Apollonius of Tyana

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Make yourself known as a philosopher, that is a free man.

Apollonius of Tyana (c. 15 – c. 100 AD) was a Greek Neopythagorean philosopher from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor.

Quotes[edit]

If someone gives money to Apollonius, and the giver is someone considered respectable, he will take the money if he needs it. But he will not accept a fee for philosophy even if he does need it.
To speak falsely is the mark of a slave, but the truth is noble.
I saw the Indian Brahmans living on the earth and not on it, walled without walls, and with no possessions except the whole world.
Having prepared himself for a higher initiation by a silence of five years, and by travel, visiting Antioch, Ephesus, Pamphylia and other parts, he journeyed via Babylon to India. ~ H.P. Blavatsky
  • Approve and pursue the kind that is in accordance with nature. But avoid the kind that claims to be inspired: people like that about tell lies about Gods, and urge us to do many foolish things.
    • Attributed to Apollonius. Quoted from Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections, Chapter India and Greece
  • I saw the Indian Brahmans living on the earth and not on it, walled without walls, and with no possessions except the whole world.
    • Quoted from Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections, Chapter India and Greece
    • Different translation: In India I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it. Inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything but possessed by nothing. quoted in The Transition to a Global Society (1991) by Kishor Gandhi, p. 17, and in The Age of Elephants (2006) by Peter Moss, p. v
  • [Some] disobey the earth and sharpen knives against the animals to gain clothing and food. The Indian Brahmans disapproved of this personally and taught the Naked Philosophers of Egypt to disapprove of it too. From there Pythagoras, who was the first Greek to associate with Egyptians, borrowed the principle. He let the earth keep living creatures, but held that what the earth grows is pure, and so lived off that because it was sufficient to feed body and soul. Clothing made from dead creatures, which most people wear, he considered impure; he dressed in linen and, for the same reason, made his shoes of plaited bark. He derived many advantages from this purity, above all that of perceiving his own soul.
    • Attributed to Apollonius in Philostratus, Life of Apollonius. Quoted from Ram Swarup (2000). On Hinduism: Reviews and reflections, Chapter India and Greece

Letters[edit]

  • Plato said that virtue has no master [Republic 617e]. If a person does not honor this principle and rejoice in it, but is purchasable for money, he creates many masters for himself.
    • to Euphrates, Epp. Apoll. 15
  • The natural philosopher Heraclitus said that man is naturally irrational. If this is true, as it is true, then everyone who enjoys futile glory should hide his face.
    • to Euphrates, Epp. Apoll. 18
  • You must shun barbarians and not govern them since, barbarians as they are, it is not right that they should receive a benefit.
    • to Domitian, Epp. Apoll. 21
  • Pythagoras said that medicine is the most godlike of arts. But if the most godlike, it should tend to the soul as well as the body, or else a living thing must be unhealthy, being diseased in its higher part.
    • to Crito, Epp. Apoll. 23
  • You request my presence at the Olympic Games, and for that reason you have sent envoys. For myself, I would come for the spectacle of physical struggle, except that I would be abandoning the greater struggle for virtue.
    • Epp. Apoll. 24
  • Make yourself known as a philosopher, that is a free man.
    • Epp. Apoll. 28
  • In my judgment excellence and wealth are direct opposites.
    • Epp. Apoll. 35
  • If someone gives money to Apollonius, and the giver is someone considered respectable, he will take the money if he needs it. But he will not accept a fee for philosophy even if he does need it.
    • Epp. Apoll. 42
  • Greet your son Aristocleides from me. I pray he may not turn out like you, since you, too, were once an irreproachable young man.
    • to Gordias, Epp. Apoll. 46
  • The soul that does not consider the question of the body’s self-sufficiency cannot make itself self-sufficient.
    • to Euphrates, Epp. Apoll. 82
  • To speak falsely is the mark of a slave, but the truth is noble.
    • to Euphrates, Epp. Apoll. 83

Quotes about Apollonius[edit]

  • A wonderful philosopher born in Cappadocia about the beginning of the first century; an ardent Pythagorean, who studied the Phoenician sciences under Euthydemus; and Pythagorean philosophy and other studies under Euxenus of Heraclea. According to the tenets of this school he remained a vegetarian the whole of his long life, fed only on fruit and herbs, drank no wine, wore vestments made only of plant-fibres, walked barefooted... He was initiated by the priests of the temple of Asclepios at Aegae, and learnt many of the "miracles" for healing the sick wrought by the god of medicine. Having prepared himself for a higher initiation by a silence of five years, and by travel, visiting Antioch, Ephesus, Pamphylia and other parts, he journeyed via Babylon to India. ... At Babylon he was initiated by the Chaldees and Magi. After his return from India, he shewed himself a true Initiate, in that the pestilences and earthquakes, deaths of kings and other events, which he prophesied duly happened. At Lesbos, the priests of Orpheus, being jealous of him, refused to initiate him into their peculiar mysteries, though they did so several years later.
  • He preached to the people of Athens and other cities the purest and noblest ethics, and the phenomena he produced were as wonderful as they were numerous and well attested.... After crossing the Hindu Kush, Appollonius had been directed by a king to the abode of the Sages, ... by whom he was taught unsurpassed knowledge. His dialogues with the Corinthian Menippus indeed give us the esoteric catechism and disclose many an important mystery of nature. Appollonius was the friend, correspondent and guest of kings and queens, and no marvelous or "magic" powers are better attested than his. At the end of his long and wonderful life he opened an esoteric school at Ephesus, and died aged almost one hundred years.
  • The disciple Jesus of 2,000 years ago has by now become one of the most senior Masters in the Hierarchy: the Master Jesus. He reached his state of perfection in the course of his next life as Apollonius of Tyana. Many of those who followed him during his life as Jesus were still alive during this subsequent incarnation -- and many of them became convinced that Jesus had reappeared in their midst. It was Apollonius who undertook a journey to India which became the basis for the story, which many believe, that Jesus did not die on the cross but went to India and died in Kashmir, having lived to a venerable old age.
  • Now Euxenus realized that he was attached to a lofty ideal, and asked him at what point he would begin it. Apollonius answered: "At the point at which physicians begin, for they, by purging the bowels of their patients prevent some from being ill at all, and heal others." And having said this he declined to live upon a flesh diet, on the ground that it was unclean, and also that it made the mind gross; so he partook only of dried fruits and vegetables, for he said that all the fruits of the earth are clean. And of wine he said that it was a clean drink because it is yielded to men by so well-domesticated a plant as the vine; but he declared that it endangered the mental balance and system and darkened, as with mud, the ether which is in the soul. After then having thus purged his interior, he took to walking without shoes by way of adornment and clad himself in linen raiment, declining to wear any animal product.
  • The opinion of the Greek writers at the beginning of the Christian era may be quoted as showing the high estimation in which Indian astronomy was held. In the Life of Appollonius of Tyana, the Greek philosopher and astrologer, written by Philo stratus about 210 CE, the wisdom and learning of Appollonius are set high above his contemporaries because he had studied astronomy and astrology with the sages of India.
  • The Visit of Apollonius to the North of India... While still a young man he heard of the existence and the Dwelling of the Brotherhood, from one who knew and collected strange tales. He paid little regard to it. But later... in the depths of his spirit decided to visit the North of India... The journey of Apollonius was long. He encountered numerous people upon his way. One of those whom he met... said, “I can be useful to you. He to Whom you journey is known to Me..." Apollonius never learned the name of the stranger. Reaching Taksila, Apollonius found the dwelling of the stranger, and... knocked... The door opened and a young Hindu invited Apollonius to enter... The door-keeper made a gesture and let Apollonius into a room where stood a table and two arm-chairs. Shortly the door opened and into the room entered a tall man, dressed in a kaftan with the insignia of a cavalry commander. Calling himself brother to the host, and as if knowing the purpose of Apollonius’s visit, he said, “My people shall accompany you tomorrow.” In the morning, in the courtyard, Apollonius saw several warriors and horses. They set out on their journey, hurrying towards the northern mountains. There the warriors left Apollonius.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:
Ancient Greek schools of philosophy
Pre-Socratic AnaxagorasAnaximanderAnaximenesDemocritusEmpedoclesHeraclitusLeucippusMelissusParmenidesProtagorasPythagorasThalesZeno of Elea
Socratic AntisthenesAristippusAristotleDiogenes of SinopeEuclid of MegaraPhaedo of ElisPlatoSocrates
Hellenistic Apollonius of TyanaAugustineEpictetusEpicurusJohn PhiloponusLucretiusPlotinusProclusPyrrhoSextus EmpiricusZeno of Citium