Home About Network of subjects Linked subjects heatmap Book indices included Search by subject Search by reference Browse subjects Browse texts

Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



1052
Apollonius Of Tyana, Letters, 55.1
NaN


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

6 results
1. Apollonius of Tyana, Letters, 48.2 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

2. New Testament, Matthew, 6.7-6.8 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6.7. In praying, don't use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. 6.8. Therefore don't be like them, for your Father knows what things you need, before you ask him.
3. Philostratus The Athenian, Life of Apollonius, 1.1, 1.14-1.16, 3.9, 3.49, 6.1, 6.20 (2nd cent. CE

1.1. The votaries of Pythagoras of Samos have this story to tell of him, that he was not an Ionian at all, but that, once on a time in Troy, he had been Euphorbus, and that he had come to life after death, but had died as the songs of Homer relate. And they say that he declined to wear apparel made from dead animal products and, to guard his purity, abstained from all flesh diet, and from the offering of animals in sacrifice. For that he would not stain the altars with blood; nay, rather the honey-cake and frankincense and the hymn of praise, these they say were the offerings made to the Gods by this man, who realized that they welcome such tribute more than they do the hecatombs and the knife laid upon the sacrificial basket. For they say that he had of a certainty social intercourse with the gods, and learnt from them the conditions under which they take pleasure in men or are disgusted, and on this intercourse he based his account of nature. For he said that, whereas other men only make conjectures about divinity and make guesses that contradict one another concerning it, — in his own case he said that Apollo had come to him acknowledging that he was the god in person; and that Athena and the Muses and other gods, whose forms and names men did not yet know, had also consorted with him though without making such acknowledgment. And the followers of Pythagoras accepted as law any decisions communicated by him, and honored him as an emissary from Zeus, but imposed, out of respect for their divine character, a ritual silence on themselves. For many were the divine and ineffable secrets which they had heard, but which it was difficult for any to keep who had not previously learnt that silence also is a mode of speech.Moreover they declare that Empedocles of Acragas had trodden this way of wisdom when he wrote the lineRejoice ye, for I am unto you an immortal God, and no more mortal.And this also:For erewhile, I already became both girl and boy.And the story that he made at Olympia a bull of pastry and sacrificed it to the god also shows that he approved of the sentiments of Pythagoras. And there is much else that they tell of those sages who observe the rule of Pythagoras; but I must not now enter upon such points, but hurry on to the work which I have set myself to complete. 1.14. ON one occasion, Euxenus asked Apollonius why so noble a thinker as he and one who was master of a diction so fine and nervous did not write a book. He replied: I have not yet kept silence. And forthwith he began to hold his tongue from a sense of duty, and kept absolute silence, though his eyes and his mind were taking note of very many things, and though most things were being stored in his memory. Indeed, when he reached the age of a hundred, he still surpassed Simonides in point of memory, and he used to chant a hymn addressed to memory, in which it is said that everything is worn and withered away by time, whereas time itself never ages, but remains immortal because of memory. Nevertheless his company was not without charm during the period of his silence; for he would maintain a conversation by the expression of his eyes, by gestures of his hands and nodding his head; nor did he strike men as gloomy or morse; for he retained his fondness for company and cheerfulness. This part of his life he says was the most uphill work he knew, since he practiced silence for five whole years; for he says he often had things to say and could not do so, and he was often obliged not to hear things the hearing of which would have enraged him, and often when he was moved and inclined to break out in a rebuke to others, he said to himself: Bear up then, my heart and tongue; and when reasoning offended him he had to give up for the time the refuting of it. 1.15. THESE years of silence he spent partly in Pamphylia and partly in Cilicia; and though his paths lay through such effeminate races as these, he never spoke nor was even induced to murmur. Whenever, however, he came on a city engaged in civil conflict (and many were divided into fractions over spectacles of a low kind), he would advance and show himself, and by indicating part of his intended rebuke by manual gesture or by look on his face, he would put an end to all the disorder, and people hushed their voices, as if they were engaged in the mysteries. Well, it is not so very difficult to restrain those who have started a quarrel about dances and horses, for those who are rioting about such matters, if they turn their eyes to a real man, blush and check themselves and easily recover their senses; but a city hard pressed by famine is not so tractable, nor so easily brought to a better mood by persuasive words and its passion quelled. But in the case of Apollonius, mere silence on his part was enough for those so affected. Anyhow, when he came to Aspendus in Pamphylia (and this city is built on the river Eurymedon, lesser only than two others about there), he found vetches on sale in the market, and the citizens were feeding upon this and on anything else they could get; for the rich men had shut up all the grain and were holding it up for export from the country. Consequently an excited crowd of all ages had set upon the governor, and were lighting a fire to burn him alive, although he was clinging to the statues of the Emperor, which were more dreaded at that time and more inviolable than the Zeus in Olympia; for they were statues of Tiberius, in whose reign a master is said to have been held guilty of impiety, merely because he struck his own slave when he had on his person a silver drachma coined with the image of Tiberius. Apollonius then went up to the governor and with a sign of his hand asked him what was the matter; and he answered that he had done no wrong, but was indeed being wronged quite as much as the populace; but, he said, if he could not get a hearing, he would perish along with the populace. Apollonius then turned to the bystanders, and beckoned to them that they must listen; and they not only held their tongues from wonderment at him, but they laid the brands they had kindled on the altars which were there. The governor then plucked up courage and said: This man and that man, and he named several, are to blame for the famine which has arisen; for they have taken away the grain and are keeping it, one in one part of the country and another in another. The inhabitants of Aspendus thereupon passed the word to one another to make for these men's estates, but Apollonius signed with his head, that they should do no such thing, but rather summon those who were to blame and obtain the grain from them with their consent. And when, after a little time the guilty parties arrived, he very nearly broke out in speech against them, so much was he affected by the tears of the crowd; for the children and women had all flocked together, and the old men were groaning and moaning as if they were on the point of dying by hunger. However, he respected his vow of silence and wrote on a writing board his indictment of the offenders and handed it to the governor to read out aloud; and his indictment ran as follows: Apollonius to the grain dealers of Aspendus. The earth is mother of us all, for she is just; but you, because you are unjust have pretended that she is your mother alone; and if you do not stop, I will not permit you to remain upon her. They were so terrified by these words, that they filled the market-place with grain and the city revived. 1.16. After the term of his silence was over he also visited the great Antioch, and passed into the sanctuary of Apollo Daphnaios, to which the Assyrians attach the legend of Arcadia. For they say that Daphne, the daughter of Ladon, there underwent her metamorphosis, and they have a river flowing there, the Ladon, and a laurel tree is worshipped by them which they say is the one substituted for the maiden; and cypress trees of enormous height surround the sanctuary, and the ground sends up springs both ample and placid, in which they say Apollo purifies himself by ablution. And there it is that the earth sends up a shoot of cypress, they say in honor of Cyparissus, an Assyrian youth; and the beauty of the shrub lends credence to the story of his metamorphosis. Well, perhaps I may seem to have fallen into a somewhat juvenile vein to approach my story by such legendary particulars as these, but my interest is not really mythology. What then is the purport of my narrative? Apollonius, when he beheld a sanctuary so charming and yet the home of no serious studies, but only of men half-barbarous and uncultivated, remarked: O Apollo, change these voiceless ones into trees, so that at least as cypresses they may become vocal. And when he saw the Ladon, he said: It is not your daughter alone that underwent a change, but you too, so far as one can see, have become a barbarian after being a Hellene and an Arcadian. And when he was minded to converse, he avoided the frequented regions and the disorderly, and said, that it was not people he wanted but real men; and he resorted to the more solemn places, and lived in such sanctuaries as were not shut up. At sunrise, indeed, he performed certain rites by himself, rites which he only communicated to those who had disciplined themselves by a four years' spell of silence; but during the rest of the day, in case the city was a Greek one, and the sacred rituals familiar to a Greek, he would call the priests together and talk wisely about the gods, and would correct them, supposing they had departed from the traditional forms. If, however, the rites were barbarous and peculiar, then he would find out who had founded them and on what occasion they were established, and having learnt the sort of cult it was, he would make suggestions, in case he could think of any improvement upon them, and then he would go in quest of his followers and bid them ask any questions they liked. For he said that it was the duty of philosophers of his school to hold converse at the earliest dawn with the gods, but as the day advanced, about the gods, and during the rest of the day to discuss human affairs in friendly intercourse. And having answered all the questions which his companions addressed to him, and when he had enough of their society, he would rise and give himself up for the rest to haranguing the general public, not however before midday, but as far as possible just when the day stood still. And when he thought he had enough of such discussion, he would be anointed and rubbed, and then fling himself into cold water, for he called hot baths the old age of men. At any rate when the people of Antioch were shut out of them because of the enormities committed there, he said: The emperor, for your sins, has granted you a new lease of life. And when the Ephesians wanted to stone their governor because he did not fire up the baths, he said to them: You are blaming your governor because you get such a sorry bath; but I blame you because you take a bath at all. 3.9. THEY tell us that the city under the mountain is of great size and is called Paraca, and that in the center of it are enshrined a great many heads of dragons, for the Indians who inhabit it are trained from their boyhood in this form of sport. And they are also said to acquire an understanding of the language and ideas of animals by feeding either on the heart or the liver of the dragon. And as they advanced they thought they heard the pipe of some shepherd marshaling his flock, but it turned out to be a man looking after a herd of white hinds, for the Indians use these for milking, and find their milk very nutritious. 3.49. And the phoenix, he said, is the bird which visits Egypt every five hundred years, but the rest of that time it flies about in India; and it is unique in that it gives out rays of sunlight and shines with gold, in size and appearance like an eagle; and it sits upon the nest; which is made by it at the springs of the Nile out of spices. The story of the Egyptians about it, that it comes to Egypt, is testified to by the Indians also, but the latter add this touch to the story, that the phoenix which is being consumed in its nest sings funeral strains for itself. And this is also done by the swans according to the account of those who have the wit to hear them. 6.1. Ethiopia covers the western wing of the entire earth under the sun, just as India does the eastern wing; and at Meroe it adjoins Egypt, and, after skirting a part of Libya Incognita, it ends at the sea which the poets call by the name of the Ocean, that being the name they applied to the mass of water which surrounds the earth. This country supplies Egypt with the river Nile, which takes its rise at the cataracts (Catadupi), and brings down from Ethiopia all Egypt, the soil of which in flood-time it inundates. Now in size this country is not worthy of comparison with India, not for that matter is any of the continents that are famous among men; and even if you put together all Egypt with Ethiopia, and we may regard the river as so combining the two, we should not compare the two together with India, so vast is the standard of comparison. However their respective rivers, theIndus and the Nile, resemble one another, if we consider their creatures. For they both spread their moisture over the land in the summer season, when the earth most wants it, and unlike all other rivers they produced the crocodile and the river-horse; and the religious rites celebrated over them correspond with one another, for many of the religious invocations of the Indians are repeated in the case of the Nile. We have a proof of the similarity of the two countries in the spices which are found in them, also in the fact that the lion and the elephant are captured and confined in both the one and the other. They are also the haunts of animals not found elsewhere, and of black men — a feature not found in other continents — and we meet in them with races of pigmies and of people who bark in various ways instead of talking, and other wonders of the kind. And the griffins of the Indians and the ants of the Ethiopians, though they are dissimilar in form, yet, from what we hear, play similar parts; for in each country they are the guardians of gold, and devoted to the gold reefs of the two countries. But we will not pursue these subjects; for we must resume the course of our history and follow in the sage's footsteps. 6.20. Thereupon Thespesion as if anxious to drop the subject, put some questions to Apollonius, about the scourging in Sparta, and asked if the Lacedaemonians were smitten with rods in public. Yes, answered the other, as hard, O Thespesion, as men can smite them; and it is especially men of noble birth among them that are so treated. Then what do they do to menials, he asked, when they do wrong? They do not kill them nowadays, said Apollonius, as Lycurgus formerly allowed, but the same whip is used to them too. And what judgment does Hellas pass upon the matter? They flock, he answered, to see the spectacle with pleasure and utmost enthusiasm, as if to the festival of Hyacinthus, or to that of the naked boys. Then these excellent Hellenes are not ashamed, either to behold those publicly whipped who erewhile governed them or to reflect that they were governed by men who are whipped by men who are whipped before the eyes of all? And how is it that you did not reform this abuse? For they say that you interested yourself in the affairs of the Lacedaemonians, as of other people. So far as anything could be reformed, I gave them my advice, and they readily adopted it; for they are the freest of the Hellenes; but at the same time they will only listen to one who gives them good advice. Now the custom of scourging is a ceremony in honor of the Scythian Artemis, so they say, and was prescribed by oracles, and to oppose the regulations of the gods is in my opinion utter madness. 'Tis a poor wisdom, Apollonius, he replied, which you attribute to the gods of the Hellenes, if they countece scourging as a part of the discipline of freedom. It's not the scourging, he said, but the sprinkling of the altar with human blood that is important, for the Scythians too held the altar to be worthy thereof; but the Lacedaemonians modified the ceremony of sacrifice because of its implacable cruelty, and turned it into a contest of endurance, undergone without any loss of life, and yet securing to the goddess as first fruits an offering of their own blood. Why then, said the other, do they not sacrifice strangers right out to Artemis, as the Scythians formerly considered right to do? Because, he answered, it is not congenial to any of the Greeks to adopt in full rigor the manners and customs of barbarians. And yet, said the other, it seems to me that it would be more humane to sacrifice one or two of them than to enforce as they do a policy of exclusion against all foreigners.Let us not assail, said the other, O Thespesion, the law-giver Lycurgus; but we must understand him, and then we shall see that his prohibition to strangers to settle in Sparta and live there was not inspired on his part by mere boorish exclusiveness, but by a desire to keep the institutions of Sparta in their original purity by preventing outsiders from mingling in her life. Well, said the other, I should allow the men of Sparta to be what they claim to be, if they had ever lived with strangers, and yet had faithfully adhered to their home principles; for it was not by keeping true to themselves in the absence of strangers, but by doing so in spite of their presence, that they needed to show their superiority. But they, although they enforced his policy of excluding strangers, corrupted their institutions, and were found doing exactly the same as did those of the Greeks whom they most detested. Anyhow, their subsequent naval program and policy of imposing tribute was modelled entirely upon that of Athens, and they themselves ended by committing acts which they had themselves regarded as a just casus belli against the Athenians, whom they had no sooner beaten in the field than they humbly adopted, as if they were the beaten party, their pet institution. And the very fact that the goddess was introduced from Taurus and Scythia was the action of men who embraced alien customs. But if an oracle prescribed this, what want was there of the scourge? What need to feign an endurance fit for slaves? Had they wanted to prove the disdain that Lacedaemonians felt for death, they had I think done better to sacrifice a youth of Sparta with his own consent upon the altar. For this would have been a real proof of the superior courage of the Spartans, and would have disinclined Hellas from ranging herself in the opposite camp to them. But you will say that they had to save their young men for the battlefield; well, in that case the law which prevails among the Scythians, and sentences all men of sixty years of age to death, would have been more suitably introduced and followed among the Lacedaemonians then among the Scythians, supposing that they embrace death in its grim reality and not as a mere parade. These remarks of mine are directed not so much against the Lacedaemonians, as against yourself, O Apollonius. For if ancient institutions, whose hoary age defies our understanding of their origins, are to be examined in an unsympathetic spirit, and the reason why they are pleasing to heaven subjected to cold criticism, such a line of speculation will produce a crop of odd conclusions; for we could attack the mystery rite of Eleusis in the same way and ask, why it is this and not that; and the same with the rites of the Samothracians, for in their ritual they avoid one thing and insist on another; and the same with the Dionysiac ceremonies and the phallic symbol, and the figure erected in Cyllene, and before we know where we are we shall be picking holes in everything. Let us choose, therefore, any other topic you like, but respect the sentiment of Pythagoras, which is also our own; for it is better, if we can't hold our tongues about everything, at any rate to preserve silence about such matters as these. Apollonius replied and said, If, O Thespesion, you had wished to discuss the topic seriously, you would have found that the Lacedaemonians have many excellent arguments to advance in favor of their institutions, proving that they are sound and superior to those of other Hellenes; but since you are so averse to continue the discussion, and even regard it as impious to talk about such things, let us proceed to another subject, of great importance, as I am convinced, for it is about justice that I shall now put a question.
4. Philostratus The Athenian, Lives of The Sophists, 1.1 (2nd cent. CE

5. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 8.10 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

8.10. He divides man's life into four quarters thus: Twenty years a boy, twenty years a youth, twenty years a young man, twenty years an old man; and these four periods correspond to the four seasons, the boy to spring, the youth to summer, the young man to autumn, and the old man to winter, meaning by youth one not yet grown up and by a young man a man of mature age. According to Timaeus, he was the first to say, Friends have all things in common and Friendship is equality; indeed, his disciples did put all their possessions into one common stock. For five whole years they had to keep silence, merely listening to his discourses without seeing him, until they passed an examination, and thenceforward they were admitted to his house and allowed to see him. They would never use coffins of cypress, because the sceptre of Zeus was made from it, so we are informed by Hermippus in his second book On Pythagoras.
6. Iamblichus, Life of Pythagoras, 72 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
alexander the great Demoen and Praet, Theios Sophistes: Essays on Flavius Philostratus' Vita Apollonii (2009) 334
apollonius Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
brevity Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
greek, thought Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
musonius rufus Demoen and Praet, Theios Sophistes: Essays on Flavius Philostratus' Vita Apollonii (2009) 334
philostratus Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
prayers Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
pythagoraean Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
pythagoras Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
pythagorean / pythagoreans, initiation Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
pythagorean / pythagoreans, sage Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
pythagorean / pythagoreans, tradition Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
religious, discourses Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
ritual, practice Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
silence Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
verbosity Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
wisdom' Demoen and Praet, Theios Sophistes: Essays on Flavius Philostratus' Vita Apollonii (2009) 334
wisdom Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
wise / wise man Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256
worship Petersen and van Kooten, Religio-Philosophical Discourses in the Mediterranean World: From Plato, through Jesus, to Late Antiquity (2017) 256