Monday, November 18, 2013

[Resources] Apollonius of Tyana

Apollonius of Tyana was a philosopher and miracle-worker from the 1st Century, often considered a contemporary of Jesus.

He was born into wealth and traveled throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East, from Spain to Rome and Greece through to modern-day Iran and India.

One of his philosophical writings that has survived is called On Sacrifices, which posits that god eschews prayers and worship, and is only interested in interacting with humans by intellect, known as nous.

Historical facts about Apollonius, much like Jesus, are severely lacking, leading one historian to state "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 early empire."

His miraculous powers included ESP and prophesy. In fact, on September 18, 96 CE, he foretold the death of Roman Emperor Domitian that very day and it came to pass. Apollonius was more than 800 miles away at the time. After his death, Apollonius appeared to Palmyrene Emperor Aurelian in 272 CE in a vision following the emperor's capture of Tyana. Aurelian spared the city destruction.

A biography titled The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, comprising eight books, was written by Philostratus and completed around 220 CE. It included a lot of information on his travels, teachings and powers but many scholars consider it pure fiction of the time.

The medieval church cast Apollonius as an enemy of the Church and a magician who consorted with demons and Satan to overthrow Christianity. From the 17th century, anti-Church writers, promoting a Reason-based non-denominational religion, would often compare Apollonius to Jesus in order to attack Christianity.

Since many of Apollonius' writings are lost to antiquity, finding one of his mystical tomes (or racing to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands) would be an excellent adventure.


  1. *sigh* It would be nice if more players could be motivated to view knowledge and secrets as a form of treasure.


  2. Well, if you put the book in a golden chest worth 10 million gold pieces, I'm sure they'd become interested....


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