1 Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana [Conybeare, 1912] 1183-1186
2 A History of Classical Scholarship [Sandys, 1903-1908] 1187-1187
3 Essays and Studies [Gildersleeve, 1890] 1188-1191
4 Philostratus, in Honour of Apollonius of Tyana [Phillimore, 1912] 1192-1203
5 More Essays on Greek Romances [Haight, 1945] 1204-1208
6 A Sketch of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana [Tredwell, 1886] 1209-1243
7 The Novel in Antiquity [Hagg, 1980] 1244-1244
8 Historical Sketches [Newman, 1872] [see, as an abstract] 1245-1246
9 Fiction as History [Bowersock, 1994] 1247-1248
Damis: supposed companion, and biographer ("memoirs"), of Apollonius of Tyana.
1183, 1186, 1189-1190, 1196-1197, 1203-1204, 1207, 1245-1247
Julia Domna c. 167 - 217: wife of Septimus Severus. Patroness and Promptress to
Philostratus. 1187, 1196, 1203, 1216-1218, 1245, 1247
Philostratus c. 170 - c. 245: Greek Sophist, authored [c. 220 (Ox. Dict. C.C.)]: The
Life of Apollonius of Tyana ["1st century A.D." (see 1185)]. 1183-1199, 1201-1204,
1206-1208, 1212-1216, 1225-1226, 1236, 1242, 1244-1248
Apollonius of Tyana, has been discussed, in the history of Freethought.
Jesus Christ and Apollonius of Tyana, have much [Fiction, etc.] in common.
Following, is much complexity, and, many varying opinions--sometimes, by the same
author. The principal subject of these varying opinions: was Apollonius of Tyana a
historical character, or, a Fictional character?
Jesus Christ, 1185-1186, 1188-1193, 1198, 1200, 1207-1215, 1221, 1226-1229, 1232,
1234-1235, 1239, 1241-1244, 1246, 1248
New Testament, 1183, 1192, 1197, 1201, 1204, 1206, 1208, 1212, 1218, 1221, 1235,
1238, 1245-1246, 1248
Old Testament, 1218, 1238
Paul, 1186, 1190-1191, 1206, 1208, 1214, 1220, 1225-1227, 1229-1230, 1232
This is an exercise, regarding: FICTION IN ANTIQUITY [and Fiction, continuing to the
present, and, future]. [See: #1, 1; #2, 17; #4, 105; #17, 360; etc.].
from: Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana,
The Epistles of Apollonius and the Treatise of Eusebius, with an English Translation [from the Greek (same Greek ("Koine") as the
Greek of the New Testament?)] by F.C. Conybeare [1856 - 1924], M.A., Late Fellow and Prelector
of University College, Oxford, In Two Volumes, Vol. I, Harvard University Press, William Heinemann
Ltd, MCMXLVIII (1912).
The Life of Apollonius of Tyana ["1st century A.D." (Webster's New Bio. Dict.)] has only
been once translated in its entirety into English, as long ago as the year 1811 , by an Irish
clergyman of the name of E. Berwick [Rev. Edward Berwick, born 1750]. It is to be hoped therefore
that the present translation will be acceptable to the English reading public; for there is in it much that is
very good reading, and it is lightly written...." [v].
"IT HAS BEEN ARGUED THAT THE WORK ["memoirs"] OF DAMIS [supposed
"disciple and companion of Apollonius"] NEVER REALLY EXISTED, AND THAT HE WAS A
MERE MAN OF STRAW INVENTED BY PHILOSTRATUS [c. 170 - c. 245]. This view was
adopted as recently as the year 1910 by Professor Bigg [Charles Bigg 1840 - 1908], in his history of
the origins of Christianity [The Origins of Christianity, 1909]. But it seems [necessary] unnecessarily
"The story of the life of Apollonius as narrated by Philostratus [c. 170 - c. 245] is
briefly as follows. He was born towards the beginning of the Christian era at Tyana, in Cappadocia,
and his birth was attended according to popular tradition with miracles and portents. At the age of
sixteen he set himself to observe in the most rigid fashion the almost monastic rule ascribed to
Pythagoras [6th century B.C.E.], renouncing wine, rejecting the married estate, refusing to eat any sort
of flesh, and in particular condemning the sacrifice of animals to the gods, which in the ancient
world furnished the occasion, at any rate for the poor people, of eating meat. For we must not
forget that in antiquity hardly any meat was eaten which had not previously been consecrated
by sacrifice to a god, and that consequently the priest was the butcher of a village and the
butcher the priest. Like other votaries of the Neo-Pythagorean philosophy or discipline, Apollonius
went without shoes or only wore shoes of bark, he allowed his hair to grow long, and never let a razor
touch his chin, and he took care to wear on his person nothing but linen, for it was accounted by him, as
by Brahmans, an impurity to allow any dress made of the skin of dead animals to touch the person.
Before long he set himself up as a reformer, and betaking himself to the town of Aegae, he took up his
abode in the temple of Aesculapius [see 1221-1222], where he rapidly acquired such a reputation for
sanctity that sick people flocked to him asking him to heal them. On attaining his majority, at the death
of his father and mother, he gave up the greater part of his patrimony to his elder brother, and what was
left to his poor relations. He then set himself to spend five years in complete silence, traversing, it
would seem, Asia Minor, in all directions, but never opening his lips. The more than Trappist vow of
silence which he thus enforced upon himself seems to have further enhanced his reputation for holiness,
and his mere appearance on the scene was enough to hush the noise of warring factions in the cities of
Cilicia and Pamphylia. If we may believe his biographer he professed to know all languages without
ever having learned them, to know the inmost thoughts of men, to understand the language of birds and
animals, and to have the power of predicting the future. He also remembered his former incarnation,
for he shared the Pythagorean belief of the migrations of human souls from body to body, both of
animals and of human beings. He preached a rigid asceticism, and condemned all dancing and other
diversions of the kind; he would carry no money on his person and recommended others to spend their
money in the relief of the poorer classes. He visited Persia and India, where he consorted with the
Brahmans; he subsequently visited Egypt, and went up the Nile in order to acquaint himself with those
precursors of the monks of the Thebaid called in those days the Gymnosophists or naked philosophers.
He visited the cataracts of the Nile, and returning to Alexandria held long conversations with Vespasian
and Titus soon after the siege and capture of Jerusalem by the latter. He had a few years before, in the
course of a visit to Rome, incurred the wrath of Nero, whose minister Tigellinus however was so
intimidated by him as to set him at liberty. After the death of Titus he was again arrested, this time by
the Emperor Domitian, as a fomenter of sedition, but was apparently acquitted. He died at an
advanced age in the reign of Nerva, who befriended him; and according to popular tradition he
[APOLLONIUS] ASCENDED BODILY TO HEAVEN, APPEARING AFTER DEATH TO
CERTAIN PERSONS WHO ENTERTAINED DOUBTS ABOUT A FUTURE LIFE...." [ix-xi].
_____ _____ _____
from: Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana,
The Epistles of Apollonius and the Treatise of Eusebius, with an English Translation by F.C. Conybeare, In Two Volumes, Vol. II,
Harvard University Press, William Heinemann Ltd, MCML (1912).
'The Treatise of Eusebius,
The Son of Pamphilus, Against the
Life of Apollonius of Tyana [14 - 37 C.E.?; 6
- 1 B.C.E.? (see 1195, 1203), hence
80-100+ years (see 1203)] Written
by Philostratus [c. 170 - c. 245], Occasioned by
Parallel Drawn by Hierocles [born c. 275] Between
Him [Apollonius of Tyana] and Christ
[c. 4 B.C.? (6 - 9 A.D.?)--30 or 33 A.D. (Ox. Dict. C.C.)]
[Eusebius c. 260 - c. 339] So then, my dear friend, you find worthy of no little admiration the
parallel1 which, embellished with many marvels, this author [Hierocles born c. 275] has drawn
between the man of Tyana and our own Saviour [Jesus Christ] and teacher. For against the rest
of the contents of the "Lover of Truth" (Philalethes), for so he has thought fit to entitle his work against
us, it would be useless to take my stand at present; because THEY ARE NOT HIS [HIEROCLES]
OWN, BUT HAVE BEEN PILFERED IN THE MOST SHAMELESS MANNER, NOT
ONLY I MAY SAY IN RESPECT OF THEIR IDEAS, BUT EVEN OF THEIR WORDS
AND SYLLABLES, FROM OTHER AUTHORITIES. Not but what these parts also of his
treatise call for their refutation in due season; but to all intents and purposes they have, even in advance
of any special work that might be written in answer to them, been upset and exposed beforehand in a
work which in as many as eight books Origen [c. 185 - c. 254] composed against the book which
Celsus wrote [c. 178] and--even more boastfully than the "Lover of Truth,"--entitled "True Reason."
The work of Celsus is there subjected to an examination in an exhaustive manner and on the scale
above mentioned by the author in question, who in his comprehensive survey of all that anyone has said
or will ever say on the same topic, has forestalled any solution of your difficulties which I could offer.
To this work of Origen I must refer those who in good faith and with genuine "love of truth" desire
accurately to understand my own position. I will therefore ask you for the present to confine your
attention to the comparison of Jesus Christ with Apollonius which is found in this treatise called the
"Lover of Truth," without insisting on the necessity of our meeting the rest of his arguments, for these
are pilfered from other people. We may reasonably confine our attention for the present to the
history of Apollonius, because Hierocles, of all the writers who have ever attacked us, stands alone in
selecting Apollonius, as he has recently done, for the purposes of comparison and contrast with our
[485, 487]. [End of Chap 1].
[Note: in the following, there is much quoting from Hierocles ("Lover of Truth")]
I need not say with what admiring approval he [Hierocles] attributes his [Apollonius]
thaumaturgic ["performing miracles"] feats not to the tricks of wizardry, but to a divine and mysterious
wisdom; and he believes they were truly what he supposes them to have been, though he advances no
proof of this contention. Listen then to his very words: "In their anxiety to exalt Jesus, they run up
and down prating of how he made the blind to see and worked certain other miracles of the
kind." Then after an interval he adds as follows: "Let us note however how much better and more
sensible is the view which we take of such matters, and explain the conception which we entertain of
men gifted with remarkable powers." And thereupon after passing heedlessly by Aristeas of
Proconnesus and Pythagoras as somewhat too old, he continues thus: "But in the time of our own
ancestors, during the reign of Nero, there flourished Apollonius of Tyana, who from mere boyhood
when he became the priest in Aegae of Cilicia of Asclepius, the lover of mankind, worked any number
of miracles, of which I will omit the greater number, and only mention a few." Then he begins at the
beginning and enumerates the wonders worked by Apollonius, after which he continues in the following
words; "What then is my reason for mentioning these facts? It was in order that you may be able to
contrast our own accurate and well-established judgment on each point, with THE EASY
CREDULITY OF THE CHRISTIANS [reflect on complicity (see #2, 36, 37), etc.]. For whereas
we reckon him who wrought such feats not a god, but only a man pleasing to the gods, they
[Christians] on the strength of a few miracles proclaim their Jesus a god." To this he adds after
a little more the following remark: "And this point is also worth noticing, that whereas the tales of
Jesus have been vamped up by Peter and Paul and a few others of the kind,--men who were
liars and devoid of education and wizards,--the history of Apollonius was written by Maximus of
Aegae [?] , and by Damis the philosopher who lived constantly with him, and by Philostratus of
Athens, men of the highest education, who out of respect for the truth and their love of mankind
determined to give the publicity they deserved to the actions of a man at once noble and a friend of the
gods." These are the very words used by Hierocles in his treatise against us which he has entitled
"Lover of Truth."' [487, 489, 491].
[End of Chap II].
from: A History of Classical Scholarship, [Volume I] From the Sixth Century B.C. to the End
of the Middle Ages, by Sir John Edwin Sandys [1844 - 1922] [see 1240], Litt.D., F.B.A., Fellow of
St John's College, Orator Emeritus, and Hon. LL.D. Cambridge; Hon. Litt.D. Dublin; Hon. D. Litt.
Oxford; Hon. LL.D. Edinburg and Athens; Commander in the Hellenic Order of the Saviour, with
Twenty-Four Illustrations, 3 Volumes, Vol. 1, Hafner, 1967 (1903-1908). [a Classic!].
"Greek Scholarship in the Third Century."
"The Sophists of this century include Philostratus 'the Athenian' (b. c. 170; fl. 215--245)
who, before the year 217, dedicated his Life of Apollonius of Tyana to the empress Julia Domna,
the wife of Severus, the mother of Caracalla, 'the patroness of every art, and the friend of every man
of genius'1...." ["334"].
["Philostratus II, of Lemnos"] "Philostratus, 'the Athenian', is SURPASSED IN
POETIC IMAGINATION, and in a certain affectation of literary simplicity, by his nephew,
'Philostratus of Lemnos' (born c. 190)....
In his Eikones he professes to give a description of sixty-four pictures in a gallery at Naples. The
question whether actual works of art are here described has been much discussed, the opinion
that the descriptions are derived from passages in the ancient poets being maintained by K. Friederichs
(1860), and opposed by Brunn (1861, 1871), while an intermediate view is suggested by F. Matz
One of the imitators of the Eikones of Philostratus II was his grandson, Philostratus
III. Seventeen of his descriptions are still extant. They are preceded by a brief discourse on the
relations between painting and poetry." .
from: Essays and Studies, Educational and Literary, Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve [1831 - 1924],
"Professor of Greek, U. of Virginia (1856-76), Johns Hopkins (1876-1915)." (Webster's Bio. Dict.),
Baltimore, N. Murray, 1968 (MD.CCC.XC).
"Apollonius of Tyana.1
| ["11. Apollonius de Tyane par Philostrate. Avec Introduction, Notes et
Éclaircissements. Par A. Chassang. Paris: 1862.
2. Apollonius von Tyana. Eine culturhistorische Untersuchung. Von Dr. Eduard
Muller. Breslau: 1861.
3. Hellenismus und Christenthum. Von Dr. H. Kellner. Kohn: 1866."
The first artistic form of philosophic composition in Greek prose was the dialogue, the
last was biography; and in both periods, so entire was the submission to the established norm, that
when Xenophon wished to vindicate the life of his master he made him talk; when Porphyry
wished to advocate the doctrines of his teacher he wrote his life. Whence the popularity of this
biographical form in the later centuries of Greek literature? Here, as often, the difficulty of the answer
lies in its readiness, for every bias of this sort may be explained in so many ways, every movement
may be the resultant of so many forces, that the puzzle is which explanation to drop, which force to
exclude from the count. The biographical mania may have been imported from the East; or the
pressure of the Empire may have made the individual of more importance in the history of thought, or
the Gospel incorporated in the life of OUR SAVIOUR may have provoked the antagonists of the
Christian faith to set up their ideals of the Way and the Truth in the Life of this or that hero of pagan
philosophy. Any one of these lines of causation may be easily defended; but the last has for us a
peculiar interest and importance, as we are fighting on the same battle-field and the parties are to all
intents the same. Hellenism and Christianity are grappling now as they grappled seventeen
centuries ago; and if the shape of the weapons has varied in the long struggle, the strategic points are
unchanged. Catapults and blunderbusses and needle-guns find the same shelter, occupy the same rest,
take the same aim. The pagan of the third century puts Jesus of Nazareth and Apollonius of Tyana
on a level; THE ENGLISH FREE-THINKER OF THE SEVENTEENTH ARGUES THE
NECESSITY OF ACCEPTING OR REJECTING TOGETHER THE MIRACLES AND THE
DIVINITY OF APOLLONIUS AND CHRIST; and towards the close of the eighteenth a heavy
German threw his contribution of mud at the religion of Christ in the form of a system of
APOLLONIAN APOLOGETICS AFTER THE FASHION OF THE ADVOCATES OF
CHRISTIANITY, wherein he proved by prophecies drawn from Homer and Hesiod, Pindar and
Plato, Vergil and Horace, that Apollonius was as much the Messiah of heathendom as Christ was
the Messiah of the Jews. In the effulgence of this blessed time, such pleasantry would appear too
coarse and crude.1 [see footnote, below]
[[footnote] "1Nothing could be too coarse or crude for the author of the latest attempt I have seen to
glorify the Tyanite at the expense of the Nazarene, D.M. Tredwell, A Sketch of the Life of Apollonius
of Tyana. New York: 1886.--B.I.G." .
'World-historical' personages are to be approached with due respect; and we must learn to evolve the
real Apollonius [not "real"!] out of the romance of Philostratus--and the real Christ [not "real"!] out
of the narrative of the Evangelists...." [252-253].
"The reader is doubtless, ere this time ["40" pages], thoroughly exasperated by the toughness of
Apollonius. Born in the reign of Augustus, he was famous under Nero, and now, under Nerva, he was
somewhere between eighty and a hundred years of age. He had outlived all his male attendants except
Damis, and was nursed in his last illness by two female servants. According to this account, he gave up
the ghost prosaically. According to another, he disappeared in the temple of Minerva, at Lindus.
According to yet another, he vanished in a temple of Diana on the island of Crete, and a voice, as of
singing virgins, was heard saying, 'Rise from earth, rise to heaven, rise!' But this was not the end of him.
In his [Philostratus?] judgment, the immortality of the soul could not be better proved than by an a
fortiori [stronger (etc.)] argument drawn from the immortality of the tongue; and so, after his death, he
appeared in a vision to a young man who was an obstinate unbeliever, and convinced him by half-a-dozen bad verses. 'No man knoweth his sepulchre to this day,' says Philostratus, 'but he has a temple
at Tyana, for the emperors have thought him not unworthy of the honors of which they themselves were
As was said in the beginning, we must leave to our readers themselves the detailed
comparison of this heathen Christ with the Christ of the Gospel. And yet, what has this
affectation to do with that simplicity; the man who is sent to seek the righteous, with Him who came to
seek sinners; the man who prays to God, 'Pay me that thou owest,' with Him who teaches us to pray,
'Forgive us our debts'; the man who says that neither he nor God can wash away the pollution of
murder, with the Son of Man who has power on earth to forgive sins? Yet, far apart as the two
characters are, the comparison may be profitable to those who have a weakness [sic!] for the
mythical theory. Let them evaporate both 'myths' and see how it is with the residuum. But for our
part we have only room to consider as briefly as may be the question: Was this Life of Apollonius
intended to be an offset to the history of OUR SAVIOUR? It has been so used. Was it so intended?
The learned are pretty evenly divided on this point, so that the unlearned may venture on either side of
the balance. In our judgment, a deliberate biographical antagonism to Christianity on the part
of Philostratus is more than doubtful. The most that can be maintained with plausibility is a designed
parallelism; but even that is open to grave objections. Remarkable [sic!] is the lack of any allusion
to Christ or the Christian religion; which silence is attributed by some to the absence, by others to
the cunning concealment, of hostile motives. But, however it may be explained, it is impossible to
explain it ["lack of any allusion to Christ or the Christian religion"] away, and on any theory falls very
heavily into the count against the assumption of a direct imitation of the Gospel narrative. Let us
briefly run over the points which are supposed to prove that Apollonius is a pagan copy of
THE LIFE OF APOLLONIUS, LIKE THE LIFE OF CHRIST, HAS THREE
PERIODS: THAT OF PREPARATION, MINISTRY, SUFFERING; AND IS THREE
TIMES AS LONG, and the periods are in far different proportions. His birth, like that of Christ,
was accompanied with signs and wonders; and so was the birth of a thousand other worthies. In his
youth, Apollonius loved to linger in the temples; Christ in His boyhood remained once in the temple at
Jerusalem: and whereas Apollonius commenced his career as a temperance lecturer, the first miracle of
Christ is a stumbling block to temperance lecturers even unto this day. Apollonius, like Christ, has
power over devils, who expostulate but obey. Apollonius rouses from the sleep of death the
maiden of Rome; as Christ awakes the young man of Nain--as Aesculapius [see 1221-1222]
called the dead to life . He goes to Rome in the face of death, as Christ goes to Jerusalem.
Euphrates was a former friend of Apollonius, Judas a disciple of Christ's, and both were lovers of
money. Two of the counts of the accusations were the same. Both were accused of setting themselves
up to be gods and stirring up sedition; only Christ was the King of the Jews and Apollonius merely the
friend of Nerva. Both stood firm before their judges; only Christ's demeanor was sublime; Apollonius,
as Philostratus himself intimates, was almost impudent. Both were shamefully entreated; only the
circumstantial statements are entirely unlike. Apollonius spoke to the companions of his prison, Christ
to the thief on the cross; but the one preached a sermon of sermons, the other uttered an edict of
power. Christ is certain of His resurrection; Apollonius of the issue of his trial. Christ sends His
disciples to Galilee; Apollonius sends Damis to Puteoli. Both appear suddenly to their friends, and
Demetrius plays the part of the unbelieving Thomas; the unbelieving youth, the part of the persecuting
Saul. And, finally, to wind up the long list of more or less frivolous points of comparison,
CHRIST GAVE HIS NAME TO THE CHRISTIANS; APOLLONIUS GAVE HIS TO THE
APOLLONIANS. [Note: this "long list of more or less frivolous points of comparison", is made
by a Christian Apologist--this author (Basil Gildersleeve)]
Now, without denying the striking character of some of these resemblances, we must withhold
the conclusion which is so often drawn. Whoever seeks resemblances of that sort can find them.
WHY NOT COMPARE APOLLONIUS AND PAUL? THE RESEMBLANCES ARE
STRIKING, NAY, THE COINCIDENCES ARE ABSOLUTELY STARTLING. Paul was
educated at Tarsus; so was Apollonius. Paul fought with wild beasts at Ephesus; so did Apollonius.
Paul preached at Athens; so did Apollonius. Paul noticed the altar to the unknown God; so did
Apollonius. Paul's bonds were loosed in prison; so was it with Apollonius. Paul appeared before
Caesar's judgment-seat; so did Apollonius. Paul, on his way to Rome, landed at Puteoli; so did
Apollonius. Paul was suffered to dwell by himself; Apollonius was at first treated with similar civility.
Paul withstood Peter; Apollonius withstood Euphrates. Paul had a thorn in the flesh; Apollonius had
Damis. Paul woke Eutychus, who had fallen asleep; Apollonius woke the Roman maiden. There are
various traditions of Paul's death, and no one knows the end of Apollonius. Finally, the Corinthian
disciples of Paul assumed his name, and the Greek disciples of Apollonius took upon them the name of
[Note, the following paragraph, in single quotation marks, apparently, represents a passionate
conclusion of this author (Basil Gildersleeve)]
'But this is sheer trifling [amusing! not, "sheer trifling", but, "sheer" genre!]. Read the
Acts--read the Epistles of Paul, and ask yourself if there is any trace of real likeness between that soul
of fire, that mind of light, that least yet chiefest of the Apostles, and this thing of mist and vapor, with its
sickly lightning and its impotent thunder, a cloud-man, not a god-man, NOT A MAN
[APOLLONIUS] AT ALL.'
We grant [not "grant", but, impose!] this and more besides. How, then, shall we suppose that
Philostratus could have imitated the loftier exemplar of Christ? To have had such a model and to have
produced such a copy is a heavier charge than we should like to bring against the ingenious author of
such a romance. It was reserved for a still later period of Hellenism and a modern phase of
infidelity [see D.M. Tredwell, 1209-1243; et al.] to draw a parallel which shows how utterly outworn
[maybe, out of fashion] was the one, how utterly heartless [truthful] is the other." [292-296]. [End of
from: Philostratus, in Honour of Apollonius of Tyana, Translated [from the Greek (same Greek
("Koine") as the Greek of the New Testament?)] by J.S. Phillimore [1873 - 1926], ["succeeded Gilbert
Murray in chair of Greek at Glasgow (1899)" (Webster's Bio. Dict.)] ["It was a great satisfaction to
him when in 1906 he was transferred from the chair of Greek to that of Humanity" (Dict. Nat. Bio.)],
Professor of Latin in the University of Glasgow, In Two Volumes, Vol. I, Oxford, at the Clarendon
Press, 1912. [note: all brackets are mine (LS)].
'What labour took Philostratus to make a book full of lies whereby he would have had
Apollonius Tyaneus in miracles match unto Christ? And when he had all done, he never found
one old wife so fond to believe him.'
So wrote Thomas More [Saint: 1478 - 1535 (decapitation)] in his Dialogue, Bk. II (Works,
p. 210 B).
> Old wives are easier to find now....
Apollonius interests our time just because we are repeating the experiences of the third and
All the principal heresies of the early period are now thriving again: nothing of them is unpopular but the
names. We have our Gnostics, our Montanists, &c. And above all we have a modern Syncretism
which corresponds to those courtly polygamies of the Soul, with which the Graeco-Levantine influences
under the Severian dynasty attempted to debauch Europe. The study of the first centuries of the
Decline is alive with actuality for us: we read Lucian's Alexander and feel ourselves in the
United States. Apollonius would be a nine days' wonder in modern Paris; in London or Boston he
would almost certainly succeed in starting a very fashionable religious movement." ["iii"-iv].
"AN ANALOGOUS [TO APOLLONIUS OF TYANA] MODERN BOOK ALSO WOULD
INFALLIBLY BE A NOVEL." [iv].
"Greekless critics who discourse about Apollonius use Berwick [Rev. Edward Berwick, born 1750],
whose translation is a hundred years old, and (though readable enough as English), as a translation,
quite untrustworthy. Philostratus is not an easy style; and, even with the help of Olearius' [Johann
Gottfried Olearius 1635 - 1711] great edition ["Leipzig, 1709"], Berwick was no match for the
subtleties of the Greek: he often sketches vaguely and often positively misrepresents." [iv-v].
[Impugning (devaluing) Berwick, as a translator]. [This translation of Apollonius of Tyana (by this
author: J.S. Phillimore), was "superseded" in the same year (1912) by the translation of F.C.
Conybeare [see 1183]].
"Even such a scholar as Sir S. Dill is content with a perfunctory and uncritical account of the book:
uncritical, in that he does not estimate how far Philostratus' work is tendancieux. In a recently
published bit of popular Arianism, Mr. Glover surveys the first three centuries without saying a
word about Apollonius; Mr. J.M. Robertson in his Pagan Christs--if one may scan so closely the
intellectual pastimes of a busy politician--makes a praiseworthy endeavour to acclimatize the last word
of German or Franco-Jewish rationalism, which (so pathetically often) only crosses the Channel when it
is already last-word-but-one. He repeats his lesson about Apollonius. Mr. Whittaker's [Thomas [not,
"F."] Whittaker 1856 - 1935] essay  likewise adds nothing to our knowledge, though interesting
as a remainder of the nineteenth-century mentality. The sense of fact is missing; and an idée fixe is
a poor substitute for an acquaintance with the literature." [v]. [More, devaluing of commentators].
"The main questions at issue about Apollonius are questions of historical criticisms; and any
writing on the subject by those who are not qualified to read and weigh the original documents is mere
journalism. Any account which may be based on Berwick's version is founded on the sand [with
one stroke, Phillimore eliminates all previous fans of Apollonius]; any book which takes Philostratus'
work at its face value and makes no inquiry about the author, his sources, his motives, and his times, is
negligible for the discovery of the truth.
[Note: following, to 1194, this author (Phillimore), attempts to negate "Mr. Tredwell's Apollonius of
Tyana". If Daniel M. Tredwell was alive, he could respond to these criticisms (errors, etc.), and then--onward!]
There is one modern work on which I may be permitted to speak rather more at large.
Scholars who are not acquainted with Mr. Tredwell's Apollonius of Tyana [see 1209-1243]
miss a great deal of entertainment. And, perhaps because another member of Mr. Tredwell's
family appears as the publisher, the book has modestly eluded just those readers [like my classical
colleagues] who would be able to appreciate its [amateur] quality.
This author seems to have set out to write his treatise armed only with his ample ignorance of
both Greek and Latin and the abundant faith of a sciolist [sciolism: "superficial knowledge or learning"]
in the asserted results of processes which he is unable to control.
Here are a few specimens of Mr. Tredwell: 'It occurred in the same year that the chief
minister of Augustus, the companion of and adviser of Octavius--Maecenas--died; and was the same
year that Archelaus, son of Herod the Great, was recognized by Caesar Augustus as King of Judea.'
Considering Mr. Tredwell's other performances, it appears most likely that he took
Augustus, Octavius, and Caesar Augustus for three different persons [No! "Mr. Tredwell" is
applying much sophistication, to his descriptions].
To read with accuracy would be an unreasonable demand to make of one who writes as Mr.
Tredwell writes; so we need not wonder if in his pages Thespesion appears as 'Thespasian'--doubtless
a cognate of Vespasian; Sidonius Apollinaris as 'Apollonius Sidonius', &c.
On page 46 we are informed that Apollonius was the author of 'many epistles, some of which
have been preserved by Philostratus and others by Cajucius [I have not located this name, elsewhere]'.
A new author, Cajucius! Let us hasten to welcome him.
But the next is even richer:
'When Apollonius was in his eighteenth year Titus Livius (Livy), whose philosophy (lost) and
style of rhetoric he had made his model, died at Padua. He felt severely the loss of his preceptor, and
from his frequent mention of this great man proves that he cherished his memory to the end of his life.'
On p. 47 we learn that 'Stoicism was introduced to M. Aurelius through the writings of
Apollonius of Tyana'.
One would think that a man who knew nothing else about the Tyanean, might know that he was
a Neo-Pythagorean! And Mr. Tredwell even quotes Eutropius to the effect that the Apollonius who
taught Marcus was not the Tyanean; Dio Cassius might have taught him that it was Apollonius of
Nicomedia (Epit. lxxi. 35); but what has Mr. Tredwell to do with Dio Cassius? He is happier with
such authorities as 'the Rev. Chas. Shakespeare, B.A.'
On p. 52 he quotes Sallust as an authority on Pliny[.] With this tersely eloquent specimen
of Mr. Tredwell's learning, I leave him. Scholars will find plenty more as good as this in his
[End of this series of criticisms (from 1193)].
"The views to which my studies in these matters have brought me will be ungrateful, I fear, to
pious Apollonians; I beg them to forgive what disillusions an accurate rendering of the principal Greek
authority may comport. If people want to talk about Apollonius, it will be for the best, eventually, that
they should know something about him. Devout eloquence will not for long be disconcerted[?]." [viii].
A man called Apollonius was born at Tyana at some date unknown,1 probably in the
reign of Tiberius [reign: 14 - 37 C.E. (42 B.C.E. - 37 C.E.)] [compare (John the Baptist): #2, 18,
102.]. Alienigena tum sacra amovebantur, sed inter argumenta superstitionis ponebatur
quorundam animalium abstinentia ["Some foreign rites were at that timea being inaugurated, and
abstinence from certain kinds of animal food was set down as a proof of interest in the strange cult."
[Seneca, Gummere, v. III, 243]], says Seneca2 ["2Ep. Mor. 108.22 (emended)."] of this time; but the
persecutions which made it dangerous for Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] at Rome to continue his
experiment in vegetarianism did not extend to Cilicia, and Apollonius addicted himself to Neo-Pythagoreanism. From the ordinary humanistic training of a sophist, he seems to have passed into
the ascetic discipline of a sect which, originally Oriental, and afterwards reaching its highest success
among the decadent colonial aristocracies of South Italy, was now again coming into vogue as the
Roman Empire began to orientalize, and as the world began to grope after a union between two things
always hitherto officially at variance in the established Hellenism--religion and philosophy.
Indian theosophy, a natural science chiefly drawn from Stoic authorities, antiquarian ritualism in
certain Greek cults, a great copiousness of moral sentiment, the asceticisms which usually appear
at the times when the white corpuscles predominate in the body politic of any civilization, viz.
vegetarianism, teetotalism, &c.--such appear to have been the main ingredients in Apollonius'
religion ....' ["xi"].
"TO CALL THE BOOK [Apollonius of Tyana] A ROMANCE [exaggeration and/or invention] is
to take sides in a debated question, but it IS TO TAKE SIDES WITH THE OVERWHELMING
MAJORITY, ONE MIGHT ALMOST SAY THE UNANIMITY, OF EXPERT OPINION.2
[see footnote, below]" [xv].
[footnote] '2Muenscher details them: the list includes Rohde, Reitzenstein, Schwartz,
Gsell, &c. When Mr. Réville says of the Apollonius 'C'est un évangile [IT'S [Apollonius of Tyana]
A GOSPEL]', that is only his Renanesque way of saying the same thing. SCHOLARS, LITERARY
CRITICS, HISTORIANS, AND GEOGRAPHERS, ALL FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE
POINTS OF VIEW HAVE CONVERGED ON A DISBELIEF IN THE HISTORICITY OF
PHILOSTRATUS' APOLLONIUS....' [xv].
"The Apollonius is a book, then, in which criticism almost unanimously recognizes a fiction, which ex
professo is not a biography, and which (to advance a third point) can be shown to be full of incredible
We have to deal, then, with a romance [APOLLONIUS OF TYANA]; not an amatory,
sentimental romance like Chaereas and Callirrhoe or the Ethiopica, but A
PHILOSOPHICAL AND HISTORICAL ROMANCE. The historical setting of Chaereas and
Callirrhoe is of the very slightest; since Callirrhoe is to be the daughter of the greatest man in the city,
and the author takes a city within Hellas, he cannot avoid making him an historical personage; given
Syracuse, Hermocrates follows of necessity. Philostratus' romance is immensely superior in every
regard, for he was a man of much greater ability and learning than Charito. Probably he would have
denied any affinity between the two genres.1 What he would have admitted, perhaps, in candour,
would be an affinity with the Cyropaedia
of that Xenophon whose Greek was the favourite model of
his [Philostratus] particular school. [see 1201, 1206] Yet we must not dismiss the melodramatic type
of Romance from our mind if we are rightly to estimate Apollonius; for the encounter with Tyrants is as
much a convention of the one as is the encounter with Pirates in the other. Read attentively that
prefatory chapter to Book VII, and see if Philostratus [c. 170 - c. 245 C.E.] does not come as
near could be expected of him, to an actual avowal of fiction; for neither Charito [Chariton 1st
or 2nd century C.E. "Author of the Loves of Chaereas and Callirrhoe, earliest fully extant romantic
novel in the West." (Webster's New Bio. Dict.)] nor Heliodorus [3rd century C.E.] nor any of the
novelists call their works expressly fiction. PHILOSTRATUS IMPERSONATES, as he had
learned in the schools, and himself afterwards taught others in the schools to impersonate, heroes,
statesmen, philosophers, bereaved fathers, disinherited sons, &c., &c...." [xviii-xix].
"My present conclusion, after long weighing the matter, is that Damis did really exist, the
credulous, enthusiastic, foolish, but loyally devoted Levantine, whom Philostratus portrays so skilfully. I
confess that anybody who has studied the type of Wundererzahlung [meaning?] which was produced
on the edges of Hellenisticism, where it marched with the Oriental world, is tempted to flirt with the
opinion that Damis and those mysterious documents which, after lying more than a century
unpublished, fell so opportunely into Julia Domna's hands, were but a contrivance and a
framework in which to present the story of Apollonius; but at any rate I am convinced that they
["mysterious documents"] are not Philostratus' fiction: he took 'Damis' for what he was worth." [xxii].
[Comment: Christians, like this author (J.S. Phillimore), are inculcated, and, propagandized
with Fictions--their religion, and are, ipso facto ["By that very fact"...."By taking Christendom upon
us at our Baptism, we did ipso facto renounce the world." (O.E.D.)], susceptible to other Fictions].
"What a pity that the elegant Philostratus so disdained dates! [COMPARE: NEW
TESTAMENT [see #2, 17-18]] We have nothing but conjecture left to us, and our conjecture
has a full century's range to expatiate ["to speak or write in great detail; elaborate or enlarge (on or
upon)"] in." [xxiii].
"After collecting a great number of interesting evidences on the popular literature of Hellenistic Egypt, in
which as a philologist he [Richard Reitzenstein 1861 - 1931] is beyond praise for his copiousness
and acuteness, just when real criticism should begin to do its work, he fails, and we find ourselves
fobbed off with the methods of the literary hypnotist--assertion instead of inference, suggestion for
proof, imaginative hypothesis for conclusion [Reitzenstein is "demolished"]. What is the good of making
an enormous motley category of the Marvellous, if no critical examination is going to sift and
distinguish? Two stories may both be marvellous, and yet one be fiction and the other attested fact, one
original and the other derived. What would be the use of a critic who should treat a novel of Jules
Verne and an eyewitness' account of submarines or aeroplanes as two equal and equivalent instances of
Wundererzählung [meaning?]? DAMIS, MR. REITZENSTEIN DECIDES, NEVER
EXISTED: well, that is possible, I admit; but criticism is bound to note that it is a little difficult to
believe that a man of letters in the Antonine Age could keep up the elaborate impersonation of a silly-sooth Oriental so successfully as to deceive Philostratus, a generation later, into thinking him 'an exact
but unskilful chronicler'.1" To conclude, merely because the quality of marvellous enters into certain
biographies and certain novels, that therefore a biography = a novel, is unreason; and none the less
unreasonable because the conclusion is suggested or assumed instead of stated. To see books and men
under types and classes is the beginning of criticism, but only the beginning; they must afterwards be
extricated from generalization and seen in their several particularity--each live [and each fictional]
man and each real [and each fictional] book."
"Did a man Apollonius ever really live, and act, and preach, and write? That is a question which
is not touched [it is "touched"!] by pointing out that there are miracles in Philostratus' account, and
miracles in the Gospels, and miracles in fairy-stories...." [xxix].
"Apollonius was not a great thinker, nor a man of exceptionally fine or strong spiritual
perception, nor of commanding erudition, nor of singular eloquence. What he was I leave it to the
reader to decide, forming his own opinion on the evidence, faithfully submitted in this translation, and in
the survey of his reputation before and after Philostratus.... [this also, is amusing. Phenomenal,
numerous, adventures, and this Fictional character (Apollonius of Tyana), is mediocre. Following
Phillimore, another personage (here, the famous Apollonius of Tyana) is devalued. Once again,
The longer I have habituated my eye to the owlet-lights in which those strange and distant scenes and
persons allow themselves dimly to be evoked, the more convinced I am that the true formula for
Philostratus' book is--A ROMANCE ABOUT A REAL PERSON [compare: 1208 (Haight)]. A
romance with a purpose; and A PERSON WHO REALLY EXISTED--but how baffling and
[More amusement!] [compare: Jesus was "a person who really existed"; a revolutionary, etc. (see #3,
"....Are the scoffers always in the wrong? Lucian [c. 120 - after 180] and Voltaire [1694 -
1778] may give the saints no quarter, but the world would be a paradise for impostors without
them." [xxxii-xxxiii] [End of Chapter I.].
[note this recognition! Phillimore believes, as a Christian; Phillimore may disbelieve, as an autonomous
"Apollonius' Reputation Before Philostratus [c. 170 - c. 245 C.E.]"
"whether or no Hadrian [Emperor 117 - 138 (76 - 138)] was an admirer of Apollonius, THERE IS
THE SAME ABSOLUTE WANT OF ANY CONTEMPORARY LITERARY EVIDENCE
FOR HIS REPUTATION [APOLLONIUS OF TYANA], OR HIS VERY EXISTENCE, IN
THE WORKS OF ANY GREEK OR LATIN AUTHOR. Just as he [APOLLONIUS OF
TYANA "1st century A.D."] WAS IGNORED BY DIO OF PRUSA ["Dio Chrysostom of Prusa"]
[Dion Chrysostom (Dio Prusaeus) (Dio Cocceianus) c. 40 - c. 112 C.E.], SENECA [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65
C.E.], PLINY THE ELDER [23 - 79 C.E.], JOSEPHUS [c. 37 - c. 100], AND TACITUS [c. 56
- c. 120], SO IS HE IGNORED BY PLINY THE YOUNGER [61 or 62 - c. 113], BY
SUETONIUS [c. 69 - after 122], BY PLUTARCH [c. 46 - after 119].... [compare: JESUS
It would beat even Mr. Tredwell to assert that this was the Apollonius to whom Plutarch addressed a
Consolation...on the death of his son! If Josephus has nothing to say about him [Apollonius], let
that be because Apollonius disliked Jews3: yet Josephus was at Alexandria with Vespasian4 and
at Rome afterwards. How is Tacitus'5 silence to be explained? I leave this to Mr. Petrie as a
problem worthy of his ingenuity. Or Seneca's? Well, it may be allowed that if Apollonius did visit
Rome under Nero, it was after Seneca's death: yet Seneca's interest in Pythagoreanism6 and Neo-Pythagoreanism7 is sufficient to justify an argument from silence here.
But the case of Dio ["Dio of Prusa"] deserves more particular attention. It is surprising, no
doubt, to find that Dio never mentions him [Apollonius] by name--surprising, if we took
Philostratus for history; and even RECOGNIZING PHILOSTRATUS FOR HISTORICAL
ROMANCE, it is surprising to find no more certain allusions. When Dio speaks of India and the
Brahmins,1 there is no hint of Apollonius. On the other hand, if the reader will compare Philostratus iv.
22 with Dio's Rhodiaca 121, 122,2 and Philostratus v. 26 with Dio's Ad Alexandrinos 31, 41,3 he
will scarcely escape the conclusion that our author [Philostratus] has been helping himself to
some contemporary material of Dio's, in order to give colour to his narrative...." [xlvii-xlix].
"A terrible deal of EXPLAINING AWAY and SUPPOSING is REQUIRED [AS WITH
"JESUS"] if any room is to be made for the Tyanean [Apollonius of Tyana] to bulk at all large
in the history of the first century. Just the possibility that Apollonius was known (though not named)
to Tacitus among the various occultists who gratified Vespasian's superstitious curiosity1 when he was
at Alexandria; and just the one allusion--disparaging, even if it be allowed to subsist--in Dio
Chrysostom ["of Prusa" (xlix (not included))]. Not a word in Epictetus--the dictum quoted in Diatr.
III. xii. 17 plainly refers to Apollonius the Stoic2; nor in Arrian. And so on into the Antonine Period--A DEEP UNIVERSAL SILENCE [compare: lack of evidence for "Jesus"]. Not a word of him in
Aelius Aristides (b. 117), in Galen (b. 131), in Pausanias (about his contemporary); NOR IN
THE CHRISTIAN WRITERS, Irenaeus, Justin, Tatian, Hermas. Nor--still more
remarkable--in Apuleius (b. 125), whose defence de Magia gave direct occasion to have named
Apollonius, had it been a name that anybody would have known.3 A LITTLE LONGER SILENCE
WOULD GIVE COLOUR TO THE MODERNISTIC NOTION THAT APOLLONIUS
REALLY NEVER LIVED AT ALL: but in the later Antonine Period, evidences [evidence!
(singular!)] at last begin to appear. The text is so important that it deserves to be quoted in full. The
author is Lucian [c. 120 - after 180 C.E.], in his account of that glorious impostor, Alexander of
Abonuteichos precursor and model of all the Brigham Youngs and Prophet Dowies and Eddys,
who shine amid the chaos of modern American Syncretism....
Most of this [Lucian: "Alexander of Abonuteichos"] is dyed so black with Greek
manners' [apparently, a reference to Greek homosexuality] that it may well be left in the decent
obscurity of the original, but I translate the last sentence:
[Lucian] 'His (i.e. Alexander's) teacher and amorist was a Tyanean born, one of those who had
been with the egregious Apollonius and knew all his mummery. You see what sort of school the man
came out of?'" [xlix-li].
[This is amusing! Quoting Lucian (in "Alexander of Abonuteichos"), as a major witness to the
supposed historicity of Apollonius of Tyana].
from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, by various
writers, edited by William Smith, AMS, 1967, in Three Volumes--Vol. 1, 123.
"ALEXANDER (...[Greek word]), the Paphlagonian, a celebrated
impostor, who flourished [?] about the beginning of the second century (Lucian.
Alex. 6), a native of Abonoteichos on the Euxine, and the pupil of a friend of
"THE NARRATIVE OF LUCIAN WOULD APPEAR TO BE A MERE
ROMANCE, were it not confirmed by some medals [which medals? propaganda?
value? see 1244 (Apollonius of Tyana)] of Antoninus and M. Aurelius."
End of Excursus
"Tertullian never mentions his [Apollonius of Tyana] name". [lvi].
"If ever a question can be decided by weight of expert authority, there is no longer any question but that
THE LIFE OF APOLLONIUS IS AS MUCH OR MORE OF A ROMANCE THAN THE
CYROPAEDIA ["HISTORICAL ROMANCE" (Cam. Bio. Dict., 1990, 337)]." [lxxv]. [See:
"no ancient Fathers, I think, asserted, and no competent modern critic now asserts, that the
book [Apollonius of Tyana (c. 220)] was written of set purpose against the Church.
Nevertheless, although the reader never finds Christianity named in Apollonius, he is often aware
of hints, sometimes plain, sometimes elusive, which suggest to him a Christian reminiscence. It will be
well to spend a few sentences in putting this important matter in its true light. What is Philostratus' [c.
170 - c. 245] position?1
One thing may be asserted pretty surely: he had access to Christian documents, both
canonical and apocryphal [?]. His [Philostratus] allusions to passages in the New Testament
have been noted and collected by almost all who have written on the subject [also, dismissed by
authors]; a list will be found in Newman's Essay, or in Bauer's [which Bauer? (Baur? (see "cxxvii"))]
tedious pages: the following is Kayser's (taken from his Index Auctorum):
||" 343...." [lxxvi].|
[Note: the above chart, if the literature could be known, probably exhibits common components of
and His Times"
"It is not difficult
for us to imagine this literary boycott [sic!] of the
Church in Philostratus, Dio Cassius, &c. To prejudice,
ignorance, contempt, add a spice of uneasiness and suspicion, and you have
the makings of a perfect conspiracy of silence without conspirators; an
instinctive unwritten prescription, the extra armour that every society
lays upon its vital parts. But just as good manners allow 'Mysticism' to
be mentioned where to say 'Religion' would be an outrage, so we find Roman and Greek writers saying of Jews what
they think of Christians [evidence for this presumption?]. We
have in fact Philostratus' opinion of Christians [Jews!] in v. 33.
|'The Jews are inveterate rebels, not
against Rome only but against all human society. Living in their
peculiar exclusiveness, and having neither their food, nor their
libation, nor their sacrifices in common with men, they are more
completely cut off from us than is Susa, or Bactra, or the yet more
remote India.'1 |
These words are put into Euphrates' mouth, but they are no way
personal to him: all the characters in this academic debate sustain stock
parts. FOR JEWS
READ CHRISTIANS [EVIDENCE FOR THIS PRESUMPTION?] and you have
the usual view, expressed in almost the same terms by every Pagan writer
who names the religion at all, and certainly shared by Philostratus.
Why should Philostratus differ from everybody
else? He thought as he had been taught; he talked as he heard others talk.
We must steer between two absurdities. It is
absurd [?] in the face of the evidence to deny that he had
knowledge of Christian documents. Let us leave this to Mr.
Tredwell, who thought that the
canonical Gospels were not written before A.D. 215 [note: page number in
Tredwell, not given]. It is prettier when errors congregate."
"APOLLONIUS OWES HIS
SURVIVAL IN FAME SOLELY TO PHILOSTRATUS [GREEK SOPHIST], but he owes it to
Philostratus that his fame is equivocal. So true says Clement of Alexandria [c. 150 - 211-215] in
the words, 'THE ART
OF A SOPHIST, AS STUDIED BY THE GREEKS, IS A
FACULTY OF THE FANCY, USING LANGUAGE AS A
MEANS TO ACCREDIT FALSE NOTIONS FOR TRUE.'2 PHILOSTRATUS' LIFE OF
APOLLONIUS IS THE HIGH-WATER MARK OF THE LAST GREAT AGE OF GREEK
Marcellinus [c. 330 - 395], befogged in wits [sic] and master of
an intolerable Latinity [?], but whose devotion has been rewarded by
modern Julianists gilding him with a reflection of their partiality for
Julian [Emperor 361 - 363 (331 -
363)] himself, had already classed him ["Apollonius Tyaneus"] in
honourable but queer company. Speaking of the guardian spirit which
attends upon each individual life, he says,2 'it was by reliance on this especial support
that Pythagoras played a brilliant part; likewise Numa Pompilius, the
elder Scipio, and (as some hold) Marius, and Octavian the first titular
Augustus, and Hermes Trismegistus and Apollonius Tyaneus and Plotinus, which
last even ventured to treat mystically of this matter, &c.'3" [c].
On the Age of Apollonius
'Damis has said
nothing about Apollonius' age: some give 80, some over 90, some
even beyond 100 years.'--Philostr. Apollonius, viii. 39." ["cv"].
received scheme places his [Apollonius] birth between the years 6--I B.C., and allows him a
century of life. That this is founded on an error, and comports
many absurd contradictions, it will be the purpose of this chapter to
demonstrate. The quality of Philostratus' work makes it a peculiarly
embarrassed and intricate inquiry to extract fixed points of historical
fact by which to calculate. Since the work is romance,1 ["1'A romance affording little information for
history' (Gsell). For
others see p. xv."] it will be generally conceded that the strongest
arguments will be those which are not wholly internal to the Apollonius, but formed by combination of data [another
composite, etc.] found in the Life with data found either in other authors
or in other works by Philostratus." ["cv"].
"SHADOWY AS DAMIS
IS, and shadowy as is that 'relation of his' who brought the
hitherto unknown records to the notice of the EMPRESS JULIA [see 1216, 1218] a hundred years afterwards, ONE cannot [CAN] venture to
DISMISS THE WHOLE STORY peremptorily AS A FICTION. Damis was a real person, and left real books behind
him [evidence?]...." [cxvii].
from: More Essays on Greek Romances,
Elizabeth Hazelton Haight [1872 - 1964 (see: N.Y. Times, 1964, Nov. 16,
31)], Professor Emeritus of Latin, Vassar College; New York, Longmans,
Green and Co., M D CCCC XLV.
[Inscription (my copy): "To my colleague, Adolph
Katzenellenbogen [Art Historian (also, at Vassar College)], who is always
giving me new ideas, Elizabeth Hazelton Haight. April 25, 1945."].
"IV. A Romantic
Biography: The Life of
Apollonius of Tyana"
was not executed. (A Greek romance
must end happily.)" .
Interesting! Indication of Greek tragedy, and/or Latin influence, in the
"....After this résumé of Philostratus' narrative we are ready to
analyze the technique of his romance. The
theme is not love, adventure, and religion as in the Greek love romances,
but a philosophical way of life...." .
"The technique of the
narrative [Life of Apollonius of
Tyana] employs all the usual devices of
a Greek romance: a special narrator, letters and inscriptions, dreams and
miracles, fine descriptions, lively anecdotes, rapid narrative, court-room
scenes, and epiphanies [see #13, 307] [see 1206]. Actually
instead of one narrator, the author, there
are two narrators in the Life, Philostratus
himself and Damis. Achilles Tatius had attempted this device of
the double narrator in Clitophon and Leucippe, but had failed to
maintain the plan through his novel. Philostratus is more successful, for his Damis is
ever-present and is given a very individual character." .
"A DEVICE WHICH THE GREEK ROMANCES USED TO GIVE AN
ASPECT OF HISTORICITY TO THEIR NARRATIVES WAS DOCUMENTATION BY
LETTERS [see below] and
inscriptions. Philostratus uses many such PSEUDO-ORIGINAL SOURCES. He quotes directly
ten letters or groups of letters beside paraphrasing others...." .
["TWENTY-ONE LETTERS, or Epistles--always an interesting
literary form--MAKE UP THE BULK OF
THE N.T. [NEW TESTAMENT]" (Harper's Bible Dictionary, 1973, 390)].
"MIRACLES, ANOTHER FEATURE OF THE GREEK ROMANCES,
loom far larger in the Life than do
dreams.36 Apollonius himself is a
wonder-worker although both he and his followers resent his being called a
wizard or a magician. Part of his quest in his visit to the Brahmans was
to observe their magical powers as well as to share their wisdom. They
fought off enemies who tried to storm their castle by hurling
thunderbolts.37 They were aware of their
past lives in former incarnations38 and
they had foreknowledge of the future.39
Each had a ring and a staff with virtue to enable him to do all
things.40 They could use the magical
Pantarbe stone.41 At their banquets
automatic bronze tripods served the food, which earth unlabored
furnished.42 They effected cures, healing
partly by massage, but also by magic.43
They knew something of astrology, for Iarchas gave Apollonius seven rings,
named for the seven stars, which he wore in turn on each day of the
week,44 and Iarchas had proved himself the
reincarnation of the Indian hero Ganges by discovering the seven swords of
adamant ["unbreakable hardness"] which Ganges had fixed in the earth to
ward off enemies.45 The Brahmans' supreme
magical power was manifested in levitation, for in their ritual they
raised themselves two cubits from the earth in order floating in the air
to commune more easily with the Sun-God.46. These powers, except the control of
automatic tripods and the levitation for worship, Apollonius was able to
rival and outdo." .
"The sage of
Tyana [Apollonius of Tyana] understood all languages of men though he had never
studied them, also the languages of animals and birds.47 He could heal a boy bitten by a mad dog by
making the dog obey his will, lick the wound and drink running water to
cure himself as well a the boy.48
Apollonius had power not only over animals, but over demons, hobgoblins,
and even a satyr. In the moonlight near the Caucasus he drove away a
hobgoblin which wished to interfere with their travels by cursing it
roundly.49 He cured a boy of sixteen who
was possessed by a demon by addressing a letter full of threats to the
evil spirit.50 He stayed a plague at
Ephesus by having the populace stone to death a demon disguised as an old
beggar.51 He rid an Ethiopian village of
the ghost of a lecherous satyr by filling a fountain with wine and getting
him drunk.52 And he saved a philosopher
from a vampire bride.53" [95-96].
"Apollonius displayed foreknowledge of such
different events as the plague at Ephesus and the manner of the death of
the Emperor Titus.54 By television he
beheld in Egypt the burning of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus in Rome
and in Ephesus witnessed the murder of Domitian in Rome.55 He showed power over inanimate objects by
withdrawing his leg from his fetters in prison.56 He overcame the limitations of space by
transporting himself in a day from Rome to Dicaearchia.57 His ultimate victory was over death. Not
only did he raise the ghost of Achilles at his mound, but he [Apollonius] himself ascended into heaven and then appeared again to a young disciple to reveal
his glorious immortality.58" .
[footnote] '78VIII. 31. On Apollonius as "the philosophic
theologian" and his teachings see S. Dill, Roman Society
from Nero to Marcus Aurelius, London, 1911, pp. 346-47, 399-401,
518-20; for a satiric view of Philostratus' fiction see B.L. Gildersleeve, "Apollonius of Tyana," in Essays and Studies, Baltimore, 1890, pp. 251-96
[see 1188-1191]. Gildersleeve wrote as derisively of Apollonius as Lucian
did of Alexander of Abonoteichus [see #24, 514-515].' .
Meyer (in German)] analyzes the
whole of Philostratus' narrative, and points out that the entire first part, the trip into
the Orient to the Indian sages, is imaginary and
'This study of PHILOSTRATUS' LIFE OF
APOLLONIUS OF TYANA has made clear its type and its
affiliations. It is A GREEK ROMANCE OF A NEW TYPE, THE HISTORICAL-PHILOSOPHICAL. Possibly its original prototype was Xenophon's Cyropaedia [see 1196, 1201], for
Xenophon's "Greek was the favourite model of his [apparently,
Philostratus] particular school."104
["104J.S. Phillimore [see 1196], op. cit., I.
"In plot the Life of Apollonius of Tyana [by
Philostratus, c. 220] owed much to the GREEK TALES OF TRAVEL [compare: "St.
Paul" (in "book of Acts" (see 1224))] (the lost The Wonderful Things beyond Thule of Antonius Diogenes and others) which Lucian satirized so brilliantly in his True History. And, as in these old stories of
adventure, geography and chronology were less important to Philostratus
than the marvels he saw and the pursuit of his quest. In Philostratus just as in the Greek love romances
the elements of ADVENTURE AND RELIGION are
present. But adventures are side-lines for the single aim of the
attainment of philosophical knowledge. Religions are fused into a
pantheism that embraces all gods. Temples are visited for reform of
rituals. And love between man and woman is superseded by communion of a
sage with the one and only god. The disciples
of the sage approach god through their devotion to their Master, the
divine man, THE HUMAN SAVIOUR." .
'IN HIS TECHNIQUE, PHILOSTRATUS, LEARNED SOPHIST THAT
HE WAS, USES ALL THE VARIOUS DEVICES OF THE GREEK LOVE
ROMANCES: conversation, purple patches of descriptions,
anecdotes; documentary evidence of letters and inscriptions; a plentiful
introduction of historical personages; prison scenes [compare: New Testament characters (e.g.: Peter; John; Paul), and "prison scenes"]; court-room
scenes with their rhetorical speeches [compare: Pilate, in the New Testament]; magical effluvia of dreams,
miracles, and epiphanies [see 1204 (similar presentation)]. And all the
training of the rhetorician must contribute its part.
"TO REALIZE THE TRUE
SOPHISTIC MANNER," writes
Phillimore,107 ["107 J.S. Phillimore, op. cit., I.
lxxiii-lxxiv."] "THERE MUST BE MUCH
HELLENIZING: plenty of history, rhetorically sauced; plenty of
(who was probably of Hittite or Amorite stock, if in fact he was descended
from the founders of Tyana) must be made all
that is most Greek, an Atticist but without pedantry, donnish yet
modish; his talk enriched with Homeric
quotations, and brilliantly freaked with allusive poeticisms. It
was a theme on which the sophists' commonplace book might be emptied out.
There was room for many a neat page on mythology, aesthetics, and
literature. Philostratus has by him
a little thing on Flute-playing: put this into Apollonius's mouth, and the
futility of the dialogue is rather less apparent (V. 21). Every schoolboy
would be gratified and encouraged when he found Apollonius showing
knowledge of his Demosthenes' de Corona.
Prodicus' celebrated Apologue must serve as a model for a similar Apollonius' Choice. Topical Dialexeis must be introduced at suitable points:
a Sermon in prison, a Sermon on Facing Tyrants, &c.,
&c., the conventional debate on the Merits of a Republic
compared with a Monarchy, and above all, the centerpiece of the fabric,
Philostratus' 'benefit' performance, a grand scholastic...[Greek word],
Apollonius' Apologia before Domitian."
The elements of magic
and of theurgy [here, the reader can define (see 1215)] in Philostratus [c. 170 - c. 245] make him more closely affiliated with the
Latin novelist Apuleius [c. 124 -
after 170?] than with the writers of the
Greek love romances. BOTH APULEIUS
AND APOLLONIUS [did the author Apuleius, inspire (in part) the
Fictional character--Apollonius?] had to defend themselves in court
against charges of practising magic and each composed his own Apologia. Both were scholars of broad learning
and had travelled widely. Both had the reputation of being philosophers:
Apuleius a Platonist, Apollonius a Pythagorean. Both Apuleius and
Philostratus claimed to base their romances on earlier
writings: Apuleius on a certain Greek tale (perhaps...[3
Greek words]), Philostratus on Damis' memoirs
of Apollonius. "Both have much to say of transformations,
wizards, demons, and the occult."108
Beyond all that, both in their romances were writing a sort of Pilgrim's
Progress of a valiant hero who, assailed by the various temptations of
life and tested by various adventures, was seeking the Holy Grail of a
meaning for life itself. Lucius
["transformation of a man into an ass" (see 1247)] satisfied his quest in
the religion of Isis. Apollonius found his
salvation in a synthesis of the Brahman and the Pythagorean
philosophers.' [109-110]. [See: 1247-1248 (resurrection;
'Perhaps the most
mooted [discussed, argued, etc.] of
all questions concerning the Life of Apollonius
of Tyana [by: Philostratus c. 170 - c. 245] is its relation to Christianity. To be sure,
Philostratus never mentions Christ [Who, validly, does? If, someone
is suggested, what is the distance in time? Etc.?] or the Christians, but that has not prevented
scholars since the time of the early church fathers from stating that he
presents his hero as a rival of
is noteworthy that this exaltation of Apollonius as a rival of Christ does not appear in ancient writers
between the time of Apollonius and Philostratus, nor does it gain
prominence soon after the publication of Philostratus' book. Lucian [fl. 2nd century], the earliest author to allude to Apollonius,
speaks of him as a
magician.109 Dio Cassius [c. 150 - 235 C.E.] refers to
his second sight at the time of Domitian's death and to Caracalla's
worship of him, but regards him as a sorcerer.110 Alexander Severus honored him in his
Lararium with Christ, Abraham, and
Orpheus [? (see #24, 522-523)].111
It was in the time of Diocletian [Emperor 284 - 305 (245 or 248 -
313 or 316)] that a provincial
governor, Hierocles [born
c. 275], wrote a book "to show that Apollonius had been as great a sage,
as remarkable a worker of miracles, and as potent an exorcist as Jesus Christ."112 The Christian historian Eusebius wrote a treatise in answer to
Hierocles "Against the Life of Apollonius of
Tyana written by Philostratus, occasioned by the parallel drawn by
Hierocles between him and Christ [see 1185-1186]."113 Eusebius points out that no anti-Christian
writer before Hierocles had claimed that Apollonius was a rival of Christ. While admitting Apollonius' powers,
he claims that his miracles were wrought by the help of evil spirits,
demons. And he [Eusebius] attacks Philostratus by analyzing the inconsistencies
in the Life.
Few if any scholars would now claim that
Philostratus wrote his book to present his hero as a rival of Christ.114
THERE EXIST, OF COURSE, PARALLELISMS BETWEEN THE LIVES OF APOLLONIUS AND
JESUS, BUT THESE COULD BE DRAWN BETWEEN THE
LIVES OF APOLLONIUS AND SAINT PAUL AS WELL.115 Philostratus seems almost certainly to have
known the New Testament and certain
Apocryphal Acta [Acts ("narratives of
deeds")],116 which I have shown to be
ROMANCES [GREEK CHRISTIAN ROMANCES!].
But farther than these allusions borrowings cannot
be substantiated.117 Philostratus like
other writers of the early Empire simply reflects the general belief in
demonology and wonder-working in the age.118 His
[PHILOSTRATUS] ORIGINALITY DID NOT LIE IN WRITING A ROMANCE ABOUT A
REAL PERSON [compare: 1198 (Phillimore)], for Xenophon had
written the Cyropaedia, and probably before
Philostratus' time there existed some early version of The History of Alexander the Great. But with full knowledge of Xenophon's romantic biography
of Cyrus the Elder as the ideal ruler, of the Greek novels of war and
adventure, of the Greek love romances, of the controversiae and the suasoriae of the rhetorical schools and of the
Christian Acta with a saint for the hero,
Philostratus chose to present...[2 Greek words], a divine sage, a
Pythagorean philosopher, as the center of his story. TO MAKE THE LIFE OF HIS HERO INTERESTING AND TO
PROMULGATE HIS PHILOSOPHY HE [PHILOSTRATUS] USES EVERY
DEVICE OF THE GREEK AND LATIN NOVELS OF THE SECOND AND THIRD
CENTURIES. And the credulity, the discourses, the aspirations
of his characters belong as much to all the first three centuries of the
Empire as to the age of the Severi. PHILOSTRATUS HAS WRITTEN OUT OF THE RESTLESS CRAVINGS
OF THAT TIME ANOTHER ROMANCE [LIFE OF APOLLONIUS OF TYANA] TO HELP MEN ESCAPE FROM THE BURDEN OF THEIR FEARS TO
LIFE'S FAIRER POSSIBILITIES.' [110-112] [End of essay].
from: A Sketch of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, or
the First Ten Decades of Our Era, by Daniel M. Tredwell [1826 -
1921], New-York, Frederic Tredwell, 78 Nassau St., 1886. [a Classic!].
[reprint available from: www.kessingerpub.com].
[Note: some footnotes are very lengthy]. [Note:
research to corroborate, etc.].
The Pretext, the Purpose, and the
Clergyman"] '"It is a custom too much
observed even among Christian teachers to extol the traditionary virtues
of Zoroaster, Confucius, Christna, and Buddha to the prejudice of our
Blessed Redeemer [Jesus].1
[see footnote, 1210] There is nothing in these allegorical biographies
which rises in sublimity to the miracles of our Lord [Jesus] or the simplicity of his life. Nor
are they entitled to equal consideration as historical relations. They
rest upon no such reliable substratum of history as the life and doctrines
of Jesus. And I here challenge any
man to produce from the accumulated dust of eighteen centuries a record of
the life, sayings, and doings of any personage so well attested and by so
many reputable witnesses as is that of our Saviour [Jesus] in the
account of Matthew."--Brooklyn
We refrain from giving the name of the author of
the foregoing quoted words on the ground that he may deem it unfair to be
put in a position not of his own seeking, where he may be called upon to
defend an utterance made five years ago; and more especially as he has
greatly modified his views on the subject of revelation.
We however accept the challenge, and not in a
humor of bravado or conceit, nor as a contest for victory, but with a
sincere desire to discover the truth.
The character which we have selected for this experimentum crucis is that of Apollonius of Tyana. He seems especially
fitted for this ordeal, inasmuch as he is said to have been a contemporary
of Jesus, born in the year one of
our era. It is claimed that he was divinely conceived, and that he came
with a revelation as the saviour of humanity. At all events, his written life is surrounded by a halo of
miraculous phenomena almost identical with that recorded by Matthew in his
gospel of Jesus Christ. And while Jesus
is said to have been casting out devils in Galilee, Apollonius was, ACCORDING TO A TRADITION QUITE AS TRUSTWORTHY,
rendering mankind a similar service in Greece.
says the Westminster Review, January, 1882,
page 3, "abounded in impostors arrogating to
themselves the attributes and prerogatives of divine messengers, boasting
themselves the vehicles of divine revelation, and fattening upon the superstition and credulity of the
multitude who always believed in the last incarnation, and pronounced all antecedent pretenders impostors. The
most celebrated of these was APOLLONIUS OF TYANA, who obtained a measure
of success second only to that of CHRIST. He advocated a morality and virtue
far in advance of the religious sentiments of his age."1 [see footnote, 1210]' ["1"-3].
[footnote] '1Moncure D.
Conway [1832 - 1907] [author: Life of
Thomas Paine, 1892; etc.], M.A., in Modern
Thought, says: "The world has been for a long time engaged in writing
lives of Jesus. In the fourth gospel
it is said, 'There are also many other things that Jesus did, the which, if they should be
written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain
the books that should be written. Amen.' The library of such books has grown since then.
But when we come to examine them one startling fact confronts us: all of
these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a
single scrap of contemporary information--not one! By accepted tradition
he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the
nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustus Age historians
flourished; poets, orators, critics, and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions even the name of Jesus Christ,
much less any incident of his life. It is true that there are
other great men who appear to have been overlooked or little noticed in
contemporaneous literature. It is a matter of astonishment that from the
Elizabethan Age we have so few contemporary notices of Shakespeare [1564 - 1616]; yet that poet is
mentioned by at least twenty of his contemporaries. OF JESUS WE HAVE NOT ONE
NOTICE, NOT THE FAINTEST, SLIGHTEST SENTENCE OR WORD ON WHICH HISTORY CAN
FIX AS CERTAIN EVIDENCE THAT HE LIVED AT ALL [see 1214]."
Francis [Francois] Dupuis [1742 - 1809], a celebrated French
philosopher, in his Origine de tous les
Cultes, A.D. 1794, vii. 358, has not hesitated to say that the fact
of such a person as Jesus of
Nazareth having ever existed is but a doubtful one, and that
the account we have of the life of Christ
should be altogether regarded as another allegory of the sun,
more bungling than that of Osiris or Hercules.' ["1"-2].
"Although from the very beginning of this inquiry
to its final termination we have never regretted the undertaking,--for the
pleasure of the pursuit has been intense, and our enthusiasm has never
flagged,--yet we must, in some confusion, confess that it was an unguarded
moment when we took up the gauntlet, for from
our point of view this subject (sacerdotalism and its contingents) has
been wonderfully overvalued and overwrought by the greater intellects of
the world, and that it has never furnished results to humanity
commensurate with the mental outlay; the crafty ones cannot avoid
confessing that we are reaping from this contention-strewn field of
eighteen hundred years but an indifferent harvest; that in blood and
treasures THE GOSPEL
EXPERIMENT HAS BEEN A DEARLY BOUGHT AND STERILE LUXURY."
'The ingenious and
interlarded ["intermixed"] fictions
of Eusebius, Lardner, Renan, Strauss
and Schenkel, which were pregnant with great promises of
enlightenment, have done nothing save the entailment of vast complexities
upon the subject. THEY HAVE with consummate
strategy always avoided the real question at issue, and LED THE army of
EARNEST INQUIRERS THROUGH DEVIOUS AND UNFAMILIAR PATHS AWAY FROM THE
DIRECT ROAD, UNTIL IT HAS BECOME INFINITELY A GREATER MENTAL EFFORT TO
RECOVER THE LOST TRAIL THAN TO HAVE ORIGINALLY SOLVED THE WHOLE
PROBLEM. Their biography of Jesus is,
what they would have it, seen through the film of their ancestral and
educational bias, rather than what it is from the record.
THE SUPERSTRUCTURE OF
THE BIOGRAPHY OF APOLLONIUS, LIKE THAT OF JESUS, IS UPON MIRACLE;
the partisans of each lay claim to the supernatural, the logic and
argument of which we deem unworthy of altercation by any zealous
historian, no matter what their quality or the nature of their
attestation. We do not mean to say that a miracle may not be sufficiently
attested to entitle it to belief; but we do mean to say with Hume [David Hume 1711 - 1776], "that NO AMOUNT OF TESTIMONY CAN MAKE IT [MIRACLE]
TRUE." We have read the wonderful
miracles of Jesus and of
Apollonius,, and shall not demur to any vantage ground the partisans of
either may feel that they have obtained from the assumption of their sublime pretensions....'
'The naked statement of the most excellent man
whom all personal experience affirms never told a falsehood, will
certainly not avail to bring conviction unsupported; for while we have no
experience of men who carry their heads under their arms [for a similar
(same?) story, see: Gibbon and His Roman
Empire, David P. Jordan, c1971, 115-116], we have an abundant
experience that some of the best men will lie,1 [see footnote, 1212] and sometimes without
any apparent motive; and what one man has been known to do sometimes
without any apparent motive, another may do frequently for a
consideration, and thus the falsehood may be confirmed by a second and
third, until it becomes epidemic and everybody affirms it; for upon the
best authority--personal experience--we know that the belief of multitudes
is contagious; and when a godly narrative becomes too occult to be
accepted upon the acclamations of the multitude, then it either appeals to
the supernatural or retires beyond the jurisdiction of experiential
science for ratification.
No one probably ever comprehended this truth with
more force than the great prophet of the Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith [1805 - 1844: "taken from jail at Carthage, Ill., by a mob and
shot." (Webster's Bio. Dict.)]. He [Joseph
Smith] took every precaution to have
his Book of Mormon overwhelmingly attested. It was certified by
John Cowdrey and eight other
witnesses, all men well known, and some of them persons who up to this
time were noted for being men of good character, and none of them noted
for untruthfulness. Their attestation is in the following words:
"Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues,
and peoples unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of
God the Father and our Lord Jesus
Christ, have seen the plates which contain the record; that the
translation is correct, and was attested by an angel in our presence."
This statement was subscribed by all the parties (except the angel), and
sworn to before a justice of the peace. It ["Book of
Mormon"] is the best attested book
in the world.
It is a threadbare argument, and it appears to me
a meritless one, that it is easier to believe an improbable story,
attested by respectable men, than to set aside as perjurers those who have
attested it; but this is not true, for if the Book of Mormon were sworn to
by the whole convocation of Latter-day Saints, it would not change its
status one iota with any intelligent man or woman. They furthermore urge
for the Book of Mormon that it is a divine
revelation, and favored by God, upon the obdurate fact that its proselytes reached the unparalleled number of 350,000 in less than fifty years, four times as many as Christianity made in three
times the number of years. BUT ALL THIS
CAN'T SAVE IT, FOR IT ["BOOK OF MORMON"] IS, NOTWITHSTANDING ITS ASSUMPTIONS, A PRODIGIOUS
Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus), the
most illustrious of all the Latin fathers of the Church, was born
a pagan at Tagasta in Numidia, A.D. 354. He has left more literature than any man of his
day, and which has had more influence as evidence in proof of a
pure spiritual life than any writings aside from the New Testament; in fact it ["literature" of
Saint Augustine] ranks next to the gospel. In his youth he taught grammar
and rhetoric at Carthage and Rome; he was also professor of rhetoric and
philosophy at Milan. Under the preaching of Saint Ambrose in 368, Augustine experienced
a decided conversion. He was shortly ordained a priest, and afterward
became Bishop of Hippo. He first distinguished himself at the Council of
Carthage, A.D. 401, for his unostentatious piety, eloquence, and Christian
logic. No praise was too great to be heaped upon this holy man by his
brethren, or by posterity. He was truly a representative Christian of all
ages. In his published sermons printed at Paris, 1679-1700, in 11 volumes
folio (republished in 1836, 22 vols.), we find in his thirty-third sermon addressed to a
convention of reverend brethren, this statement: "I did myself, while Bishop of Hippo in Africa, preach
the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to whole nations of men
and women that had no heads but had eyes in their bosoms; and in countries
further still in the interior, I preached to a whole nation, among whom
each individual had but one eye, and that situate in the middle of the
forehead."--Syntagma of the Evidences of
the Christian Religion, etc., by Rev. R.
Taylor, A.B., p. 52; Tillemont, Vie de
Saint Augustine (in Ecc. Hist.), 1657; Ponjoulat, Vita Sancti Augustini, 1646; Ecclesiastical Memoirs, Rivius, Palaeoromaica, 1822, p. 357; Ancient Metaphysics, vol. iv. p. 92; cf. History of the Conflict between Religion and
Science, by John W. Draper,
M.D., L.L.D. (New York, 1875), p. 57, etc.'
'WHAT IS THE STATUS
AND RELATIVE VALUE OF THE TWO RECORDS, MATTHEW [GOSPEL OF
MATTHEW (NEW TESTAMENT) AND PHILOSTRATUS [APOLLONIUS OF
TYANA], AS HISTORICAL
MENTORS? Is there any exclusive privilege which we are bound to
accord to one of these narratives which we are compelled to withhold from
the other? Shall one of them be privileged to challenge the historic
domain at the exclusion of the other, equally well authenticated? If not,
and this is a free field, we wish to be heard. "An honest inquiry into the truth of the
gospel," Mr. Moody tells
us, "is not only every man's
privilege, but every man's duty; but," he significantly and in genuine
orthodox logic adds, "should we
conclude that it ["truth of the gospel"] is not true then we will surely be damned."
With this sketch of our method of treating
phenomena called miraculous, we shall proceed with our Life of Apollonius of Tyana in answer to the
challenge, amplifying with notes, as we may deem necessary from time to
time, for the better illustrating our sketch.
A PROMINENT FEATURE
OF OUR WORK IS THE BIBLIOGRAPHICAL REFERENCES, WHICH COVER A VERY
IMPORTANT AND HERETOFORE ALMOST UNEXPLORED FIELD OF LITERATURE. NOR ARE
OUR NUMISMATIC REFERENCES WITHOUT THEIR VALUE.
|Flatbush, L.I., 1886. D.M.T.
[Daniel M. Tredwell]' . |
[from the main
[(long) footnote, not referenced above] '1From the time
that disputes began concerning the Christian religion, Christians have
charged Philostratus with having appropriated the events and miracles
contained in Matthew's gospel to adorn his life of Apollonius of Tyanna,
and the pagans have made counter charges of plagiarism against the writer
of this gospel. Cf. John Henry Newman's Life of Apollonius of Tyana [see 1245-1246],
vol. i, (History of the Christian Church
[this title seems erroneous; probably: Historical
Sketches (see 1245-1246)]), p. 345; see, also, Mosheim's [Johann Lorenz von Mosheim 1694 -
1755] Ecclesiastical History, etc., 2 vols.
(Blackie & Son, 1839), vol. i. p. 90, b. 2, c. xvii. Upon the earlier
accounts of Apollonius these charges have been held to be of sufficient
importance to meet with efforts of refutation from eminent Christians;
even as late as our day Rev. Albert
Réville [1826 - 1906] did not think it beneath his dignity, nor
his great learning, to attempt in 1866 [1865 French] a refutation of "this
great and monstrous infidel slander." He attempted to show in a little book bearing the title of Apollonius [of
Pagan Christ of the Third Century (meaning the first century ["meaning":
"first century (Apollonius)" if historical; "Third Century (Philostratus)" if
fictional]), THAT PHILOSTRATUS HAD BORROWED HIS LEADING FACTS FROM
THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW. The translation of Philostratus by Rev. Edward Berwick [born 1750 (translator
of: Philostratus: The Life of Apollonius of
Tyana, 1809] was with the same avowed intent. Both of these excellent authors, we regret to say,
have very much contracted the field of their usefulness by their strong
partisanship. I APPREHEND THAT THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW HAD BUT ONE GRAND
CENTRAL IDEA; AND THAT TO GIVE THE EVENTS IN THE REAL LIFE OF ONE JESUS OF
NAZARETH; this I believe is accepted from Justin Martyr [c. 100 -
c. 165] to Constantine Tischendorf
[1815 - 1874], although some of the more timid and witless of the modern
theological savants, as if to ward of an impending
blow aimed at the real man, now declare that the physical life of
Jesus is as immaterial to vital
Christianity as the physical life of Mahomet. Tischendorf, however, says: "That CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT IN ANY SENSE REST UPON THE
TEACHINGS OF CHRIST, BUT THAT IT RESTS UPON HIS
PERSON ONLY, AND IF WE ARE IN ERROR
[YOU (TISCHENDORF) ARE IN ERROR! (LIES, FORGERIES, ETC.!)] CONCERNING THE MIRACULOUS CONCEPTION AND PHYSICAL
NATURE OF JESUS, THEN IS THE CHURCH A DECEPTION AND A FRAUD."
He [Tischendorf] further says:
"That whatever the early
ages of the church report to us concerning the person of
Jesus from pretended independent
sources, all is either derived from the gospel [apparently, "of Matthew"]
or is made up of a few insignificant details of no historic value in
themselves. And that CHRISTIANITY HAD NOT
NOR HAS IT ANY OTHER RADIATING OR CENTRAL POINT, EVERYTHING ELSE IS
SUBSERVIENT TO THE DOGMA OF THE REAL HISTORIC MAN, AND IF THIS IS A
FALLACY THEN DOES THE WHOLE SCHEME OF REDEMPTION FALL like the
provincial towns of a conquered empire"--When
were the Gospels Written? An Argument, by Constantine Tischendorf [1815 - 1874], etc.
(London), p. 40.
OPINION AMONGST THE EARLY CHRISTIAN CONVERTS," says Mosheim
[Johann Lorenz von Mosheim 1694 - 1755], "WAS THAT
CHRIST EXISTED IN APPEARANCE ONLY, AND NOT IN REALITY, and that his body
was a mere phantom. The book of the Acts of Peter, John, Thomas,
and Paul speak of Christ as a
phantom, and such was the idea of the followers of Corinthus, of the
Nicolaitans who are denounced in the Apocalypse of the Docetae of Cordon,
Marcion, Lucian, Apelles, and Faustus."
And there can be no doubt of the truth of what
Tischendorf here says: "AUTHOR
AFTER AUTHOR, VOLUME AFTER VOLUME, OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST MAY APPEAR UNTIL
THE ARCHIVES OF THE UNIVERSE ARE FILLED, AND YET ALL WE HAVE OF THE LIFE OF JESUS IS TO BE FOUND IN
MATTHEW'S GOSPEL. NOT A SINGLE PERSON
SPECIALLY ASSOCIATED WITH JESUS
IMPINGES HISTORY [see 1210 (reminiscent of Thomas Paine, "Age
of Reason Part Three" (1807): "There is no history written at the time
Jesus Christ is said to have lived that speaks of the existence of such a
person, even as a man.")]."--What is
Christianity? etc., by Thomas L.
Strange (London, 1880), p. 38.
says Mosheim, "HAVE UNDERTAKEN TO WRITE A
HISTORY OF THE APOSTLES --A HISTORY OF
FABLES, DOUBTS, AND DIFFICULTIES."
D.D. (1660), says in his work, entitled An Explanation of the Grand Mystery of Godliness, or
a True and Faithful Representation of the Everlasting Gospel of Our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Only
Begotten Son of God, etc., etc. (London, 1660), at p. 124: ....
I know of no one
except some jealous Christians who ever thought of making a comparison of
Apollonius to Jesus, and all the gasconade [blustering talk,
etc.] about the efforts made either by Apollonius or his biographers to
equal him to Jesus is the merest
APOLLONIUS NOR PHILOSTRATUS EVER HEARD OF JESUS, NOR DID THEY EVER HEAR OF
ANY CELEBRITIES WHO ARE SAID TO HAVE BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH HIM, NOR HAD
THEY EVER HEARD OF THE RELIGION WHICH HE IS SAID TO HAVE ESTABLISHED ON
EARTH. And how could they ape institutions of which they had
no knowledge? ....' [21-23].
[footnote 1 (not referenced above)] '...."Apollonius of Tyana," says Gibbon [Edward Gibbon 1737 - 1794],
"was born about the same time as Jesus
Christ. His life (the former) is related in so fabulous a manner by his
fanatic disciples that we are at a loss to discover whether he was a sage
or impostor [Fictional character!]."' .
"On the authority of Pritchard, Whitehead, Bailey, and others,
Apollonius was one hundred and thirty when he
died: bearing in mind, in the meantime, however, that IT HAS BEEN MAINTAINED WITH GREAT RESOLUTION
and bitterness THAT NO SUCH PERSON AS
APOLLONIUS OF TYANA HAD EVER LIVED, and that THE PRETENDED SPAN OF HIS LIFE AND HISTORY WERE
ENTIRELY THE PRODUCT OF THE BRAIN OF PHILOSTRATUS.1" . [Note: 22-24,
opt for authenticity].
[footnote] "1WE BELIEVE THIS SKETCH
OF APOLLONIUS, with all the labor it represents to us, if not of its
own intrinsic merits as a classic, WILL HAVE SIGNIFICANCE
IN DETERMINING THE STANDARD VALUE OF OTHER AND CONTEMPORANEOUS
CHARACTERS [SUCH AS "JESUS"!] WITH
WHICH IT STANDS IN CONTRAST [AND, CORRESPONDENCE]. The usual methods of saying things and
declaring them proven, pervades nearly all the literature prepared,
admittedly, to write down Apollonius. But
I KNOW OF NO
VULNERABLE POINT OF ATTACK UPON PHILOSTRATUS'S LIFE OF APOLLONIUS, WHICH WILL NOT, WITH VASTLY
AUGMENTED FORCE, UNDER THE SAME METHODS OF REASONING, RECOIL UPON
MATTHEW'S GOSPEL OF THE LIFE OF JESUS.
But they declare that Philostratus wrote up a character in
imitation of Christ, and in
opposition to the Christian religion, when the best evidence in the world exists (his entire
silence) that he [Philostratus] had
never heard of Christ or Christians [note: the standard Christian
apologist's response is: "but he might have!"]. However, if Philostratus did create a character in imitation
of Christ, how much more worthy of our imitation in practice and precept
is the counterfeit!
It is equally remarkable that, although Plutarch's [c. 46 - c. 120 C.E.]
miscellaneous writings make mention or allude with unerring certainty to
nearly every ethical or theurgic [theurgy = "A system of magic"; etc.]
opinion of his time (A.D. 50 to 120 A.D.), he [Plutarch] is ABSOLUTELY
SILENT ON THE SUBJECT OF CHRISTIANITY. And this is more singular
because the provinces of Bithynia and Pontus, only a few days' journey
from Boeotia, were, if we may believe Christian writers, already swarming
with the proselytes of Christianity. And on like authority Athens,
Corinth, Ephesus, and Philippi were centers of great Christian revivals.
He ought to have remembered Nero's persecution of the Christians; yet
while he speaks of every other persecution, he is persistently silent upon
the great event of the day." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] "2There is no doubt but that the admirers of Apollonius have endeavored to crown
him with the attributes of divinity. Meanwhile, the statistics of
personal history which would give the lie to such assumption have been
destroyed; dates, stubborn barriers in the way of apotheosis, have been
lost; registers of births there are, unfortunately, none; thus, through
the sophistry of designing men, the inference to the minds of the ignorant
and credulous is, that he had no mortal father, but sprang from the soil,
or rose from the sea, or came down from heaven, or was the joint offspring
of God and a human maiden. The circumstances attending the death long
forgotten, the partisan story of heavenly
ascension, could not be refuted, and the territory which truth could not occupy,
superstition and fraud at once claimed." .
Réville says that Philostratus [c. 170 - c. 245] was one of
the many men of letters who gravitated around Julia Domna [c. 167 - 217], wife of Septimius Severus (A.D. 193 to 211).2 She was a woman of uncommon attainments and
purity of character. The efforts made by
early Christian writers to defame her [Julia Domna] by charging upon her incest
have been amply refuted by Herodian and Dion
Cassius. Her likeness is said to be faithfully represented on
Roman coins, many of which are still extant; on some she is associated
with Septimius Severus
[husband], Caracalla [son], and
Geta [son]. They are of both gold
Domna] lived much in seclusion, devoting her time to literature
and philosophy, and it was at her
[Julia Domna] instigation that Philostratus prepared and published the Life of Apollonius of
Tyana [c. 220 (Ox. Dict. C.C.)], she having
furnished the materials.2 [see
footnote, below] She also brought together a great collection of works on
art, and a library devoted to
biography and philosophy; and, next to the great enchantress, Cleopatra [Cleopatra VII, Queen 51 - 30
B.C.E. (69 - 30 B.C.E.)], we know of no woman of ancient times who became
so eminent as a collector of literature. She brought together books from every part of the known world,
and formed an immense library, the
nucleus of which, however, was laid by Ulpinus Trajanus [now, Marcus Ulpius
Traianus, Emperor 98 - 117 (53 - 117)], but was rendered famous and
ponderous through the patronage of Julia
Domna.1 [see footnote, 1217] [see
1218 (Julia Domna)] This great library remained intact until the time of
Justinian, A.D. 410,1 [see footnote, 1217: "Historire de Justinien..."] who renovated it of
its "philosophical chaff," as he called it; but which was rally a wedge
entered for its destruction. It was left, however, for Pope Gregory the Great, who became disgusted with the vast amount of pagan
literature (A.D. 585), to
entirely demolish it. Thus ended one of the
great libraries of the world,2
[see footnote, 1217] and with it probably
perished the noblest collection of pagan literature ever brought
[footnote (see above paragraph, 4th line)] '2It is remarkable that Philostratus, a man of character and reputation,
should have believed a tithe of the wonders he [Philostratus] has
related of him [Apollonius of Tyana]; and NOTWITHSTANDING
[in spite of] ALL THIS EVIDENT FALSEHOOD OF APOLLONIUS, SUCH WAS THE SUPERSTITION AND
CREDULITY OF HIS PERIOD, THAT TEMPLES AND STATUES WERE ERECTED IN
HIS [APOLLONIUS] HONOR, and his appellation was, "the true friend of the gods."--The
Philosophy of Magic, Prodigies, and Apparent Miracles, by Eusèbe
Salverte, with notes by Anthony T. Thompson, 2 vols. (London, 1844), vol. i.
p. 248.' .
have no information to be relied upon concerning Grecian books before the wars of Troy and Thebes.
the Lacedaemonians had no books;
their trained memories rendered books useless for that age. But if the
Greeks had few books the Romans had
still less, in this early age. The Athenians, who were great speakers,
also wrote a great deal; and when the age of books began, Athenian literature formed the
material for many volumes which enriched the later Grecian libraries. When Xerxes [King 486 - 465 B.C.E. (c. 519 -
465)] became master of Athens, he removed all the books and manuscripts to Persia. Zuringer says: "There was a magnificent
library on the island of Cnidus,
which was burned by order of Hippocrates [c. 460 - c. 377 B.C.E.],
because the inhabitants refused to adopt his method of medicine." The most numerous, as well as the best selected
libraries, were those of the Egyptians, who surpassed all other nations by
their books and knowledge. Diodorus, the Sicilian, informs us that
Osymandias was the first who founded
a library in Egypt (B.C. 1800).
There was a library at Memphis, in
the temple of Vulcan, at the time of Homer, whom Naucrates accused of stealing the Iliad and
Odyssey, and using them as his own productions. The most magnificent
library of Egypt was that begun
under Ptolemy Soter [King 323 - 285
B.C.E. (367-364 - 283 or 282)] (his portrait is preserved on a bronze
medal in the British Museum) at Alexandria. His son, Ptolemy Philadelphus, inherited the book passion, and enriched this Alexandrian
library. Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100] says there were
200,000 volumes in this library.
When Julius Caesar was besieged in
Alexandria, he found it necessary to set fire to the fleet as it entered
the port; the wind, unluckily, spread the flames, and the fire
communicated with the city, and the celebrated library was destroyed; it is said to have
contained 400,000 volumes. The books
saved from this conflagration, and the fragments of the library of Pergamus, given to Cleopatra by Antony, were formed into the new library of Serapion. Plutarch assures us that Paulus Aemilius distributed among his
children the library of Perseus,
king of Macedon, whom he led captive to Rome (167 B.C.) Next came the
library of Apellicon, the Teian,
brought from Athens by Sully (86 B.C.) Plutarch also mentions the library of Lucullus as one of the most considerable in
the world, both for the number of volumes and the monuments with which it
was decorated. Augustus founded a
library on the Mount Palatin (30
B.C.), which was burned during the conflagration under Titus. The idea of this library was conceived by Julius Caesar. Tiberius founded one near the
temple of Apollo, and Vespasian
founded one near the temple of Peace in imitation of Augustus and Tiberius, after the burning of Rome under
Nero. But the grandest Roman library
was the Ulpian, founded by the Emperor Trajan in the forum, afterward removed to
the baths of Diocletian. This
library was patronized and enlarged
by Julia Domna. It contained the
works of many renowned writers--as Callimachus, Lyocphron and Apollonius Rhodus, poets; Eratosthenes, who measured the size of the
earth; of Apollonius; of Perga, who
invented conic sections; of Hipparchus, who made a list of the stars; of
Euclid, the geometrician; of Manetho, the astrologer; of Dionysius, author of a geographical poem; of
Aratus, poet; and Nicander, writer on medicine.
1Historire de Justinien (Isambert, 1856); Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Gibbon);
Grandeur et Décadence des Romains, ch. xx.
2Cf. Ecclesiastical History (Fleury); Encyclopaedia Brit., art. Libraries; The
Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and other Principal Saints, etc., by
Rev. Alban Butler, 12 vols.; vol. iii. p. 109, art. Gregory.' [34-35].
[See: #24, 534-536 (Libraries)].
CHRISTIANS, RENOUNCING EVERY OTHER CARE BUT THAT OF THE SALVATION OF
SOULS, BURNT ALL THE BOOKS WHICH THEY COULD LAY HOLD OF BEARING NO
AFFINITY TO THEIR RELIGION; and thus, for
more than one thousand years, this conflict against literature and
learning continued. The Crusaders burnt
the library of Tripoli; Cardinal Ximenes delivered to the flames at
Grenada, in the sixteenth century, 80,000 Arabian manuscripts, many of
them translations of classical authors.3 [see footnote, below]" .
[footnote] "3History of the Conflict between Science and
Religion, by John W. Draper [1811 - 1882], M.D., LL.D., p. 104."
[c. 167 - 217] died ["committed
suicide soon after Caracalla [son] was put to death" (Webster's New Bio. Dict.)], A.D.
217. "As an accomplished and distinguished woman," Rev. A. Réville says, "she occupies the
foremost rank." She was known and beloved at
Jerusalem, where a coin bearing her effigy was struck, and
another bearing her effigy and name. The citizens of Tyana also honored
her by striking a coin to her, and Roman
coins bearing her portrait and name are now plentiful.1' .
[footnote] "1Pagan as she was,
the people of Jerusalem, as late as the third century, struck a coin in
honor of Julia Domna [see #2, 22, 126.]. It bore her portrait on
one side and a turreted female on the other, symbolical of confidence. A
fine example of this exceedingly rare coin is in the Reichardt Collection,
London. The portrait of Julia Domna on the Roman minted coins of her day, and they are
abundant, represents a woman about thirty-five, with fine features and a
severe expression. These coins were struck in
all the metals--gold, silver, bronze, and copper. The type of the
gold coin is, Cybele seated between two lions, with an inscription, MATER
DEUM; and on the reverse, IVLIA DOMNA AVC, with Venus leaning on a column,
VENERI VICTR.--Cf. History of Jewish Coinages in the Old and New
Testaments, by Frederick W. Madden (London, 1864); Coin Collectors' Manual: or, Guide to the Formation
of a Cabinet of Coins, etc., etc., by H. Noel Humphrey, vol. ii. pp.
346, 624, 688; also, Coins and Medals of the
Ancients, etc., by Barclay V. Head (London, 1801); also, Spartianus Vita Septimius Severus, c. xvii.
We regret exceedingly that Greek coins lie without
the field of our research; we come entirely within the Roman empire, and
all Greek coins antedated that period. THE
STUDY OF GREEK COINS IS ONE OF THE MOST INSTRUCTING AND INTERESTING
CHAPTERS IN THE HISTORY OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATION [see #2, 20-22;
etc.]. We shall indulge a little in reference to
them in such a manner as is not entirely irrelevant to our story, but
which is crisp and sparkling in interest." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] "3All of the coins
of the city of Tyana, and there is an unbroken series from Nero
[Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)] to Septimius
Severus [Emperor 193 - 211 (146 - 211)], 217 A.D., were with Latin inscriptions and pagan
coins, continued to be struck and circulated in Cappadocia six centuries
after this period." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] '1Augustus
[First Roman Emperor 27 B.C.E. - 14 C.E. (63 B.C.E. - 14 C.E.)] died on
the fourteenth of the calends of September (19 August), A.D. 14, being
seventy-six years of age.--Cf. Suetonius's
Lives of the Twelve Caesars (Bohn edition,
A.D. 1853), p. 145, etc.
The coins of
Augustus are very numerous in gold,
silver, bronze, and copper, and are confirmatory of nearly all
the important events ascribed to his reign, and nearly all of the
weaknesses of his character.
It may here at the outset be said of Roman coins in
general that they delineate with
fidelity and preserve with little variation more portraits of real
characters (the portrait of Cicero was from a Roman coin), give more
perfect representations of implements, dresses, buildings, and symbols,
fix precisely more chronological dates, record a greater number of
historical events, and afford better traces of manners and
customs than the coins of any other
nation.--Numismata imperatorum Romanorum
a Traiano Decio ad Palaeologos Augustos accessit Bibliotheca nummaria sive
Auctorum qui de renummaria scripserunt Lutetiae Parisiorum, 2 vols.
folio (1718), par A. Banduri.
On some of the coins
of Augustus he is associated with Julius Caesar, on others with Lepidus,
Agrippa, Tiberius, Julia, Caius, and Julius and Germanicus. And
many of these coins were restored by
Claudius, by Nero, Titus, Domitian, Nerva, and Trajan, ROM ET
AVG. This was virtually an indorsement of the
Augustan administration. On his personal coins AUGUSTUS is
represented as the "SON OF GOD." A later coin represents
him wearing a laurel wreath after the manner of Apollo, inscribed "CAESAR AUGUSTUS, SON OF GOD." The usual
types of Augustan coins were: A Bull
Walking, Head of Augustus (one of these
was restored by Trajan); Winged Victory, Globe, restored by Nerva. Three brass coins, Quadriga with Elephants, restored by Titus, also
by Nerva. All the Egyptian coins of Augustus were in Greek. Some bear the
Eagle and Thunderbolt (common to Syracuse)
with the emperor's head and his title as "Son of God." There seems to be some quality on the above coins of
Augustus which recommend them to his successors for reproduction, and
in the estimate which Apollonius has put upon their characters
respectively it is just what we might have anticipated.--Cf. Traité des finances et de la fausse monnoie des
Romains, auquel on a joint une dissertation surla manière de discerner les
Medailles antiques, etc. (Paris, 1740); also, Numismata imperatorum Augustorum et Caesarum a
populis Romanae ditiones graece loquentibus ex omni modulo percussa
quibus, etc. (J. Vaillant, Paris, 1698), 4to. [See: Addition 21, 1086, 1095, 1107, 1112,
By a vote of the
senate the name of September [Latin: "seventh (later the ninth)
month of the Roman year"] [it appears, that "September", should be
deleted. "Sextilis" is the operative word] Sextilis ["sixth, later the eighth month, in
the Roman calendar" (Oxford Latin
Dict.)], the sixth [inclusive
counting] month from March, was changed to
August, and the period of his [Augustus] life from birth to death was
inserted in the calendar under the title of Augustan Age.
empire in the time of Augustus [First Roman Emperor, 27 B.C.E. -
14 C.E. (63 B.C.E. - 14 C.E.)] had attained to a prodigious magnitude. It
was bounded on the east by the Euphrates, on the west by the Atlantic
Ocean, on the north it extended to the Danube and the Rhine, on the south
to the deserts of Africa. It included nearly
all the known world. And the
literary fame of this period was more marked if possible than its
political.--Cf. Suetonius, p. 186.
Although illicit pleasures marked the character of
Augustus in his youth, he became
temperate after he became emperor, and he tried to check the progress of
corruption, but it was in the bosom of his own family that it proved
irrepressible. His daughter Julia became so dissolute and such a scandal
that he was compelled to banish her.--Histoire du
Luxe Privé et Public depuis l'Auguste jusqu'à nos Jours, par H.
Baudrillart, 4 vols. (Paris, 1880).' [42-43].
[footnote (not referenced above)] '2Tarsus,
the metropolis of Cilicia, was called by Strabo [64 or 63 B.C.E. - after 23 C.E.]
"The Mother of Cities," from its
great learning, and St. Paul
[writers] says it was no mean city.
During the period of which we write little is known of this remarkable
city of Tarsus; the chain of history appears to have been severed a short
period before the Christian era, and the connection not found for a lapse
of nearly five centuries. In fact, this is true of nearly all Asia Minor;
its history is little more than speculation and hypothesis from B.C. 130
to A.D. 800; although we know from the
results [explanation?] and from its
surviving coins, medals, and monuments that the period was filled with
important events and there was no want of historians to record
Tarsus was a
Phoenician city; the ancient coins amply attest this truth; there
was a coin of Tarsus bearing the decree of Jupiter Tarsus or Baal Tars as
is clearly in Phoenician legend sur la Numismatique des Satrapes, et de
Phoenice et la Numismatique et inscriptions Cypriotes.--Recueil des Monnoies tant anciennes que
modernes, par de Salzade (Bruxelles, 1767), p. 30, etc.' .
"During the first
century no place on earth was more tolerant in religious worship than
Tarsus. Apollo, Isis, Venus, Jupiter, Serapis, Mercury, Diana,
Juno, Pallas, Pluto, Hercules, Adonis, Horus, Pan, Anubis, Aesculapius [see 1221-1222], were all held
sacred, and had their shrines here.1 [see
footnote, below]" [43-44].
of these facts were demonstrated on the coins of Tarsus, as an extant coin
of Tarsus bearing the image of Apollo, seated upon a mount with a lyre in
his hand, indicating that this deity was the presiding influence in the
schools. Apollo was an oracle in Tarsus. Jupiter, Mercury, and Juno are
also represented on old coins. Strabo says that Tarsus was founded by
Triptolemus, a priest of Argos, in his search for Io, and remains of
statues and inscriptions discovered at Tarsus prove that Io was venerated
there.--Lares and Penates, Cilicia and its Governors, etc. (Wm. Burckhardt
Barker, London, 1853), p. 152, etc.
Barker says Tarsus
became a Christian city, A.D. 70. The coins of Tarsus go far to disprove
this theory; pagan coins were struck up to the 6th century, and
no edict was promulgated against
them ["pagan coins"] before the 8th century." .
"Although Apollonius is said to have performed
miracles in the name of Aesculapius,1 yet the course of his life to its very close
was strictly in accord with that course laid down by Pythagoras [c. 580 - c. 500 B.C.E.] to his
[c. 260 - c. 339] casts doubts upon the
miracles of Apollonius; yet the early Christians did not deny
them. Celsus [c. 178]
attributed the miracles of Jesus to
sorcery, which he said "influenced only the minds of the ignorant and
immoral." Origen [185? - 254?]
replied that, in order to convince himself to the contrary, he has only to
read the memoirs of Apollonius, by Maeragenes [?], who declares
him to be both a philosopher and sorcerer; and yet he swayed the minds of
the most learned.
2The History and Antiquities of the Doric Race,
by C.O. Muller, vol. ii. p. 180.' .
[footnote (not referenced above)] '4Aesculapius was
worshipped as the saviour of mankind.--Cf. Deane's Serpent
Worship, Knight's Priapus, Squire's Serpent Symbol, Ferguson's Tree and Serpent Worship.
The mint of the
Island of Cos produced a coin wherein Aesculapius was called the
"Saviour"; and also on a coin of
Ancyra the same type appears. Games were also mentioned in honor of him as
"saviour," and always with the serpent about him. KOE [approximates Greek
letters].--Numismata Antiquorum silloge populis
graecis municipiis et colonis romanis casorum, etc. (Londini, apud
David Mortier, 1708), 4to, p. 168; Humphrey's Coin Collector's Manual, 2 vols. pp. 557-593;
Essay Toward a Natural History of Serpents,
by Charles Owen (London, 1742). Another, Head of
Bearded Hercules, rev. KQION [approximates Greek letters], Crab and
Club. Some of these coins had the heads of
eminent physicians, all of whom were termed "saviours." "Son
of God" and "Saviour" were
expressions of so common application to men who had, or who imagined they
had, rendered service to humanity that nothing was thought of it.
The lower orders of society believed it, and
the wise lent themselves to the fraud
[familiar sequence? Yes! The Classic sequence! [see #2, 23, 142. (Gibbon);
from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and
Mythology, William Smith, In Three Volumes--Vol. I.,
AMS Press, 1967 (1844-1849).
[See: The Mythology
of All Races, thirteen volumes, c1916].
"AESCULA'PIUS (...[Greek word]), the god of the medical art. IN THE HOMERIC POEMS [Homer, 8th
century B.C.E. (dates of "Homeric poems"?)] AESCULAPIUS DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE CONSIDERED AS
A DIVINITY, BUT MERELY AS A HUMAN BEING, which is indicated by the adjective...[Greek
word], which is never given to a god...." .
"After Aesculapius had grown up, reports spread over all countries, that he not
only cured all the sick, but called the dead to life
|"We still possess a considerable number of
marble statues and busts of Aesculapius, as well as many representatives on coins [see
#2, 20-22] and
gems [see #2, 20]." . |
[Compare: Jesus (essentially, exhibits none
of the above)].
[footnotes (not referenced above)] "1At this period (A.D. 25) Pontius Pilate [died after 37 C.E.] was
appointed procurator [26 - c. 36 C.E.] in Judea, with whom the Jews were displeased, and
great and incessant tumults arose in consequence at Jerusalem. It
was a hot-bed of insurrection, and continued so during the
procuratorship of Pilate, who managed to maintain himself, however, for
ten years. The history of this period is full of incident. Many of the
leaders in insurrection [pause] Pilate caused to be put to death, whose
names have not been historically announced. Philo Judaeus [c. 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.]
loads his [Pilate] memory with obloquy. [WAS PHILO AN INSPIRATION FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT EMPLOYMENT OF PILATE?]
when Pope Gregory the Great, on
reading how Trajan halted his army
to do justice to a poor widow, was moved to
pray that this one heathen [Trajan] might be delivered from the hell which held all of
the rest." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] '4Pagan antiquity, says Lecky [W.E.H. Lecky 1838 - 1903], has left
us no grander example than that of Epictetus [c. 55 - c. 135], who, while
sounding the very abyss of human misery, and looking forward to death as
simple decomposition, was yet so filled with a sense of divine presence
that his life was one continued hymn to Providence. The great stoic
himself says, "What else can I do, a lame old
man, but sing hymns to the gods?"--Reign
of the Stoics, p. 32.' .
'"Nature endears man
to man."1 ["1Cicero."
[106 - 43 B.C.E.]]
Cicero who first [?]
uttered the word "Humanitas." With him there was no Jew or
gentile, no Greek or barbarian. It was he who pronounced the immortal
words, "Charitas Generis Humanae" and "Totius Complexus Gentis Humanae."
He [Cicero] had no classification,--no sinners, no saints, no
heirs of glory, or inheritors of damnation.4
"The world is my
[c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.]]
"To do good my
Paine." [1737 - 1809]]' [55-56].
[footnote (not referenced above)] '2There is no doubt
but that in the study of Greek archaeology we are more indebted
to GREEK COINS than any other one thing, THE EXTENT AND
VARIETY OF WHICH ARE MARVELOUS. THEY WERE ISSUED IN EVERY LITTLE TOWN, IN
EVERY CORNER OF THE GREEK WORLD, AND THEY ARE FULL OF INFORMATION AS TO
ANCIENT RELIGIOUS CULTS, MANNERS, AND ARTS. M. de Longpérier [Adrien de Longpérier 1816
- 1882] says: "Coins are serious monuments of public use,
bearing on them indications of time and place either quite exact, or at
least quite approximate; this is an immense advantage over all other
monuments. By studying the types, the style, the inscriptions of coins, we
may gain a key to many other antiquities." The coins of Antioch are the
most important, next to the Alexandrian, known to us; not, however, in
their variety, but in chronological importance. They are principally of bronze, copper, and baser metal, few
only in silver. From the Seleucido, B.C. 37; the Pharsalian era, B.C.
38 to B.C. 22; the Actian era, B.C. 6 to A.D. 55 to the third century, and
even of later date, the coins of Antioch
prove that city to have remained during that period a pagan
center. The types represented on these coins are the city of
Antioch personified as a female figure seated on a high rock, from under
which issues the river Orontes, personified in the form of a youth in the
attitude of swimming. This legend seems fully to establish the pagan era
of the city of Antioch. While these are interesting and significant
archaeological facts, they are not very important as historical testimony,
and would have no significance at all were it not that the records of
Antioch have been destroyed so thoroughly. There were ancient coins of
Antioch with the head of Pallas and the owl, like those of Athens, with
whom they claim a common descent. There are a few other types as: A Ram Running, Head
turned toward a Crescent and Stars; these are numerous. The art is
rude and is wanting in Hellenic refinement. The principal abbreviations on
the Roman coins of Antioch are: A.M.B., Antiochiae Moneta Officina
Secunda; A.N.B. or A.N.T.B., Antiochiae Officina Secunda; A.N.F.F., Annum
Novum Felicem Faustum; A.N.T.P., Antiochiae Percussa; A.N.T.S., Antiochiae
Signata.--Humphrey's Coin Collector's
Manual, 2 vols. (London), vol. ii. p. 552.
There was nothing to prevent the Christians of
Antioch, if their historians are not in error, to have discontinued striking pagan coins, and
coining money with the emblems of their own religion, a thing which did
not take place until several hundred years after [see #2, 20-22
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1But not in
Athens, nor in any part of Greece, did the spoliation of the emperors
compare with the utter destruction of works of art
by the early Christians in their hatred of idolatry [competition!]. Nero [Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)] and Domitian [Emperor 81 - 96 (51 - 96)] stole and appropriated them because of their love of
art. The Christians destroyed them
in barbarous ignorance." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1Strabo
[64 or 63 B.C.E. - after 23 C.E.], the geographer and historian, a native
of Pontus, died about A.D. 30. He was a grave and solid writer, a great
traveler, and a stoic. He refers to the prevailing superstitions of his
day. He is SILENT CONCERNING
[footnotes (not referenced above)] '1During the year A.D. 40 the Jews of Egypt sent
Philo [c. 20 B.C.E. - c. 50 C.E.] on
an embassy to Rome to represent their grievances to Caligula (the grievances of Alexandrian
Jews, none other). Philo was a
Platonist, although by birth and faith a Jew, born in Egypt; he
was a man of unblemished character and a writer of great note, and a man
of learning. Caligula would not give audience to their complaints, and
Philo withdrew. PHILO WROTE ON ALL THE EXTANT
RELIGIONS OF HIS DAY EXCEPT CHRISTIANITY. HE DIED ABOUT A.D. 50, HAVING
NEVER HEARD OF CHRISTIANITY.
2The coins of Caligula [Emperor 37 - 41 (12 - 41)],
although of elegant workmanship, bear out the charge of infamy against
him; his three sisters, with whom he is said to have been criminally
intimate, appear on nearly all his coins. The first bronze coins of his
reign, which confirm his imperatorship, are extremely rare; the senate
called them in [,] in execration of his memory. They bear the inscription
God."' . [See: Addition 21, 1076; etc.].
[footnote (not referenced above)] "3That the
disciples were first called Christians at Antioch (a heathen city) about
A.D. 43, rests upon the sole authority of the book of Acts, which
Dr. Davidson concedes was not
written earlier than A.D. 125. But THERE IS
NO POSITIVE PROOF THAT IT ["BOOK OF ACTS"] WAS WRITTEN AS EARLY AS A.D. 200 [see 1206].
Therefore its value, as establishing the fact about Antioch, is quite
apparent.--Revelations of Antichrist, p. 98.
It is a great pity
that we have no more reliable data concerning this interesting
city [Antioch]; nearly all the records concerning it stop short and
abrupt just before the Christian era. And
Antioch the great, the second city of the Roman empire, the oldest
Christian city on earth, is blotted from the page of history for over five
hundred years, for it does not appear again until the middle of the
fifth century. There is a record of an earthquake there A.D. 37; another
during the reign of Claudius
[Emperor 41 - 54 (10 B.C.E. - 54 C.E.)], and another A.D. 115. But
everything resembling consecutive history has been carefully laid aside
beyond the reach of the historian.--See Encyclopaedia Brit., art. Antioch. The stories
of the great splendor of Antioch, of its palaces and triumphal arches,
sacred images in the groves, and costly pictures and statues in private
apartments, are tantalizing in their meagerness, and yet, gleaning from
the poets and other pagan sources, its general features may be discerned
enough to confirm its greatness." [77-78].
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1There appears to
be a great hiatus in the profane history of Ephesus; nothing is related of
it with certainty of history from some time before the Christian era to
the fifth century. Ecclesiastical
history, however, says that Paul
preached there, and wrote some of his epistles there, 55, 56, and 64
A.D. (Encyclopaedia Brit.; Haydn's Dic. of Dates); not sustained
by contemporaneous facts [see #4, 105-151, passim (Paul); etc.].
J.T. Wood [1820 or 1821 - 1890], in
his great work, Discoveries at Ephesus, including the Great Temple of Diana of Ephesus
, declined throwing any light upon this subject, or giving us any
history of this famous city during a period of eight hundred years, so
complete and thorough had been the work of the literary despoiler. Nor
that the town wanted importance for it was an important place up to the
eleventh century, and a pagan city during the eighth century." .
referenced above)] "....The importance paid
to the worship of Diana of the Ephesians is evidenced by the great number
of Ephesian coins and medals bearing her image; it was styled
...[Greek word], chief city of all Asia, on coins and medals, and
Diana, the greatest of all the gods. A bee was always the symbol of
Diana; as early as the middle of the fifth century B.C., the
Ephesian Artemis was symbolized by a bee, and the city of Rhodes has two
specimens with the same symbol, also Cnidus, and Smyrna, and Syracuse;
this is a proof of the alliance between these four cities. The same symbol
was found on the coins of Croton in Italy B.C. 389. Philostratus says that when the Athenians
led their colony to found the city of Ephesus the Muses, in form of bees,
flew about them, directing the course of the fleet. Hence this symbol on
Ephesian coin. There is an extant Ephesian coin bearing the image of
Septimius Severus, another of
Jupiper [Jupiter], but all bearing
the image of Diana. There is a coin of Ephesus, also of Athens, bearing a
stag, and Diana, significant of the Elaphobolia, wherein a pair of stags
were sacrificed to Diana. The coins of
Ephesus are numerous, and confirm many alliances with many cities of Asia,
principally for commercial purposes.--Rara Magnae Graeciae numismata nune curante Georgio
Volchamero denuo recusa (1683). Great confusion has been occasioned
by some Greek historians interpreting Melissae,...[Greek word], Bee.--Inman's [Thomas Inman 1820 - 1876] Ancient
Faiths [see Appendix VI, 777], vol. ii. p. 351. Herodotus [c. 484 - 430-420 B.C.E.] says
that all the northern side of the Danube was occupied by bees. Jove, also,
upon Mount Ida, was said to have been nourished by bees. The building of
the temple of Delphi the second time was by bees. The Melissae were the
attendants upon Demeter and Persephone, and hence when they migrated or
introduced their rites it was misinterpreted into the doings of bees."
[footnote (extends to 1227, 1229 (1228 = Excursus)) (not referenced above)] '1Philostratus [c. 170 - c. 245] claims that PAGANISM at Ephesus, Antioch, Smyrna,
Corinth, and Athens (all claimed to have been Christian centers in Paul's
day) was remodeled and reformed through the preaching of Apollonius, and
that churches and bishops were established there long before Paul's
time. All this seems quite rational enough when we consider that
there is no account of any Christian teachers visiting Rome, Ephesus,
Antioch, etc., prior to Paul. And yet Paul addresses large congregations
and prosperous churches there. WHAT CHURCHES? There is no evidence
outside of merely Paul's word or the
interpolator [writer!] that
these churches, bishops, deacons, presbyters were Christians; on the
contrary, they appear to be strongly pagan. For Paul refers to their
institutions as of long standing and of no novelty. (CHRISTIAN CHURCHES AND
OTHER EVIDENCES OF CHRISTIANITY AT EPHESUS
DISCOVERED BY MR. WOOD ["Discoveries at
Ephesus, etc. (J.T. Wood, 1877)" ] DO NOT ANTEDATE THE NINTH
CENTURY.) NOR WERE THEY BEING
DEMOLISHED AND THE INMATES BURNED, AS PAUL (OR HIS INTERPOLATORS [Ecclesiastical
Corporation (see #4, 123, 534., etc.)]) DECLARES WAS
THE FATE OF ALL THE CHURCHES. Philo Judeas [Judaeus] [c. 13 B.C.E. - 45-50 C.E.] speaks
of these things as of long established notoriety and venerable antiquity
in his day, A.D. 37, and Philo wrote before Josephus, and when Jesus was not more than 15 years of age.
Philo was a member of a religious community,
having parishes, churches, bishops, priests, and deacons, pretending to
have apostolic founders, using scriptures which they believed to be
divinely inspired, and which Eusebius himself believed to be nothing else
than the substance of the gospels. They also had missionary stations and
colonies at Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Collossae, and
Thessalonica; all this was nothing new in Philo's day. This was
probably as early as A.D. 18. Now it is infinitely absurd, nay it is
absolutely impossible, that a body of ignorant believers in a new and
alien religion of an alien and despised race had formed themselves into
such wealthy and powerful church organization amid the most violent
persecutions and martyrdoms. Paul writes "I beseech Eudoias and beseech
Syntyche that they be of the same mind in the Lord, and I intreat thee
also, true yokefolk, help those women which labored with me in the
gospel," etc.--Phil. iv. 2, 3. There is no pretense that the earliest
Christian gospel appeared sooner than sixteen years after this, and yet
Paul declares that he was made a minister of the gospel which had already
been preached to every creature under heaven.--Col. i. 23. "The brethren
which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that
are of Caesar's household."
--Phil. iv. 22. It must be a source of infinite
amusement to the man of learning to read the article on Episcopacy, by
Rev. Canon Venables, in Encyclopaedia Brit. Its evident effort at disguising truth or its utterance of willful falsehood is too
apparent to deceive the most ordinary scholar. This is the Canon's
contribution to the cause. Now, if what the Christians claim be true of
Nero, Vespasian, and Domitian, I submit that Caesar's household must have
been a highly uncomfortable dwelling-place for Christian saints.
From the epistles of
Paul we learn that in the two great cities of Ephesus and Philippi, also on the island of Crete, and
in fact throughout all Asia Minor, there were well organized and matured
Christian communities, bishops, deacons, presbyters, ministering and
governing under the ancient forms and ceremonies of churches which appear
to be held in both royal and popular favor; while from the same authority
we learn that the emperors were torturing and burning every man, woman,
and child who was suspected of entertaining Christian doctrines. THESE EPISTLES NEED REVISION. And again,
the incredibly short space of time in which
these things were accomplished, places the account entirely without the
pale of even possibility.
BEFORE THE PRETENDED DATE OF ANY ONE OF THE GOSPELS
which have come to us, before any one of the disciples had suffered
martyrdom, before any one of them had completed his mission, we find a
spiritual dynasty established, exercising the most tremendous authority
ever grasped by man, not merely over the lives and fortunes, minds, and
persons, but over their prospective eternal destinies. We find (BY THE CHRISTIAN RECORD) a church at Rome,
Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, and Thessalonica, rooted
and grounded in the faith, called of Jesus
Christ, in everything enriched, in all utterances and in all
knowledge, beloved of God and in favor with the king. And if an apostle
himself or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than that which
they had received let him be accursed.--Gal. i. 8, 9.
DID NOT BEGIN TO APPEAR UNTIL THE TIME OF ALEXANDER SEVERUS
[Emperor 222 - 235 (208? - 235)], A.D.
220 [A.D. 250, and A.D. 330 (see 1228)].--Der Fall des Herdenthurus, von Dr. H.G.
Tschinier, 8vo. (Leipsig, 1829).
Histoire de la
Destruction de Paganisme en l'Occident, ouvrage couronné par
l'Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, en l'année 1832, par
A. Beugnot, de l'Institut de France, 2 tomes (Paris, 1835).
"[See following Excursus (1228 (Church.))]
|from: Faiths of Man
Encyclopedia of Religions, in Three Volumes, J.G.R.
Forlong [1824 - 1904], Introduction by Margery Silver, Volume 1,
A-D, University Books, 1964 (1906). |
'Church. [The various Churches are
separately noticed, but may here be enumerated. The English word Church (German Kirche, Scotch Kirk) is usually said to come from the
Greek. Kuriakos ("belonging to the
Lord"); but philologically this appears impossible. Mr. J.
Fergusson, writing on Architecture, compares it with the Keltic Kerek for "Circle"; and the derivation
seems natural since, from the letters of Pope Gregory I (600 A.C.), we learn
that he directed the missionaries from
Rome to consecrate the Pagan sacred circles, as churches, in N.
Europe. THE CHRISTIANS BUILT
NO CHURCHES APPARENTLY BEFORE 330 A.C., when the great basilicas at
Jerusalem and Bethlehem were erected. THEY WERE ALLOWED TO USE THE CIVIL BUILDINGS
CALLED BASILICAS IN ROME SHORTLY AFTER 250 A.C.
(Greek Ekklesia, Latin Ecclesia) is the
"congregation," according to the use in the Greek Septuagint
referring to the congregation of Israel. It is not solely the
clergy, though this is the meaning now attached by many
The Christian Churches which call themselves
Catholic (or "general") include the Latin or Roman; the Greek (with
the Russian); the Armenian which separated in 680 A.C. (with the
Georgian); the Kopts (with the Abyssinians), separating 451 A.C. as
Monophysites (believing in the single nature of Christ): with whom the Syrian--or
Jacobite--Church agrees; and finally the Nestorian (or Chaldean)
separating in 431 (see Cyril of Alexandria), when Nestorius was
condemned for teaching that Jesus was
inspired by the Divine Christ. The Maronites (teaching the
Monothelite doctrine of "a single will" in Christ) recanted in 1180, and joined
the Roman Church. The Asiatic Churches were always influenced by
Ebionite and by Gnostik teaching. The schisms (or "splittings") all
resulted from the impossibility of defining the nature of the
God-Man. None of these other Catholic
Churches have ever recognised the supremacy of Rome.--Ed.]'
And then again, how account for the ignorance of
the Ephesian Christians, "grounded in the faith," as Paul informs us,
which is so manifest in their answer to Paul's question, "Have ye received
the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" And they said unto him, "We have not so
much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost."--Acts xix. 2. This
certainly is no evidence of high Christian culture among the brethren at
Ephesus. We must conclude that the Christianity of the Ephesians in Paul's
and Apollonius's day was of a very base coinage. For if the Holy Ghost or
the Ghost especially to whom the Christian neophyte owes primordial
allegiance was unknown to these new converts, then I am unable to classify
Paul writes to Timothy, A.D. 58 (according to
Conybeare and Howson [see #4, 150]),
2 Timothy iii. 15, and in that letter tells Timothy that "from a child
thou hast known the holy scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto
salvation through faith which is in Christ
Jesus." These things look very strange, and either Paul was, or
we are, mistaken about their truth. There is no possible escape from it.
IN AN ANALYSIS OF THE
CHARACTER OF PAUL [see #4, 105-151, passim (Paul); etc.] AS GIVEN TO US IN THE REVEALED WORD, WE FIND HIM A
STRANGE COMPOUND OF PAGANISM BY BIRTH, JUDAISM BY ARTFULNESS, AND
A CHRISTIAN I WONDERFULLY SUSPECT BY
INTERPOLATION AND LITERARY TOUCHINGS OF THE RECORDS BY SUBSEQUENT
REVELATORS. Tarsus, the birthplace of
Paul, was not a Jewish but a Roman town. Paul
is not a Jewish but a Roman name [see #5, 153 (Paul)], and the
protestation of Paul that "my manner of life was first among mine own
nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; which knew me from the beginning,
if they would testify, that after the straitest sect of our religion I
lived a Pharisee,"--Acts xxvi. 4, 5,--needs attestation, for he confesses
that the Jupiter of Aratus, the poet, was the god whom he adored.
Would not one suppose from reading the account of
Paul that the great storm of persecution had already passed, to see
stately edifices erected for the public worship of God, with a great
number of ecclesiastical offices? On the contrary we are told that during
the Apostolicage [sic], and long after, the Christians wandered about in
deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth, being destitute,
afflicted, and tormented.
Their ["Christians"] sacred rites, we are told,
were performed with the utmost plainness and simplicity and in secret and
obscure places, sometimes at cemeteries or graves of the martyrs. These epistles of Paul do not dovetail with the facts
of this age as taken from all other sources. THERE IS NOT A SINGLE AUTHORITY, CHRISTIAN OR
OTHERWISE, THAT THERE WERE EDIFICES DESIGNEDLY FOR THE USE OF THE
CHRISTIANS, for it was a common objection against the Christian
in the mouth of every pagan, Templa non
habent, non aras, non altaria, non
simulacra, even a long time after the Apostolic age, and the
apologists themselves admit this to be true. A remarkable passage in
Isidore Pelusiota [Saint, c. 370 -
c. 450], in which he expressly affirms that
there were no churches in the Apostolic age; and as to officers of the church spoken of by
Paul, neither Clemens
[Clement of Alexandria c. 150 - 211-215] nor
Ignatius [(?) died c. 110] nor
Polycarp [2nd century] nor Justin
Martyr [c. 100 - c. 165] nor Ireneus
appears to have known anything about them ["churches"].--A Discourse on the Pretended Apostolic
Constitutions, etc., etc., by Robt. Turner, M.A., vicar of St.
Peter's in Colchester (London, 1715).' [89-92].
[footnote (not referenced above)] "2Apollonius continued in Ephesus, Smyrna,
etc., from A.D. 50 to 59, and was in Rome
from A.D. 63 to A.D. 66. The accounts of Paul say that he was in Ionia and Greece,
A.D. 53; in Ephesus, A.D. 54, and again, from 56 to 58; in Rome in A.D. 65 and 66.--Hist. Christian
Church, by John H. Newman, vol. i. p. 348, etc." .
possessed an enormous library,
although eighty years before the visit of Apollonius2 [see footnote, below] Marc Antony [82 or 81 - 30 B.C.E.] had
robbed it of 200,000 volumes and deposited them in the temple of Serapis
at Alexandria to gratify the passion of his enchantress Cleopatra [Cleopatra VII, Queen 51 - 30
B.C.E. (69 - 30)] for literature.3 [see
footnote, below]" .
exportation of papyrus from Egypt had been prohibited by Ptolemy Philadelphus [Ptolemy II, King 285 -
246 B.C.E. (308 - 246 B.C.E.)], to prevent Eumenes, king of Pergamus [Eumenes I, Ruler
263 - 241 B.C.E. (d. 241 B.C.E.)], increasing his libraries (B.C. 263). Eumenes turned his
attention to parchment, and so improved it for making into books that little or no change has taken
place in it to the present.--Technical History of
Commerce, etc., by John Yeats, LL.D. (London, 1872), p. 77.
3The coins of Pergamus, the device of which
was an Eagle on a Thunderbolt, confirm the
data of all her historic kings from Eumenes 1st. All these coins are
beautifully executed, and were issued from Augustus, extending long into
that period of the history of Pergamus of which we have no records. They
have Latin inscriptions. Some bear the name and device of Mytilene,
proving an alliance between these towns. There is a Cornelian gem extant
bearing the portrait of Pergamus, the founder of the city, and a bronze
medal of Pergamus the younger." .
"when the intention of Apollonius [supposedly: "1st century A.D."]
of presenting himself for initiation became known to the hierophant, the
revealer of holy things, who had charge of the ceremonies, he would not
admit him, saying, that he was not permitted by the laws to initiate an
enchanter, or reveal the Eleusinian
mysteries to a man not pure in things touching religion.1 [see footnote, below]" [114-155].
[Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)], the emperor, was refused initiation on
account of his mother's murder, and, notwithstanding his threats, they
[apparently, pagan priests] persisted in their refusal;
and CONSTANTINE [Emperor 306 (312) - 337 (280? -
337)] COULD FIND NO PAGAN PRIEST WHO WOULD
CONSENT TO ABSOLVE HIM FROM HIS MURDERS. HE BECAME A CHRISTIAN, AND
PROCURED ABSOLUTION.--Philosophy of
History; or, A Philosophical and Historical
Dissertation, etc. etc., by Voltaire [1694 - 1778] (London, 1829), p.
[footnote 1 (not referenced above)] '....The
device of the Corinthian coin, like that of Eleusis, was the Pegasus (the type of Eleusis was more
frequently the sow), with the head of Minerva on the reverse. She is here said to
have been the protectress of Bellerophon, who by her assistance was
enabled to possess himself of a winged horse, and hence Pegasus. She had a
temple as such at Corinth. Eckhel
[Joseph Hilarius Eckhel 1737 - 1798], who ought to be authority on the
subject, says that "Corinth coined no proper
money." All of the coins here spoken
of have Latin legends except those struck to Antinous [c. 110 -
October 130 C.E. (Hadrian's "'beloved'"; drowned in the Nile)], which have Greek inscriptions. We dismiss
these ["coins"] as possessing no great curiosity and of but little value
to the historian,--with this exception only, knowing as we do from all
historic experience of that period that THE
SLIGHTEST POLITICAL OR RELIGIOUS TRANSMUTATION BROUGHT ABOUT THE
SUBSTITUTION OF AN ENTIRE NEW COINAGE [see #2, 20, 114.] [see #2,
22, 126.],--it being the ultimate messenger of a successful revolution,
and many times bore the first intelligence to the distant subject of a
change in government. If we are not in error
concerning these facts, and Corinth was no exception to the rule, then
Christian writers have erred many centuries concerning the period when
Corinth became Christian.--The History
and Antiquities of the Doric Race (Müller), vol. i. p. 96, etc.'
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1Pliny
[23 - 79 C.E.] says [Natural History
36.102.] the Circus Maximus was
capable of containing two hundred and sixty [fifty] thousand persons ["the
seating capacity was perhaps close to 170,000." (Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean, v. 2,
1155)], which Sextus Rufus [? (see
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and
Mythology, Vol. 3, 814)] confirms; Publius Victor [? (see Sextus Rufus
reference, 1257)] estimates its capacity at three hundred and eighty-five
thousand.--The Life of the Greeks and
Romans, etc., p. 423." .
Circuses, Humphrey, 1986 (a Classic!), 126 ("likely that his [Pliny]
text is corrupt at that point")].
[from the story of Apollonius of Tyana] "....The singing took place
in a tavern near the gymnasium and Circus
Maximus, before an audience of the most abandoned characters, men
and women. Nero had only a girdle
tied around his waist during the performance; in every other respect he
From this moment to the time Apollonius left Rome his movements were
watched, either for evidence to convict of treasonable utterances, or to
prevent him from eluding them by the commission of suicide,2 [see footnote, 1232] and thereby saving his
estate [see 1232], which was believed to be considerable, to his legal
representatives; for conviction of treason was followed by confiscation
[the Inquisitions employed confiscation (after murdering, the
[Nero, a prominent foil, for fiction!].
[footnote] "2This tendency to
suicide began with the cynics, one of whose most noted disciples,
Diogenes, caused his death by
suffocation (Diogenes Laert, Life of
Diogenes, xi.), and Stilpo, his
favorite disciple, also destroyed himself, as did also his colleagues
Onesicratus, Metrocles, and Menippus. Demonax, a cynic, also ended his life
because he had outlived authority. Peregrinus, of the same school, burnt
The stoic heirs of
the cynic school were the first to erect suicide into a dogma, and create
an enthusiasm for it. Many stoics committed suicide under
circumstances which show how little regard they had for life. Their
founder, Zeno, took his own life.
His successor, Cleanthes, showed an
equal contempt for life. Diodorus
cut his throat, Cassius fell by his
own dagger, Pomponius Atticus,
Cicero's friend, starved himself to
death. Nearly all of these crimes were committed to escape some real or
imaginary evil, mostly the dread of imperial
vengeance; many that their estates
might be saved to their heirs, a provision of Roman law.--Cf. Suicide, Studies on its Philosophy, Causes, and
Prevention, by James J. O'Dea,
M.D. (New York, 1882), p. 50, etc." . [See: Appendix VII, 784 (van
[footnote (not referenced above)] '2Tacitus,
Annals, b. xiv. xv. Nero [Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)], with a
conscious timidity, avoided the society of the maligned philosopher
[Seneca]. To avert the storm which
he saw was inevitably approaching, Seneca offered
to surrender his wealth and withdraw into the shade of private
life. The emperor, suspecting and distrusting, refused his old
tutor's resignation, and Seneca pleaded delicate health and the
preoccupation of study; and flying from the scenes of his former power and
popularity, was henceforth seldom seen in the city (A.D. 62). A fresh
accusation was brought against Seneca in his retirement. He was accused of
taking part in a conspiracy, at the head of which was the illustrious
Piso. Seneca succeeded in
effectually retorting the charge of treason on his accuser Romanus. If the conspiracy was an imaginary
one, it was followed soon after by a plot against Nero of a really
[Thomas Babington Macaulay 1800 - 1859] had
said of Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.] "that it was easy to
declaim in praise of poverty with two million pounds sterling out at
usury, and to mediate epigrammatic conceits about the evils of luxury in
gardens which moved the envy of kings, to rant about liberty while fawning
on the insolent and pampered freedman of a tyrant."' .
[footnote 1 (not referenced above)] "....These
things [convoluted intrigues, of this romance] took place about the period
when Paul, who had appealed unto
Caesar (Nero), was in Rome, and
where he was allowed to dwell in peace and employ himself for two whole
years in making converts to Christianity, even in the emperor's household
(Phil. i. 13, iv. 22), and wrote letters to the Ephesians, Colossians,
Philippians, etc. And still it is recorded that the Christians were
persecuted by the pagans. We have never seen
the record, nor have we sufficient data; in fact, all data go to disprove
that there were Christians in Caesar's household or anywhere else in Rome
at this period. But we do know, from ample testimony, that
Caesar's (NERO'S) HOUSEHOLD WAS INFESTED WITH STOICISM.
WOULD IT NOT BE
STRANGE IF THE ENTIRE STORY OF PAUL'S CHRISTIANITY HAD AN ORIGIN IN A
STRATA NO MORE RELIABLE THAN THE STORY OF CHRIST'S MIRACLES?
[see #4, 105-151, passim (Paul); etc.]--Prophet
of Nazareth, p. 47, et seq." .
now setting out for Greece (A.D. 66), and just before he departed he
published an edict expelling the
from Rome. Of all the undertakings of Nero, the one he set
himself most determinedly about, was to sweep from the face of the earth
the two sects, stoics and cynics.1 [see footnote, below]" [164-165].
decree ["edict"], according to
Olearius [see 1192], was made before the month of November, A.D.
66, and has been used by Christian
evidence-mongers, says Robert Taylor [probably, Robert Bruce
Taylor D.D. 1869 - ], D.D., as a decree
against the Christians; Christian being interpolated where the word
philosopher occurred, and indeed, on pages 21, 22, and 23 of
Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern (the Blackie and Son edition
of 1839), one may discover on inspection what slight perversion of the
text would be affected were the word Christian stricken out and the word
philosopher inserted, rendering it much more in conformity with facts as
we have them handed down to us in any reliable form. CHRISTIANITY, no
matter how, nevertheless did become the great and implacable foe of
paganism; a foe which DISDAINED ALL COMPROMISE, AND REJECTED ALL
ALLIANCE. IT CLAIMED THE RIGHT OF INVASION;
OUTSIDE OF ITS PALE THERE WAS NO SECURITY IN THIS LIFE, AND NO SALVATION
IN THE NEXT. ALL WERE INVITED TO ITS
COMMUNIONS, AND THOSE WHO REJECTED THE INVITATION WERE BROUGHT IN BY
FORCE. Had Marcus
Aurelius [Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)] resorted to the same villainies to establish stoicism
that Constantine [Emperor
306 (312) - 337 (280? - 337)] and
Eusebius [c. 260 - c. 339)] did in the establishment of Christianity, the name
even of Christianity would not have reached our day." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] '1It has been the reproach of the lecturers of
antiquity that they talked for talking's sake, and amused their hearers
with inflated periods upon unprofitable themes. The modern lecturer or
stump speaker may dilate upon politics or religion or both,--two of the
most important subjects which engage man's attention. Literature, science,
and the arts are also open for him,--in short, he may discourse de omnibus rebus, except perhaps on church
ceremonials, without risking a hiss. But it was not so in Apollonius's
time; a lecture on "State Creed" would have found no hearers; a thesis
upon Nero's conduct in banishing philosophers would have been courting
prison or death. The tastes of Greece and
Rome were rhetorical; to confuse an opponent, to make the worse appear the
better reason, to dazzle with words and bewilder with
distinctions,--"hae erant artes",
were the object of the performers.
Most lecturers had their corps of well-drilled applauders (claqueurs), and Nero said "nothing short of it could even star a
[footnote (not referenced above)] "3When at Corinth
Nero [Emperor 54 - 68 (37 - 68)] formed the design of cutting through the isthmus in
order to shorten the route for his shipping. By joining the
Adriatic and the Aegean seas, he thought to save the passage around Cape
Malea. The cut was begun at Lechaeum, and by immense labor was carried
about four stadia [stadium = 606.95 English feet ["about four stadia" =
about 1/2 mile]] [3.9 mile Corinth Canal, opened 1893 (see photo: Encyc. Brit.,
1998, v. 3, 631)]. At last Nero gave it up on
the advice of some Egyptians, who gave it as their opinion that
Aegina would be drowned by the overflow of the waters of Lechaeum."
[172-173]. [See following footnote].
[footnotes (not referenced above)] "2It may be well to remind the reader, however,
that Demetrius [probably, Demetrius
I (Demetrius Poliorcetes), King of Macedonia 294 - 283 B.C.E. (337? -
283)] attempted the same thing [see previous footnote: "cutting through
the isthmus" of Corinth], which was also projected by Julius Caesar [Roman dictator, 49 - 44
B.C.E. (100 - 44 B.C.E.)] (c. xliv.), but they all failed. It was
paralleled by the great undertaking of Claudius [Claudius I, Emperor 41 - 54 C.E.
(10 B.C.E. - 54 C.E.)] to drain the Fucine
Lake, for the purpose of converting its bed into agricultural
lands,--an enterprise which any wiser man would long have hesitated before
attempting. He employed thirty thousand men eleven years. Lake Fucinus
still adorns the map of the ancient Sabini.
3Xerxes [Xerxes I, Persian King 486 - 465
B.C.E. (c. 519 - 465)] cut a channel through Mount Athos, which lies upon
the Aegean Sea, for his fleet to sail through." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1Suetonius's Twelve
Caesars; Nero (Bohn ed., 1855), ch. xl. THERE IS NO ACT OF NERO'S [Emperor 54 - 68
(37 - 68)] LIFE WHICH TESTIFIES TO CHRIST OR
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1Petronius
Arbiter [died 66 C.E.] was a skilled but depraved Latin writer,
who furnished voluptuous literature, and figured as the Arbiter elegantiae at the court of Nero; but the
court had outgrown him in licentiousness, and he was dismissed with a
gentle hint from Tigellinus that his suicide would save the trouble of
summoning an executioner. Petronius interposed no defense. He committed suicide, A.D. 66. He was author of
Satyricon, a classical but scandalous work.
He [Petronius] furnishes no testimony as to
Christians.--Cf. Heathen Records
(Dr. Giles), p. 91." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] "3The idea of Aetna
being a vomitory of hell was subsequently a received article of Christian
faith.--New Curiosities of Literature
and Book of the Months, by George Sloane, B.A., 2 vols. (London,
1849), vol. ii. p. 24." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] "4The old story,
intelligence and the gods were never bed-fellows.--Cf. Suetonius [c. 69 - after 122 C.E.],
Tranquillus, Lives of the Twelve Caesars,
etc., by Alex. Thompson, M.D. (London, 1855), p. 3." .
"Coming as Apollonius did from scenes of struggle and
death, elemental, physical, and political,--Spain with her thunderstorms,
Sicily with her volcanoes, and Rome with her political earthquakes;2 [see footnote, below] from the barren
highlands of Syria and the unexplored plains of Mesopotamia,--
the sublime monotony of an azure and rainless
sky;3 [see footnote, below] the limitless
latitude of the great oasis of the Nile valley to his vision, with its
perpetual interbreeding succession of life and death, was a new universe,
with no discords, naught but a perpetual reign of symphonies." .
policy of Rome had filled the city with beggars and noisy mobs; in
Alexandria idleness was a crime. Had Rome encouraged agriculture and
cultivated the campagnia with half the assiduity of the Egyptians, she
would not have been obliged to send to Egypt for corn.
[Karl Richard Lepsius 1810 - 1884] (Bohn ed.), p. 369. In Egypt there are
no destructive floods nor freshets. In Egypt no rain ever falls. But when
the bright dog-star, Sirius, rises
with the sun, the mysterious Nile begins to swell, a calm and tranquil
inundation covers the land, at once watering and, by the slime deposited,
enriching it. If, when the waters have reached their height, the
nileometer, which measures the depth of the inundation, indicates eight
cubits, the harvest at best will be a scanty one; but if it reaches
fourteen cubits, the harvest will be plentiful. Thus, before a single seed was planted, while the
waters still cover the fields and gardens, the crops of the Egyptian
husband-man were hypothecated in the markets of Rome, Athens, Rhodes,
Ephesus, Smyrna, etc. P.
Victor says that Augustus
imported yearly from Egypt twenty million bushels of corn, and in Justinian's time eighty millions were sent
to Constantinople [Amusing! Such calculations were made in ancient history, but,
no common, simple, dating, was placed in the New Testament
(of purpose--of course!) (see #2,
historian, Flavius Josephus [c. 37 - c. 100], was in Alexandria in the service of
Vespasian [Emperor 69 - 79 C.E. (9 - 79)] having been taken prisoner by him. He was promised
his freedom on condition of betraying his country's cause.1 [see footnote, below] He accepted the offer,
joined the army of Titus, and marched to Jerusalem to overthrow the temple
in which his forefathers as high-priests had earned the only fame
associated with the name of Josephus. Its overthrow was accomplished the
next year, A.D. 70.2 [see footnote,
wrote Antiquities of the Jews to A.D. 66. He
bears no testimony to Christ [? (see
#3, 73, 74)] or Christians.
2Samuel Sharpe, Hist. of Egypt,
vol. ii. p. 141. Neither Jerusalem nor its temple has been destroyed. The
temple exists to-day, and the walls of the city are still there.--History of the Israelites and Judeans, 2 vols.
(London), vol. ii. p. 334." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1We need not remind the reader how, since the commencement of the present century, the
patient industry of eminent men has poured a flood of light upon ancient
Egypt. Not only have its pyramids and sepulchral chambers been
explored, but its hieroglyphics deciphered, and its inscriptions read. By
these means much has been brought to light, and by the tablets at the back
of the colossi of Memmon, we learn that both [apparently, "both"
"tablets"] represent King Amenophis the
Third, who began his reign about fourteen hundred years before
Apollonius. They were designed as an entrance to an avenue leading to the
temple-palace of Amenophis, about eleven hundred feet further inland. This
palace-temple, once so richly adorned with its sculpture, sphinxes, and
columns, is now a mere heap of sandstone. Many centuries later the Greeks
began to settle in Egypt; they found the easternmost statue of the pair
had been shattered down to the waist. This was its condition when Apollonius [(apparently) according to the
story] saw it. And it may be as aptly said here as elsewhere, that with
all the markings and engravings that have been discovered in Egypt not a
single scratch upon any stone from Alexandria to Meroe confirms the
presence of the Hebrews; nor is there any
history to confirm the Scripture story of Hebrew Captivity,--not one line
not one word,--and every purported discovery of this character
[type, etc.] is a fraud.--See Prophet of Nazareth, etc., p. 455." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] '2Porphyry
[c. 234 - c. 305], treating of a class of religious men among the Indians
whom the Greeks were accustomed to call gymnosophists, mentions two orders of them:
one, the Brachmanes, and the other
the Samanaoeans. The Brachmanes
receive their religious knowledge, like the priesthood, in right of birth;
but the Samanoeans are select, and consist of persons who choose to
prosecute divine studies. The Brachmanes are of the same race, an
hereditary order of priests, while the Samanaoeans are selected from the
whole Indian nation.--Porphyry, de
Abstinentia, lib. iv.
Alexandrinus [c. 150 - 211-215] describes the Brachman sect as worshiping Hercules and
Pan. He says: "Philosophy anciently
flourished among the barbarians, and was afterward introduced among the
Greeks, as the prophets of the Egyptians, the Chaldees of the Assyrians." The gymnosophists do not inhabit towns or
houses; they are clad with the bark of trees and eat acorns and drink
water; they do not marry nor procreate children. The religion which they
practice is conformable with the Vedas, as well as their manners and
opinions. Philostratus [c. 170 - c.
245] and Hierocles [born c. 275]
say they ["gymnosophists"] worship the sun. Strabo [64 or 63 B.C.E. - after 23 C.E. (see
1223)] and Arrian [fl. 2nd century
C.E.] speak of them as performing sacrifices for the benefit of the
nation, as well as individuals.--Arrianus
Nicomediensis et Quintus Curtius Rufus (Manermann, 1835), p. 142.'
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1The inornateness of all occidental notions on
the condition of the human soul, from the time of Plato to our day, is not
so much in design as the want of capacity in the western mind, to absorb
all the metaphysical subtlety and imaginative vastness of the oriental
intellect whence this philosophy arose. The inane spirituality of the
Hindoo heaven was presented in oriental literature on a scale of grandeur
and intensity wholly beyond the comprehension
of the feeble intellects of the early Christians. But they took
in their fill of it. The Buddhist devotee loathes existence as the sum of
all evil. The disciple of the Nazarene clings to it as the only good. The
divergence is enormous. Nor could Christian sophistry in its sublimest
flights raise its neophytes to a comprehension of that blessed state, the
oriental Nirwana [now, commonly, Nirvana]; to them it was an empty,
lifeless, and godless paradise of immobility, of which nothing could be
affirmed. This refined and quiescent rest of the human soul in the Nirwana
(heaven) of Gotama had no allurements for the Christian. To satisfy the grossness of his [Christian] nature and meet his mental rank, heaven must be
rapturous, phenomenal, and sensuous. But while this western
philosophy could not mount to those higher and more refined states of
philosophy of Valmika, it eagerly and comprehensively grasped the dogma of
the twenty-eight evolutionary hells of the Vishnú Puranas, the complexity
of which it evaded in its articles of faith by altogether erecting them
into one gigantic hell. And there is no doubt that CHRISTIANITY HAS PROSELYTIZED
MORE BY PRESENTING THE TORTURES OF A MATERIAL HELL than were
possible through the promised rest of the metaphysical nihilistic Nirwana
[now, commonly, Nirvana] (heaven). It was thus that TERROR AND TORTURE WERE
ENSHRINED AS FUNDAMENTAL DOGMAS OF THE CHRISTIAN CREED. All
the vigorously drawn and highly colored pictures of the tortures of damned
souls in our theology are but feeble utterances from the original Hindoo.
But the founders took in all that they had genius to utilize. None but
infidels were damned to the Hindoo hell, and this is also reflected in our
philosophy by making the most ample provisions for the accommodation of
the unbeliever--vastly the preponderating class of offenders.
THE DOGMA OF HEAVEN,
OR STATE OF REWARDS, WAS A SUBSEQUENT INVENTION, and was
interpolated in our theology; it partakes, however, of the character of
the age and the race among whom it first appeared. It is a gross and
sensuous paradise, with a low order of pleasures; a state that every
intellectual man and woman, with ennobling conceptions of humanity, would
rather seek to escape than strive to attain.--See Bhagavat Gita; Die
Religion des Buddha, und ihre
Eutstelung (Koeppen, 1858); Mythological, Classical, and
Philosophical Dictionary of India (Madras, 1871)." [256-257].
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1I think it is pretty generally conceded that
Upper and not Lower Egypt was first peopled; that its first population was
a maritime people, and came from India, Ceylon, and the farther East. The
oldest monuments are found in Upper Egypt.
With no intent of entering the realm of ethnology
in this essay, we know that Christianity did
not originate in Judea, nor do we know where it first manifested itself,
NOR DID THOSE WHO HAVE TOLD US ALL ABOUT IT,
KNOW [see #4, 146 (Schopenhauer)]. But this much we do know,
that the earliest knowledge we have of it was among the Copts of Egypt
(they take their name from Coptos), and that, as they advanced in it, they
became more ignorant and bigoted, and it is
to the Copts that we also trace our earliest gospels, more ancient than
the Christianity of the Syrians, Maronites ["A Christian
community of Syrian origin...." (traced to 4th-5th centuries) (Ox. Dict. C.C.)], or Armenians; this race [Copts] dates its nationality far into the
prehistoric past. They were the builders of Thebes and the pyramids.
Theologians interested in solving the old proverb of Nazareth may smear
themselves over with war-paint, and sound the war-whoop; but if the fight
is to be contested with intellectual weapons, and upon historical
territory, they may more creditably leave the question uncontested, for
they have neither weapons nor territory in their cause. Ethnology teaches
us that the Copts were a race from
Upper Egypt and Abyssinia, and for ages past their trend has been with the
current of the Nile, and for the past eighteen hundred years have become
more and more degraded with every remove from their original homestead.
The great ethnological residuum or unsolved problem is, Where did the
Ethiopians, the ancestors of the Copts, come from? The best information we
have from modern scientific men is, that they were a maritime people, and
came from India; and this is perfectly consistent with Plato, and
thoroughly sustained by Apollonius.
Without, however, drawing conclusions upon any but the surest foundations,
it may be profitable for the curious to pursue this hint, and ascertain if
it may not in some way account for the many similar rites and legends of
the Christian and Hindoo religion. The ancient Brahmins taught the
doctrine of periodical creation and destruction of the world; a very
complex doctrine, but much modified in the Christian cosmos. This, it is
well known, was the doctrine of the early stoics, and, according to
Dr. Pritchard, they obtained this
doctrine through the medium of Egyptian priests, whose information was
received through the channels of commerce and immigration. Now, it is just
possible, were a small modicum of that spirit of investigation, which has
for at least one thousand years endeavored to rationally account for the
whence and where of Christianity, to devote its research in this
direction, it might very vexatiously discover the real object of their
search.--See, also, The Symbolical Language of
Ancient Art and Mythology, etc., by R.
Payne Knight, p. 109." [260-261].
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1The Egyptian deities
were chiefly honored by lamentations [compare: Old Testament, and, New Testament]; the Greek divinities by
dances.--See De Dalmone, Socrates,
Apuleius, Herodotus. No nation on earth
had a richer collection of games and festivals growing out of its
religious system than Greece. The
Greek divinity was seldom looked upon as being better than
man.--Hist. European Morals (Lecky), vol. i. p. 344." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] "4....From what has been said, it would seem that the most universal of all
religions was the absurd serpent worship and its consequent, the
reciprocal, principle in nature [apparently, Phallic worship].--Knight's
Priapus, p. 105.
It is the only religion known to have been
universal, and it existed until the very establishment of Christianity,
and from which Christianity cannot claim complete exemption.--Knight's Priapus, p. 107.
Manes, a celebrated
Christian heretic of the third century, declared the mysteries into which
he had been initiated as a Christian taught that Christ was an incarnation
of the serpent; and the essenes and the gnostics of the first
century taught that the ruler of the world was of Draconic [apparently, in
the sense of: serpent] origin.--Fales's Pagan
Idolatry, vol. i. p. 451; also, Bryant's Annals, ii. p. 91; Deane's Serpent Worship, p. 160; Gnostics, and Their Remains, etc. (King), pp.
22-171; History of the Cross: The Pagan Origin,
etc.; of the Image, by Henry D. Ward,
M.A., p. 14, et seq...." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] '2Thales,
Pythagoras, Plato, and the stoics considered the daemons to be physical
beings; that the heroes are souls separated from the bodies; some
are good, some are bad, and the bad those whose souls are
worthless.--Plutarch, Sentiments which Delighted
Philosophers, i. 8. "The great mind of Zeus who loveth men disposeth
for thee, the Demon."--Pindar Pyth., v. 164.
"Men are good and wise as the Demon orders."--Olympia, xi. 41. Cf. Plutarch, Discourse
Concerning the Demon of Socrates, ii. 4.' .
[footnote (not referenced above)] '1Every true disciple of the Stoa [see 1240-1241] believed that it was
his privilege to embrace death "when no higher duties bound him to life,"
and in his morality and high sense of honor the stoic is in advance of all
his contemporaries and has been from the establishment of his philosophy
to the present. "To a reasonable creature," says Epictetus [c. 55 - c. 135 C.E.], "that alone
is insupportable which is unreasonable; but everything reasonable may be
supported. See how the Spartans bear whipping after they have reduced it
to reason. Hanging is not insupportable; for as soon as a man has taken it
into his head that it is reasonable, he goes and hangs himself." "God be
thanked," says Seneca [c. 4 B.C.E. -
65 C.E.], "that no one can be forced to live longer than he desires."
Among all the stoics, whether Greek or Roman, Seneca was preeminent as an
advocate of suicide. He did not content himself with reserving it for
desperate emergencies; he advised it for almost any evil. "Does life
please you," he says, "live on."
could feel no sympathy with a life full of
murmurings. "Either live
contentedly," said he, "or be
gone; at all events, don't live a life of peevish complainings.
The door is open; go if you do not wish to suffer, but if you choose to
stay, don't complain."
Aurelius [Emperor 161 - 180 (121 - 180)] declared "that a man was
the arbiter of his own life." Cicero
is made the exponent of the sentiment, "To depart out of this life when it
no longer pleases." Cato approved of
suicide as a means of escaping personal humiliation and enhancing personal
dignity. The elder Pliny vaunted
man's superiority to the gods in that he may die when it pleases him.
[c. 524 - c. 460 B.C.E.] committed suicide, as did Diogenes, Menedemus (successor of Stilpo),
Onesicratus, Metrocles, Menippus, Italicus
Demonax, Perigrinus, Diodorus, and Cassius.--Suicide, Studies on its Philosophy, Causes,
etc., by James O'Dea, M.D. (New
York, 1882), p. 30.' [301-302].
[See: Appendix VII, 784 (van Hooff)].
[footnote (not referenced above)] "1It will be
remembered that Apollonius's dress and food were entirely
vegetarian. He wore no manner of clothing
which had an animal structure or animal tissue.--Apollonius von Tyana und Christus (Baur)." .
[footnote (not referenced above)] '2How much the ethics of stoicism, as known in later times,
was due to Zeno [Zeno of Citium c.
335 - c. 263 B.C.E.], the great master and founder of Greek stoicism, we
do not know.--See The Stoics, Epicureans, and
Sceptics (E. Zeller, London, 1870). He came to Athens from Cyprus
after the conquest of Alexander, and
established his school in the poecile
stoa [see below]; he was a faithful and worthy successor of
Socrates and Stilpo.--Reign of
the Stoics (Holland, 1879). "The true philosopher," said Zeno, "is
ever ready to serve the state."--Zeno in Seneca's
Dialogues. He also declared "that he did not contend for his own
liberty--not himself to live free, but to live among freemen."--John Stuart Mill on Liberty, 1874; Cato [?] on Seneca's [c. 4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.]
Epistles [?]. "I am human," said he, "therefore, no man is a stranger [echoes of Terence c. 190 - 159? B.C.E. "I
am a man, I count nothing human foreign to me." (Ox. Dict. Quotations)]." Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum
from: Dictionary of Classical Antiquities;
Mythology, Religion, Literature, Art, Oskar Seyffert,
Revised and edited by Henry Nettleship and J.E. Sandys [see 1187],
World, 1963 (1882 German). [Note: accent marks deleted].
Greek term for a colonnade, such as those built outside or
inside temples, around dwelling-houses, gymnasia, and market-places.
They were also set up separately as ornaments of the streets and
open places. The simplest form is that of a roofed colonnade, with a
wall on one side, which was often decorated with paintings. Thus in
the market-place at Athens the stoa poecile (the Painted
Colonnade) was decorated with Polygnotus' [c. 500 - c. 440 B.C.E.]
representations of the destruction of Troy, the fight of the
Athenians with the Amazons, and the battles of Marathon and Cenoe.
The stoa basileios, also in the market-place, in which the archon basileus sat as judge, was probably
divided longitudinally into three parts by two rows of columns, and
was the pattern for the Roman basilica
Cituum taught in the stoa poecile, and
his adherents accordingly obtained the name of Stoics.
|Among the Romans similar colonnades
attached to other buildings, or built out in the open, were called porticus. They were named from
the neighbouring edifices (e.g. porticus
Concordiae, close to the temple of Concord); from their
builders (e.g. porticus Pompeia); also
from the pictures set up in them (e.g. porticus Argonautarum); and from the
business chiefly carried on in them, as porticus Argentaria, the hall of the
money-changers. These halls were the
chief places for public intercourse among the Greeks and
Romans."  [End of entry]. |
THE GREAT IDEA OF
STOICISM, AND TO WHICH IT SUBORDINATED ALL THINGS, WAS LOVE FOR HUMANITY;
AND NO PHILOSOPHY EVER EXISTED IN WHICH THE PRACTICE OF ITS DISCIPLES WAS
MORE CONSISTENT WITH THEIR CREED. They held no esoteric views,
they taught publicly; and all without restriction, who took upon
themselves the stoic name and simple life, were regarded as fellows.
Stoicism accepted ["political
correctness"?], but declared God and immortality undemonstrable assumptions. And it stripped
morality of all divine sanction.--Religions
before Christ (Pressensé). Promulgating such sentiments, we can
understand how Apollonius, three hundred years removed from Zeno,
persisted in refusing all participation in public affairs, and yet sought
with a zeal, which scoffed even martyrdom, to cement those principles of
humanity into a republican form of government. The result of the labors of
the porch [apparently, "porch" = stoa (see 1240-1241)] is recorded in
the acts of the rulers of Rome from Nerva to Commodus, all of whom were stoics. But the
empire of this mild and humane philosophy was doomed to ruin by the
sanguinary Constantine, who, with
sword in one hand and the gospel in the other, declared himself
commissioned by heaven to conquer and evangelize the world.--Ecclesiastical History (Eusebius). Stoicism gave way before the powers of the church
militant. And then began the reign of saints, a reign of physical terror
and of mental darkness. But the stoic philosophy did not perish. In the
thirteenth century it again began to take root and assert
itself.--Natural History of Atheism
(Blackie, 1878). Christianity
relaxed its intolerance under the demands of advancing science and
free-thought. The surviving individualism of Zeno and Socrates was now silently but certainly
pressing the claims of the philosophy of humanity into the very ranks of
Christianity, the forces of which were decimated in exact ratio to the
dissemination of light and knowledge.--Conflict
between Religion and Science (Draper). Christendom is just now becoming to
realize the fallacy of "pastoral budgets," "papal bulls," and the efficacy
of a crucified Christ, and that the
scheme laid down for us by the great
philosopher of Nazareth is too narrow upon which to found a grand
republic of humanity.--The Religious
Sentiment (Brinton). Two
hundred years ago Charles Blount
commenced the translation and publication of the Life of Apollonius of
Tyana; the religious sentiment of that day was inimical to
it, and it was prohibited and anathematized. Have two hundred years
wrought any change in the religious sentiment of our race? Has that gentle
spirit of forbearance and mercy, which characterizes the stoic philosophy
of Zeno, made any impress upon our day? Blackie (Natural
History of Atheism) thinks it has. Louis
Jacolliot (La Bible dans l'Inde)
thinks that the infusion of liberal notions into the religious sects of
our day is a
movement strongly impregnated with the "philosophy
of stoicism." To which a liberated
universe responds--"Amen."--Revelations of
[footnote (not referenced above)] '3"Think not that I am
come to send peace on earth," said Jesus, "I came not to send peace but a
sword." Diabolical as the avowed purpose
of Jesus' mission is it has been
fulfilled to the letter. Never did
a man [Fictional character] utter words so brimful of truth--melancholy as it is.
Never was a prediction, whose disastrous fulfillment has unfortunately
lasted without intermission from the time of its promulgation to the
present. From the very establishment of this religion of Jesus the sword has remained unsheathed in
its service, and more victims have been sacrificed to its manes than to
all other causes combined. Lest he should be misunderstood concerning this
mission, Jesus reiterates that he
came to send fire on earth, and strife, to make divided households, fathers
against sons, mothers against daughters, and that under the new regime "a
man's foes shall be those of his own household." Bolingbroke [1678 - 1751] says, "THE SCENE OF CHRISTIANITY HAS ALWAYS BEEN A SCENE OF
DISSENSION, OF HATRED, OF PERSECUTION, AND OF BLOOD." Erasmus ["born Gerard Gerards" c. 1466 - 1536] says, "Sanguine fundata est ecclesia,
sanguine crevit, sanguine succrevit, sanguine erit."--Familiar Colloquies of Erasmus, by Bailey (1877).' [351-352].
'Here ends our
summary of the leading events in the life of Apollonius, selected from the
writings and manuscripts as they have descended to our day, and upon which
solely rests his claim as a historical character. We believe the
sources of our information are untainted, the witnesses unimpeached, and
the channel through which the narrative has descended to us has never been
questioned. The historians are men of character, and not without literary
fame. He had traveled more extensively than any man of his day, and that
he was a man of no mean account is evident from his letters addressed to
kings, rulers, philosophers, societies, and the first men of his time,
still extant, preserved in the works of Philostratus and Cujacius [? (see 1194)].
For many centuries after his [Apollonius] death a halo of sanctity was
thrown around his head, and he was worshiped as a god in many parts of the
late as the fifth century we know of one Volusian, a pro-consul of Africa, descended
from an old Roman family, still strongly attached to the religion of his
ancestors, almost worshiping Apollonius as a supernatural being.
Not only did Caracalla [Roman Emperor 211 - 217 (188 -
217)] build him [Apollonius] a
temple, but Alexander Severus
[Emperor 222 - 235 (208 - 235)] held him in such esteem that he had his
statue in his private closet [Lararium (see #24, 522-523)] [?].2 On account and out of respect to Apollonius,
Tyana was regarded a sacred city, and exempted from the jurisdiction of
governors sent from Rome.3 [see footnote,
1243] Pierre Bayle, in Dictionnaire historique et critique (2 vols.,
folio, 1696), remarks that Apollonius was worshiped in the beginning of the
fourth century under the name of Hercules, and refers for his
authority to Vopiscus [apparently,
Vopiscus Flavius, fl. c. 300 C.E.],
Eusebius [c. 260 - c. 339],
[apparently, Ammianus Marcellinus c. 330 - 395].1 [see footnote, 1243]
says, "the universal respect in
which he [Apollonius]
was held by the whole pagan world testified
to THE DEEP IMPRESSION WHICH THE LIFE OF THIS SUPERNATURAL BEING
[APOLLONIUS] HAD INDELIBLY FIXED IN THEIR
MINDS."2 [see footnote, below]'
[352-354]. [End of text (excepting footnotes (below))].
[footnotes] "3The great body of
Christians believe [experts
in believing] that paganism was immediately
displaced by the religion of Christ. But it must be remembered
that for hundreds of years after Christianity
mounted the imperial throne under Constantine (the most arbitrary that ever
existed), sacrifices were still made to the
gods in many of the temples of Greece, at some of which Christian priests
presided; and to a great extent the pagan temples and gods were
supplemented only by utilizing them for Christian worship, and this
accomplished by imperial decrees. So much does the Christian revolution
lack in that spirit of progress in early times upon which ministers
delight to dwell, that nothing could force it forward but executions and
decrees. It went into the conflict like a conscript forced to the front at
the point of the bayonet, and ALL THE IMPORTANCE AND VITALITY OF CHRISTIANITY OF
THE EARLY AGES WHICH HAVE BEEN GIVEN TO IT BY MODERN WRITERS, NEVER
EXISTED IN REALITY. The most observing man was as unconscious
that a great religious revolution was taking place around him at that
period, as the most stupid is that such a revolution is taking place about
him to-day.--Cf. Julian apud Cyrill, lib.
iii.; Lactantii Instut. lib. iii; Eusebius, Ecc.
Hist. lib. iii. iv.; The Prophet of Nazareth, a Critical Inquiry, by Evan P. Meredith, p. 220, et seq.
1Aelius Lampsidus, A.D. 350 (author Commodus, Diadumenus, Heliogabalus, and Alexander Severus), states that Christ was worshiped together with the
Arabian Orpheus and Apollonius, these all being looked upon as tutelary
genii [demons, spirits, etc.].
|2Pagan Christ. |
End."[353-354] [End of text].
from: The Novel in Antiquity, Tomas Hagg, U.
California, 1983 (1980 Sweden).
"A special, very popular form was the life of a
philosopher: some include this type of
biography in the category of 'ancient novel'. Pythagoras--the legendary philosopher,
mathematician, and founder of a religion (sixth century BC)--was its first and most
cherished subject. There we find the travel
motif and the taste for the exotic. In later times, at the beginning of the third century AD, novel and
biography meet in a remarkable and
influential work, Philostratus' Life of
Apollonius, the sage from Tyana (figure 31 [see below]).
LIVED [SIC!] IN THE FIRST CENTURY AD, IS IN PHILOSTRATUS' VERSION
A KIND OF CHRIST FIGURE, but a travelling one, with the whole
Mediterranean world and the Orient as far as India in the East and
Ethiopia in the South as his field of action. He is a Pythagorean, a
vegetarian, a pacifist, and a magician; he cures the sick, awakens the
dead, and is able to predict the future. He prevails over death also on his own behalf,
rises to heaven to the accompaniment
of a choir of virgins, and some time later appears to his disciples in order to prove his
"Fig. 31 The sage APOLLONIUS OF TYANA ON A ROMAN
CONTORNIATE ["Of a medal (or coin): Having a deep furrow
round the disc, within the edge." (O.E.D.)] MEDALLION
["A large medal" (medal: "A metal disk bearing a figure or inscription"
(O.E.D.))] (LATTER HALF OF THE FOURTH CENTURY AD). That Apollonius was depicted on this kind of
medallion, with a laurel wreath and a philosopher's beard is not
surprising. The stamping of contorniate medallions was a means of
propaganda used by the pagan reaction in Rome against Christianity, which
had during the fourth century been promoted to the state religion in New
Rome, Constantinople. In this context Apollonius of Tyana, a younger
contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth, could take on the role of a
counter-Christ; he was honoured as
an ascetic, a miracle-worker, and a teacher of wisdom, just as
Philostratus had portrayed him in his biography (written at the beginning
of the third century AD). For centuries
Apollonii ["Life of Apollonius"] remained a dangerous book in
the eyes of the Christians, a book which was taken in deadly earnest and
refuted with apologetic works." .
with Jesus Christ? First 7
centuries? No! When? [see #2, 21, 121.
("bust of Christ",
coin (solidus ("an ancient
Roman gold coin introduced by Constantine [note: Constantine introduced
the solidus, but not, the "bust of Christ"]" (Webster's Third))), c. 705 - 711)]].
from: Historical Sketches, Vol. I, The Turks in their Relations
to Europe, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Apollonius of Tyana, Primitive Christianity, by John Henry Cardinal Newman
[1801 - 1890] [Anglican, then, Catholic 1845. "cardinal-deacon",
1879. "In both the Catholic Church and the Church of England his
influence has been momentus." (end of entry) (Encyc. Brit.)], Fifth Edition, London, Pickering and Co.,
1882 (1872). [first seen today, 6/2/2000 (thanks to Daniel M. Tredwell
(see 1213), and J.S. Phillimore (see 1192 (cxxviii))), at my completion
of Addition 26].
the Pythagorean philosopher, was born at
Tyana, in Cappadocia, in the year of Rome 750, four years before the common Christian
era.1 His reputation rests, not
so much on his personal merits, as on the attempt made in the early ages
of the Church, and since revived,2 to
bring him forward as a rival of the Divine Author [Jesus Christ] of our Religion. A narrative
of his life, which is still extant, was written with this object, about a
century after his death (A.D. 217), by Philostratus of Lemnos [Philostratus 'the Athenian' (see 1187)], when Ammonius [apparently, Ammonius Saccas c. 175
- 242 (Neoplatonic philosopher)] was systematizing the Eclectic tenets to meet the increasing
influence and the spread of Christianity [this clause?]. Philostratus engaged in this work at the
instance of his patroness Julia
Domna, wife of the Emperor
Severus, a princess celebrated for her zeal in the cause of
Heathen Philosophy; who put into his hands a journal of the travels of
Apollonius rudely written by one Damis, an Assyrian, his companion.3 ...." .
5. In the foregoing
remarks WE HAVE ADMITTED THE GENERAL FIDELITY OF THE HISTORY, BECAUSE
ANCIENT AUTHORS ALLOW IT, and there was no necessity to dispute
it. Tried however on
his [Apollonius of Tyana]
own merits, it ["THE HISTORY" OF
APOLLONIUS OF TYANA] IS QUITE
UNWORTHY OF SERIOUS ATTENTION. Not only in the miraculous
accounts (as we have already seen), but in the relation of a multitude of
ordinary facts, an effort to rival our Saviour's history is distinctly
visible. The favour in which Apollonius from
a child was held by gods and men; his conversations when a youth in the
Temple of Aesculapius [see 1221-1222]; his determination in spite
of danger to go up to Rome;1 the cowardice
of his disciples in deserting him; the charge brought against him of
disaffection of Caesar; the Minister's acknowledging, on his private
examination, that he was more than man; the ignominious treatment of him
by Domitian on his second appearance at Rome; his imprisonment with
criminals; his vanishing from Court and sudden reappearance to his
mourning disciples at Puteoli;2--these,
with other particulars of a similar cast, evidence a history modelled
after the narrative of the Evangelists. Expressions, moreover, and
descriptions occur, clearly imitated from the sacred volume [New Testament]. To this we must add3 the rhetorical
colouring of the whole composition, SO CONTRARY TO THE SOBRIETY
[seriousness, soundness, etc.]
OF TRUTH;4 the fabulous accounts of things and places
interspersed through the history;1 [see
footnote, 1246] lastly, we must bear in mind
the principle, recognised by the Pythagorean and Eclectic schools, of
permitting exaggeration and deceit in the cause of
philosophy.2 [see footnote, 1246]
After all, it must be remembered, that were the
pretended miracles as unexceptionable as we have shown them to be absurd
and useless--were they plain interruptions of established laws--were they
grave and dignified in their nature, and important in their object, and
were there nothing to excite suspicion in the design, manner, or character
of the narrator--still the testimony on which
they rest is the bare word of an author writing one hundred years
[according to the story] after the death of
the person [Apollonius of
Tyana] panegyrized, and far
distant from the places in which most of the miracles were wrought, and
who can give no better account of his information than that he gained it
from an unpublished work,3 [see footnote,
below] professedly indeed composed by a witness of the extraordinary
transactions, but passing into his hands through two intermediate
possessors. These are circumstances which
almost, without positive objections, are sufficient by their own negative
force to justify a summary rejection of the whole account.
Unless, indeed, the history has been perverted to a mischievous purpose,
WE SHOULD ESTEEM
IT impertinent [here,
I will define "impertinent", as, "FOOLISH"]
TO DIRECT ARGUMENT
AGAINST A MERE ROMANCE, AND TO SUBJECT A WORK OF IMAGINATION TO A GRAVE
DISCUSSION [THE PORTION OF THIS SENTENCE, UNDERLINED, ALSO
APPLIES, TO THE GOSPELS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT]." [328-331]. [End of
[footnotes] "1E.G. [(apparently)
for example] his accounts of Indian and Aethiopian monsters; of serpents
whose eyes were jewels of magical virtue; of pygmies; of golden water; of
the speaking tree; of a woman half white and half black, etc.; he [Philostratus] incorporates in his narrative the fables of
Ctesias [5th century B.C.E.], Agatharchidas [2nd century B.C.E.], and other writers. His blunders in
geography and natural philosophy may be added, as far as they arise from
the desire of describing wonders, etc. See also his pompous description of
the wonders of Babylon, which were not then in existence.--Prideaux,
Connection, Part I. Book viii. For his inconsistencies, see Eusebius and Brucker.
IT MUST BE REMEMBERED, THAT IN THE AGE OF
PHILOSTRATUS THE COMPOSITION OF ROMANTIC HISTORIES WAS IN
FASHION [compare: NEW TESTAMENT:
2See Brucker, vol.
i. p. 992, vol. ii. p. 378. Apollonius was
only one out of several who were set up by the Eclectics as rivals
to Christ [?]. Brucker,
vol. ii. p. 372. Mosheim, de turbata Ecclesia, etc. Secs. 25, 26.
3Philostr. i. 2, 3. He professes that this
account contains much news. As to the
sources, besides the journal of Damis, from which he pretends to derive his
information, he neither tells us how he met with them, nor what they
contained; nor does he refer to them in the course of his history. On the
other hand (as we have above noticed), much
of the detail of Apollonius's journey is derived from the writings
of Ctesias [5th century
B.C.E.], etc." .
from: Fiction as History, Nero to Julian, G.W. Bowersock, U.
California, Pb. 1997 (1994). [See #17, 360-362 (Fiction as History)].
"In the Latin novel
of Apuleius [born c. 125 C.E.], the Metamorphoses, what
appears in the Greek romances about death and resurrection is elevated to
a major theme. This work, about the transformation of a man into an ass and his
eventual repatriation to the human state and conversion to the worship of
Isis, is clearly based on a lost Greek
novel.24 ...." .
"The religious or quasi-religious implications of
death and resurrection in OTHER FICTION OF
THE ROMAN IMPERIAL AGE [Roman Imperial Period 27 B.C.E. - 465?
C.E.] emerge clearly enough from
the biography of the sage and wonder worker
Apollonius ["1st century A.D." (see 1185)] composed [c. 220 (see 1182)] by the sophist Philostratus [c. 170 - c.
245] in the early third century at the
request of the empress Julia Domna [c. 167 - 217]. Among
Apollonius's many miracles is a case of
resurrection, which, as Philostatus tells it, is not to be understood as an apparent death or Scheintod [see #17, 360-362 (Fiction as History)]. Nor is it to be understood
as simply symbolic. After all, Philostratus makes the pretense, throughout
his biography of Apollonius, that this ["a case of
resurrection"] is a well-documented account according to the record of
a certain Damis, one of Apollonius's
own companions. That claim ["a case of
resurrection"] is in all probability PART
OF THE LARGER FICTION OF THE WORK...." [109-110].
'The widespread use
of the resurrection motif in many forms of Roman imperial fictional
writing--erotic, romance, hagiography, mythological revisionism, and
satire--suggests an unusually great interest in this subject, far beyond
any interest documented for earlier periods. It even shows up in the
theater, in the most surprising circumstances. As Jack Winkler [John J. Winkler, author: The Constraints of Desire, 1990; etc.]
perceptively pointed out more than a decade ago,41 ["41." Journal of
Hellenic Studies 100 (1980), 155-181 (173-175 Scheintod)] the sober
and genial Plutarch [c. 46 - c. 120]
recorded with great respect his admiration for a performer who could
simulate death perfectly and thereby astound the audience by his visible
return to life. What is so remarkable about the performer that Plutarch saw is that he
was a dog.
dog] gave a fine performance of
various actions and emotions required by the plot, and in
particular, when they experimented on him with a supposedly deadly poison
(which in the plot turned out to be merely a sleeping potion), he took the
bread soaked in poison and, after gulping it down, he began in a moment to
shudder and misstep and let his head sag down. Finally he lay stretched
out on the ground like a corpse and let them drag his body and carry him
around as the plot of the drama required. And, when he noticed his cue in
certain words and movements of the actors, he first began to stir gently,
as if waking up from a deep slumber, and then, raising his head, he looked
around. To the wonder of the audience he then got up and went to the right
actor and fawned on him, wagging his tail and showing all the signs of
canine affection. Everyone was thrilled, even
the emperor, for the aged Vespasian [Emperor 69 - 79 C.E. (9 -
79)] was present in the
audience."42 ["42. Plut. De Soll. Anim.
This is quite clearly
a canine version of the scenes that are familiar to us from the Greek
novels. The date of the incident is worth
noting--the last years of the emperor
Vespasian [Emperor 69 - 79 C.E. (9 - 79)], in other words, about
ten years after the death of Nero
[Emperor 54 - 68 C.E. (37 - 68)] and in the lifetime of both Ptolemaeus Chennus [fl. c. 100 C.E.] and
Antonius Diogenes [c. 100 C.E.].'
'A century after Philostratus [c. 170 - c. 245] the pagan Hierocles
[born c. 275], in his tendentious work against Christianity [see
1185-1186; 1208] modeled on the great diatribe [c. 178] of Celsus
[2nd century], found in the miracles of Apollonius, not surprisingly, a powerful pagan parallel for the
miracles of Jesus Christ.30 Certainly the parallel with the miracle
of Jesus at the city called Nain, as recounted in Luke, cannot be
missed.31 ["31. Luke 7.12-15."] When Jesus came
to the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only
son of his mother, who was a widow. And the people of the city were
thronging around her. He told the mother not to weep, "and he came
and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he
said, 'Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.' And he that was dead
sat up and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother."
BOTH PHILOSTRATUS [APOLLONIUS OF TYANA] AND LUKE [GOSPEL OF LUKE (NEW TESTAMENT) PRESENTED THESE STORIES AS PART OF A [FICTIONAL] NARRATIVE
IN THE FORM OF HISTORY,...[3 Greek words], to use the emperor
Julian's phrase.32 ["32. Julian, Epist. 89b, 301b (Bidez)." [see #2, 29, 172. (Julian)]] But whether
either recorded an episode that actually happened remains unclear
["unclear" = a deference to Christians/Christianity. The Fiction,
is clear!]. WHAT IS CLEAR IS THE CLOSE SIMILARITY OF THE STORIES, FOR WHICH NO PARALLELS
CAN BE FOUND BEFORE THE MID-FIRST CENTURY A.D.' [110-111].
[Added 10/31/2005: 'the difficulty, or rather IMPOSSIBILITY,
that modern scholarship confronts in trying to reconstruct THE
APOLLONIUS, as also THE "HISTORICAL"
JESUS, need not detract from our appreciation of PHILOSTRATUS'S
IMAGINARY APOLLONIUS.' [Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius
of Tyana, C.P. Jones, vol.1, Harvard U., 2005, 12]].