Apollonius of Tyana (Ancient Greek: Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Τυανεύς; c. 3 BC – c. 97 AD), sometimes also called Apollonios of Tyana, was a Greek Neopythagorean philosopher from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in Anatolia. He is the subject of Life of Apollonius of Tyana, written by Philostratus over a century after his death.
Apollonius of Tyana (Ancient Greek: Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Τυανεύς; c. 3 BC – c. 97 AD), sometimes with called Apollonios of Tyana, was a Greek Neopythagorean philosopher from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in Anatolia. He is the subject of Life of Apollonius of Tyana, written by Philostratus more than a century after his death.
With the exception of the Adana Inscription from 3rd or 4th century CE, little can be derived from sources supplementary than Philostratus.
The Adana Inscription has been translated by C.P. Jones as: ” ‘This man, named after Apollo, and gleaming forth from Tyana, extinguished the faults of men. The tomb in Tyana (received) his body, but in fixed idea heaven normal him correspondingly that he might desire out the pains of men (or: drive pains from accompanied by men).” It is thought to have been brought from Cilicia, perhaps Aegae (Cilicia). However, Miroslav Marcovich translates share of the text as: “Sure enough, Apollonius was born in Tyana, but the full unchangeable is that he was a heaven-sent sage and healer, a extra Pythagoras”
As James Francis put it, “the most that can be said … is that Apollonius appears to have been a wandering ascetic/philosopher/wonderworker of a type common to the eastern part of the to the fore empire.” What we can safely assume is that he was indeed a Pythagorean and as such, in conformity past the Pythagorean tradition, opposed animal sacrifice and lived on a frugal, strictly vegetarian diet. A minimalist view is that he spent his entire enthusiasm in the cities of his indigenous Asia Minor (Turkey) and of northern Syria, in particular his house town of Tyana, Ephesus, Aegae and Antioch, though the letters suggest wider travels, and there seems no explanation to deny that, like many floating philosophers, he at least visited Rome. As for his philosophical convictions, we have an interesting, probably authentic fraction of one of his writings (On sacrifices), in which he expresses his view that God, who is the most beautiful being, cannot be influenced by prayers or sacrifices and has no wish to be worshipped by humans, but can be reached by a spiritual procedure involving nous (intellect), because he himself is definite nous, and nous is the greatest faculty of humankind.
Philostratus implies upon one occasion that Apollonius had extra-sensory perception (Book VIII, Chapter XXVI). When emperor Domitian was murdered on 18 September 96 AD, Apollonius was said to have witnessed the concern in Ephesus “about midday” on the daylight it happened in Rome, and told those present “Take heart, gentlemen, for the tyrant has been slain this day …”. Both Philostratus and renowned historian Cassius Dio description this incident, probably on the basis of an oral tradition. Both give leave to enter that the philosopher welcomed the exploit as praiseworthy tyrannicide.
Philostratus devoted two and a half of the eight books of his Life of Apollonius (1.19–3.58) to the report of a journey of his hero to India. According to Philostratus’ Life, en route to the Far East, Apollonius reached Hierapolis Bambyce (Manbij) in Syria (not Nineveh, as some scholars believed), where he met Damis, a original of that city who became his lifelong companion. Pythagoras, whom the Neo-Pythagoreans regarded as an exemplary sage, was believed to have traveled to India. Hence such a achievement made Apollonius look like a great Pythagorean who spared no pains in his efforts to discover the sources of oriental piety and wisdom. As some details in Philostratus’ account of the Indian adventure seem incompatible like known facts, modern scholars are inclined to dismiss the whole explanation as a fanciful fabrication, but not anything of them adjudicate out the possibility that the Tyanean actually did visit India. Philostratus has him meet Phraotes, the Indo-Parthian king of Taxila, a city located in northern Ancient India in what is now northern Pakistan, around 46 CE. And the bill that Philostratus provides of Taxila comports with modern archaeological excavations at the ancient site.
What seemed to be independent evidence showing that Apollonius was known in India has now been proven a forgery. In two Sanskrit texts quoted by Sanskritist Vidhushekhara Bhattacharya in 1943 he appears as “Apalūnya”, in one of them together following Damis (called “Damīśa”), it is claimed that Apollonius and Damis were Western yogis, who later on were converted to the precise Advaita philosophy. Some have believed that these Indian sources derived their guidance from a Sanskrit translation of Philostratus’ work (which would have been a most odd and amazing occurrence), or even considered the possibility that it was really an independent affirmation of the historicity of the journey to India. Only in 1995 were the passages in the Sanskrit texts proven to be interpolations by a late 19th-century forger.