Sacred Texts  Classics  Apollonius of Tyana  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, by Philostratus, tr. F.C. Conybeare, [1912], at


Such then was the oration which the sage had prepared beforehand, at the end whereof I found the last words of the earlier speech, namely:

"For thou shalt not kill me, since I tell thee I am not mortal,"

p. 356 p. 357

together with the words which preceded and led up to this quotation. But the effect upon the despot of his quitting the court in a matter so godlike and inexplicable was quite other than that which the many expected; for they expected him to make a terrific uproar and institute a hunt for the man, and to send forth proclamations over his empire to arrest him wherever they should find him. But he did nothing of the kind, as if he set himself to defeat man's expectations; or because he now at last realized that as against the sage he had no resources of his own. But whether he acted from contempt, let us conjecture from what ensued, for he will be seen confounded with astonishment rather than filled with contempt.


For he had to hear another case after that of Apollonius, an action brought, I think, in connexion with a will by some city against a private individual; and he had forgotten not only the names of the parties, but also the matter at issue in the suit; for his questions were without meaning and his answers were not relevant to the case—all which argued the degree of astonishment and perplexity under which the despot labored, the more so because his flatterers had persuaded him that nothing could escape his memory.


Such was the condition to which Apollonius reduced the despot, making him a plaything of his

p. 358 p. 359

philosophy who had been the terror of the Hellenes and the barbarians; and before midday he left the court, and at dusk appeared to Demetrius and Damis at Dicaearchia. And this accounts for his having instructed Damis to go by land to Dicaearchia, without waiting to hear his defense. For he had given no previous notice of his intentions, but had merely told the man who was mostly in his intimacy to do what best accorded with his plans.

Next: Chapters 11-20