-Reformer of the First Century A.D.
Author: Mead, George Robert Stowe, 1863-1933
Language: English
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  APOLLONIUS OF TYANA

  THE PHILOSOPHER-REFORMER
  OF THE FIRST CENTURY A.D.

  A CRITICAL STUDY OF THE ONLY EXISTING
  RECORD OF HIS LIFE WITH SOME ACCOUNT
  OF THE WAR OF OPINION CONCERNING HIM
  AND AN INTRODUCTION ON THE RELIGIOUS
  ASSOCIATIONS AND BROTHERHOODS OF THE
  TIMES AND THE POSSIBLE INFLUENCE OF
  INDIAN THOUGHT ON GREECE--BY G. R. S.
  MEAD, B.A., M.R.A.S.


  LONDON AND BENARES
  THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING SOCIETY
  1901


  TABLE OF CONTENTS.


  SECTION                                                   PAGE

      I. INTRODUCTORY                                          1

     II. THE RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS AND COMMUNITIES
        OF THE FIRST CENTURY                                   9

    III. INDIA AND GREECE                                     17

     IV. THE APOLLONIUS OF EARLY OPINION                      28

      V. TEXTS, TRANSLATIONS, AND LITERATURE                  42

     VI. THE BIOGRAPHER OF APOLLONIUS                         53

    VII. EARLY LIFE                                           65

   VIII. THE TRAVELS OF APOLLONIUS                            73

     IX. IN THE SHRINES OF THE TEMPLES AND THE
           RETREATS OF RELIGION                               82

      X. THE GYMNOSOPHISTS OF UPPER EGYPT                     99

     XI. APOLLONIUS AND THE RULERS OF THE EMPIRE             106

    XII. APOLLONIUS THE PROPHET AND WONDER-WORKER            110

   XIII. HIS MODE OF LIFE                                    119

    XIV. HIMSELF AND HIS CIRCLE                              126

     XV. FROM HIS SAYINGS AND SERMONS                        132

    XVI. FROM HIS LETTERS                                    145

   XVII. THE WRITINGS OF APOLLONIUS                          153

  XVIII. BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES                               156



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA.


SECTION I.

INTRODUCTORY.


To the student of the origins of Christianity there is naturally no
period of Western history of greater interest and importance than the
first century of our era; and yet how little comparatively is known
about it of a really definite and reliable nature. If it be a subject of
lasting regret that no non-Christian writer of the first century had
sufficient intuition of the future to record even a line of information
concerning the birth and growth of what was to be the religion of the
Western world, equally disappointing is it to find so little definite
information of the general social and religious conditions of the time.
The rulers and the wars of the Empire seem to have formed the chief
interest of the historiographers of the succeeding century, and even in
this department of political history, though the public acts of the
Emperors may be fairly well known, for we can check them by records and
inscriptions, when we come to their private acts and motives we find
ourselves no longer on the ground of history, but for the most part in
the atmosphere of prejudice, scandal, and speculation. The political
acts of Emperors and their officers, however, can at best throw but a
dim side-light on the general social conditions of the time, while they
shed no light at all on the religious conditions, except so far as these
in any particular contacted the domain of politics. As well might we
seek to reconstruct a picture of the religious life of the time from
Imperial acts and rescripts, as endeavour to glean any idea of the
intimate religion of this country from a perusal of statute books or
reports of Parliamentary debates.

The Roman histories so-called, to which we have so far been accustomed,
cannot help us in the reconstruction of a picture of the environment
into which, on the one hand, Paul led the new faith in Asia Minor,
Greece, and Rome; and in which, on the other, it already found itself in
the districts bordering on the south-east of the Mediterranean. It is
only by piecing together laboriously isolated scraps of information and
fragments of inscriptions, that we become aware of the existence of the
life of a world of religious associations and private cults which
existed at this period. Not that even so we have any very direct
information of what went on in these associations, guilds, and
brotherhoods; but we have sufficient evidence to make us keenly regret
the absence of further knowledge.

Difficult as this field is to till, it is exceedingly fertile in
interest, and it is to be regretted that comparatively so little work
has as yet been done in it; and that, as is so frequently the case, the
work which has been done is, for the most part, not accessible to the
English reader. What work has been done on this special subject may be
seen from the bibliographical note appended to this essay, in which is
given a list of books and articles treating of the religious
associations among the Greeks and Romans. But if we seek to obtain a
general view of the condition of religious affairs in the first century
we find ourselves without a reliable guide; for of works dealing with
this particular subject there are few, and from them we learn little
that does not immediately concern, or is thought to concern,
Christianity; whereas, it is just the state of the non-Christian
religious world about which, in the present case, we desire to be
informed.

If, for instance, the reader turn to works of general history, such as
Merivale’s History of the Romans under the Empire (London; last ed.
1865), he will find, it is true, in chap. iv., a description of the
state of religion up to the death of Nero, but he will be little wiser
for perusing it. If he turn to Hermann Schiller’s Geschichte der
römischen Kaiserreichs unter der Regierung des Nero (Berlin; 1872), he
will find much reason for discarding the vulgar opinions about the
monstrous crimes imputed to Nero, as indeed he might do by reading in
English G. H. Lewes’ article “Was Nero a Monster?” (Cornhill Magazine;
July, 1863)--and he will also find (bk. IV. chap. iii.) a general view
of the religion and philosophy of the time which is far more intelligent
than that of Merivale’s; but all is still very vague and unsatisfactory,
and we feel ourselves still outside the intimate life of the
philosophers and religionists of the first century.

If, again, he turn to the latest writers of Church history who have
treated this particular question, he will find that they are occupied
entirely with the contact of the Christian Church with the Roman Empire,
and only incidentally give us any information of the nature of which we
are in search. On this special ground C. J. Neumann, in his careful
study Der römische Staat und die allgemeine Kirche bis auf Diocletian
(Leipzig; 1890), is interesting; while Prof. W. M. Ramsay, in The Church
in the Roman Empire before A.D. 170 (London; 1893), is extraordinary,
for he endeavours to interpret Roman history by the New Testament
documents, the dates of the majority of which are so hotly disputed.

But, you may say, what has all this to do with Apollonius of Tyana? The
answer is simple: Apollonius lived in the first century; his work lay
precisely among these religious associations, colleges, and guilds. A
knowledge of them and their nature would give us the natural environment
of a great part of his life; and information as to their condition in
the first century would perhaps help us the better to understand some of
the reasons for the task which he attempted.

If, however, it were only the life and endeavours of Apollonius which
would be illuminated by this knowledge, we could understand why so
little effort has been spent in this direction; for the character of the
Tyanean, as we shall see, has since the fourth century been regarded
with little favour even by the few, while the many have been taught to
look upon our philosopher not only as a charlatan, but even as an
anti-Christ. But when it is just a knowledge of these religious
associations and orders which would throw a flood of light on the
earliest evolution of Christianity, not only with regard to the Pauline
communities, but also with regard to those schools which were
subsequently condemned as heretical, it is astonishing that we have had
no more satisfactory work done on the subject.

It may be said, however, that this information is not forthcoming simply
because it is unprocurable. To a large extent this is true;
nevertheless, a great deal more could be done than has as yet been
attempted, and the results of research in special directions and in the
byways of history could be combined, so that the non-specialist could
obtain some general idea of the religious conditions of the times, and
so be less inclined to join in the now stereotyped condemnation of all
non-Jewish or non-Christian moral and religious effort in the Roman
Empire of the first century.

But the reader may retort: Things social and religious in those days
must have been in a very parlous state, for, as this essay shows,
Apollonius himself spent the major part of his life in trying to reform
the institutions and cults of the Empire. To this we answer: No doubt
there was much to reform, and when is there not? But it would not only
be not generous, but distinctly mischievous for us to judge our fellows
of those days solely by the lofty standard of an ideal morality, or even
to scale them against the weight of our own supposed virtues and
knowledge. Our point is not that there was nothing to reform, far from
that, but that the wholesale accusations of depravity brought against
the times will not bear impartial investigation. On the contrary, there
was much good material ready to be worked up in many ways, and if there
had not been, how could there among other things have been any
Christianity?

The Roman Empire was at the zenith of its power, and had there not been
many admirable administrators and men of worth in the governing caste,
such a political consummation could never have been reached and
maintained. Moreover, as ever previously in the ancient world, religious
liberty was guaranteed, and where we find persecution, as in the reigns
of Nero and Domitian, it must be set down to political and not to
theological reasons. Setting aside the disputed question of the
persecution of the Christians under Domitian, the Neronian persecution
was directed against those whom the Imperial power regarded as Jewish
political revolutionaries. So, too, when we find the philosophers
imprisoned or banished from Rome during these two reigns, it was not
because they were philosophers, but because the ideal of some of them
was the restoration of the Republic, and this rendered them obnoxious to
the charge not only of being political malcontents, but also of actively
plotting against the Emperor’s _majestas_. Apollonius, however, was
throughout a warm supporter of monarchical rule. When, then, we hear of
the philosophers being banished from Rome or being cast into prison, we
must remember that this was not a wholesale persecution of philosophy
throughout the Empire; and when we say that some of them desired to
restore the Republic, we should remember that the vast majority of them
refrained from politics, and especially was this the case with the
disciples of the religio-philosophical schools.



SECTION II.

THE RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS AND COMMUNITIES OF THE FIRST CENTURY.


In the domain of religion it is quite true that the state cults and
national institutions throughout the Empire were almost without
exception in a parlous state, and it is to be noticed that Apollonius
devoted much time and labour to reviving and purifying them. Indeed,
their strength had long left the general state-institutions of religion,
where all was now perfunctory; but so far from there being no religious
life in the land, in proportion as the official cultus and ancestral
institutions afforded no real satisfaction to their religious needs, the
more earnestly did the people devote themselves to private cults, and
eagerly baptised themselves in all that flood of religious enthusiasm
which flowed in with ever increasing volume from the East. Indubitably
in all this fermentation there were many excesses, according to our
present notions of religious decorum, and also grievous abuses; but at
the same time in it many found due satisfaction for their religious
emotions, and, if we except those cults which were distinctly vicious,
we have to a large extent before us in popular circles the spectacle of
what, in their last analysis, are similar phenomena to those enthusiasms
which in our own day may be frequently witnessed among such sects as the
Shakers or Ranters, and at the general revival meetings of the
uninstructed.

It is not, however, to be thought that the private cults and the doings
of the religious associations were all of this nature or confined to
this class; far from it. There were religious brotherhoods, communities,
and clubs--_thiasi_, _erani_, and _orgeōnes_--of all sorts and
conditions. There were also mutual benefit societies, burial clubs, and
dining companies, the prototypes of our present-day Masonic bodies,
Oddfellows, and the rest. These religious associations were not only
private in the sense that they were not maintained by the State, but
also for the most part they were private in the sense that what they did
was kept secret, and this is perhaps the main reason why we have so
defective a record of them.

Among them are to be numbered not only the lower forms of mystery-cultus
of various kinds, but also the greater ones, such as the Phrygian,
Bacchic, Isiac, and Mithriac Mysteries, which were spread everywhere
throughout the Empire. The famous Eleusinia were, however, still under
the ægis of the State, but though so famous were, as a state-cultus, far
more perfunctory.

It is, moreover, not to be thought that the great types of
mystery-cultus above mentioned were uniform even among themselves. There
were not only various degrees and grades within them, but also in all
probability many forms of each line of tradition, good, bad, and
indifferent. For instance, we know that it was considered _de rigueur_
for every respectable citizen of Athens to be initiated into the
Eleusinia, and therefore the tests could not have been very stringent;
whereas in the most recent work on the subject, De Apuleio Isiacorum
Mysteriorum Teste (Leyden; 1900), Dr. K. H. E. De Jong shows that in one
form of the Isiac Mysteries the candidate was invited to initiation by
means of dream; that is to say, he had to be psychically impressionable
before his acceptance.

Here, then, we have a vast intermediate ground for religious exercise
between the most popular and undisciplined forms of private cults and
the highest forms, which could only be approached through the discipline
and training of the philosophic life. The higher side of these
mystery-institutions aroused the enthusiasm of all that was best in
antiquity, and unstinted praise was given to one or another form of them
by the greatest thinkers and writers of Greece and Rome; so that we
cannot but think that here the instructed found that satisfaction for
their religious needs which was necessary not only for those who could
not rise into the keen air of pure reason, but also for those who had
climbed so high upon the heights of reason that they could catch a
glimpse of the other side. The official cults were notoriously unable to
give them this satisfaction, and were only tolerated by the instructed
as an aid for the people and a means of preserving the traditional life
of the city or state.

By common consent the most virtuous livers of Greece were the members of
the Pythagorean schools, both men and women. After the death of their
founder the Pythagoreans seem to have gradually blended with the Orphic
communities, and the “Orphic life” was the recognised term for a life of
purity and self-denial. We also know that the Orphics, and therefore the
Pythagoreans, were actively engaged in the reformation, or even the
entire reforming, of the Baccho-Eleusinian rites; they seem to have
brought back the pure side of the Bacchic cult with their reinstitution
or reimportation of the Iacchic mysteries, and it is very evident that
such stern livers and deep thinkers could not have been contented with a
low form of cult. Their influence also spread far and wide in general
Bacchic circles, so that we find Euripides putting the following words
into the mouth of a chorus of Bacchic initiates: “Clad in white robes I
speed me from the genesis of mortal men, and never more approach the
vase of death, for I have done with eating food that ever housed a
soul.”[1] Such words could well be put into the mouth of a Brāhman or
Buddhist ascetic, eager to escape from the bonds of Saṃsāra; and such
men cannot therefore justly be classed together indiscriminately with
ribald revellers--the general mind-picture of a Bacchic company.

But, some one may say, Euripides and the Pythagoreans and Orphics are no
evidence for the first century; whatever good there may have been in
such schools and communities, it had ceased long before. On the
contrary, the evidence is all against this objection. Philo, writing
about 25 A.D., tells us that in his day numerous groups of men, who in
all respects led this life of religion, who abandoned their property,
retired from the world and devoted themselves entirely to the search for
wisdom and the cultivation of virtue, were scattered far and wide
throughout the world. In his treatise, On the Contemplative Life, he
writes: “This natural class of men is to be found in many parts of the
inhabited world, both the Grecian and non-Grecian world, sharing in the
perfect good. In Egypt there are crowds of them in every province, or
nome as they call it, and especially round Alexandria.” This is a most
important statement, for if there were so many devoted to the religious
life at this time, it follows that the age was not one of unmixed
depravity.

It is not, however, to be thought that these communities were all of an
exactly similar nature, or of one and the same origin, least of all that
they were all Therapeut or Essene. We have only to remember the various
lines of descent of the doctrines held by the innumerable schools
classed together as Gnostic, as sketched in my recent work, Fragments of
a Faith Forgotten, and to turn to the beautiful treatises of the
Hermetic schools, to persuade us that in the first century the striving
after the religious and philosophic life was wide-spread and various.

We are not, however, among those who believe that the origin of the
Therapeut communities of Philo and of the Essenes of Philo and Josephus
is to be traced to Orphic and Pythagorean influence. The question of
precise origin is as yet beyond the power of historical research, and
we are not of those who would exaggerate one element of the mass into a
universal source. But when we remember the existence of all these so
widely scattered communities in the first century, when we study the
imperfect but important record of the very numerous schools and
brotherhoods of a like nature which came into intimate contact with
Christianity in its origins, we cannot but feel that there was the
leaven of a strong religious life working in many parts of the Empire.

Our great difficulty is that these communities, brotherhoods, and
associations kept themselves apart, and with rare exceptions left no
records of their intimate practices and beliefs, or if they left any it
has been destroyed or lost. For the most part then we have to rely upon
general indications of a very superficial character. But this imperfect
record is no justification for us to deny or ignore their existence and
the intensity of their endeavours; and a history which purports to paint
a picture of the times is utterly insufficient so long as it omits this
most vital subject from its canvas.

Among such surroundings as these Apollonius moved; but how little does
his biographer seem to have been aware of the fact! Philostratus has a
rhetorician’s appreciation of a philosophical court life, but no
feeling for the life of religion. It is only indirectly that the Life of
Apollonius, as it is now depicted, can throw any light on these most
interesting communities, but even an occasional side-light is precious
where all is in such obscurity. Were it but possible to enter into the
living memory of Apollonius, and see with his eyes the things he saw
when he lived nineteen hundred years ago, what an enormously interesting
page of the world’s history could be recovered! He not only traversed
all the countries where the new faith was taking root, but he lived for
years in most of them, and was intimately acquainted with numbers of
mystic communities in Egypt, Arabia, and Syria. Surely he must have
visited some of the earliest Christian communities as well, must even
have conversed with some of the “disciples of the Lord”! And yet no word
is breathed of this, not one single scrap of information on these points
do we glean from what is recorded of him. Surely he must have met with
Paul, if not elsewhere, then at Rome, in 66, when he had to leave
because of the edict of banishment against the philosophers, the very
year according to some when Paul was beheaded!



SECTION III.

INDIA AND GREECE.


There is, however, another reason why Apollonius is of importance to us.
He was an enthusiastic admirer of the wisdom of India. Here again a
subject of wide interest opens up. What influences, if any, had
Brāhmanism and Buddhism on Western thought in these early years? It is
strongly asserted by some that they had great influence; it is as
strongly denied by others that they had any influence at all. It is,
therefore, apparent that there is no really indisputable evidence on the
subject.

Just as some would ascribe the constitution of the Essene and Therapeut
communities to Pythagorean influence, so others would ascribe their
origin to Buddhist propaganda; and not only would they trace this
influence in the Essene tenets and practices, but they would even refer
the general teaching of the Christ to a Buddhist source in a Jewish
monotheistic setting. Not only so, but some would have it that two
centuries before the direct general contact of Greece with India,
brought about by the conquests of Alexander, India through Pythagoras
strongly and lastingly influenced all subsequent Greek thought.

The question can certainly not be settled by hasty affirmation or
denial; it requires not only a wide knowledge of general history and a
minute study of scattered and imperfect indications of thought and
practice, but also a fine appreciation of the correct value of indirect
evidence, for of direct testimony there is none of a really decisive
nature. To such high qualifications we can make no pretension, and our
highest ambition is simply to give a few very general indications of the
nature of the subject.

It is plainly asserted by the ancient Greeks that Pythagoras went to
India, but as the statement is made by Neo-Pythagorean and Neo-Platonic
writers subsequent to the time of Apollonius, it is objected that the
travels of the Tyanean suggested not only this item in the biography of
the great Samian but several others, or even that Apollonius himself in
his Life of Pythagoras was father of the rumour. The close resemblance,
however, between many of the features of Pythagorean discipline and
doctrine and Indo-Aryan thought and practice, make us hesitate entirely
to reject the possibility of Pythagoras having visited ancient
Āryāvarta.

And even if we cannot go so far as to entertain the possibility of
direct personal contact, there has to be taken into consideration the
fact that Pherecydes, the master of Pythagoras, may have been acquainted
with some of the main ideas of Vaidic lore. Pherecydes taught at
Ephesus, but was himself most probably a Persian, and it is quite
credible that a learned Asiatic, teaching a mystic philosophy and basing
his doctrine upon the idea of rebirth, may have had some indirect, if
not direct, knowledge of Indo-Aryan thought.

Persia must have been even at this time in close contact with India, for
about the date of the death of Pythagoras, in the reign of Dareius, son
of Hystaspes, at the end of the sixth and beginning of the fifth century
before our era, we hear of the expedition of the Persian general Scylax
down the Indus, and learn from Herodotus that in this reign India (that
is the Punjāb) formed the twentieth satrapy of the Persian monarchy.
Moreover, Indian troops were among the hosts of Xerxes; they invaded
Thessaly and fought at Platæa.

From the time of Alexander onwards there was direct and constant contact
between Āryāvarta and the kingdoms of the successors of the
world-conqueror, and many Greeks wrote about this land of mystery; but
in all that has come down to us we look in vain for anything but the
vaguest indications of what the “philosophers” of India systematically
thought.

That the Brāhmans would at this time have permitted their sacred books
to be read by the Yavanas (Ionians, the general name for Greeks in
Indian records) is contrary to all we know of their history. The Yavanas
were Mlechchhas, outside the pale of the Āryas, and all they could glean
of the jealously guarded Brahmā-vidyā or theosophy must have depended
solely upon outside observation. But the dominant religious activity at
this time in India was Buddhist, and it is to this protest against the
rigid distinctions of caste and race made by Brāhmanical pride, and to
the startling novelty of an enthusiastic religious propaganda among all
classes and races in India, and outside India to all nations, that we
must look for the most direct contact of thought between India and
Greece.

For instance, in the middle of the third century B.C., we know from
Asoka’s thirteenth edict, that this Buddhist Emperor of India, the
Constantine of the East, sent missionaries to Antiochus II. of Syria,
Ptolemy II. of Egypt, Antigonus Gonatas of Macedonia, Magas of Cyrene,
and Alexander II. of Epirus. When, in a land of such imperfect records,
the evidence on the side of India is so clear and indubitable, all the
more extraordinary is it that we have no direct testimony on our side of
so great a missionary activity. Although, then, merely because of the
absence of all direct information from Greek sources, it is very unsafe
to generalize, nevertheless from our general knowledge of the times it
is not illegitimate to conclude that no great public stir could have
been made by these pioneers of the Dharma in the West. In every
probability these Buddhist Bhikṣhus produced no effect on the rulers or
on the people. But was their mission entirely abortive; and did Buddhist
missionary enterprise westwards cease with them?

The answer to this question, as it seems to us, is hidden in the
obscurity of the religious communities. We cannot, however, go so far as
to agree with those who would cut the gordian knot by asserting
dogmatically that the ascetic communities in Syria and Egypt were
founded by these Buddhist propagandists. Already even in Greece itself
were not only Pythagorean but even prior to them Orphic communities, for
even on this ground we believe that Pythagoras rather developed what he
found already existing, than that he established something entirely new.
And if they were found in Greece, much more then is it reasonable to
suppose that such communities already existed in Syria, Arabia, and
Egypt, whose populations were given far more to religious exercises than
the sceptical and laughter-loving Greeks.

It is, however, credible that in such communities, if anywhere, Buddhist
propaganda would find an appreciative and attentive audience; but even
so it is remarkable that they have left no distinctly direct trace of
their influence. Nevertheless, both by the sea way and by the great
caravan route there was an ever open line of communication between India
and the Empire of the successors of Alexander; and it is even
permissible to speculate, that if we could recover a catalogue of the
great Alexandrian library, for instance, we should perchance find that
in it Indian MSS. were to be found among the other rolls and parchments
of the scriptures of the nations.

Indeed, there are phrases in the oldest treatises of the Trismegistic
Hermetic literature which can be so closely paralleled with phrases in
the Upaniṣhads and in the Bhagavad Gītā, that one is almost tempted to
believe that the writers had some acquaintance with the general contents
of these Brāhmanical scriptures. The Trismegistic literature had its
genesis in Egypt, and its earliest deposit must be dated at least in the
first century A.D., if it cannot even be pushed back earlier. Even more
striking is the similarity between the lofty mystic metaphysic of the
Gnostic doctor Basilides, who lived at the end of the first and
beginning of the second century A.D., and Vedāntic ideas. Moreover, both
the Hermetic and the Basilidean schools and their immediate predecessors
were devoted to a stern self-discipline and deep philosophical study
which would make them welcome eagerly any philosopher or mystic student
who might come from the far East.

But even so, we are not of those who by their own self-imposed
limitations of possibility are condemned to find some direct physical
contact to account for a similarity of ideas or even of phrasing.
Granting, for instance, that there is much resemblance between the
teachings of the Dharma of the Buddha and of the Gospel of the Christ,
and that the same spirit of love and gentleness pervades them both,
still there is no necessity to look for the reason of this resemblance
to purely physical transmission. And so for other schools and other
teachers; like conditions will produce similar phenomena; like effort
and like aspiration will produce similar ideas, similar experience, and
similar response. And this we believe to be the case in no general way,
but that it is all very definitely ordered from within by the servants
of the real guardians of things religious in this world.

We are, then, not compelled to lay so much stress on the question of
physical transmission, or to be seeking even to find proof of copying.
The human mind in its various degrees is much the same in all climes and
ages, and its inner experience has a common ground into which seed may
be sown, as it is tilled and cleared of weeds. The good seed comes all
from the same granary, and those who sow it pay no attention to the
man-made outer distinctions of race and creed.

However difficult, therefore, it may be to prove, from unquestionably
historical statements, any direct influence of Indian thought on the
conceptions and practices of some of these religious communities and
philosophic schools of the Græco-Roman Empire, and although in any
particular case similarity of ideas need not necessarily be assigned to
direct physical transmission, nevertheless the highest probability, if
not the greatest assurance, remains that even prior to the days of
Apollonius there was some private knowledge in Greece of the general
ideas of the Vedānta and Dharma; while in the case of Apollonius
himself, even if we discount nine-tenths of what is related of him, his
one idea seems to have been to spread abroad among the religious
brotherhoods and institutions of the Empire some portion of the wisdom
which he brought back with him from India.

When, then, we find at the end of the first and during the first half
of the second century, among such mystic associations as the Hermetic
and Gnostic schools, ideas which strongly remind us of the theosophy of
the Upaniṣhads or the reasoned ethics of the Suttas, we have always to
take into consideration not only the high probability of Apollonius
having visited such schools, but also the possibility of his having
discoursed at length therein on the Indian wisdom. Not only so, but the
memory of his influence may have lingered for long in such circles, for
do we not find Plotinus, the coryphæus of Neo-Platonism, as it is
called, so enamoured with what he had heard of the wisdom of India at
Alexandria, that in 242 he started off with the ill-starred expedition
of Gordian to the East in the hope of reaching that land of philosophy?
With the failure of the expedition and assassination of the Emperor,
however, he had to return, for ever disappointed of his hope.

It is not, however, to be thought that Apollonius set out to make a
propaganda of Indian philosophy in the same way that the ordinary
missionary sets forth to preach his conception of the Gospel. By no
means; Apollonius seems to have endeavoured to help his hearers, whoever
they might be, in the way best suited to each of them. He did not begin
by telling them that what they believed was utterly false and
soul-destroying, and that their eternal welfare depended upon their
instantly adopting his own special scheme of salvation; he simply
endeavoured to purge and further explain what they already believed and
practised. That some strong power supported him in his ceaseless
activity, and in his almost world-wide task, is not so difficult of
belief; and it is a question of deep interest for those who strive to
peer through the mists of appearance, to speculate how that not only a
Paul but also an Apollonius was aided and directed in his task from
within.

The day, however, has not yet dawned when it will be possible for the
general mind in the West to approach the question with such freedom from
prejudice, as to bear the thought that, seen from within, not only Paul
but also Apollonius may well have been a “disciple of the Lord” in the
true sense of the words; and that too although on the surface of things
their tasks seem in many ways so dissimilar, and even, to theological
preconceptions, entirely antagonistic.

Fortunately, however, even to-day there is an ever-growing number of
thinking people who will not only not be shocked by such a belief, but
who will receive it with joy as the herald of the dawning of a true sun
of righteousness, which will do more to illumine the manifold ways of
the religion of our common humanity than all the self-righteousness of
any particular body of exclusive religionists.

It is, then, in this atmosphere of charity and tolerance that we would
ask the reader to approach the consideration of Apollonius and his
doings, and not only the life and deeds of an Apollonius, but also of
all those who have striven to help their fellows the world over.



SECTION IV.

THE APOLLONIUS OF EARLY OPINION.


Apollonius of Tyana[2] was the most famous philosopher of the
Græco-Roman world of the first century, and devoted the major part of
his long life to the purification of the many cults of the Empire and to
the instruction of the ministers and priests of its religions. With the
exception of the Christ no more interesting personage appears upon the
stage of Western history in these early years. Many and various and
ofttimes mutually contradictory are the opinions which have been held
about Apollonius, for the account of his life which has come down to us
is in the guise of a romantic story rather than in the form of a plain
history. And this is perhaps to some extent to be expected, for
Apollonius, besides his public teaching, had a life apart, a life into
which even his favourite disciple does not enter. He journeys into the
most distant lands, and is lost to the world for years; he enters the
shrines of the most sacred temples and the inner circles of the most
exclusive communities, and what he says or does therein remains a
mystery, or serves only as an opportunity for the weaving of some
fantastic story by those who did not understand.

The following study will be simply an attempt to put before the reader a
brief sketch of the problem which the records and traditions of the life
of the famous Tyanean present; but before we deal with the Life of
Apollonius, written by Flavius Philostratus at the beginning of the
third century, we must give the reader a brief account of the references
to Apollonius among the classical writers and the Church Fathers, and a
short sketch of the literature of the subject in more recent times, and
of the varying fortunes of the war of opinion concerning his life in the
last four centuries.

First, then, with regard to the references in classical and patristic
authors. Lucian, the witty writer of the first half of the second
century, makes the subject of one of his satires the pupil of a disciple
of Apollonius, of one of those who were acquainted with “all the
tragedy”[3] of his life. And Appuleius, a contemporary of Lucian,
classes Apollonius with Moses and Zoroaster, and other famous Magi of
antiquity.[4]

About the same period, in a work entitled Quæstiones et Responsiones ad
Orthodoxos, formerly attributed to Justin Martyr, who flourished in the
second quarter of the second century, we find the following interesting
statement:

“Question 24: If God is the maker and master of creation, how do the
consecrated objects[5] of Apollonius have power in the [various] orders
of that creation? For, _as we see_, they check the fury of the waves and
the power of the winds and the inroads of vermin and attacks of wild
beasts.”[6]

Dion Cassius in his history,[7] which he wrote A.D. 211-222, states that
Caracalla (Emp. 211-216) honoured the memory of Apollonius with a chapel
or monument (_heroum_).

It was just at this time (216) that Philostratus composed his Life of
Apollonius, at the request of Domna Julia, Caracalla’s mother, and it is
with this document principally that we shall have to deal in the sequel.

Lampridius, who flourished about the middle of the third century,
further informs us that Alexander Severus (Emp. 222-235) placed the
statue of Apollonius in his _lararium_ together with those of Christ,
Abraham, and Orpheus.[8]

Vopiscus, writing in the last decade of the third century, tells us that
Aurelian (Emp. 270-275) vowed a temple to Apollonius, of whom he had
seen a vision when besieging Tyana. Vopiscus speaks of the Tyanean as “a
sage of the most wide-spread renown and authority, an ancient
philosopher, and a true friend of the Gods,” nay, as a manifestation of
deity. “For what among men,” exclaims the historian, “was more holy,
what more worthy of reverence, what more venerable, what more god-like
than he? He, it was, who gave life to the dead. He, it was, who did and
said so many things beyond the power of men.”[9] So enthusiastic is
Vopiscus about Apollonius, that he promises, if he lives, to write a
short account of his life in Latin, so that his deeds and words may be
on the tongue of all, for as yet the only accounts are in Greek.[10]
Vopiscus, however, did not fulfil his promise, but we learn that about
this date both Soterichus[11] and Nichomachus wrote Lives of our
philosopher, and shortly afterwards Tascius Victorianus, working on the
papers of Nichomachus,[12] also composed a Life. None of these Lives,
however, have reached us.

It was just at this period also, namely, in the last years of the third
century and the first years of the fourth, that Porphyry and Iamblichus
composed their treatises on Pythagoras and his school; both mention
Apollonius as one of their authorities, and it is probable that the
first 30 sections of Iamblichus are taken from Apollonius.[13]

We now come to an incident which hurled the character of Apollonius into
the arena of Christian polemics, where it has been tossed about until
the present day. Hierocles, successively governor of Palmyra, Bithynia,
and Alexandria, and a philosopher, about the year 305 wrote a criticism
on the claims of the Christians, in two books, called A Truthful
Address to the Christians, or more shortly The Truth-lover. He seems to
have based himself for the most part on the previous works of Celsus and
Porphyry,[14] but introduced a new subject of controversy by opposing
the wonderful works of Apollonius to the claims of the Christians to
exclusive right in “miracles” as proof of the divinity of their Master.
In this part of his treatise Hierocles used Philostratus’ Life of
Apollonius.

To this pertinent criticism of Hierocles Eusebius of Cæsarea immediately
replied in a treatise still extant, entitled Contra Hieroclem.[15]
Eusebius admits that Apollonius was a wise and virtuous man, but denies
that there is sufficient proof that the wonderful things ascribed to him
ever took place; and even if they did take place, they were the work of
“dæmons,” and not of God. The treatise of Eusebius is interesting; he
severely scrutinises the statements in Philostratus, and shows himself
possessed of a first rate critical faculty. Had he only used the same
faculty on the documents of the Church, of which he was the first
historian, posterity would have owed him an eternal debt of gratitude.
But Eusebius, like so many other apologists, could only see one side;
justice, when anything touching Christianity was called into question,
was a stranger to his mind, and he would have considered it blasphemy to
use his critical faculty on the documents which relate the “miracles” of
Jesus. Still the problem of “miracle” was the same, as Hierocles pointed
out, and remains the same to this day.

After the controversy reincarnated again in the sixteenth century, and
when the hypothesis of the “Devil” as the prime-mover in all “miracles”
but those of the Church lost its hold with the progress of scientific
thought, the nature of the wonders related in the Life of Apollonius was
still so great a difficulty that it gave rise to a new hypothesis of
plagiarism. The life of Apollonius was a Pagan plagiarism of the life of
Jesus. But Eusebius and the Fathers who followed him had no suspicion of
this; they lived in times when such an assertion could have been easily
refuted. There is not a word in Philostratus to show he had any
acquaintance with the life of Jesus, and fascinating as Baur’s
“tendency-writing” theory is to many, we can only say that as a
plagiarist of the Gospel story Philostratus is a conspicuous failure.
Philostratus writes the history of a good and wise man, a man with a
mission of teaching, clothed in the wonder stories preserved in the
memory and embellished by the imagination of fond posterity, but not the
drama of incarnate Deity as the fulfilment of world-prophecy.

Lactantius, writing about 315, also attacked the treatise of Hierocles,
who seems to have put forward some very pertinent criticisms; for the
Church Father says that he enumerates so many of their Christian inner
teachings (_intima_) that sometimes he would seem to have at one time
undergone the same training (_disciplina_). But it is in vain, says
Lactantius, that Hierocles endeavours to show that Apollonius performed
similar or even greater deeds than Jesus, for Christians do not believe
that Christ is God because he did wonderful things, but because all the
things wrought in him were those which were announced by the
prophets.[16] And in taking this ground Lactantius saw far more clearly
than Eusebius the weakness of the proof from “miracle.”

Arnobius, the teacher of Lactantius, however, writing at the end of the
third century, before the controversy, in referring to Apollonius
simply classes him among Magi, such as Zoroaster and others mentioned in
the passage of Appuleius to which we have already referred.[17]

But even after the controversy there is a wide difference of opinion
among the Fathers, for although at the end of the fourth century John
Chrysostom with great bitterness calls Apollonius a deceiver and
evil-doer, and declares that the whole of the incidents in his life are
unqualified fiction,[18] Jerome, on the contrary, at the very same date,
takes almost a favourable view, for, after perusing Philostratus, he
writes that Apollonius found everywhere something to learn and something
whereby he might become a better man.[19] At the beginning of the fifth
century also Augustine, while ridiculing any attempt at comparison
between Apollonius and Jesus, says that the character of the Tyanean was
“far superior” to that ascribed to Jove, in respect of virtue.[20]

About the same date also we find Isidorus of Pelusium, who died in 450,
bluntly denying that there is any truth in the claim made by “certain,”
whom he does not further specify, that Apollonius of Tyana “consecrated
many spots in many parts of the world for the safety of the
inhabitants.”[21] It is instructive to compare the denial of Isidorus
with the passage we have already quoted from Pseudo-Justin. The writer
of Questions and Answers to the Orthodox in the second century could not
dispose of the question by a blunt denial; he had to admit it and argue
the case on other grounds--namely, the agency of the Devil. Nor can the
argument of the Fathers, that Apollonius used magic to bring about his
results, while the untaught Christians could perform healing wonders by
a single word,[22] be accepted as valid by the unprejudiced critic, for
there is no evidence to support the contention that Apollonius employed
such methods for his wonder-workings; on the contrary, both Apollonius
himself and his biographer Philostratus strenuously repudiate the charge
of magic brought against him.

On the other hand, a few years later, Sidonius Apollinaris, Bishop of
Claremont, speaks in the highest terms of Apollonius. Sidonius
translated the Life of Apollonius into Latin for Leon, the councillor of
King Euric, and in writing to his friend he says: “Read the life of a
man who (religion apart) resembles you in many things; a man sought out
by the rich, yet who never sought for riches; who loved wisdom and
despised gold; a man frugal in the midst of feastings, clad in linen in
the midst of those clothed in purple, austere in the midst of luxury....
In fine, to speak plainly, perchance no historian will find in ancient
times a philosopher whose life is equal to that of Apollonius.”[23]

Thus we see that even among the Church Fathers opinions were divided;
while among the philosophers themselves the praise of Apollonius was
unstinted.

For Ammianus Marcellinus, “the last subject of Rome who composed a
profane history in the Latin language,” and the friend of Julian the
philosopher-emperor, refers to the Tyanean as “that most renowned
philosopher”;[24] while a few years later Eunapius, the pupil of
Chrysanthius, one of the teachers of Julian, writing in the last years
of the fourth century, says that Apollonius was more than a
philosopher; he was “a middle term, as it were, between gods and
men.”[25] Not only was Apollonius an adherent of the Pythagorean
philosophy, but “he fully exemplified the more divine and practical side
in it.” In fact Philostratus should have called his biography “The
Sojourning of a God among Men.”[26] This seemingly wildly exaggerated
estimate may perhaps receive explanation in the fact that Eunapius
belonged to a school which knew the nature of the attainments ascribed
to Apollonius.

Indeed, “as late as the fifth century we find one Volusian, a proconsul
of Africa, descended from an old Roman family and still strongly
attached to the religion of his ancestors, almost worshipping Apollonius
of Tyana as a supernatural being.”[27]

Even after the downfall of philosophy we find Cassiodorus, who spent
the last years of his long life in a monastery, speaking of Apollonius
as the “renowned philosopher.”[28] So also among Byzantine writers, the
monk George Syncellus, in the eighth century, refers several times to
our philosopher, and not only without the slightest adverse criticism,
but he declares that he was the first and most remarkable of all the
illustrious people who appeared under the Empire.[29] Tzetzes also, the
critic and grammarian, calls Apollonius “all-wise and a fore-knower of
all things.”[30]

And though the monk Xiphilinus, in the eleventh century, in a note to
his abridgment of the history of Dion Cassius, calls Apollonius a clever
juggler and magician,[31] nevertheless Cedrenus in the same century
bestows on Apollonius the not uncomplimentary title of an “adept
Pythagorean philosopher,”[32] and relates several instances of the
efficacy of his powers in Byzantium. In fact, if we can believe
Nicetas, as late as the thirteenth century there were at Byzantium
certain bronze doors, formerly consecrated by Apollonius, which had to
be melted down because they had become an object of superstition even
for the Christians themselves.[33]

Had the work of Philostratus disappeared with the rest of the Lives, the
above would be all that we should have known about Apollonius.[34]
Little enough, it is true, concerning so distinguished a character, yet
ample enough to show that, with the exception of theological prejudice,
the suffrages of antiquity were all on the side of our philosopher.



SECTION V.

TEXTS, TRANSLATIONS, AND LITERATURE.


We will now turn to the texts, translations, and general literature of
the subject in more recent times. Apollonius returned to the memory of
the world, after the oblivion of the dark ages, with evil auspices. From
the very beginning the old Hierocles-Eusebius controversy was revived,
and the whole subject was at once taken out of the calm region of
philosophy and history and hurled once more into the stormy arena of
religious bitterness and prejudice. For long Aldus hesitated to print
the text of Philostratus, and only finally did so (in 1501) with the
text of Eusebius as an appendix, so that, as he piously phrases it, “the
antidote might accompany the poison.” Together with it appeared a Latin
translation by the Florentine Rinucci.[35]

In addition to the Latin version the sixteenth century also produced an
Italian[36] and French translation.[37]

The _editio princeps_ of Aldus was superseded a century later by the
edition of Morel,[38] which in its turn was followed a century still
later by that of Olearius.[39] Nearly a century and a half later again
the text of Olearius was superseded by that of Kayser (the first
critical text), whose work in its last edition contains the latest
critical apparatus.[40] All information with regard to the MSS. will be
found in Kayser’s Latin Prefaces.

We shall now attempt to give some idea of the general literature on the
subject, so that the reader may be able to note some of the varying
fortunes of the war of opinion in the bibliographical indications. And
if the general reader should be impatient of the matter and eager to get
to something of greater interest, he can easily omit its perusal; while
if he be a lover of the mystic way, and does not take delight in
wrangling controversy, he may at least sympathise with the writer, who
has been compelled to look through the works of the last century and a
good round dozen of those of the previous centuries, before he could
venture on an opinion of his own with a clear conscience.

Sectarian prejudice against Apollonius characterises nearly every
opinion prior to the nineteenth century.[41] Of books distinctly
dedicated to the subject the works of the Abbé Dupin[42] and of de
Tillemont[43] are bitter attacks on the Philosopher of Tyana in defence
of the monopoly of Christian miracles; while those of the Abbé
Houtteville[44] and Lüderwald[45] are less violent, though on the same
lines. A pseudonymous writer, however, of the eighteenth century strikes
out a somewhat different line by classing together the miracles of the
Jesuits and other Monastic Orders with those of Apollonius, and dubbing
them all spurious, while maintaining the sole authenticity of those of
Jesus.[46]

Nevertheless, Bacon and Voltaire speak of Apollonius in the highest
terms,[47] and even a century before the latter the English Deist,
Charles Blount,[48] raised his voice against the universal obloquy
poured upon the character of the Tyanean; his work, however, was
speedily suppressed.

In the midst of this war about miracles in the eighteenth century it is
pleasant to remark the short treatise of Herzog, who endeavours to give
a sketch of the philosophy and religious life of Apollonius,[49] but,
alas! there were no followers of so liberal an example in this century
of strife.

So far then for the earlier literature of the subject. Frankly none of
it is worth reading; the problem could not be calmly considered in such
a period. It started on the false ground of the Hierocles-Eusebius
controversy, which was but an incident (for wonder-working is common to
all great teachers and not peculiar to Apollonius or Jesus), and was
embittered by the rise of Encyclopædism and the rationalism of the
Revolution period. Not that the miracle-controversy ceased even in the
last century; it does not, however, any longer obscure the whole
horizon, and the sun of a calmer judgment may be seen breaking through
the mist.

In order to make the rest of our summary clearer we append at the end of
this essay the titles of the works which have appeared since the
beginning of the nineteenth century, in chronological order.

A glance over this list will show that the last century has produced an
English (Berwick’s), an Italian (Lancetti’s), a French (Chassang’s), and
two German translations (Jacobs’ and Baltzer’s).[50] The Rev. E.
Berwick’s translation is the only English version; in his Preface the
author, while asserting the falsity of the miraculous element in the
Life, says that the rest of the work deserves careful attention. No harm
will accrue to the Christian religion by its perusal, for there are no
allusions to the Life of Christ in it, and the miracles are based on
those ascribed to Pythagoras.

This is certainly a healthier standpoint than that of the traditional
theological controversy, which, unfortunately, however, was revived
again by the great authority of Baur, who saw in a number of the early
documents of the Christian era (notably the canonical Acts)
tendency-writings of but slight historical content, representing the
changing fortunes of schools and parties and not the actual histories of
individuals. The Life of Apollonius was one of these tendency-writings;
its object was to put forward a view opposed to Christianity in favour
of philosophy. Baur thus divorced the whole subject from its historical
standpoint and attributed to Philostratus an elaborate scheme of which
he was entirely innocent. Baur’s view was largely adopted by Zeller in
his Philosophie der Griechen (v. 140), and by Réville in Holland.

This “Christusbild” theory (carried by a few extremists to the point of
denying that Apollonius ever existed) has had a great vogue among
writers on the subject, especially compilers of encyclopædia articles;
it is at any rate a wider issue than the traditional miracle-wrangle,
which was again revived in all its ancient narrowness by Newman, who
only uses Apollonius as an excuse for a dissertation on orthodox
miracles, to which he devotes eighteen pages out of the twenty-five of
his treatise. Noack also follows Baur, and to some extent Pettersch,
though he takes the subject onto the ground of philosophy; while
Mönckeberg, pastor of St. Nicolai in Hamburg, though striving to be fair
to Apollonius, ends his chatty dissertation with an outburst of orthodox
praises of Jesus, praises which we by no means grudge, but which are
entirely out of place in such a subject.

The development of the Jesus-Apollonius miracle-controversy into the
Jesus-against-Apollonius and even Christ-against-Anti-Christ battle,
fought out with relays of lusty champions on the one side against a
feeble protest at best on the other, is a painful spectacle to
contemplate. How sadly must Jesus and Apollonius have looked upon, and
still look upon, this bitter and useless strife over their saintly
persons. Why should posterity set their memories one against the other?
Did they oppose one another in life? Did even their biographers do so
after their deaths? Why then could not the controversy have ceased with
Eusebius? For Lactantius frankly admits the point brought forward by
Hierocles (to exemplify which Hierocles only referred to Apollonius as
one instance out of many)--that “miracles” do not prove divinity. We
rest our claims, says Lactantius, _not_ on miracles, but on the
fulfilment of prophecy.[51] Had this more sensible position been revived
instead of that of Eusebius, the problem of Apollonius would have been
considered in its natural historical environment four hundred years ago,
and much ink and paper would have been saved.

With the progress of the critical method, however, opinion has at length
partly recovered its balance, and it is pleasant to be able to turn to
works which have rescued the subject from theological obscurantism and
placed it in the open field of historical and critical research. The two
volumes of the independent thinker, Legrand d’Aussy, which appeared at
the very beginning of the last century, are, for the time, remarkably
free from prejudice, and are a praiseworthy attempt at historical
impartiality, but criticism was still young at this period. Kayser,
though he does not go thoroughly into the matter, decides that the
account of Philostratus is purely a “_fabularis narratio_” but is well
opposed by I. Müller, who contends for a strong element of history as a
background. But by far the best sifting of the sources is that of
Jessen.[52] Priaulx’s study deals solely with the Indian episode and is
of no critical value for the estimation of the sources. Of all previous
studies, however, the works of Chassang and Baltzer are the most
generally intelligent, for both writers are aware of the possibilities
of psychic science, though mostly from the insufficient standpoint of
spiritistic phenomena.

As for Tredwell’s somewhat pretentious volume which, being in English,
is accessible to the general reader, it is largely reactionary, and is
used as a cover for adverse criticism of the Christian origins from a
Secularist standpoint which denies at the outset the possibility of
“miracle” in any meaning of the word. A mass of well-known
numismatological and other matter, which is entirely irrelevant, but
which seems to be new and surprising to the author, is introduced, and a
map is prefixed to the title-page purporting to give the itineraries of
Apollonius, but having little reference to the text of Philostratus.
Indeed, nowhere does Tredwell show that he is working on the text
itself, and the subject in his hands is but an excuse for a rambling
dissertation on the first century in general from his own standpoint.

This is all regrettable, for with the exception of Berwick’s
translation, which is almost unprocurable, we have nothing of value in
English for the general reader,[53] except Sinnett’s short sketch,
which is descriptive rather than critical or explanatory.

So far then for the history of the Apollonius of opinion; we will now
turn to the Apollonius of Philostratus, and attempt if possible to
discover some traces of the man as he was in history, and the nature of
his life and work.



SECTION VI.

THE BIOGRAPHER OF APOLLONIUS.


Flavius Philostratus, the writer of the only Life of Apollonius which
has come down to us,[54] was a distinguished man of letters who lived in
the last quarter of the second and the first half of the third century
(_cir._ 175-245 A.D.). He formed one of the circle of famous writers and
thinkers gathered round the philosopher-empress,[55] Julia Domna, who
was the guiding spirit of the Empire during the reigns of her husband
Septimius Severus and her son Caracalla. All three members of the
imperial family were students of occult science, and the age was
preeminently one in which the occult arts, good and bad, were a passion.
Thus the sceptical Gibbon, in his sketch of Severus and his famous
consort, writes:

“Like most of the Africans, Severus was passionately addicted to the
vain studies of magic and divination, deeply versed in the
interpretation of dreams and omens, and perfectly acquainted with the
science of judicial astrology, which in almost every age except the
present, has maintained its dominion over the mind of man. He had lost
his first wife whilst he was governor of the Lionnese Gaul. In the
choice of a second, he sought only to connect himself with some
favourite of fortune; and as soon as he had discovered that a young lady
of Emesa in Syria had _a royal nativity_[56] he solicited and obtained
her hand. Julia Domna[57] (for that was her name) deserved all that the
stars could promise her. She possessed, even in an advanced age,[58] the
attractions of beauty, and united to a lively imagination a firmness of
mind, and strength of judgment, seldom bestowed on her sex. Her amiable
qualities never made any deep impression on the dark and jealous temper
of her husband,[59] but in her son’s reign, she administered the
principal affairs of the Empire with a prudence that supported his
authority, and with a moderation that sometimes corrected his wild
extravagances. Julia applied herself to letters and philosophy with some
success, and with the most splendid reputation. She was the patroness of
every art, and the friend of every man of genius.”[60]

We thus see, even from Gibbon’s somewhat grudging estimate, that Domna
Julia was a woman of remarkable character, whose outer acts give
evidence of an inner purpose, and whose private life has not been
written. It was at her request that Philostratus wrote the Life of
Apollonius, and it was she who supplied him with certain MSS. that were
in her possession, as a basis; for the beautiful daughter of Bassianus,
priest of the sun at Emesa, was an ardent collector of books from every
part of the world, especially of the MSS. of philosophers and of
memoranda and biographical notes relating to the famous students of the
inner nature of things.

That Philostratus was the best man to whom to entrust so important a
task, is doubtful. It is true that he was a skilled stylist and a
practised man of letters, an art critic and an ardent antiquarian, as we
may see from his other works; but he was a sophist rather than a
philosopher, and though an enthusiastic admirer of Pythagoras and his
school, was so from a distance, regarding it rather through a
wonder-loving atmosphere of curiosity and the embellishments of a lively
imagination than from a personal acquaintance with its discipline, or a
practical knowledge of those hidden forces of the soul with which its
adepts dealt. We have, therefore, to expect a sketch of the appearance
of a thing by one outside, rather than an exposition of the thing itself
from one within.

The following is Philostratus’ account of the sources from which he
derived his information concerning Apollonius:[61]

“I have collected my materials partly from the cities which loved him,
partly from the temples whose rites and regulations he restored from
their former state of neglect, partly from what others have said about
him, and partly from his own letters.[62] More detailed information I
procured as follows. Damis was a man of some education who formerly used
to live in the ancient city of Ninus.[63] He became a disciple of
Apollonius and recorded his travels, in which he says he himself took
part, and also the views, sayings, and predictions of his master. A
member of Damis’ family brought the Empress Julia the note-books[64]
containing these memoirs, which up to that time had not been known of.
As I was one of the circle of this princess, who was a lover and
patroness of all literary productions, she ordered me to rewrite these
sketches and improve their form of expression, for though the Ninevite
expressed himself clearly, his style was far from correct. I also have
had access to a book by Maximus[65] of Ægæ which contained all
Apollonius’ doings at Ægæ.[66] There is also a will written by
Apollonius, from which we can learn how he almost deified
philosophy.[67] As to the four books of Mœragenes[68] on Apollonius they
do not deserve attention, for he knows nothing of most of the facts of
his life” (i. 2, 3).

These are the sources to which Philostratus was indebted for his
information, sources which are unfortunately no longer accessible to us,
except perhaps a few letters. Nor did Philostratus spare any pains to
gather information on the subject, for in his concluding words (viii.
31), he tells us that he has himself travelled into most parts of the
“world” and everywhere met with the “inspired sayings”[69] of
Apollonius, and that he was especially well acquainted with the temple
dedicated to the memory of our philosopher at Tyana and founded at the
imperial expense (“for the emperors had judged him not unworthy of like
honours with themselves"), whose priests, it is to be presumed, had got
together as much information as they could concerning Apollonius.

A thoroughly critical analysis of the literary effort of Philostratus,
therefore, would have to take into account all of these factors, and
endeavour to assign each statement to its original source. But even then
the task of the historian would be incomplete, for it is transparently
evident that Philostratus has considerably “embellished” the narrative
with numerous notes and additions of his own and with the composition of
set speeches.

Now as the ancient writers did not separate their notes from the text,
or indicate them in any distinct fashion, we have to be constantly on
our guard to detect the original sources from the glosses of the
writer.[70] In fact Philostratus is ever taking advantage of the mention
of a name or a subject to display his own knowledge, which is often of a
most legendary and fantastic nature. This is especially the case in his
description of Apollonius’ Indian travels. India at that time and long
afterwards was considered the “end of the world,” and an infinity of the
strangest “travellers’ tales” and mythological fables were in
circulation concerning it. One has only to read the accounts of the
writers on India[71] from the time of Alexander onwards to discover the
source of most of the strange incidents that Philostratus records as
experiences of Apollonius. To take but one instance out of a hundred,
Apollonius had to cross the Caucasus, an indefinite name for the great
system of mountain ranges that bound the northern limits of Āryāvarta.
Prometheus was chained to the Caucasus, so every child had been told for
centuries. Therefore, if Apollonius crossed the Caucasus, he must have
seen those chains. And so it was, Philostratus assures us (ii. 3). Not
only so, but he volunteers the additional information that you could not
tell of what they were made! A perusal of Megasthenes, however, will
speedily reduce the long Philostratian account of the Indian travels of
Apollonius (i. 41-iii. 58) to a very narrow compass, for page after page
is simply padding, picked up from any one of the numerous Indica to
which our widely read author had access.[72] To judge from such writers,
Porus[73] (the Rājāh conquered by Alexander) was the immemorial king of
India. In fact, in speaking of India or any other little-known country,
a writer in these days had to drag in all that popular legend associated
with it or he stood little chance of being listened to. He had to give
his narrative a “local colour,” and this was especially the case in a
technical rhetorical effort like that of Philostratus.

Again, it was the fashion to insert set speeches and put them in the
mouths of well-known characters on historical occasions, good instances
of which may be seen in Thucydides and the Acts of the Apostles.
Philostratus repeatedly does this.

But it would be too long to enter into a detailed investigation of the
subject, although the writer has prepared notes on all these points, for
that would be to write a volume and not a sketch. Only a few points are
therefore set down, to warn the student to be ever on his guard to sift
out Philostratus from his sources.[74]

But though we must be keenly alive to the importance of a thoroughly
critical attitude where definite facts of history are concerned, we
should be as keenly on our guard against judging everything from the
standpoint of modern preconceptions. There is but one religious
literature of antiquity that has ever been treated with real sympathy in
the West, and that is the Judæo-Christian; in that alone have men been
trained to feel at home, and all in antiquity that treats of religion
in a different mode to the Jewish or Christian way, is felt to be
strange, and, if obscure or extraordinary, to be even repulsive. The
sayings and doings of the Jewish prophets, of Jesus, and of the
Apostles, are related with reverence, embellished with the greatest
beauties of diction, and illumined with the best thought of the age;
while the sayings and doings of other prophets and teachers have been
for the most part subjected to the most unsympathetic criticism, in
which no attempt is made to understand their standpoint. Had even-handed
justice been dealt out all round, the world to-day would have been
richer in sympathy, in wide-mindedness, in comprehension of nature,
humanity, and God, in brief, in soul-experience.

Therefore, in reading the Life of Apollonius let us remember that we
have to look at it through the eyes of a Greek, and not through those of
a Jew or a Protestant. The Many in their proper sphere must be for us as
authentic a manifestation of the Divine as the One or the All, for
indeed the “Gods” exist in spite of commandment and creed. The Saints
and Martyrs and Angels have seemingly taken the places of the Heroes and
Dæmons and Gods, but the change of name and change of view-point among
men affect but little the unchangeable facts. To sense the facts of
universal religion under the ever-changing names which men bestow upon
them, and then to enter with full sympathy and comprehension into the
hopes and fears of every phase of the religious mind--to read, as it
were, the past lives of our own souls--is a most difficult task. But
until we can put ourselves understandingly in the places of others, we
can never see more than one side of the Infinite Life of God. A student
of comparative religion must not be afraid of terms; he must not shudder
when he meets with “polytheism,” or draw back in horror when he
encounters “dualism,” or feel an increased satisfaction when he falls in
with “monotheism”; he must not feel awe when he pronounces the name of
Yahweh and contempt when he utters the name of Zeus; he must not picture
a satyr when he reads the word “dæmon,” and imagine a winged dream of
beauty when he pronounces the word “angel.” For him heresy and orthodoxy
must not exist; he sees only his own soul slowly working out its own
experience, looking at life from every possible view-point, so that
haply at last he may see the whole, and having seen the whole, may
become at one with God.

To Apollonius the mere fashion of a man’s faith was unessential; he was
at home in all lands, among all cults. He had a helpful word for all,
an intimate knowledge of the particular way of each of them, which
enabled him to restore them to health. Such men are rare; the records of
such men are precious, and require the embellishments of no rhetorician.

Let us then, first of all, try to recover the outline of the early
external life and of the travels of Apollonius shorn of Philostratus’
embellishments, and then endeavour to consider the nature of his
mission, the manner of the philosophy which he so dearly loved and which
was to him his religion, and last, if possible, the way of his inner
life.



SECTION VII.

EARLY LIFE.


Apollonius was born[75] at Tyana, a city in the south of Cappadocia,
somewhen in the early years of the Christian era. His parents were of
ancient family and considerable fortune (i. 4). At an early age he gave
signs of a very powerful memory and studious disposition, and was
remarkable for his beauty. At the age of fourteen he was sent to Tarsus,
a famous centre of learning of the time, to complete his studies. But
mere rhetoric and style and the life of the “schools” were little suited
to his serious disposition, and he speedily left for Ægæ, a town on the
sea-coast east of Tarsus. Here he found surroundings more suitable to
his needs, and plunged with ardour into the study of philosophy. He
became intimate with the priests of the temple of Æsculapius, where
cures were still wrought, and enjoyed the society and instruction of
pupils and teachers of the Platonic, Stoic, Peripatetic, and Epicurean
schools of philosophy; but though he studied all these systems of
thought with attention, it was the lessons of the Pythagorean school
upon which he seized with an extraordinary depth of comprehension,[76]
and that, too, although his teacher, Euxenus, was but a parrot of the
doctrines and not a practiser of the discipline. But such parrotting was
not enough for the eager spirit of Apollonius; his extraordinary
“memory,” which infused life into the dull utterances of his tutor,
urged him on, and at the age of sixteen “he soared into the Pythagorean
life, winged by some greater one.”[77] Nevertheless he retained his
affection for the man who had told him of the way, and rewarded him
handsomely (i. 7).

When Euxenus asked him how he would begin his new mode of life he
replied: “As doctors purge their patients.” Hence he refused to touch
anything that had animal life in it, on the ground that it densified the
mind and rendered it impure. He considered that the only pure form of
food was what the earth produced, fruits and vegetables. He also
abstained from wine, for though it was made from fruit, “it rendered
turbid the æther[78] in the soul” and “destroyed the composure of the
mind.” Moreover, he went barefoot, let his hair grow long, and wore
nothing but linen. He now lived in the temple, to the admiration of the
priests and with the express approval of Æsculapius,[79] and he rapidly
became so famous for his asceticism and pious life, that a saying[80] of
the Cilicians about him became a proverb (i. 8).

At the age of twenty his father died (his mother having died some years
before) leaving a considerable fortune, which Apollonius was to share
with his elder brother, a wild and dissolute youth of twenty-three.
Being still a minor, Apollonius continued to reside at Ægæ, where the
temple of Æsculapius had now become a busy centre of study, and echoed
from one end to the other with the sound of lofty philosophical
discourses. On coming of age he returned to Tyana to endeavour to rescue
his brother from his vicious life. His brother had apparently exhausted
his legal share of the property, and Apollonius at once made over half
of his own portion to him, and by his gentle admonitions restored him
to his manhood. In fact he seems to have devoted his time to setting in
order the affairs of the family, for he distributed the rest of his
patrimony among certain of his relatives, and kept for himself but a
bare pittance; he required but little, he said, and should never marry
(i. 13).

He now took the vow of silence for five years, for he was determined not
to write on philosophy until he had passed through this wholesome
discipline. These five years were passed mostly in Pamphylia and
Cilicia, and though he spent much time in study, he did not immure
himself in a community or monastery but kept moving about and travelling
from city to city. The temptations to break his self-imposed vow were
enormous. His strange appearance drew everyone’s attention, the
laughter-loving populace made the silent philosopher the butt of their
unscrupulous wit, and all the protection he had against their scurrility
and misconceptions was the dignity of his mien and the glance of eyes
that now could see both past and future. Many a time he was on the verge
of bursting out against some exceptional insult or lying gossip, but
ever he restrained himself with the words: “Heart, patient be, and thou,
my tongue, be still”[81] (i. 14).

Yet even this stern repression of the common mode of speech did not
prevent his good doing. Even at this early age he had begun to correct
abuses. With eyes and hands and motions of the head, he made his meaning
understood, and on one occasion, at Aspendus in Pamphylia, prevented a
serious corn riot by silencing the crowd with his commanding gestures
and then writing what he had to say on his tablets (i. 15).

So far, apparently, Philostratus has been dependent upon the account of
Maximus of Ægæ, or perhaps only up to the time of Apollonius’ quitting
Ægæ. There is now a considerable gap in the narrative, and two short
chapters of vague generalities (i. 16, 17) are all that Philostratus can
produce as the record of some fifteen or twenty[82] years, until Damis’
notes begin.

After the five years of silence, we find Apollonius at Antioch, but this
seems to be only an incident in a long round of travel and work, and it
is probable that Philostratus brings Antioch into prominence merely
because what little he had learnt of this period of Apollonius’ life, he
picked up in this much-frequented city.

Even from Philostratus himself we learn incidentally later on (i. 20;
iv. 38) that Apollonius had spent some time among the Arabians, and had
been instructed by them. And by Arabia we are to understand the country
south of Palestine, which was at this period a regular hot-bed of mystic
communities. The spots he visited were in out-of-the-way places, where
the spirit of holiness lingered, and not the crowded and disturbed
cities, for the subject of his conversation, he said, required “_men_
and not people.”[83] He spent his time in travelling from one to another
of these temples, shrines, and communities; from which we may conclude
that there was some kind of a common freemasonry, as it were, among
them, of the nature of initiation, which opened the door of hospitality
to him.

But wherever he went, he always held to a certain regular division of
the day. At sun-rise he practised certain religious exercises alone, the
nature of which he communicated only to those who had passed through the
discipline of a “four years’” (? five years’) silence. He then conversed
with the temple priests or the heads of the community, according as he
was staying in a Greek or non-Greek temple with public rites, or in a
community with a discipline peculiar to itself apart from the public
cult.[84]

He thus endeavoured to bring back the public cults to the purity of
their ancient traditions, and to suggest improvements in the practices
of the private brotherhoods. The most important part of his work was
with those who were following the inner life, and who already looked
upon Apollonius as a teacher of the hidden way. To these his comrades
(ἑταίρους) and pupils (ὁμιλητάς), he devoted much attention, being ever
ready to answer their questions and give advice and instruction. Not
however that he neglected the people; it was his invariable custom to
teach them, but always after mid-day; for those who lived the inner
life,[85] he said, should on day’s dawning enter the presence of the
Gods,[86] then spend the time till mid-day in giving and receiving
instruction in holy things, and not till after noon devote themselves to
human affairs. That is to say, the morning was devoted by Apollonius to
the divine science, and the afternoon to instruction in ethics and
practical life. After the day’s work he bathed in cold water, as did so
many of the mystics of the time in those lands, notably the Essenes and
Therapeuts (i. 16).

“After these things,” says Philostratus, as vaguely as the writer of a
gospel narrative, Apollonius determined to visit the Brachmanes and
Sarmanes.[87] What induced our philosopher to make so long and dangerous
a journey nowhere appears from Philostratus, who simply says that
Apollonius thought it a good thing for a young man[88] to travel. It is
abundantly evident, however, that Apollonius never travelled merely for
the sake of travelling. What he does he does with a distinct purpose.
And his guides on this occasion, as he assures his disciples who tried
to dissuade him from his endeavour and refused to accompany him, were
wisdom and his inner monitor (dæmon). “Since ye are faint-hearted,” says
the solitary pilgrim, “I bid you farewell. As for myself I must go
whithersoever wisdom and my inner self may lead me. The Gods are my
advisers and I can but rely on their counsels” (i. 18).



SECTION VIII.

THE TRAVELS OF APOLLONIUS.


And so Apollonius departs from Antioch and journeys on to Ninus, the
relic of the once great Nina or Nineveh. There he meets with Damis, who
becomes his constant companion and faithful disciple. “Let us go
together,” says Damis in words reminding us somewhat of the words of
Ruth. “Thou shalt follow God, and I thee!” (i. 19).

From this point Philostratus professes to base himself to a great extent
on the narrative of Damis, and before going further, it is necessary to
try to form some estimate of the character of Damis, and discover how
far he was admitted to the real confidence of Apollonius.

Damis was an enthusiast who loved Apollonius with a passionate
affection. He saw in his master almost a divine being, possessed of
marvellous powers at which he continually wondered, but which he could
never understand. Like Ānanda, the favourite disciple of the Buddha and
his constant companion, Damis advanced but slowly in comprehension of
the real nature of spiritual science; he had ever to remain in the outer
courts of the temples and communities into whose shrines and inner
confidence Apollonius had full access, while he frequently states his
ignorance of his master’s plans and purposes.[89] The additional fact
that he refers to his notes as the “crumbs”[90] from the “feasts of the
Gods” (i. 19), those feasts of which he could for the most part only
learn at secondhand what little Apollonius thought fit to tell him, and
which he doubtless largely misunderstood and clothed in his own
imaginings, would further confirm this view, if any further confirmation
were necessary. But indeed it is very manifest everywhere that Damis was
outside the circle of initiation, and this accounts both for his
wonder-loving point of view and his general superficiality.

Another fact that comes out prominently from the narrative is his timid
nature.[91] He is continually afraid for himself or for his master; and
even towards the end, when Apollonius is imprisoned by Domitian, it
requires the phenomenal removal of the fetters before his eyes to
assure him that Apollonius is a willing victim.

Damis loves and wonders; seizes on unimportant detail and exaggerates
it, while he can only report of the really important things what he
fancies to have taken place from a few hints of Apollonius. As his story
advances, it is true it takes on a soberer tint; but what Damis omits,
Philostratus is ever ready to supply from his own store of marvels, if
chance offers.

Nevertheless, even were we with the scalpel of criticism to cut away
every morsel of flesh from this body of tradition and legend, there
would still remain a skeleton of fact that would still represent
Apollonius and give us some idea of his stature.

Apollonius was one of the greatest travellers known to antiquity. Among
the countries and places he visited the following are the chief ones
recorded by Philostratus.[92]

From Ninus (i. 19) Apollonius journeys to Babylon (i. 21), where he
stops one year and eight months (i. 40) and visits surrounding cities
such as Ecbatana, the capital of Media (i. 39); from Babylon to the
Indian frontier no names are mentioned; India was entered in every
probability by the Khaibar Pass (ii. 6),[93] for the first city
mentioned is Taxila (Attock) (ii. 20); and so they make their way across
the tributaries of the Indus (ii. 43) to the valley of the Ganges (iii.
5), and finally arrive at the “monastery of the wise men” (iii. 10),
where Apollonius spends four months (iii. 50).

This monastery was presumably in Nepāl; it is in the mountains, and the
“city” nearest it is called Paraca. The chaos that Philostratus has made
of Damis’ account, and before him the wonderful transformations Damis
himself wrought in Indian names, are presumably shown in this word.
Paraca is perchance all that Damis could make of Bharata, the general
name of the Ganges valley in which the dominant Āryas were settled. It
is also probable that these wise men were Buddhists, for they dwelt in a
τύρσις, a place that looked like a fort or fortress to Damis.

I have little doubt that Philostratus could make nothing out of the
geography of India from the names in Damis’ diary; they were all
unfamiliar to him, so that as soon as he has exhausted the few Greek
names known to him from the accounts of the expedition of Alexander, he
wanders in the “ends of the earth,” and can make nothing of it till he
picks up our travellers again on their return journey at the mouth of
the Indus. The salient fact that Apollonius was making for a certain
community, which was his peculiar goal, so impressed the imagination of
Philostratus (and perhaps of Damis before him) that he has described it
as being the only centre of the kind in India. Apollonius went to India
with a purpose and returned from it with a distinct mission;[94] and
perchance his constant inquiries concerning the particular “wise men”
whom he was seeking, led Damis to imagine that they alone were the
“Gymnosophists,” the “naked philosophers” (if we are to take the term in
its literal sense) of popular Greek legend, which ignorantly ascribed to
all the Hindu ascetics the most striking peculiarity of a very small
number. But to return to our itinerary.

Philostratus embellishes the account of the voyage from the Indus to the
mouth of the Euphrates (iii. 52-58) with the travellers’ tales and
names of islands and cities he has gleaned from the Indica which were
accessible to him, and so we again return to Babylon and familiar
geography with the following itinerary:

Babylon, Ninus, Antioch, Seleucia, Cyprus; thence to Ionia (iii. 58),
where he spends some time in Asia Minor, especially at Ephesus (iv. 1),
Smyrna (iv. 5), Pergamus (iv. 9), and Troy (iv. 11). Thence Apollonius
crosses over to Lesbos (iv. 13), and subsequently sails for Athens,
where he spends some years in Greece (iv. 17-33) visiting the temples of
Hellas, reforming their rites and instructing the priests (iv. 24). We
next find him in Crete (iv. 34), and subsequently at Rome in the time of
Nero (iv. 36-46).

In A.D. 66 Nero issued a decree forbidding any philosopher to remain in
Rome, and Apollonius set out for Spain, and landed at Gades, the modern
Cadiz; he seems to have stayed in Spain only a short time (iv. 47);
thence crossed to Africa, and so by sea once more to Sicily, where the
principal cities and temples were visited (v. 11-14). Thence Apollonius
returned to Greece (v. 18), four years having elapsed since his landing
at Athens from Lesbos (v. 19).[95]

From Piræus our philosopher sails for Chios (v. 21), thence to Rhodes,
and so to Alexandria (v. 24). At Alexandria he spends some time, and has
several interviews with the future Emperor Vespasian (v. 27-41), and
thence he sets out on a long journey up the Nile as far as Ethiopia
beyond the cataracts, where he visits an interesting community of
ascetics called loosely Gymnosophists (vi. 1-27).

On his return to Alexandria (vi. 28), he was summoned by Titus, who had
just become emperor, to meet him at Tarsus (vi. 29-34). After this
interview he appears to have returned to Egypt, for Philostratus speaks
vaguely of his spending some time in Lower Egypt, and of visits to the
Phœnicians, Cilicians, Ionians, Achæans, and also to Italy (vi. 35).

Now Vespasian was emperor from 69 to 79, and Titus from 79 to 81. As
Apollonius’ interviews with Vespasian took place shortly before the
beginning of that emperor’s reign, it is reasonable to conclude that a
number of years was spent by our philosopher in his Ethiopian journey,
and that therefore Damis’ account is a most imperfect one. In 81
Domitian became emperor, and just as Apollonius opposed the follies of
Nero, so did he criticise the acts of Domitian. He accordingly became an
object of suspicion to the emperor; but instead of keeping away from
Rome, he determined to brave the tyrant to his face. Crossing from Egypt
to Greece and taking ship at Corinth, he sailed by way of Sicily to
Puteoli, and thence to the Tiber mouth, and so to Rome (vii. 10-16).
Here Apollonius was tried and acquitted (vii. 17--viii. 10). Sailing
from Puteoli again Apollonius returned to Greece (viii. 15), where he
spent two years (viii. 24). Thence once more he crossed over to Ionia at
the time of the death of Domitian (viii. 25), visiting Smyrna and
Ephesus and other of his favourite haunts. Hereupon he sends away Damis
on some pretext to Rome (viii. 28) and--disappears; that is to say, if
it be allowed to speculate, he undertook yet another journey to the
place which he loved above all others, the “home of the wise men.”

Now Domitian was killed 96 A.D., and one of the last recorded acts of
Apollonius is his vision of this event at the time of its occurrence.
Therefore the trial of Apollonius at Rome took place somewhere about 93,
and we have a gap of twelve years from his interview with Titus in 81,
which Philostratus can only fill up with a few vague stories and
generalities.

As to his age at the time of his mysterious disappearance from the
pages of history, Philostratus tells us that Damis says nothing; but
some, he adds, say he was eighty, some ninety, and some even an hundred.

The estimate of eighty years seems to fit in best with the rest of the
chronological indications, but there is no certainty in the matter with
the present materials at our disposal.

Such then is the geographical outline, so to say, of the life of
Apollonius, and even the most careless reader of the bare skeleton of
the journeys recorded by Philostratus must be struck by the indomitable
energy of the man, and his power of endurance.

We will now turn our attention to one or two points of interest
connected with the temples and communities he visited.



SECTION IX.

IN THE SHRINES OF THE TEMPLES AND THE RETREATS OF RELIGION.


Seeing that the nature of Apollonius’ business with the priests of the
temples and the devotees of the mystic life was necessarily of a most
intimate and secret nature, for in those days it was the invariable
custom to draw a sharp line of demarcation between the inner and outer,
the initiated and the profane, it is not to be expected that we can
learn anything but mere externalities from the Damis-Philostratus
narrative; nevertheless, even these outer indications are of interest.

The temple of Æsculapius at Ægæ, where Apollonius spent the most
impressionable years of his life, was one of the innumerable hospitals
of Greece, where the healing art was practised on lines totally
different to our present methods. We are at once introduced to an
atmosphere laden with psychic influences, to a centre whither for
centuries patients had flocked to “consult the God.” In order to do so,
it was necessary for them to go through certain preliminary
purifications and follow certain rules given by the priests; they then
passed the night in the shrine and in their sleep instructions were
given them for their healing. This method, no doubt, was only resorted
to when the skill of the priest was exhausted; in any case, the priests
must have been deeply versed in the interpretation of these dreams and
in their rationale. It is also evident that as Apollonius loved to pass
his time in the temple, he must have found there satisfaction for his
spiritual needs, and instruction in the inner science; though doubtless
his own innate powers soon carried him beyond his instructors and marked
him out as the “favourite of the God.” The many cases on record in our
own day of patients in trance or some other psychic condition
prescribing for themselves, will help the student to understand the
innumerable possibilities of healing which were in Greece summed up in
the personification Æsculapius.

Later on the chief of the Indian sages has a disquisition on Æsculapius
and the healing art put into his mouth (iii. 44), where the whole of
medicine is said to be dependent upon psychic diagnosis and prescience
(μαντεία).

Finally it may be noticed that it was the invariable custom of patients
on their recovery to record the fact on an _ex-voto_ tablet in the
temple, precisely as is done to-day in Roman Catholic countries.[96]

On his way to India Apollonius saw a good deal of the Magi at Babylon.
He used to visit them at mid-day and mid-night, but of what transpired
Damis knew nothing, for Apollonius would not permit him to accompany
him, and in answer to his direct questions would only answer: “They are
wise, but not in all things” (i. 26).

The description of a certain hall, however, to which Apollonius had
access, seems to be a garbled version of the interior of the temple. The
roof was dome-shaped, and the ceiling was covered with “sapphire”; in
this blue heaven were models of the heavenly bodies (“those whom they
regard as Gods”) fashioned in gold, as though moving in the ether.
Moreover from the roof were suspended four golden “Iygges” which the
Magi call the “Tongues of the Gods.” These were winged-wheels or spheres
connected with the idea of Adrasteia (or Fate). Their prototypes are
described imperfectly in the Vision of Ezekiel, and the so-called
Hecatine _strophali_ or _spherulæ_ used in magical practices may have
been degenerate descendants of these “living wheels” or spheres of the
vital elements. The subject is one of intense interest, but hopelessly
incapable of treatment in our present age of scepticism and profound
ignorance of the past. The “Gods” who taught our infant humanity were,
according to occult tradition, from a humanity higher than that at
present evolving on our earth. They gave the impulse, and, when the
earth-children were old enough to stand on their own feet, they
withdrew. But the memory of their deeds and a corrupt and degenerate
form of the mysteries they established has ever lingered in the memory
of myth and legend. Seers have caught obscure glimpses of what they
taught and how they taught it, and the tradition of the Mysteries
preserved some memory of it in its symbols and instruments or engines.
The Iygges of the Magi are said to be a relic of this memory.

With regard to the Indian sages it is impossible to make out any
consistent story from the fantastic jumble of the Damis-Philostratus
romance. Damis seems to have confused together a mixture of memories and
scraps of gossip without any attempt to distinguish one community or
sect from another, and so produced a blurred daub which Philostratus
would have us regard as a picture of the “hill” and a description of
its “sages.” Damis’ confused memories,[97] however, have little to do
with the actual monastery and its ascetic inhabitants, who were the goal
of Apollonius’ long journey. What Apollonius heard and saw there,
following his invariable custom in such circumstances, he told no one,
not even Damis, except what could be derived from the following
enigmatical sentence: “I saw men dwelling on the earth and yet not on
it, defended on all sides, yet without any defence, and yet possessed of
nothing but what all possess.” These words occur in two passages (iii.
15 and vi. 11), and in both Philostratus adds that Apollonius wrote[98]
and spoke them enigmatically. The meaning of this saying is not
difficult to divine. They were on the earth, but not of the earth, for
their minds were set on things above. They were protected by their
innate spiritual power, of which we have so many instances in Indian
literature; and yet they possessed nothing but what all men possess if
they would but develop the spiritual part of their being. But this
explanation is not simple enough for Philostratus, and so he presses
into service all the memories of Damis, or rather travellers’ tales,
about levitation, magical illusions and the rest.

The head of the community is called Iarchas, a totally un-Indian name.
The violence done to all foreign names by the Greeks is notorious, and
here we have to reckon with an army of ignorant copyists as well as with
Philostratus and Damis. I would suggest that the name may perhaps be a
corruption of Arhat.[99]

The main burden of Damis’ narrative insists on the psychic and spiritual
knowledge of the sages. They know what takes place at a distance, they
can tell the past and future, and read the past births of men.

The messenger sent to meet Apollonius carried what Damis calls a golden
anchor (iii. 11, 17), and if this is an authentic fact, it would suggest
a forerunner of the Tibetan _dorje_, the present degenerate symbol of
the “rod of power,” something like the thunder-bolt wielded by Zeus.
This would also point to a Buddhist community, though it must be
confessed that other indications point equally strongly to Brāhmanical
customs, such as the caste-mark on the forehead of the messenger (iii.
7, 11), the carrying of (bamboo) staves (daṇḍa), letting the hair grow
long, and wearing of turbans (iii. 13). But indeed the whole account is
too confused to permit any hope of extracting historical details.

Of the nature of Apollonius’ visit we may, however, judge from the
following mysterious letter to his hosts (iii. 51):

“I came to you by land and ye have given me the sea; nay, rather, by
sharing with me your wisdom ye have given me power to travel through
heaven. These things will I bring back to the mind of the Greeks, and I
will hold converse with you as though ye were present, if it be that I
have not drunk of the cup of Tantalus in vain.”

It is evident from these cryptic sentences that the “sea” and the “cup
of Tantalus” are identical with the “wisdom” which had been imparted to
Apollonius--the wisdom which he was to bring back once more to the
memory of the Greeks. He thus clearly states that he returned from India
with a distinct mission and with the means to accomplish it, for not
only had he drunk of the ocean of wisdom in that he has learnt the
Brahmā-vidyā from their lips, but he has also learnt how to converse
with them though his body be in Greece and their bodies in India.

But such a plain meaning--plain at least to every student of occult
nature--was beyond the understanding of Damis or the comprehension of
Philostratus. And it is doubtless the mention of the “cup of
Tantalus”[100] in this letter which suggested the inexhaustible loving
cup episode in iii. 32, and its connection with the mythical fountains
of Bacchus. Damis presses it into service to “explain” the last phrase
in Apollonius’ saying about the sages, namely, that they were “possessed
of nothing but what all possess”--which, however, appears elsewhere in a
changed form, as “possessing nothing, they have the possessions of all
men” (iii. 15).[101]

On returning to Greece, one of the first shrines Apollonius visited was
that of Aphrodite at Paphos in Cyprus (iii. 58). The greatest external
peculiarity of the Paphian worship of Venus was the representation of
the goddess by a mysterious stone symbol. It seems to have been of the
size of a human being, but shaped like a pine-cone, only of course with
a smooth surface. Paphos was apparently the oldest shrine dedicated to
Venus in Greece. Its mysteries were very ancient, but not indigenous;
they were brought over from the mainland, from what was subsequently
Cilicia, in times of remote antiquity.

The worship or consultation of the Goddess was by means of prayers and
the “pure flame of fire,” and the temple was a great centre of
divination.[102]

Apollonius spent some time here and instructed the priests at length
with regard to their sacred rites.

In Asia Minor he was especially pleased with the temple of Æsculapius at
Pergamus; he healed many of the patients there, and gave instruction in
the proper methods to adopt in order to procure reliable results by
means of the prescriptive dreams.

At Troy, we are told, Apollonius spent a night alone at the tomb of
Achilles, in former days one of the spots of greatest popular sanctity
in Greece (iv. 11). Why he did so does not transpire, for the fantastic
conversation with the shade of the hero reported by Philostratus (iv.
16) seems to be devoid of any element of likelihood. As, however,
Apollonius made it his business to visit Thessaly shortly afterwards
expressly to urge the Thessalians to renew the old accustomed rites to
the hero (iv. 13), we may suppose that it formed part of his great
effort to restore and purify the old institutions of Hellas, so that,
the accustomed channels being freed, the life might flow more healthily
in the national body.

Rumour would also have it that Achilles had told Apollonius where he
would find the statue of the hero Palamedes on the coast of Æolia.
Apollonius accordingly restored the statue, and Philostratus tells us he
had seen it with his own eyes on the spot (iv. 13).

Now this would be a matter of very little interest, were it not that a
great deal is made of Palamedes elsewhere in Philostratus’ narrative.
What it all means is difficult to say with a Damis and Philostratus as
interpreters between ourselves and the silent and enigmatical
Apollonius.

Palamedes was one of the heroes before Troy, who was fabled to have
invented letters, or to have completed the alphabet of Cadmus.[103]

Now from two obscure sayings (iv. 13, 33), we glean that our philosopher
looked upon Palamedes as the philosopher-hero of the Trojan period,
although Homer says hardly a word about him.

Was this, then, the reason why Apollonius was so anxious to restore his
statue? Not altogether so; there appears to have been a more direct
reason. Damis would have it that Apollonius had met Palamedes in India;
that he was at the monastery; that Iarchas had one day pointed out a
young ascetic who could “write without ever learning letters”; and that
this youth had been no other than Palamedes in one of his former
births. Doubtless the sceptic will say: “Of course! Pythagoras was a
reincarnation of the hero Euphorbus who fought at Troy, according to
popular superstition; therefore, naturally, the young Indian was the
reincarnation of the hero Palamedes! The one legend simply begat the
other.” But on this principle, to be consistent, we should expect to
find that it was Apollonius himself and not an unknown Hindu ascetic,
who had been once Palamedes.

In any case Apollonius restored the rites to Achilles, and erected a
chapel in which he set up the neglected statue of Palamedes.[104] The
heroes of the Trojan period, then, it would seem, had still some
connection with Greece, according to the science of the invisible world
into which Apollonius was initiated. And if the Protestant sceptic can
make nothing of it, at least the Roman Catholic reader may be induced to
suspend his judgment by changing “hero” into “saint.”

Can it be possible that the attention which Apollonius bestowed upon the
graves and funeral monuments of the mighty dead of Greece may have been
inspired by the circle of ideas which led to the erection of the
innumerable dāgobas and stūpas in Buddhist lands, originally over the
relics of the Buddha, and the subsequent preservation of relics of
arhats and great teachers?

At Lesbos Apollonius visited the ancient temple of the Orphic mysteries,
which in early years had been a great centre of prophecy and divination.
Here also he was privileged to enter the inner shrine or adytum (iv.
14).

The Tyanean arrived in Athens at the time of the Eleusinian Mysteries,
and in spite of the festival and rites not only the people but also the
candidates flocked to meet him to the neglect of their religious duties.
Apollonius rebuked them, and himself joined in the necessary preliminary
rites and presented himself for initiation.

It may, perhaps, surprise the reader to hear that Apollonius, who had
already been initiated into higher privileges than Eleusis could afford,
should present himself for initiation. But the reason is not far to
seek; the Eleusinia constituted one of the intermediate organisations
between the popular cults and the genuine inner circles of instruction.
They preserved one of the traditions of the inner way, even if their
officers for the time being had forgotten what their predecessors had
once known. To restore these ancient rites to their purity, or to
utilise them for their original object, it was necessary to enter within
the precincts of the institution; nothing could be effected from
outside. The thing itself was good, and Apollonius desired to support
the ancient institution by setting the public example of seeking
initiation therein; not that he had anything to gain personally.

But whether it was that the hierophant of that time was only ignorant,
or whether he was jealous of the great influence of Apollonius, he
refused to admit our philosopher, on the ground that he was a sorcerer
(γόης), and that no one could be initiated who was tainted by
intercourse with evil entities (δαιμόνια). To this charge Apollonius
replied with veiled irony: “You have omitted the most serious charge
that might have been urged against me: to wit, that though I really know
more about the mystic rite than its hierophant, I have come here
pretending to desire initiation from men knowing more than myself.” This
charge would have been true; he had made a pretence.

Dismayed at these words, frightened at the indignation of the people
aroused by the insult offered to their distinguished guest, and overawed
by the presence of a knowledge which he could no longer deny, the
hierophant begged our philosopher to accept the initiation. But
Apollonius refused. “I will be initiated later on,” he replied; “_he_
will initiate me.” This is said to have referred to the succeeding
hierophant, who presided when Apollonius was initiated four years later
(iv. 18; v. 19).

While at Athens Apollonius spoke strongly against the effeminacy of the
Bacchanalia and the barbarities of the gladiatorial combats (iv. 21,
22).

The temples, mentioned by Philostratus, which Apollonius visited in
Greece, have all the peculiarity of being very ancient; for instance,
Dodona, Delphi, the ancient shrine of Apollo at Abæ in Phocis, the
“caves” of Amphiaraus[105] and Trophonius, and the temple of the Muses
on Helicon.

When he entered the adyta of these temples for the purpose of
“restoring” the rites, he was accompanied only by the priests, and
certain of his immediate disciples (γνώριμοι). This suggests an
extension to the meaning of the word “restoring” or “reforming,” and
when we read elsewhere of the many spots consecrated by Apollonius, we
cannot but think that part of his work was the reconsecration, and hence
psychic purification, of many of these ancient centres. His main
external work, however, was the giving of instruction, and, as
Philostratus rhetorically phrases it, “bowls of his words were set up
everywhere for the thirsty to drink from” (iv. 24).

But not only did our philosopher restore the ancient rites of religion,
he also paid much attention to the ancient polities and institutions.
Thus we find him urging with success the Spartans to return to their
ancient mode of life, their athletic exercises, frugal living, and the
discipline of the old Dorian tradition (iv. 27, 31-34); he, moreover,
specially praised the institution of the Olympic Games, the high
standard of which was still maintained (iv. 29), while he recalled the
ancient Amphictionic Council to its duty (iv. 23), and corrected the
abuses of the Panionian assembly (iv. 5).

In the spring of 66 A.D. he left Greece for Crete, where he seems to
have bestowed most of his time on the sanctuaries of Mount Ida and the
temple of Æsculapius at Lebene (“for as all Asia visits Pergamus so does
all Crete visit Lebene”); but curiously enough he refused to visit the
famous Labyrinth at Gnossus, the ruins of which have just been uncovered
for a sceptical generation, most probably (if it is lawful to speculate)
because it had once been a centre of human sacrifice, and thus pertained
to one of the ancient cults of the left hand.

In Rome Apollonius continued his work of reforming the temples, and this
with the full sanction of the Pontifex Maximus Telesinus, one of the
consuls for the year 66 A.D., who was also a philosopher and a deep
student of religion (iv. 40). But his stay in the imperial city was
speedily cut short, for in October Nero crowned his persecution of the
philosophers by publishing a decree of banishment against them from
Rome, and both Telesinus (vii. 11) and Apollonius had to leave Italy.

We next find him in Spain, making his headquarters in the temple of
Hercules at Cadiz.

On his return to Greece by way of Africa and Sicily (where he spent some
time and visited Ætna), he passed the winter (? of 67 A.D.) at Eleusis,
living in the temple, and in the spring of the following year sailed for
Alexandria, spending some time on the way at Rhodes. The city of
philosophy and eclecticism _par excellence_ received him with open arms
as an old friend. But to reform the public cults of Egypt was a far more
difficult task than any he had previously attempted. His presence in the
temple (? the temple of Serapis) commanded universal respect, everything
about him and every word he uttered seemed to breathe an atmosphere of
wisdom and of “something divine.” The high priest of the temple looked
on in proud disdain. “Who is wise enough,” he mockingly asked, “to
reform the religion of the Egyptians?”--only to be met with the
confident retort of Apollonius: “Any sage who comes from the Indians.”
Here as elsewhere Apollonius set his face against blood-sacrifice, and
tried to substitute instead, as he had attempted elsewhere, the offering
of frankincense modelled in the form of the victim (v. 25). Many abuses
he tried to reform in the manners of the Alexandrians, but upon none was
he more severe than on their wild excitement over horse-racing, which
frequently led to bloodshed (v. 26).

Apollonius seems to have spent most of the remaining twenty years of his
life in Egypt, but of what he did in the secret shrines of that land of
mystery we can learn nothing from Philostratus, except that on the
protracted journey to Ethiopia up the Nile no city or temple or
community was unvisited, and everywhere there was an interchange of
advice and instruction in sacred things (v. 43).



SECTION X.

THE GYMNOSOPHISTS OF UPPER EGYPT.


We now come to Apollonius’ visit to the “Gymnosophists” in “Ethiopia,”
which, though the artistic and literary goal of Apollonius’ journey in
Egypt as elaborated by Philostratus, is only a single incident in the
real history of the unrecorded life of our mysterious philosopher in
that ancient land.

Had Philostratus devoted a chapter or two to the nature of the
practices, discipline, and doctrines of the innumerable ascetic and
mystic communities that honeycombed Egypt and adjacent lands in those
days, he would have earned the boundless gratitude of students of the
origins. But of all this he has no word; and yet he would have us
believe that Damis’ reminiscences were an orderly series of notes of
what actually happened. But in all things it is very apparent that Damis
was rather a _compagnon de voyage_ than an initiated pupil.

Who then were these mysterious “Gymnosophists,” as they are usually
called, and whence their name? Damis calls them simply the “Naked”
(γυμνοί), and it is very clear that the term is not to be understood as
merely physically naked; indeed, neither to the Indians nor to these
ascetics of uppermost Egypt can the term be applied with appropriateness
in its purely physical meaning, as is apparent from the descriptions of
Damis and Philostratus. A chance sentence that falls from the lips of
one of these ascetics, in giving the story of his life, affords us a
clue to the real meaning of the term. “At the age of fourteen,” he tells
Apollonius, “I resigned my patrimony to those who desired such things,
and _naked_ I sought the _Naked_” (vi. 16).[106]

This is the very same diction that Philo uses about the Therapeut
communities, which he declares were very numerous in every province of
Egypt and scattered in all lands. We are not, however, to suppose that
these communities were all of the same nature. It is true that Philo
tries to make out that the most pious and the chief of all of them was
_his_ particular community on the southern shore of Lake Mœris, which
was strongly Semitic if not orthodoxly Jewish; and for Philo any
community with a Jewish atmosphere must naturally have been the best.
The peculiarity and main interest of our community, which was at the
other end of the land above the cataracts, was that it had had some
remote connection with India.

The community is called a φροντιστήριον, in the sense of a place for
meditation, a term used by ecclesiastical writers for a monastery, but
best known to classical students from the humorous use made of it by
Aristophanes, who in The Clouds calls the school of Socrates, a
_phrontistērion_ or “thinking shop.” The collection of _monasteria_
(ἱερά), presumably caves, shrines, or cells,[107] was situated on a hill
or rising ground not far from the Nile. They were all separated from one
another, dotted about the hill, and ingeniously arranged. There was
hardly a tree in the place, with the exception of a single group of
palms, under whose shade they held their general meetings (vi. 6).

It is difficult to gather from the set speeches, put into the mouths of
the head of the community and Apollonius (vi. 10-13, 18-22), any precise
details as to the mode of life of these ascetics, beyond the general
indications of an existence of great toil and physical hardship, which
they considered the only means of gaining wisdom. What the nature of
their cult was, if they had one, we are not told, except that at mid-day
the Naked retired to their _monasteria_ (vi. 14).

The whole tendency of Apollonius’ arguments, however, is to remind the
community of its Eastern origin and its former connection with India,
which it seems to have forgotten. The communities of this particular
kind in southern Egypt and northern Ethiopia dated back presumably some
centuries, and some of them may have been remotely Buddhist, for one of
the younger members of our community who left it to follow Apollonius,
says that he came to join it from the enthusiastic account of the wisdom
of the Indians brought back by his father, who had been captain of a
vessel trading to the East. It was his father who told him that these
“Ethiopians” were from India, and so he had joined them instead of
making the long and perilous journey to the Indus itself (vi. 16).

If there be any truth in this story it follows that the founders of this
way of life had been Indian ascetics, and if so they must have belonged
to the only propagandising form of Indian religion, namely, the
Buddhist.

After the impulse had been given, the communities, which were
presumably recruited from generations of Egyptians, Arabs, and
Ethiopians, were probably left entirely to themselves, and so in course
of time forgot their origin, and even perhaps their original rule. Such
speculations are permissible, owing to the _repeated_ assertion of the
original connection between these Gymnosophists and India. The whole
burden of the story is that they were Indians who had forgotten their
origin and fallen away from the wisdom.

The last incident that Philostratus records with regard to Apollonius
among the shrines and temples is a visit to the famous and very ancient
oracle of Trophonius, near Lebadea, in Bœotia. Apollonius is said to
have spent seven days alone in this mysterious “cave,” and to have
returned with a book full of questions and answers on the subject of
“philosophy” (viii. 19). This book was still, in the time of
Philostratus, in the palace of Hadrian at Antium, together with a number
of letters of Apollonius, and many people used to visit Antium for the
special purpose of seeing it (viii. 19, 20).

In the hay-bundle of legendary rigmarole solemnly set down by
Philostratus concerning the cave of Trophonius, a small needle of truth
may perhaps be discovered. The “cave” seems to have been a very ancient
temple or shrine, cut in the heart of a hill, to which a number of
underground passages of considerable length led. It had probably been
in ancient times one of the most holy centres of the archaic cult of
Hellas, perhaps even a relic of that Greece of thousands of years B.C.,
the only tradition of which, as Plato tells us, was obtained by Solon
from the priests of Saïs. Or it may have been a subterranean shrine of
the same nature as the famous Dictæan cave in Crete which only last year
was brought back to light by the indefatigable labours of Messrs. Evans
and Hogarth.

As in the case of the travels of Apollonius, so with regard to the
temples and communities which he visited, Philostratus is a most
disappointing _cicerone_. But perhaps he is not to be blamed on this
account, for the most important and most interesting part of Apollonius’
work was of so intimate a nature, prosecuted as it was among
associations of such jealously-guarded secrecy, that no one outside
their ranks could know anything of it, and those who shared in their
initiation would say nothing.

It is, therefore, only when Apollonius comes forward to do some public
act that we can get any precise historical trace of him; in every other
case he passes into the sanctuary of a temple or enters the privacy of a
community and is lost to view.

It may perhaps surprise us that Apollonius, after sacrificing his
private fortune, could nevertheless undertake such long and expensive
travels, but it would seem that he was occasionally supplied with the
necessary monies from the treasuries of the temples (_cf._ viii. 17),
and that everywhere he was freely offered the hospitality of the temple
or community in the place where he happened to be staying.

In conclusion of the present part of our subject, we may mention the
good service done by Apollonius in driving away certain Chaldæan and
Egyptian charlatans who were making capital out of the fears of the
cities on the left shores of the Hellespont. These cities had suffered
severely from shocks of earthquake, and in their panic placed large sums
of money in the hands of these adventurers (who “trafficked in the
misfortunes of others”), in order that they might perform propitiatory
rites (vi. 41). This taking money for the giving instruction in the
sacred science or for the performance of sacred rites was the most
detestable of crimes to all the true philosophers.



SECTION XI.

APOLLONIUS AND THE RULERS OF THE EMPIRE.


But not only did Apollonius vivify and reconsecrate the old centres of
religion for some inscrutable reason, and do what he could to help on
the religious life of the time in its multiplex phases, but he took a
decided, though indirect, part in influencing the destinies of the
Empire through the persons of its supreme rulers.

This influence, however, was invariably of a moral and not of a
political nature. It was brought to bear by means of philosophical
converse and instruction, by word of mouth or letter. Just as Apollonius
on his travels conversed on philosophy, and discoursed on the life of a
wise man and the duties of a wise ruler, with kings,[108] rulers, and
magistrates, so he endeavoured to advise for their good those of the
emperors who would listen to him.

Vespasian, Titus, and Nerva were all, prior to their elevation to the
purple, friends and admirers of Apollonius, while Nero and Domitian
regarded the philosopher with dismay.

During Apollonius’ short stay in Rome, in 66 A.D., although he never let
the slightest word escape him that could be construed by the numerous
informers into a treasonable utterance, he was nevertheless brought
before Tigellinus, the infamous favourite of Nero, and subjected to a
severe cross-examination. Apparently up to this time Apollonius, working
for the future, had confined his attention entirely to the reformation
of religion and the restoration of the ancient institutions of the
nations, but the tyrannical conduct of Nero, which gave peace not even
to the most blameless philosophers, at length opened his eyes to a more
immediate evil, which seemed no less than the abrogation of the liberty
of conscience by an irresponsible tyranny. From this time onwards,
therefore, we find him keenly interested in the persons of the
successive emperors.

Indeed Damis, although he confesses his entire ignorance of the purpose
of Apollonius’ journey to Spain after his expulsion from Rome, would
have it that it was to aid the forthcoming revolt against Nero. He
conjectures this from a three days’ secret interview that Apollonius had
with the Governor of the Province of Bætica, who came to Cadiz
especially to see him, and declares that the last words of Apollonius’
visitor were: “Farewell, and remember Vindex” (v. 10).

It is true that almost immediately afterwards the revolt of Vindex, the
Governor of Gaul, broke out, but the whole life and character of
Apollonius is opposed to any idea of political intrigue; on the
contrary, he bravely withstood tyranny and injustice to the face. He was
opposed to the idea of Euphrates, a philosopher of quite a different
stamp, who would have put an end to the monarchy and restored the
republic (v. 33); he believed that government by a monarch was the best
for the Empire, but he desired above all other things to see the “flock
of mankind” led by a “wise and faithful shepherd” (v. 35).

So that though Apollonius supported Vespasian as long as he worthily
tried to follow out this ideal, he immediately rebuked him to his face
when he deprived the Greek cities of their privileges. “You have
enslaved Greece,” he wrote. “You have reduced a free people to slavery”
(v. 41). Nevertheless, in spite of this rebuke, Vespasian in his last
letter to his son Titus, confesses that they are what they are solely
owing to the good advice of Apollonius (v. 30).

Equally so he journeyed to Rome to meet Domitian face to face, and
though he was put on trial and every effort made to prove him guilty of
treasonable plotting with Nerva, he could not be convicted of anything
of a political nature. Nerva was a good man, he told the emperor, and no
traitor. Not that Domitian had really any suspicion that Apollonius was
personally plotting against him; he cast him into prison solely in the
hope that he might induce the philosopher to disclose the confidences of
Nerva and other prominent men who were objects of suspicion to him, and
who he imagined had consulted Apollonius on their chances of success.
Apollonius’ business was not with politics, but with the “princes who
asked him for his advice on the subject of virtue” (vi. 43).



SECTION XII.

APOLLONIUS THE PROPHET AND WONDER-WORKER.


We will now turn our attention for a brief space to that side of
Apollonius’ life which has made him the subject of invincible prejudice.
Apollonius was not only a philosopher, in the sense of being a
theoretical speculator or of being the follower of an ordered mode of
life schooled in the discipline of resignation; he was also a
philosopher in the original Pythagorean meaning of the term--a knower of
Nature’s secrets, who thus could speak as one having authority.

He knew the hidden things of Nature by sight and not by hearing; for him
the path of philosophy was a life whereby the man himself became an
instrument of knowing. Religion, for Apollonius, was not a faith only,
it was a science. For him the shows of things were but ever-changing
appearances; cults and rites, religions and faiths, were all one to him,
provided the right spirit were behind them. The Tyanean knew no
differences of race or creed; such narrow limitations were not for the
philosopher.

Beyond all others would he have laughed to hear the word “miracle”
applied to his doings. “Miracle,” in its Christian theological sense,
was an unknown term in antiquity, and is a vestige of superstition
to-day. For though many believe that it is possible by means of the soul
to effect a multitude of things beyond the possibilities of a science
which is confined entirely to the investigation of physical forces, none
but the unthinking believe that there can be any interference in the
working of the laws which Deity has impressed upon Nature--the credo of
Miraculists.

Most of the recorded wonder-doings of Apollonius are cases of prophecy
or foreseeing; of seeing at a distance and seeing the past; of seeing or
hearing in vision; of healing the sick or curing cases of obsession or
possession.

Already as a youth, in the temple at Ægæ, Apollonius gave signs of the
possession of the rudiments of this psychic insight; not only did he
sense correctly the nature of the dark past of a rich but unworthy
suppliant who desired the restoration of his eyesight, but he foretold,
though unclearly, the evil end of one who made an attempt upon his
innocence (i. 12).

On meeting with Damis, his future faithful henchman volunteered his
services for the long journey to India on the ground that he knew the
languages of several of the countries through which they had to pass.
“But I understand them all, though I have learned none of them,”
answered Apollonius, in his usual enigmatical fashion, and added:
“Marvel not that I know all the tongues of men, for I know even what
they never say” (i. 19). And by this he meant simply that he could read
men’s thoughts, not that he could speak all languages. But Damis and
Philostratus cannot understand so simple a fact of psychic experience;
they will have it that he knew not only the language of all men, but
also of birds and beasts (i. 20).

In his conversation with the Babylonian monarch Vardan, Apollonius
distinctly claims foreknowledge. He says that he is a physician of the
soul and can free the king from the diseases of the mind, not only
because he knows what ought to be done, that is to say the proper
discipline taught in the Pythagorean and similar schools, but also
because he foreknows the nature of the king (i. 32). Indeed we are told
that the subject of foreknowledge (προγνώσεως), of which science (σοφία)
Apollonius was a deep student, was one of the principal topics discussed
by our philosopher and his Indian hosts (iii. 42).

In fact, as Apollonius tells his philosophical and studious friend the
Roman Consul Telesinus, for him wisdom was a kind of divinizing or
making divine of the whole nature, a sort of perpetual state of
inspiration (θειασμός) (iv. 40). And so we are told that Apollonius was
apprised of all things of this nature by the energy of his dæmonial
nature (δαιμoνίως) (vii. 10). Now for the student of the Pythagorean and
Platonic schools the “dæmon” of a man was what may be called the higher
self, the spiritual side of the soul as distinguished from the purely
human. It is the better part of the man, and when his physical
consciousness is at-oned with this “dweller in heaven,” he has
(according to the highest mystic philosophy of ancient Greece) while
still on earth the powers of those incorporeal intermediate beings
between Gods and men called “dæmons”; a stage higher still, the living
man becomes at-oned with his divine soul, he becomes a God on earth; and
yet a stage higher he becomes at one with the Good and so becomes God.

Hence we find Apollonius indignantly rejecting the accusation of magic
ignorantly brought against him, an art which achieved its results by
means of compacts with those low entities with which the outermost realm
of inner Nature swarms. Our philosopher repudiated equally the idea of
his being a soothsayer or diviner. With such arts he would have nothing
to do; if ever he uttered anything which savoured of foreknowledge, let
them know it was not by divination in the vulgar sense, but owing to
“that wisdom which God reveals to the wise” (iv. 44).

The most numerous wonder-doings ascribed to Apollonius are instances
precisely of such foreknowledge or prophecy.[109] It must be confessed
that the utterances recorded are often obscure and enigmatical, but this
is the usual case with such prophecy; for future events are most
frequently either seen in symbolic representations, the meaning of which
is not clear until after the event, or heard in equally enigmatical
sentences. At times, however, we have instances of very precise
foreknowledge, such as the refusal of Apollonius to go on board a vessel
which foundered on the voyage (v. 18).

The instances of seeing present events at a distance, however--such as
the burning of a temple at Rome, which Apollonius saw while at
Alexandria--are clear enough. Indeed, if people know nothing else of the
Tyanean, they have at least heard how he saw at Ephesus the
assassination of Domitian at Rome at the very moment of its occurrence.

It was mid-day, to quote from the graphic account of Philostratus, and
Apollonius was in one of the small parks or groves in the suburbs,
engaged in delivering an address on some absorbing topic of philosophy.
“At first he sank his voice as though in some apprehension; he, however,
continued his exposition, but haltingly, and with far less force than
usual, as a man who had some other subject in his mind than that on
which he is speaking; finally he ceased speaking altogether as though he
could not find his words. Then staring fixedly on the ground, he started
forward three or four paces, crying out: ‘Strike the tyrant; strike!’
And this, not like a man who sees an image in a mirror, but as one with
the actual scene before his eyes, as though he were himself taking part
in it.”

Turning to his astonished audience he told them what he had seen. But
though they hoped it were true, they refused to believe it, and thought
that Apollonius had taken leave of his senses. But the philosopher
gently answered: You, on your part, are right to suspend your rejoicings
till the news is brought you in the usual fashion; “as for me, I go to
return thanks to the Gods for what I have myself seen” (viii. 26).

Little wonder, then, if we read, not only of a number of symbolic
dreams, but of their proper interpretation, one of the most important
branches of the esoteric discipline of the school. (See especially i. 23
and iv. 34.) Nor are we surprised to hear that Apollonius, relying
entirely on his inner knowledge, was instrumental in obtaining the
reprieve of an innocent man at Alexandria, who was on the point of being
executed with a batch of criminals (v. 24). Indeed, he seems to have
known the secret past of many with whom he came in contact (vi. 3, 5).

The possession of such powers can put but little strain on the belief of
a generation like our own, to which such facts of psychic science are
becoming with every day more familiar. Nor should instances of curing
disease by mesmeric processes astonish us, or even the so-called
“casting out of evil spirits,” if we give credence to the Gospel
narrative and are familiar with the general history of the times in
which such healing of possession and obsession was a commonplace. This,
however, does not condemn us to any endorsement of the fantastic
descriptions of such happenings in which Philostratus indulges. If it be
credible that Apollonius was successful in dealing with obscure mental
cases--cases of obsession and possession--with which our hospitals and
asylums are filled to-day, and which are for the most part beyond the
skill of official science owing to its ignorance of the real agencies at
work, it is equally evident that Damis and Philostratus had little
understanding of the matter, and have given full rein to their
imagination in their narratives. (See ii. 4; iv. 20, 25; v. 42; vi. 27,
43.) Perhaps, however, Philostratus in some instances is only repeating
popular legend, the best case of which is the curing of the plague at
Ephesus which the Tyanean had foretold on so many occasions. Popular
legend would have it that the cause of the plague was traced to an old
beggar man, who was buried under a heap of stones by the infuriated
populace. On Apollonius ordering the stones to be removed, it was found
that what had been a beggar man was now a mad dog foaming at the mouth
(iv. 10)!

On the contrary, the account of Apollonius’ “restoring to life” a young
girl of noble birth at Rome, is told with great moderation. Our
philosopher seems to have met the funeral procession by chance;
whereupon he suddenly went up to the bier, and, after making some passes
over the maiden, and saying some inaudible words, “waked her out of her
seeming death.” But, says Damis, “whether Apollonius noticed that the
spark of the soul was still alive which her friends had failed to
perceive--they say it was raining lightly and a slight vapour showed on
her face--or whether he made the life in her warm again and so restored
her,” neither himself nor any who were present could say (iv. 45).

Of a distinctly more phenomenal nature are the stories of Apollonius
causing the writing to disappear from the tablets of one of his accusers
before Tigellinus (iv. 44); of his drawing his leg out of the fetters to
show Damis that he was not really a prisoner though chained in the
dungeons of Domitian (vii. 38); and of his “disappearing” (ἠφανίσθη)
from the tribunal (viii. 5).[110]

We are not, however, to suppose that Apollonius despised or neglected
the study of physical phenomena in his devotion to the inner science of
things. On the contrary, we have several instances of his rejection of
mythology in favour of a physical explanation of natural phenomena.
Such, for instance, are his explanations of the volcanic activity of
Ætna (v. 14, 17), and of a tidal wave in Crete, the latter being
accompanied with a correct indication of the more immediate result of
the occurrence. In fact an island had been thrown up far out to sea by a
submarine disturbance as was subsequently ascertained (iv. 34). The
explanation of the tides at Cadiz may also be placed in the same
category (v. 2).



SECTION XIII.

HIS MODE OF LIFE.


We will now present the reader with some general indications of the mode
of life of Apollonius, and the manner of his teaching, of which already
something has been said under the heading “Early Life.”

Our philosopher was an enthusiastic follower of the Pythagorean
discipline; nay, Philostratus would have us believe that he made more
superhuman efforts to reach wisdom than even the great Samian (i. 2).
The outer forms of this discipline as exemplified in Pythagoras are thus
summed up by our author.

“Naught would he wear that came from a dead beast, nor touch a morsel of
a thing that once had life, nor offer it in sacrifice; not for him to
stain with blood the altars; but honey-cakes and incense, and the
service of his song went upward from the man unto the Gods, for well he
knew that they would take such gifts far rather than the oxen in their
hundreds with the knife. For he, in sooth, held converse with the Gods
and learned from them how they were pleased with men and how displeased,
and thence as well he drew his nature-lore. As for the rest, he said,
they guessed at the divine, and held opinions on the Gods which proved
each other false; but unto him Apollo’s self did come, confessed,
without disguise,[111] and there did come as well, though unconfessed,
Athena and the Muses, and other Gods whose forms and names mankind did
not yet know.”

Hence his disciples regarded Pythagoras as an inspired teacher, and
received his rules as laws. “In particular did they keep the rule of
silence regarding the divine science. For they heard within them many
divine and unspeakable things on which it would have been difficult for
them to keep silence, had they not first learned that it was just this
silence which spoke to them” (i. 1).

Such was the general declaration of the nature of the Pythagorean
discipline by its disciples. But, says Apollonius in his address to the
Gymnosophists, Pythagoras was not the inventor of it. It was the
immemorial wisdom, and Pythagoras himself had learnt it from the
Indians.[112] This wisdom, he continued, had spoken to him in his youth;
she had said:

“For sense, young sir, I have no charms; my cup is filled with toils
unto the brim. Would anyone embrace my way of life, he must resolve to
banish from his board all food that once bore life, to lose the memory
of wine, and thus no more to wisdom’s cup befoul--the cup that doth
consist of wine-untainted souls. Nor shall wool warm him, nor aught
that’s made from any beast. I give my servants shoes of bast and as they
can to sleep. And if I find them overcome with love’s delights, I’ve
ready pits down into which that justice which doth follow hard on
wisdom’s foot, doth drag and thrust them; indeed, so stern am I to those
who choose my way, that e’en upon their tongues I bind a chain. Now hear
from me what things thou’lt gain, if thou endure. An innate sense of
fitness and of right, and ne’er to feel that any’s lot is better than
thy own; tyrants to strike with fear instead of being a fearsome slave
to tyranny; to have the Gods more greatly bless thy scanty gifts than
those who pour before them blood of bulls. If thou art pure, I’ll give
thee how to know what things will be as well, and fill thy eyes so full
of light, that thou may’st recognise the Gods, the heroes know, and
prove and try the shadowy forms that feign the shapes of men” (vi. 11).

The whole life of Apollonius shows that he tried to carry out
consistently this rule of life, and the repeated statements that he
would never join in the blood-sacrifices of the popular cults (see
especially i. 24, 31; iv. 11; v. 25), but openly condemned them, show
not only that the Pythagorean school had ever set the example of the
higher way of purer offerings, but that they were not only not condemned
and persecuted as heretics on this account, but were rather regarded as
being of peculiar sanctity, and as following a life superior to that of
ordinary mortals.

The refraining from the flesh of animals, however, was not simply based
upon ideas of purity, it found additional sanction in the positive love
of the lower kingdoms and the horror of inflicting pain on any living
creature. Thus Apollonius bluntly refused to take any part in the chase,
when invited to do so by his royal host at Babylon. “Sire,” he replied,
“have you forgotten that even when you sacrifice I will not be present?
Much less then would I do these beasts to death, and all the more when
their spirit is broken and they are penned in contrary to their nature”
(i. 38).[113]

But though Apollonius was an unflinching task-master unto himself, he
did not wish to impose his mode of life on others, even on his personal
friends and companions (provided of course they did not adopt it of
their own free will). Thus he tells Damis that he has no wish to
prohibit him from eating flesh and drinking wine, he simply demands the
right of refraining himself and of defending his conduct if called on to
do so (ii. 7). This is an additional indication that Damis was not a
member of the inner circle of discipline, and the latter fact explains
why so faithful a follower of the person of Apollonius was nevertheless
so much in the dark.

Not only so, but Apollonius even dissuades the Rājāh Phraotes, his first
host in India, who desired to adopt his strict rule, from doing so, on
the ground that it would estrange him too much from his subjects (ii.
37).

Three times a day Apollonius prayed and meditated; at daybreak (vi. 10,
18; vii. 31), at mid-day (vii. 10), and at sun-down (viii. 13). This
seems to have been his invariable custom; no matter where he was he
seems to have devoted at least a few moments to silent meditation at
these times. The object of his worship is always said to have been the
“Sun,” that is to say the Lord of our world and its sister worlds, whose
glorious symbol is the orb of day.

We have already seen in the short sketch devoted to his “Early Life” how
he divided the day and portioned out his time among his different
classes of hearers and inquirers. His style of teaching and speaking was
the opposite of that of a rhetorician or professional orator. There was
no art in his sentences, no striving after effect, no affectation. But
he spoke “as from a tripod,” with such words as “I know,” “Methinks,”
“Why do ye,” “Ye should know.” His sentences were short and compact, and
his words carried conviction with them and fitted the facts. His task,
he declared, was no longer to seek and to question as he had done in his
youth, but to teach what he knew (i. 17). He did not use the dialectic
of the Socratic school, but would have his hearers turn from all else
and give ear to the inner voice of philosophy alone (iv. 2). He drew his
illustrations from any chance occurrence or homely happening (iv. 3; vi.
3, 38), and pressed all into service for the improvement of his
listeners.

When put on his trial, he would make no preparation for his defence. He
had lived his life as it came from day to day, prepared for death, and
would continue to do so (viii. 30). Moreover it was now his deliberate
choice to challenge death in the cause of philosophy. And so to his old
friend’s repeated solicitations to prepare his defence, he replied:

“Damis, you seem to lose your wits in face of death, though you have
been so long with me and I have loved philosophy e’en from my
youth;[114] I thought that you were both yourself prepared for death and
knew full well my generalship in this. For just as warriors in the field
have need not only of good courage but also of that generalship which
tells them when to fight, so too must they who wisdom love make careful
study of good times to die, that they may choose the best and not be
done to death all unprepared. That I have chosen best and picked the
moment which suits wisdom best to give death battle--if so it be that
any one should wish to slay me--I’ve proved to other friends when you
were by, nor ever ceased to teach you it alone” (vii. 31).

The above are some few indications of how our philosopher lived, in fear
of nothing but disloyalty to his high ideal. We will now make mention of
some of his more personal traits, and of some of the names of his
followers.



SECTION XIV.

HIMSELF AND HIS CIRCLE.


Apollonius is said to have been very beautiful to look upon (i. 7, 12;
iv. 1);[115] but beyond this we have no very definite description of his
person. His manner was ever mild and gentle (i. 36; ii. 22) and modest
(iv. 31; viii. 15), and in this, says Damis, he was more like an Indian
than a Greek (iii. 36); yet occasionally he burst out indignantly
against some special enormity (iv. 30). His mood was often pensive (i.
34), and when not speaking he would remain for long plunged in deep
thought, during which his eyes were steadfastly fixed on the ground (i.
10 et al.).

Though, as we have seen, he was inflexibly stern with himself, he was
ever ready to make excuses for others; if, on the one hand, he praised
the courage of those few who remained with him at Rome, on the other he
refused to blame for their cowardice the many who had fled (iv. 38). Nor
was his gentleness shown simply by abstention from blame, he was ever
active in positive deeds of compassion (cf. vi. 39).

One of his little peculiarities was a liking to be addressed as
“Tyanean” (vii. 38), but why this was so we are not told. It can hardly
have been that Apollonius was particularly proud of his birth-place, for
even though he was a great lover of Greece, so that at times you would
call him an enthusiastic patriot, his love for other countries was
quite as pronounced. Apollonius was a citizen of the world, if there has
ever been one, into whose speech the word native-land did not enter, and
a priest of universal religion in whose vocabulary the word sect did not
exist.

In spite of his extremely ascetic life he was a man of strong physique,
so that even when he had reached the ripe age of four-score years, we
are told, he was sound and healthy in every limb and organ, upright and
perfectly formed. There was also a certain indefinite charm about him
that made him more pleasant to look upon than even the freshness of
youth, and this even though his face was furrowed with wrinkles, just as
the statues in the temple at Tyana represented him in the time of
Philostratus. In fact, says his rhetorical biographer, report sang
higher praises over the charm of Apollonius in his old age than over the
beauty of Alcibiades in his youth (viii. 29).

In brief, our philosopher seems to have been of a most charming presence
and lovable disposition; nor was his absolute devotion to philosophy of
the nature of the hermit ideal, for he passed his life among men. What
wonder then that he attracted to himself many followers and disciples!
It would have been interesting if Philostratus had told us more about
these “Apollonians,” as they were called (viii. 21), and whether they
constituted a distinct school, or whether they were grouped together in
communities on the Pythagorean model, or whether they were simply
independent students attracted to the most commanding personality of the
times in the domain of philosophy. It is, however, certain that many of
them wore the same dress as himself and followed his mode of life (iv.
39). Repeated mention is also made of their accompanying Apollonius on
his travels (iv. 47; v. 21; viii. 19, 21, 24), sometimes as many as ten
of them at the same time, but none of them were allowed to address
others until they had fulfilled the vow of silence (v. 43).

The most distinguished of his followers were Musonius, who was
considered the greatest philosopher of the time after the Tyanean, and
who was the special victim of Nero’s tyranny (iv. 44; v. 19; vii. 16),
and Demetrius, “who loved Apollonius” (iv. 25, 42; v. 19; vi. 31; vii.
10; viii. 10). These names are well known to history; of names otherwise
unknown are the Egyptian Dioscorides, who was left behind owing to weak
health on the long journey to Ethiopia (iv. 11, 38; v. 43), Menippus,
whom he had freed from an obsession (iv. 25, 38; v. 43), Phædimus (iv.
11), and Nilus, who joined him from Gymnosophists (v. 10 _sqq._, 28),
and of course Damis, who would have us think that he was always with
him from the time of their meeting at Ninus.

On the whole we are inclined to think that Apollonius did not establish
any fresh organisation; he made use of those already existing, and his
disciples were those who were attracted to him personally by an
overmastering affection which could only be satisfied by being
continually near him. This much seems certain, that he trained no one to
carry on his task; he came and went, helping and illuminating, but he
handed on no tradition of a definite line, and founded no school to be
continued by successors. Even to his ever faithful companion, when
bidding him farewell for what he knew would be the last time for Damis
on earth, he had no word to say about the work to which he had devoted
his life, but which Damis had never understood. His last words were for
Damis alone, for the man who had loved him, but who had never known him.
It was a promise to come to him if he needed help. “Damis, whenever you
think on high matters in solitary meditation, you shall see me” (viii.
28).

We will next turn our attention to a consideration of some of the
sayings ascribed to Apollonius and the speeches put into his mouth by
Philostratus. The shorter sayings are in all probability authentically
traditional, but the speeches are for the most part manifestly the
artistic working-up of the rough notes of Damis. In fact, they are
definitely declared to be so; but they are none the less interesting on
this account, and for two reasons.

In the first place, they honestly avow their nature, and make no claim
of inspiration; they are confessedly human documents which endeavour to
give a literary dress to the traditional body of thought and endeavour
which the life of the philosopher built into the minds of his hearers.
The method was common to antiquity, and the ancient compilers of certain
other series of famous documents would have been struck with amazement
had they been able to see how posterity would divinise their efforts and
regard them as immediately inspired by the source of all wisdom.

In the second place, although we are not to suppose that we are reading
the actual words of Apollonius, we are nevertheless conscious of being
in immediate contact with the inner atmosphere of the best religious
thought of the Greek mind, and have before our eyes the picture of a
mystic and spiritual fermentation which leavened all strata of society
in the first century of our era.



SECTION XV.

FROM HIS SAYINGS AND SERMONS.


Apollonius believed in prayer, but how differently from the vulgar. For
him the idea that the Gods could be swayed from the path of rigid
justice by the entreaties of men, was a blasphemy; that the Gods could
be made parties to our selfish hopes and fears was to our philosopher
unthinkable. One thing alone he knew, that the Gods were the ministers
of right and the rigid dispensers of just desert. The common belief,
which has persisted to our own day, that God can be swayed from His
purpose, that compacts could be made with Him or with His ministers, was
entirely abhorrent to Apollonius. Beings with whom such pacts could be
made, who could be swayed and turned, were not Gods but less than men.
And so we find Apollonius as a youth conversing with one of the priests
of Æsculapius as follows:

“Since then the Gods know all things, I think that one who enters the
temple with a right conscience within him should pray thus: ‘Give me,
ye Gods, what is my due!’” (i. 11).

And thus again on his long journey to India he prayed at Babylon: “God
of the sun, send thou me o’er the earth so far as e’er ’tis good for
Thee and me; and may I come to know the good, and never know the bad nor
they know me” (i. 31).

One of his most general prayers, Damis tells us, was to this effect:
“Grant me, ye Gods, to have little and need naught” (i. 34).

“When you enter the temples, for what do you pray?” asked the Pontifex
Maximus Telesinus of our philosopher. “I pray,” said Apollonius, “that
righteousness may rule, the laws remain unbroken, the wise be poor and
others rich, but honestly” (iv. 40).

The belief of the philosopher in the grand ideal of having nothing and
yet possessing all things, is exemplified by his reply to the officer
who asked him how he dared enter the dominions of Babylon without
permission. “The whole earth,” said Apollonius, “is mine; and it is
given me to journey through it” (i. 21).

There are many instances of sums of money being offered to Apollonius
for his services, but he invariably refused them; not only so but his
followers also refused all presents. On the occasion when King Vardan,
with true Oriental generosity, offered them gifts, they turned away;
whereupon Apollonius said: “You see, my hands, though many, are all like
each other.” And when the king asked Apollonius what present he would
bring him back from India, our philosopher replied: “A gift that will
please you, sire. For if my stay there should make me wiser, I shall
come back to you better than I am” (i. 41).

When they were crossing the great mountains into India a conversation is
said to have taken place between Apollonius and Damis, which presents us
with a good instance of how our philosopher ever used the incidents of
the day to inculcate the higher lessons of life. The question was
concerning the “below” and “above.” Yesterday, said Damis, we were
_below_ in the valley; to-day we are _above_, high on the mountains, not
far distant from heaven. So this is what you mean by “below” and
“above,” said Apollonius gently. Why, of course, impatiently retorted
Damis, if I am in my right mind; what need of such useless questions?
And have you acquired a greater knowledge of the divine nature by being
nearer heaven on the tops of the mountains? continued his master. Do you
think that those who observe the heaven from the mountain heights are
any nearer the understanding of things? Truth to tell, replied Damis,
somewhat crestfallen, I _did_ think I should come down wiser, for I’ve
been up a higher mountain than any of them, but I fear I know no more
than before I ascended it. Nor do other men, replied Apollonius; “such
observations make them see the heavens more blue, the stars more large,
and the sun rise from the night, things known to those who tend the
sheep and goats; but how God doth take thought for human kind, and how
He doth find pleasure in their service, and what is virtue,
righteousness, and common-sense, that neither Athos will reveal to those
who scale his summit nor yet Olympus who stirs the poet’s wonder, unless
it be the soul perceive them; for should the soul when pure and
unalloyed essay such heights, I swear to thee, she wings her flight far
far beyond this lofty Caucasus” (ii. 6).

So again, when at Thermopylæ his followers were disputing as to which
was the highest ground in Greece, Mt. Œta being then in view. They
happened to be just at the foot of the hill on which the Spartans fell
overwhelmed with arrows. Climbing to the top of it Apollonius cried out:
“And I think _this_ the highest ground, for those who fell here for
freedom’s sake have made it high as Œta and raised it far above a
thousand of Olympuses” (iv. 23).

Another instance of how Apollonius turned chance happenings to good
account is the following. Once at Ephesus, in one of the covered walks
near the city, he was speaking of sharing our goods with others, and how
we ought mutually to help one another. It chanced that a number of
sparrows were sitting on a tree hard by in perfect silence. Suddenly
another sparrow flew up and began chirping, as though it wanted to tell
the others something. Whereupon the little fellows all set to a-chirping
also, and flew away after the new-comer. Apollonius’ superstitious
audience were greatly struck by this conduct of the sparrows, and
thought it was an augury of some important matter. But the philosopher
continued with his sermon. The sparrow, he said, has invited his friends
to a banquet. A boy slipped down in a lane hard by and spilt some corn
he was carrying in a bowl; he picked up most of it and went away. The
little sparrow, chancing on the scattered grains, immediately flew off
to invite his friends to the feast.

Thereon most of the crowd went off at a run to see if it were true, and
when they came back shouting and all agog with wonderment, the
philosopher continued: “Ye see what care the sparrows take of one
another, and how happy they are to share with all their goods. And yet
we men do not approve; nay, if we see a man sharing his goods with
other men, we call it wastefulness, extravagance, and by such names, and
dub the men to whom he gives a share, fawners and parasites. What then
is left to us except to shut us up at home like fattening birds, and
gorge our bellies in the dark until we burst with fat?” (iv. 3).

On another occasion, at Smyrna, Apollonius, seeing a ship getting under
weigh, used the occasion for teaching the people the lesson of
co-operation. “Behold the vessel’s crew!” he said. “How some have manned
the boats, some raise the anchors up and make them fast, some set the
sails to catch the wind, how others yet again look out at bow and stern.
But if a single man should fail to do a single one of these his duties,
or bungle in his seamanship, their sailing will be bad, and they will
have the storm among them. But if they strive in rivalry each with the
other, their only strife being that no man shall seem worse than his
mates, fair havens shall there be for such a ship, and all good weather
and fair voyage crowd in upon it” (iv. 9).

Again, on another occasion, at Rhodes, Damis asked him if he thought
anything greater than the famous Colossus. “I do,” replied Apollonius;
“the man who walks in wisdom’s guileless paths that give us health” (v.
21).

There is also a number of instances of witty or sarcastic answers
reported of our philosopher, and indeed, in spite of his generally grave
mood, he not unfrequently rallied his hearers, and sometimes, if we may
say so, chaffed the foolishness out of them (see especially iv. 30).

Even in times of great danger this characteristic shows itself. A good
instance is his answer to the dangerous question of Tigellinus, “What
think you of Nero?” “I think better of him than you do,” retorted
Apollonius, “for you think he ought to sing, and I think he ought to
keep silence” (iv. 44).

So again his reproof to a young Crœsus of the period is as witty as it
is wise. “Young sir,” he said, “methinks it is not you who own your
house, but your house you” (v. 22).

Of the same style also is his answer to a glutton who boasted of his
gluttony. He copied Hercules, he said, who was as famous for the food he
ate as for his labours.

“Yes,” said Apollonius, “for he was Hercules. But _you_, what virtue
have you, midden-heap? Your only claim to notice is your chance of being
burst” (iv. 23).

But to turn to more serious occasions. In answer to Vespasian’s earnest
prayer, “Teach me what should a good king do,” Apollonius is said to
have replied somewhat in the following words:

“You ask me what can not be taught. For kingship is the greatest thing
within a mortal’s reach; it is not taught. Yet will I tell you what if
you will do, you will do well. Count not that wealth which is stored
up--in what is this superior to the sand haphazard heaped? nor that
which comes from men who groan beneath taxation’s heavy weight--for gold
that comes from tears is base and black. You’ll use wealth best of any
king, if you supply the needs of those in want and make their wealth
secure for those with many goods. Be fearful of the power to do whate’er
you please, so will you use it with more prudence. Do not lop off the
ears of corn that show beyond the rest and raise their heads--for
Aristotle is not just in this[116]--but rather weed their disaffection
out like tares from corn, and show yourself a fear to stirrers up of
strife not in ‘I punish you’ but in ‘I _will_ do so.’ Submit yourself to
law, O prince, for you will make the laws with greater wisdom if you do
not despise the law yourself. Pay reverence more than ever to the Gods;
great are the gifts you have received from them, and for great things
you pray.[117] In what concerns the state act as a king; in what
concerns yourself, act as a private man” (v. 36). And so on much in the
same strain, all good advice and showing a deep knowledge of human
affairs. And if we are to suppose that this is merely a rhetorical
exercise of Philostratus and not based on the substance of what
Apollonius said, then we must have a higher opinion of the rhetorician
than the rest of his writings warrant.

There is an exceedingly interesting Socratic dialogue between
Thespesion, the abbot of the Gymnosophist community, and Apollonius on
the comparative merits of the Greek and Egyptian ways of representing
the Gods. It runs somewhat as follows:

“What! Are we to think,” said Thespesion, “that the Pheidiases and
Praxiteleses went up to heaven and took impressions of the forms of the
Gods, and so made an art of them, or was it something else that set them
a-modelling?”

“Yes, something else,” said Apollonius, “something pregnant with
wisdom.”

“What was that? Surely you cannot say it was anything else but
imitation?”

“Imagination wrought them--a workman wiser far than imitation; for
imitation only makes what it has seen, whereas imagination makes what it
has never seen, conceiving it with reference to the thing it really is.”

Imagination, says Apollonius, is one of the most potent faculties, for
it enables us to reach nearer to realities. It is generally supposed
that Greek sculpture was merely a glorification of physical beauty, in
itself quite unspiritual. It was an idealisation of form and features,
limbs and muscles, an empty glorification of the physical with nothing
of course really corresponding to it in the nature of things. But
Apollonius declared it brings us nearer to the real, as Pythagoras and
Plato declared before him, and as all the wiser teach. He meant this
literally, not vaguely and fantastically. He asserted that the types and
ideas of things are the only realities. He meant that between the
imperfection of the earth and the highest divine type of all things,
were grades of increasing perfection. He meant that within each man was
a form of perfection, though of course not yet absolutely perfect. That
the angel in man, his dæmon, was of God-like beauty, the summation of
all the finest features he had ever worn in his many lives on earth. The
Gods, too, belonged to the world of types, of models, of perfections,
the heaven-world. The Greek sculptors had succeeded in getting in
contact with this world, and the faculty they used was imagination.

This idealisation of form was a worthy way to represent the Gods; but,
says Apollonius, if you set up a hawk or owl or dog in your temples, to
represent Hermes or Athena or Apollo, you may dignify the animals, but
you make the Gods lose dignity.

To this Thespesion replies that the Egyptians dare not give any precise
form to the Gods; they give them merely symbols to which an occult
meaning is attached.

Yes, answers Apollonius, but the danger is that the common people
worship these symbols and get unbeautiful ideas of the Gods. The best
thing would be to have no representations at all. For the mind of the
worshipper can form and fashion for himself an image of the object of
his worship better than any art.

Quite so, retorted Thespesion, and then added mischievously: There was
an old Athenian, by-the-by--no fool--called Socrates, who swore by the
dog and goose as though they were Gods.

Yes, replied Apollonius, he was no fool. He swore by them not as being
Gods, but in order that he might not swear by the Gods (iv. 19).

This is a pleasant passage of wit, of Egyptian against Greek, but all
such set arguments must be set down to the rhetorical exercises of
Philostratus rather than to Apollonius, who taught as “one having
authority,” as “from a tripod.” Apollonius, a priest of universal
religion, might have pointed out the good side and the bad side of both
Greek and Egyptian religious art, and certainly taught the higher way of
symbolless worship, but he would not champion one popular cult against
another. In the above speech there is a distinct prejudice against Egypt
and a glorification of Greece, and this occurs in a very marked fashion
in several other speeches. Philostratus was a champion of Greece against
all comers; but Apollonius, we believe, was wiser than his biographer.

In spite of the artificial literary dress that is given to the longer
discourses of Apollonius, they contain many noble thoughts, as we may
see from the following quotations from the conversations of our
philosopher with his friend Demetrius, who was endeavouring to dissuade
him from braving Domitian at Rome.

The law, said Apollonius, obliges us to die for liberty, and nature
ordains that we should die for our parents, our friends, or our
children. All men are bound by these duties. But a higher duty is laid
upon the sage; he must die for his principles and the truth he holds
dearer than life. It is not the law that lays this choice upon him, it
is not nature; it is the strength and courage of his own soul. Though
fire or sword threaten him, it will not overcome his resolution or force
from him the slightest falsehood; but he will guard the secrets of
others’ lives and all that has been entrusted to his honour as
religiously as the secrets of initiation. And I know more than other
men, for I know that of all that I know, I know some things for the
good, some for the wise, some for myself, some for the Gods, but naught
for tyrants.

Again, I think that a wise man does nothing alone or by himself; no
thought of his so secret but that he has himself as witness to it. And
whether the famous saying “know thyself” be from Apollo or from some
sage who learnt to know himself and proclaimed it as a good for all, I
think the wise man who knows himself and has his own spirit in constant
comradeship, to fight at his right hand, will neither cringe at what the
vulgar fear, nor dare to do what most men do without the slightest shame
(vii. 15).

In the above we have the true philosopher’s contempt for death, and also
the calm knowledge of the initiate, of the comforter and adviser of
others to whom the secrets of their lives have been confessed, that no
tortures can ever unseal his lips. Here, too, we have the full knowledge
of what consciousness is, of the impossibility of hiding the smallest
trace of evil in the inner world; and also the dazzling brilliancy of a
higher ethic which makes the habitual conduct of the crowd appear
surprising--the “that which they do--not with shame.”



SECTION XVI.

FROM HIS LETTERS.


Apollonius seems to have written many letters to emperors, kings,
philosophers, communities and states, although he was by no means a
“voluminous correspondent”; in fact, the style of his short notes is
exceedingly concise, and they were composed, as Philostratus says,
“after the manner of the Lacedæmonian scytale”[118] (iv. 27 and vii.
35).

It is evident that Philostratus had access to letters attributed to
Apollonius, for he quotes a number of them,[119] and there seems no
reason to doubt their authenticity. Whence he obtained them he does not
inform us, unless it be that they were the collection made by Hadrian at
Antium (viii. 20).

That the reader may be able to judge of the style of Apollonius we
append one or two specimens of these letters, or rather notes, for they
are too short to deserve the title of epistles. Here is one to the
magistrates of Sparta:

“Apollonius to the Ephors, greeting!

“It is possible for men not to make mistakes, but it requires noble men
to acknowledge they have made them.”

All of which Apollonius gets into just half as many words in Greek.
Here, again, is an interchange of notes between the two greatest
philosophers of the time, both of whom suffered imprisonment and were in
constant danger of death.

“Apollonius to Musonius, the philosopher, greeting!

“I want to go to you, to share speech and roof with you, to be of some
service to you. If you still believe that Hercules once rescued Theseus
from Hades, write what you would have. Farewell!”

“Musonius to Apollonius, the philosopher, greeting!

“Good merit shall be stored for you for your good thoughts; what is in
store for me is one who waits his trial and proves his innocence.
Farewell.”

“Apollonius to Musonius, greeting!

“Socrates refused to be got out of prison by his friends and went before
the judges. He was put to death. Farewell.”

“Musonius to Apollonius, the philosopher, greeting!

“Socrates was put to death because he made no preparation for his
defence. I shall do so. Farewell!”

However, Musonius, the Stoic, was sent to penal servitude by Nero.

Here is a note to the Cynic Demetrius, another of our philosopher’s most
devoted friends.

“Apollonius, the philosopher, to Demetrius, the Dog,[120] greeting!

“I give thee to Titus, the emperor, to teach him the way of kingship,
and do you in turn give me to speak him true; and be to him all things
but anger. Farewell!”

In addition to the notes quoted in the text of Philostratus, there is a
collection of ninety-five letters, mostly brief notes, the text of which
is printed in most editions.[121] Nearly all the critics are of opinion
that they are not genuine, but Jowett[122] and others think that some of
them may very well be genuine.

Here is a specimen or two of these letters. Writing to Euphrates, his
great enemy, that is to say the champion of pure rationalistic ethic
against the science of sacred things, he says:

17. “The Persians call those who have the divine faculty (or are
god-like) Magi. A Magus, then, is one who is a minister of the Gods, or
one who has by nature the god-like faculty. You are no Magus but reject
the Gods (i.e., are an atheist).”

Again, in a letter addressed to Criton, we read:

23. “Pythagoras said that the most divine art was that of healing. And
if the healing art is most divine, it must occupy itself with the soul
as well as with the body; for no creature can be sound so long as the
higher part in it is sickly.”

Writing to the priests of Delphi against the practice of
blood-sacrifice, he says:

27. “Heraclitus was a sage, but even he[123] never advised the people of
Ephesus to wash out mud with mud.”[124]

Again, to some who claimed to be his followers, those “who think
themselves wise,” he writes the reproof:

43. “If any say he is my disciple, then let him add he keeps himself
apart out of the Baths, he slays no living thing, eats of no flesh, is
free from envy, malice, hatred, calumny, and hostile feelings, but has
his name inscribed among the race of those who’ve won their freedom.”

Among these letters is found one of some length addressed to Valerius,
probably P. Valerius Asiaticus, consul in A.D. 70. It is a wise letter
of philosophic consolation to enable Valerius to bear the loss of his
son, and runs as follows:[125]

“There is no death of anyone, but only in appearance, even as there is
no birth of any, save only in seeming. The change from being to becoming
seems to be birth, and the change from becoming to being seems to be
death, but in reality no one is ever born, nor does one ever die. It is
simply a being visible and then invisible; the former through the
density of matter, and the latter because of the subtlety of
being--being which is ever the same, its only change being motion and
rest. For being has this necessary peculiarity, that its change is
brought about by nothing external to itself; but whole becomes parts and
parts become whole in the oneness of the all. And if it be asked: What
is this which sometimes is seen and sometimes not seen, now in the same,
now in the different?--it might be answered: It is the way of everything
here in the world below that when it is filled out with matter it is
visible, owing to the resistance of its density, but is invisible, owing
to its subtlety, when it is rid of matter, though matter still surround
it and flow through it in that immensity of space which hems it in but
knows no birth or death.

“But why has this false notion [of birth and death] remained so long
without a refutation? Some think that what has happened through them,
they have themselves brought about. They are ignorant that the
individual is brought to birth _through_ parents, not by parents, just
as a thing produced _through_ the earth is not produced _from_ it. The
change which comes to the individual is nothing that is caused by his
visible surroundings, but rather a change in the one thing which is in
every individual.

“And what other name can we give to it but primal being? ’Tis it alone
that acts and suffers becoming all for all through all, eternal deity,
deprived and wronged of its own self by names and forms. But this is a
less serious thing than that a man should be bewailed, when he has
passed from man to God by change of state and not by the destruction of
his nature. The fact is that so far from mourning death you ought to
honour it and reverence it. The best and fittest way for you to honour
death is now to leave the one who’s gone to God, and set to work to play
the ruler over those left in your charge as you were wont to do. It
would be a disgrace for such a man as you to owe your cure to time and
not to reason, for time makes even common people cease from grief. The
greatest thing is a strong rule, and of the greatest rulers he is best
who first can rule himself. And how is it permissible to wish to change
what has been brought to pass by will of God? If there’s a law in
things, and there _is_ one, and it is God who has appointed it, the
righteous man will have no wish to try to change good things, for such a
wish is selfishness, and counter to the law, but he will think that all
that comes to pass is a good thing. On! heal yourself, give justice to
the wretched and console them; so shall you dry your tears. You should
not set your private woes above your public cares, but rather set your
public cares before your private woes. And see as well what consolation
you already have! The nation sorrows with you for your son. Make some
return to those who weep with you; and this you will more quickly do if
you will cease from tears than if you still persist. Have you not
friends? Why! you have yet another son. Have you not even still the one
that’s gone? You have!--will answer anyone who really thinks. For ‘that
which is’ doth cease not--nay _is_ just for the very fact that it will
be for aye; or else the ‘is not’ is, and how could that be when the ‘is’
doth never cease to be?

“Again it will be said you fail in piety to God and are unjust. ’Tis
true. You fail in piety to God, you fail in justice to your boy; nay
more, you fail in piety to him as well. Would’st know what death is?
Then make me dead and send me off to company with death, and if you will
not change the dress you’ve put on it,[126] you will have straightway
made me better than yourself.”[127]



SECTION XVII.

THE WRITINGS OF APOLLONIUS.


But besides these letters Apollonius also wrote a number of treatises,
of which, however, only one or two fragments have been preserved. These
treatises are as follows:

_a._ The Mystic Rites or Concerning Sacrifices.[128] This treatise is
mentioned by Philostratus (iii. 41; iv. 19), who tells us that it set
down the proper method of sacrifice to every God, the proper hours of
prayer and offering. It was in wide circulation, and Philostratus had
come across copies of it in many temples and cities, and in the
libraries of philosophers. Several fragments of it have been
preserved,[129] the most important of which is to be found in
Eusebius,[130] and is to this effect: “’Tis best to make no sacrifice to
God at all, no lighting of a fire, no calling Him by any name that men
employ for things of sense. For God is over all, the first; and only
after Him do come the other Gods. For He doth stand in need of naught
e’en from the Gods, much less from us small men--naught that the earth
brings forth, nor any life she nurseth, or even any thing the stainless
air contains. The only fitting sacrifice to God is man’s best reason,
and not the word[131] that comes from out his mouth.

“We men should ask the best of beings through the best thing in us, for
what is good--I mean by means of mind, for mind needs no material things
to make its prayer. So then, to God, the mighty One, who’s over all, no
sacrifice should ever be lit up.”

Noack[132] tells us that scholarship is convinced of the genuineness of
this fragment. This book, as we have seen, was widely circulated and
held in the highest respect, and it said that its rules were engraved on
brazen pillars at Byzantium.[133]

_b._ The Oracles or Concerning Divination, 4 books. Philostratus (iii.
41) seems to think that the full title was Divination of the Stars, and
says that it was based on what Apollonius had learned in India; but the
_kind_ of divination Apollonius wrote about was not the ordinary
astrology, but something which Philostratus considers superior to
ordinary human art in such matters. He had, however, never heard of
anyone possessing a copy of this rare work.

_c._ The Life of Pythagoras. Porphyry refers to this work,[134] and
Iamblichus quotes a long passage from it.[135]

_d._ The Will of Apollonius, to which reference has already been made,
in treating of the sources of Philostratus (i. 3). This was written in
the Ionic dialect, and contained a summary of his doctrines.

A Hymn to Memory is also ascribed to him, and Eudocia speaks of many
other (καὶ ἄλλα πολλά) works.

We have now indicated for the reader all the information which exists
concerning our philosopher. Was Apollonius, then, a rogue, a trickster,
a charlatan, a fanatic, a misguided enthusiast, or a philosopher, a
reformer, a conscious worker, a true initiate, one of the earth’s great
ones? This each must decide for himself, according to his knowledge or
his ignorance.

I for my part bless his memory, and would gladly learn from him, as now
he is.



SECTION XVIII.

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTES.


NINETEENTH CENTURY LITERATURE ON APOLLONIUS.

  Jacobs (F.), Observationes in ... Philostrati Vitam Apollonii
  (Jena; 1804), purely philological, for the correction of the
  text.

  Legrand d’Aussy (P. J. B.), Vie d’Apollonius de Tyane (Paris;
  1807, 2 vols.).

  Bekker (G. J.), Specimen Variarum Lectionum ... in Philost.
  Vitæ App. Librum primum (1808); purely philological.

  Berwick (E.), The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, translated from
  the Greek of Philostratus, with Notes and Illustrations
  (London; 1809).

  Lancetti (V.), Le Opere dei due Filostrati, Italian trs.
  (Milano; 1828-31); in “Coll. degli Ant. Storici Greci
  volgarizzati.”

  Jacobs (F.), Philostratus: Leben des Apollonius von Tyana, in
  the series “Griechische Prosaiker,” German trs. (Stuttgart;
  1829-32), vols. xlviii., lxvi., cvi., cxi., each containing two
  books; a very clumsy arrangement.

  Baur (F. C.), Apollonius von Tyana und Christus oder das
  Verhältniss des Pythagoreismus zum Christenthum (Tübingen;
  1832); reprinted from Tübinger Zeitschrift für Theologie.

  Second edition by E. Zeller (Leipzig; 1876), in Drei
  Abhandlungen zur Geschichte der alten Philosophie und ihres
  Verhältnisses zum Christenthum.

  Kayser and Westermann’s editions as above referred to in
  section v.

  Newman (J. H.), “Apollonius Tyanæus--Miracles,” in Smedley’s
  Encyclopædia Metropolitana (London; 1845), x. pp. 619-644.

  Noack (L.), “Apollonius von Tyana ein Christusbild des
  Heidenthums,” in his magazine Psyche: Populärwissenschaftliche
  Zeitschrift für die Kentniss des menschlichen Seelen- und
  Geistes-lebens (Leipzig; 1858), Bd. i., Heft ii., pp. 1-24.

  Müller (I. P. E.), Commentatio qua de Philostrati in componenda
  Memoria Apoll. Tyan. fide quæritur, I.-III. (Onoldi et
  Landavii; 1858-1860).

  Müller (E.), War Apollonius von Tyana ein Weiser oder ein
  Betrüger oder ein Schwärmer und Fanatiker? Ein
  Culturhistorische Untersuchung (Breslau; 1861, 4to), 56 pp.

  Chassang (A.), Apollonius de Tyane, sa Vie, ses Voyages, ses
  Prodiges, par Philostrate, et ses Lettres, trad. du grec. avec
  Introd., Notes et Eclaircissements (Paris; 1862), with the
  additional title, Le Merveilleux dans l’Antiquité.

  Réville (A.), Apollonius the Pagan Christ of the Third Century
  (London; 1866), tr. from the French. The original is not in the
  British Museum.

  Priaulx (O. de B.), The Indian Travels of Apollonius of Tyana,
  etc. (London; 1873), pp. 1-62.

  Mönckeberg (C.), Apollonius von Tyana, ein Weihnachtsgabe
  (Hamburg; 1877), 57 pp.

  Pettersch (C. H.), Apollonius von Tyana der Heiden Heiland, ein
  philosophische Studie (Reichenberg; 1879), 23 pp.

  Nielsen (C. L.), Apollonios fra Tyana og Filostrats Beskrivelse
  af hans Levnet (Copenhagen; 1879); the Appendix (pp. 167 sqq.)
  contains a Danish tr. of Eusebius Contra Hieroclem.

  Baltzer (E.), Apollonius von Tyana, aus den Griech. übersetzt
  u. erläutert (Rudolstadt i/ Th.; 1883).

  Jessen (J.), Apollonius von Tyana und sein Biograph
  Philostratus (Hamburg; 1885, 4to), 36 pp.

  Tredwell (D. M.), A Sketch of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana,
  or the first Ten Decades of our Era (New York; 1886).

  Sinnett (A. P.), “Apollonius of Tyana,” in the Transactions
  (No. 32) of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society
  (London; 1898), 32 pp.

The student may also consult the articles in the usual Dictionaries and
Encyclopædias, none of which, however, demand special mention. P.
Cassel’s learned paper in the Vossische Zeitung of Nov. 24th, 1878, I
have not been able to see.


SOME INDICATIONS OF THE LITERATURE ON THE RELIGIOUS ASSOCIATIONS AMONG
THE GREEKS AND ROMANS.

  Böckh (A.), Die Staatshaushaltung der Athener (1st ed. 1817).
  For older literature, see i. 416, _n._

  Van Holst, De Eranis Veterum Græcorum (Leyden; 1832).

  Mommsen (T.), De Collegiis et Sodaliciis Romanorum (Kiel;
  1843).

  Mommsen (T.), “Römische Urkunden, iv.--Die Lex Julia de
  Collegiis und die lanuvinische Lex Collegii Salutaris,” art. in
  Zeitschr. für geschichtl. Rechtswissenschaft (1850), vol. xv.
  353 sqq.

  Wescher (C.), “Recherches épigraphiques en Grèce, dans
  l’Archipel et en Asie Mineure,” arts. in Le Moniteur of Oct.
  20, 23, and 24, 1863.

  Wescher (C.), “Inscriptions de l’Île de Rhodes relatives à des
  Sociétés religieuses”; “Notice sur deux Inscriptions de l’Île
  de Théra relatives à une Société religieuse”; “Note sur une
  Inscription de l’Île de Théra publiée par M. Ross et relative à
  une Société religieuse”; arts. in La Revue archéologique
  (Paris; new series, 1864), x. 460 sqq.; 1865, xii. 214 sqq.;
  1866, xiii. 245 sqq.

  Foucart (P.), Des Associations religieuses chez les Grecs,
  Thiases, Éranes, Orgéons, avec le Texte des Inscriptions
  relatives à ces Associations (Paris; 1873).

  Lüders (H. O.), Die dionyschischen Künstler (Berlin; 1873).

  Cohn (M.), Zum römischen Vereinsrecht: Abhandlung aus der
  Rechtsgeschichte (Berlin; 1873). Also the notice of it in
  Bursian’s Philol. Jaresbericht (1873), ii. 238-304.

  Henzen (G.), Acta Fratrum Arvalium quæ supersunt;... accedunt
  Fragmenta Fastorum in Luco Arvalium effossa (Berlin; 1874).

  Heinrici (G.), “Die Christengemeinde Korinths und die
  religiösen genossenschaften der Griechen”; “Zur Geschichte der
  Anfange paulinischer Gemeinden”; arts. in Zeitschr. für
  wissensch. Theol. (Jena, etc.; 1876), pp. 465-526, particularly
  pp. 479 sqq.; 1877, pp. 89-130.

  Duruy (V.), “Du Régime municipal dans l’Empire romain,” art. in
  La Revue historique (Paris; 1876), pp. 355 sqq.; also his
  Histoire des Romanis (Paris; 1843, 1844), i. 149 sqq.

  De Rossi, Roma Sotteranea (Rome; 1877), iii. 37 sqq., and
  especially pp. 507 sqq.

  Marquardt (J.), Römische Staatsverwaltung, iii. 131-142, in
  vol. vi. of Marquardt and Mommsen’s Handbuch der römischen
  Altherthümer (Leipzig; 1878); an excellent summary with
  valuable notes, especially the section “Ersatz der Gentes durch
  die Sodalitates für fremde Culte.”

  Boissier (G.), La Religion romaine d’Auguste aux Antonins
  (Paris; 2nd ed. 1878), ii. 238-304 (1st ed. 1874).

  Hatch (E.), The Organization of the Early Christian Churches:
  The Bampton Lectures for 1880 (London; 2nd ed. 1882); see
  especially Lecture ii., “Bishops and Deacons,” pp. 26-32:
  German ed. Die Gesellschaftsverfassung der christlichen Kirchen
  in Althertum (1883), p. 20; see this for additional literature.

  Newmann (K. J.), “θιασῶται Ἰησοῦ,” art. in Jahrbb. für prot.
  Theol. (Leipzig, etc.; 1885), pp. 123-125.

  Schürer (E.), A History of the Jewish People in the Time of
  Jesus Christ, Eng. tr. (Edinburgh; 1893), Div. ii, vol. ii. pp.
  255 and 300.

  Owen (J.), “On the Organization of the Early Church,” an
  Introductory Essay to the English translation of Harnack’s
  Sources of the Apostolic Canons (London; 1895).

  Anst (E.), Die Religion der Römer; vol. xiii. Darstellungen aus
  dem Gebiete der nichtchristlichen Religionsgeschichte (Münster
  i. W.; 1899).

See also Whiston and Wayte’s art. “Arvales Fratres,” and Moyle’s arts.
“Collegium” and “Universitas,” in Smith, Wayte and Marindin’s Dict. of
Greek and Roman Antiquities (London; 3rd ed. 1890-1891); and also, of
course, the arts. “Collegium” and “Sodalitas” in Pauly’s
Realencyclopädie der classichen Alterthumswissenschaft, though they are
now somewhat out of date.


  FOOTNOTES

  [1] From a fragment of The Cretans. See Lobeck’s Aglaophamus,
  p. 622.

  [2] Pronounced Týǎna, with the accent on the first syllable and
  the first a short.

  [3] Alexander sive Pseudomantis, vi.

  [4] De Magia, xc. (ed. Hildebrand, 1842, ii. 614).

  [5] τελέσματα. _Telesma_ was “a consecrated object, turned by
  the Arabs into _telsam_ (_talisman_)”; see Liddell and Scott’s
  Lexicon, sub voc.

  [6] Justin Martyr, Opera, ed. Otto (2nd ed.; Jena, 1849), iii.
  32.

  [7] Lib. lxxvii. 18.

  [8] Life of Alexander Severus, xxix.

  [9] Life of Aurelian, xxiv.

  [10] “_Quæ qui velit nosse, græcos legat libros qui de ejus
  vita conscripti sunt._” These accounts were probably the books
  of Maximus, Mœragenes, and Philostratus.

  [11] An Egyptian epic poet, who wrote several poetical
  histories in Greek; he flourished in the last decade of the
  third century.

  [12] Sidonius Apollinaris, Epp., viii. 3. See also Legrand
  d’Aussy, Vie d’Apollonius de Tyane (Paris; 1807), p. xlvii.

  [13] Porphyry, De Vita Pythagoræ, section ii., ed. Kiessling
  (Leipzig; 1816). Iamblichus De Vita Pythagorica, chap. xxv.,
  ed. Kiessling (Leipzig; 1813); see especially K.’s note, pp. 11
  sqq. See also Porphyry, Frag., De Styge, p. 285, ed. Holst.

  [14] See Duchesne on the recently discovered works of Macarius
  Magnes (Paris; 1877).

  [15] The most convenient text is by Gaisford (Oxford; 1852),
  Eusebii Pamphili contra Hieroclem; it is also printed in a
  number of editions of Philostratus. There are two translations
  in Latin, one in Italian, one in Danish, all bound up with
  Philostratus’ Vita, and one in French printed apart (Discours
  d’Eusèbe Evêque de Cesarée touchant les Miracles attribuez par
  les Payens à Apollonius de Tyane, tr. by Cousin. Paris; 1584,
  12mo, 135 pp.).

  [16] Lactantius, Divinæ Institutiones, v. 2, 3; ed. Fritsche
  (Leipzig; 1842), pp. 233, 236.

  [17] Arnobius, Adversus Nationes, i. 52; ed. Hildebrand (Halle;
  1844), p. 86. The Church Father, however, with that
  exclusiveness peculiar to the Judæo-Christian view, omits Moses
  from the list of Magi.

  [18] John Chrysostom, Adversus Judæos, v. 3 (p. 631); De
  Laudibus Sancti Pauli Apost. Homil., iv. (p. 493 D.; ed.
  Montfauc.).

  [19] Hieronymus, Ep. ad Paulinum, 53 (text ap. Kayser, præf.
  ix.).

  [20] August., Epp., cxxxviii. Text quoted by Legrand d’Aussy,
  op. cit., p. 294.

  [21] Isidorus Pelusiota, Epp., p. 138; ed. J. Billius (Paris;
  1585).

  [22] See Arnobius, loc. cit.

  [23] Sidonius Apollinaris, Epp., viii. 3. Also Fabricius,
  Bibliotheca Græca, pp. 549, 565 (ed. Harles). The work of
  Sidonius on Apollonius is unfortunately lost.

  [24] _Amplissimus ille philosophus_ (xxiii. 7). See also xxi.
  14; xxiii. 19.

  [25] τι θεῶν τε καὶ ἀνθρώπου μέσον, meaning thereby presumably
  one who has reached the grade of being superior to man, but not
  yet equal to the gods. This was called by the Greeks the
  “dæmonian” order. But the word “dæmon,” owing to sectarian
  bitterness, has long been degraded from its former high estate,
  and the original idea is now signified in popular language by
  the term “angel.” Compare Plato, Symposium, xxiii., πᾶν τὸ
  δαιμόνιον μεταξύ ἐστι θεοῦ τε καὶ θνητοῦ, “all that is dæmonian
  is between God and man.”

  [26] Eunapius, Vitæ Philosophorum, Proœmium, vi.; ed.
  Boissonade (Amsterdam; 1822), p. 3.

  [27] Réville, Apollonius of Tyana (tr. from the French), p. 56
  (London; 1866). I have, however, not been able to discover on
  what authority this statement is made.

  [28] _Insignis philosophus_; see his Chronicon, written down to
  the year 519.

  [29] In his Chronographia. See Legrand d’Aussy, op. cit., p.
  313.

  [30] Chiliades, ii. 60.

  [31] Cited by Legrand d’Aussy, op. cit., p. 286.

  [32] φιλόσοφος Πυθαγόρειος στοιχειωματικός--Cedrenus,
  Compendium Historiarium, i. 346; ed. Bekker. The word which I
  have rendered by “adept” signifies one “who has power over the
  elements.”

  [33] Legrand d’Aussy, op. cit., p. 308.

  [34] If we except the disputed Letters and a few quotations
  from one of Apollonius’ lost writings.

  [35] Philostratus de Vita Apollonii Tyanei Libri Octo, tr. by
  A. Rinuccinus, and Eusebius contra Hieroclem, tr. by Z.
  Acciolus (Venice; 1501-04, fol.). Rinucci’s translation was
  improved by Beroaldus and printed at Lyons (1504?), and again
  at Cologne, 1534.

  [36] F. Baldelli, Filostrato Lemnio della Vita di Apollonio
  Tianeo (Florence; 1549, 8vo).

  [37] B. de Vignère, Philostrate de la Vie d’Apollonius (Paris;
  1596, 1599, 1611). Blaise de Vignère’s translation was
  subsequently corrected by Frédéric Morel and later by Thomas
  Artus, Sieur d’Embry, with bombastic notes in which he bitterly
  attacks the wonder-workings of Apollonius. A French translation
  was also made by Th. Sibilet about 1560, but never published;
  the MS. was in the Bibliothèque Imperiale. See Miller, Journal
  des Savants, 1849, p. 625, quoted by Chassang, op. infr. cit.,
  p. iv.

  [38] F. Morellus, Philostrati Lemnii Opera, Gr. and Lat.
  (Paris; 1608).

  [39] G. Olearius, Philostratorum quæ supersunt Omnia, Gr. and
  Lat. (Leipzig; 1709).

  [40] C. L. Kayser, Flavii Philostrati quæ supersunt, etc.
  (Zurich; 1844, 4to). In 1849 A. Westermann also edited a text,
  Philostratorum et Callistrati Opera, in Didot’s “Scriptorum
  Græcorum Bibliotheca” (Paris; 1849, 8vo). But Kayser brought
  out a new edition in 1853 (?), and again a third, with
  additional information in the Preface, in the “Bibliotheca
  Teubneriana” (Leipzig; 1870).

  [41] For a general summary of opinions prior to 1807, of
  writers who mention Apollonius incidentally, see Legrand
  d’Aussy, op. cit., ii. pp. 313-327.

  [42] L’Histoire d’Apollone de Tyane convaincue de Fausseté et
  d’Imposture (Paris; 1705).

  [43] An Account of the Life of Apollonius Tyaneus (London;
  1702), tr. out of the French, from vol. ii. of Lenain de
  Tillemont’s Histoire des Empereurs (2nd ed., Paris; 1720): to
  which is added Some Observations upon Apollonius. De
  Tillemont’s view is that Apollonius was sent by the Devil to
  destroy the work of the Saviour.

  [44] A Critical and Historical Discourse upon the Method of the
  Principal Authors who wrote for and against Christianity from
  its Beginning (London; 1739), tr. from the French of M. l’Abbé
  Houtteville; to which is added a “Dessertation on the Life of
  Apollonius Tyanæus, with some Observations on the Platonists of
  the Latter School,” pp. 213-254.

  [45] Anti-Hierocles oder Jesus Christus und Apollonius von
  Tyana in ihrer grossen Ungleichheit, dargestellt v. J. B.
  Lüderwald (Halle; 1793).

  [46] Phileleutherus Helvetius, De Miraculis quæ Pythagoræ,
  Apollonio Tyanensi, Francisco Asisio, Dominico, et Ignatio
  Lojolæ tribuuntur Libellus (Draci; 1734).

  [47] See Legrand d’Aussy, op. cit., ii. p. 314, where the texts
  are given.

  [48] The Two First Books of Philostratus concerning the Life of
  Apollonius Tyaneus (London; 1680, fol.). Blount’s notes
  (generally ascribed to Lord Herbert) raised such an outcry that
  the book was condemned in 1693, and few copies are in
  existence. Blount’s notes were, however, translated into French
  a century later, in the days of Encyclopædism, and appended to
  a French version of the Vita, under the title, Vie d’Apollonius
  de Tyane par Philostrate avec les Commentaires donnés en
  Anglois par Charles Blount sur les deux Premiers Livres de cet
  Ouvrage (Amsterdam; 1779, 4 vols., 8vo), with an ironical
  dedication to Pope Clement XIV., signed “Philalethes.”

  [49] Philosophiam Practicam Apollonii Tyanæi in Sciagraphia,
  exponit M. Io. Christianus Herzog (Leipzig; 1709); an
  academical oration of 20 pp.

  [50] Philostratus is a difficult author to translate,
  nevertheless Chassang and Baltzer have succeeded very well with
  him; Berwick also is readable, but in most places gives us a
  paraphrase rather than a translation and frequently mistakes
  the meaning. Chassang’s and Baltzer’s are by far the best
  translations.

  [51] This would have at least restored Apollonius to his
  natural environment, and confined the question of the divinity
  of Jesus to its proper Judæo-Christian ground.

  [52] I am unable to offer any opinion on Nielsen’s book, from
  ignorance of Danish, but it has all the appearance of a
  careful, scholarly treatise with abundance of references.

  [53] Réville’s Pagan Christ is quite a misrepresentation of the
  subject, and Newman’s treatment of the matter renders his
  treatise an anachronism for the twentieth century.

  [54] Consisting of eight books written in Greek under the
  general title Τὰ ἐς τὸν Τυανέα Ἀπολλώνιον.

  [55] ἡ φιλόσοφος, see art. “Philostratus” in Smith’s Dict. of
  Gr. and Rom. Biog. (London; 1870), iii. 327_b._

  [56] The italics are Gibbon’s.

  [57] More correctly Domna Julia; Domna being not a shortened
  form of Domina, but the Syrian name of the empress.

  [58] She died A.D. 217.

  [59] The contrary is held by other historians.

  [60] Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, I. vi

  [61] I use the 1846 and 1870 editions of Kayser’s text
  throughout.

  [62] A collection of these letters (but not all of them) had
  been in the possession of the Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117-138),
  and had been left in his palace at Antium (viii. 20). This
  proves the great fame that Apollonius enjoyed shortly after his
  disappearance from history, and while he was still a living
  memory. It is to be noticed that Hadrian was an enlightened
  ruler, a great traveller, a lover of religion, and an initiate
  of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

  [63] Nineveh.

  [64] τὰς δέλτους, writing tablets. This suggests that the
  account of Damis could not have been very voluminous, although
  Philostratus further on asserts its detailed nature (i. 19).

  [65] One of the imperial secretaries of the time, who was
  famous for his eloquence, and tutor to Apollonius.

  [66] A town not far from Tarsus.

  [67] ὡς ὑποθειάζων τὴν φιλοσοφίαν ἐγένετο. The term ὑποθειάζων
  occurs only in this passage, and I am therefore not quite
  certain of its meaning.

  [68] This Life by Mœragenes is casually mentioned by Origenes,
  Contra Celsum, vi. 41; ed. Lommatzsch (Berlin; 1841), ii. 373.

  [69] λόγοις δαιμονίοις.

  [70] Seldom is it that we have such a clear indication, for
  instance, as in i. 25; “The following is what _I_ have been
  able to learn ... about Babylon.”

  [71] See E. A. Schwanbeck, Megasthenis Indica (Bonn; 1846), and
  J. W. M’Crindle, Ancient India as described by Megasthenes and
  Arrian (Calcutta, Bombay, London; 1877), The Commerce and
  Navigation of the Erythræan Sea (1879), Ancient India as
  described by Ktesias (1882), Ancient India as described by
  Ptolemy (London; 1885), and The Invasion of India by Alexander
  the Great (London; 1893, 1896).

  [72] Another good example of this is seen in the disquisition
  on elephants which Philostratus takes from Juba’s History of
  Libya (ii. 13 and 16).

  [73] Perhaps a title, or the king of the Purus.

  [74] Not that Philostratus makes any disguise of his
  embellishments; see, for instance, ii. 17, where he says: “Let
  me, however, defer what _I_ have to say on the subject of
  serpents, of the manner of hunting which Damis gives a
  description.”

  [75] Legends of the wonderful happenings at his birth were in
  circulation, and are of the same nature as all such
  birth-legends of great people.

  [76] ἀρρήτῳ τινὶ σοφία ξυνέλαβε.

  [77] Sci., than his tutor; namely, the “memory” within him, or
  his “dæmon.”

  [78] This æther was presumably the mind-stuff.

  [79] That is to say presumably he was encouraged in his efforts
  by those unseen helpers of the temple by whom the cures were
  wrought by means of dreams, and help was given psychically and
  mesmerically.

  [80] “Where are you hurrying? Are you off to see the youth?”

  [81] Compare Odyssey, xx. 18.

  [82] I am inclined to think, however, that Apollonius was still
  a youngish man when he set out on his Indian travels, instead
  of being forty-six, as some suppose. But the difficulties of
  most of the chronology are insurmountable.

  [83] φήσας οὐκ ἀνθρώπων ἑαυτῷ δεῖν, ἀλλ' ἀνδρῶν.

  [84] ἰδιότροπα.

  [85] τoὺς oὕτω φιλοσοφοῦντας.

  [86] That is to say, presumably, spend the time in silent
  meditation.

  [87] That is the Brāhmans and Buddhists. Sarman is the Greek
  corruption of the Sanskrit Samaṇa and Pâli Samaṇo, the
  technical term for a Buddhist ascetic or monk. The ignorance of
  the copyists changed Sarmanes first into Germanes and then into
  Hyrcanians!

  [88] This shows that Apollonius was still young, and not
  between forty and fifty, as some have asserted. Tredwell (p.
  77) dates the Indian travels as 41-54 A.D.

  [89] See especially iii. 15, 41; v. 5, 10; vii. 10, 13; viii.
  28.

  [90] ἐκφατνίσματα.

  [91] See especially vii. 13, 14, 15, 22, 31.

  [92] The list is full of gaps, so that we cannot suppose that
  Damis’ notes were anything like complete records of the
  numerous itineraries; not only so, but one is tempted to
  believe that whole journeys, in which Damis had no share, are
  omitted.

  [93] Here at any rate they came in sight of the giant
  mountains, the Imaus (Himavat) or Himālayan Range, where was
  the great mountain Meros (Meru). The name of the Hindu Olympus
  being changed into Meros in Greek had, ever since Alexander’s
  expedition, given rise to the myth that Bacchus was born from
  the thigh (_meros_) of Zeus--presumably one of the facts which
  led Professor Max Müller to stigmatise the whole of mythology
  as a “disease of language.”

  [94] Referring to his instructors he says, “I ever remember my
  masters and journey through the world teaching what I have
  learned from them” (vi. 18).

  [95] According to some, Apollonius would be now about
  sixty-eight years of age. But if he were still young (say
  thirty years old or so) when he left for India, he must either
  have spent a very long period in that country, or we have a
  very imperfect record of his doings in Asia Minor, Greece,
  Italy, and Spain, after his return.

  [96] For the most recent study in English on the subject of
  Æsculapius see The Cult of Asclepios, by Alice Walton, Ph.D.,
  in No. III. of The Cornell Studies in Classical Philology
  (Ithaca, N.Y.; 1894).

  [97] He evidently wrote the notes of the Indian travels long
  after the time at which they were made.

  [98] This shows that Philostratus came across them in some work
  or letter of Apollonius, and is therefore independent of Damis’
  account for this particular.

  [99] I--arχas, arχa(t)s, arhat.

  [100] Tantalus is fabled to have stolen the cup of nectar from
  the gods; this was the amṛita, the ocean of immortality and
  wisdom, of the Indians.

  [101] The words οὐδεν κεκτημένους ἢ τὰ πάντων, which
  Philostratus quotes twice in this form, can certainly not be
  changed into μηδὲν κεκτημένους τὰ πάντων ἔχειν without doing
  unwarrantable violence to their meaning.

  [102] See Tacitus, Historia, ii. 3.

  [103] Berwick, Life of Apollonius, p. 200 _n._

  [104] He also built a precinct round the tomb of Leonidas at
  Thermopylæ (iv. 23).

  [105] A great centre of divination by means of dreams (see ii.
  37).

  [106] The word γυμνός (naked), however, usually means lightly
  clad, as, for instance, when a man is said to plough “naked,”
  that is with only one garment, and this is evident from the
  comparison made between the costume of the Gymnosophists and
  that of people in the hot weather at Athens (vi. 6).

  [107] For they had neither huts nor houses, but lived in the
  open air.

  [108] He spent, we are told, no less than a year and eight
  months with Vardan, King of Babylon, and was the honoured guest
  of the Indian Rājāh “Phraotes.”

  [109] See i. 22 (cf. 40), 34; iv. 4, 6, 18 (cf. v. 19), 24, 43;
  v. 7, 11, 13, 30, 37; vi. 32; viii. 26.

  [110] This expression is, however, perhaps only to be taken as
  rhetorical, for in viii. 8, the incident is referred to in the
  simple words “when he departed (ἀπῆλθε) from the tribunal.”

  [111] That is to say not in a “form,” but in his own nature.

  [112] See in this connection L. v. Schroeder, Pythagoras und
  die Inder, eine Untersuchung über Herkunft und Abstammung der
  pythagoreischen Lehren (Leipzig; 1884).

  [113] This has reference to the preserved hunting parks, or
  “paradises,” of the Babylonian monarchs.

  [114] Reading φιλοσόφῳ for φιλοσοφῶν.

  [115] Rathgeber (G.) in his Grossgriechenland und Pythagoras
  (Gotha; 1866), a work of marvellous bibliographical industry,
  refers to three supposed portraits of Apollonius (p. 621). (i)
  In the Campidoglio Museum of the Vatican, Indicazione delle
  Sculture (Roma; 1840), p. 68, nos. 75, 76, 77; (ii) in the
  Musée Royal Bourbon, described by Michel B. (Naples; 1837), p.
  79, no. 363; (iii) a contorniate reproduced by Visconti. I
  cannot trace his first reference, but in a Guide pour le Musée
  Royal Bourbon, traduit par C. J. J. (Naples; 1831), I find on
  p. 152 that no. 363 is a bust of Apollonius, 2¾ feet high,
  carefully executed, with a Zeus-like head, having a beard and
  long hair descending onto the shoulders, bound with a deep
  fillet. The bust seems to be ancient. I have, however, not been
  able to find a reproduction of it. Visconti (E. Q.) in the
  atlas of his Iconographie Grecque (Paris; 1808), vol. i. plate
  17, facing p. 68, gives the reproduction of a contorniate, or
  medal with a circular border, on one side of which is a head of
  Apollonius and the Latin legend APOLLONIVS TEANEVS. This also
  represents our philosopher with a beard and long hair; the head
  is crowned, and the upper part of the body covered with a tunic
  and the philosopher’s cloak. The medal, however, is of very
  inferior workmanship, and the portrait is by no means pleasing.
  Visconti in his letterpress devotes an angry and contemptuous
  paragraph to Apollonius, “ce trop célèbre imposteur,” as he
  calls him, based on De Tillemont.

  [116] See Chassang, op. cit., p. 458, for a criticism on this
  statement.

  [117] This was before Vespasian became emperor.

  [118] This was a staff, or baton, used as a cypher for writing
  dispatches. “A strip of leather was rolled slantwise round it,
  on which the dispatches were written lengthwise, so that when
  unrolled they were unintelligible; commanders abroad had a
  staff of like thickness, round which they rolled their papers,
  and so were able to read the dispatches.” (Liddell and Scott’s
  Lexicon sub voc.) Hence scytale came to mean generally a
  Spartan dispatch, which was characteristically laconic in its
  brevity.

  [119] See i. 7, 15, 24, 32; iii. 51; iv. 5, 22, 26, 27, 46; v.
  2, 10, 39, 40, 41; vi. 18, 27, 29, 31, 33; viii. 7, 20, 27, 28.

  [120] I.e., Cynic.

  [121] Chassang (op. cit., pp. 395 sqq.) gives a French
  translation of them.

  [122] Art. “Apollonius,” Smith’s Dict. of Class. Biog.

  [123] That is to say, a philosopher of 600 years ago.

  [124] That is to expiate blood-guiltiness with blood-sacrifice.

  [125] Chaignet (A. É.), in his Pythagore et la Philosophie
  pythagoricienne (Paris; 1873, 2nd ed. 1874), cites this as a
  genuine example of Apollonius’ philosophy.

  [126] That is his idea of death.

  [127] The text of the last sentence is very obscure.

  [128] The full title is given by Eudocia, Ionia; ed. Villoison
  (Venet.; 1781), p. 57.

  [129] See Zeller, Phil. d. Griech, v. 127.

  [130] Præparat. Evangel., iv. 12-13; ed. Dindorf (Leipzig;
  1867), i. 176, 177.

  [131] A play on the meanings of λόγος, which signifies both
  reason and word.

  [132] Psyche, I. ii. 5.

  [133] Noack, ibid.

  [134] See Noack, Porphr. Vit. Pythag., p. 15.

  [135] Ed. Amstelod., 1707, cc. 254-264.


_WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

+THE PISTIS SOPHIA: A Gnostic Gospel.+

   (With Extracts from the Books of the Saviour appended).
   Originally translated from Greek into Coptic, and now for the
   first time Englished from Schwartze’s Latin Version of the
   only known Coptic MS., and checked by Amélineau’s French
   Version. With an Introduction and Bibliography. 394 pp., large
   octavo. Cloth, 7s. 6d. net.


_SOME PRESS OPINIONS._

   “The Pistis Sophia has long been recognised as one of the most
   important Gnostic documents we possess, and Mr Mead deserves the
   gratitude of students of Church History and of the History of
   Christian Thought, for his admirable translation and edition of
   this curious Gospel.”--_Glasgow Herald._

   “Mr Mead has done a service to other than Theosophists by his
   translation of the Pistis Sophia. This curious work has not till
   lately received the attention which it deserves.... He has prefixed
   a short Introduction, which includes an excellent bibliography.
   Thus, the English reader is now in a position to judge for himself
   of the scientific value of the only Gnostic treatise of any
   considerable length which has come down to us.”--_Guardian._

   “From a scholar’s point of view the work is of value as
   illustrating the philosophico-mystical tendencies of the second
   century.”--_Record._

   “Mr Mead deserves thanks for putting in an English dress this
   curious document from the early ages of Christian
   philosophy.”--_Manchester Guardian._


THE THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING SOCIETY,

LONDON AND BENARES.


+FRAGMENTS OF A FAITH FORGOTTEN.+

Some short Sketches among the Gnostics, mainly of the First Two
Centuries--a Contribution to the Study of Christian Origins based on the
most Recently Discovered Materials.

   +I. Introduction.+--Outlines of the Background of the Gnosis;
   Literature and Sources of Gnosticism.

   +II. The Gnosis according to its Foes.+--Gnostic Fragments
   recovered from the Polemical Writings of the Church Fathers;
   the Gnosis in the Uncanonical Acts.

   +III. The Gnosis according to its Friends.+--Greek Original
   Works in Coptic Translation; the Askew, Bruce, and Akhmim
   Codices.

Classified Bibliographies are appended. 630, xxviii. pp., Large Octavo,
Cloth. 10s. 6d. net.


SOME PRESS NOTICES.

   “Mr Mead has done his work in a scholarly and painstaking
   fashion.”--_The Guardian._

   “The ordinary student of Christian evidences, if he confines
   his reading to the ‘Fathers,’ learns nothing of these opinions
   [the so-called Gnostic ‘heresies’] except by way of refutation
   and angry condemnation. In Mr Mead’s pages, however, they are
   treated with impartiality and candour.... These remarks will
   suffice to show the unique character of this volume, and to
   indicate that students may find here matter of great service
   to the rational interpretation of Christian
   thought.”--_Bradford Observer._

   “The book, Mr Mead explains, is not intended primarily for the
   student, but for the general reader, and it certainly should
   not be neglected by anyone who is interested in the history of
   early Christian thought.”--_The Scotsman._

   “The work is one of great labour and learning, and deserves
   study as a sympathetic estimate of a rather severely-judged
   class of heretics.”--_Glasgow Herald._

   “Written in a clear and elegant style.... The bibliographies
   in the volume are of world-wide range, and will be most
   valuable to students of theosophy.”--_Asiatic Quarterly._

   “Mr Mead writes with a precision and clearness on subjects
   usually associated with bewildering technicalities and
   mystifications. Even the long-suffering ‘general reader’ could
   go through this large volume with pleasure. That is a great
   deal to say of a book on such a subject.”--_Light._

   “This striking work will certainly be read not only with the
   greatest interest in the select circle of the cultured, but by
   that much larger circle of those longing to learn all about
   Truth.... May be summed up as an extraordinary clear
   exposition of the Gnosis of Saints and the Sages of
   philosophic Christianity.”--_The Roman Herald._

   “Comprehensive, interesting, and scholarly.... The chapters
   entitled ‘Some Rough Outlines of the Background of the Gnosis’
   are well written, and they tend to focus the philosophic and
   religious movement of the ancient world. There is a very
   excellent bibliography.”--_The Spectator._

   “Mr Mead does us another piece of service by including a
   complete copy of the Gnostic _Hymn of the Robe of Glory_ ...
   and a handy epitome of the _Pistis Sophia_ is another item for
   which the student will be grateful.”--_The Literary Guide._

   “The author has naturally the interest of a theosophist in
   Gnosticism, and approaches the subject accordingly from a
   point of view different from our own. But while his point of
   view emerges in the course of the volume, this does not affect
   the value of his work for those who do not share his special
   standpoint.... Mr Mead has at any rate rendered us an
   excellent service, and we shall look forward with pleasure to
   his future studies.”--_The Primitive Methodist Quarterly._

This is the First Attempt that has been made to bring together All the
Existing Sources of Information on the Earliest Christian Philosophers.


+SIMON MAGUS: An Essay.+

   The most complete work on the subject. Quarto. Price: 5s. net.
   Wrappers.

+THE WORLD MYSTERY: Four Essays.+

   Contents: The World-Soul; The Vestures of the Soul; The Web of
   Destiny; True Self-reliance. Octavo. Price: cloth, 3s. 6d.
   net.

+THE THEOSOPHY OF THE GREEKS.+

+PLOTINUS.+

   With an exhaustive Bibliography. Octavo. Price: cloth, 1s.
   net.

+ORPHEUS.+

   With three Charts and Bibliography. Will serve as an
   Introduction to Hellenic Theology. Octavo. Price: cloth, 4s.
   6d. net.

+THE THEOSOPHY OF THE VEDAS.+

+THE UPANIȘHADS: 2 Volumes.+

   Half Octavo. Paper, 6d.; cloth, 1s. 6d. each net.

   VOLUME I.

   Contains a Translation of the Ĭsha, Kena, Kaṭha, Prashna, Muṇḍakas,
   and Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣhads, with a General Preamble, Arguments, and
   Notes by G. R. S. Mead and J. C. Chaṭṭopādhyāya (Roy Choudhuri).

   VOLUME II.

   Contains a Translation of the Taittirîya, Aitareya, and
   Shvetāshvatara Upaniṣhads, with Arguments and Notes.





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