Here’s an interesting personage who gets little publicity these days, but whose life strangely mirrors the Jesus story told in the Bible — from the Editorial Notation:
What you are about to read in the following selections are extracts from the complete work, which should be available in any major library. The work concerns the life of the philosopher-sage Apollonius of Tyana, as recorded by his “disciple” Damis, who followed him in his journeys across the ancient world. One truly wonders why this work has not received the attention that it deserves, and the reasons for this are partly covered by the introduction which was prepared by the translator FC Conybeare in about 1912. This article by Conybeare also provides the historical context concerning the matter of the resource materials available to Philostratus, who put together the original work over one hundred years after Apllonius lived.
To my mind, the reasons that this work has been so obviously “suppressed” by the learned Christian classicists of yester-years is simply that works and actions of Apollonius are clearly more than just “another” philosopher of the Ancient Greek world. He is constantly referred to as a “philosopher-sage” and the distinction is one of great note.
Consequently, the parallel between the life of Apollonius of Tyana and the life of Jesus Christ cannot be mistaken. Both lived in the same era, and both performed “works” and “miracles”. For those with a truly open mind, there is much to find enlightening in the parallel themes expressed in the record of the life of these two men.
It is quite likely that the reason that this work has been so conveniently “buried” by the Christian classicists is that the contemporary “doctrine” of Christianity is often exclusive of alternate aspects, and will rarely permit any corroborative substantiations of the nature of the Christian God from a source external to the bible.
This attitude to my mind is not wholesome, or one of openness, and as such is classified by myself as restrictive, and not conducive to any proper form of lateral thinking concerning the Being whom the standard Christian doctrine clearly espouse as being Infinite and Wise.
On the one hand the life of Apollonius of Tyana provides the student of life with an account of how a man may be seen to be “more” than just a philosopher, and on the other hand it provides an account as to how such a man deals with, and approaches the understanding of, the nature of nature.
The full volume may be worth tracking down… as if I don’t have enough reading in front of me. A few years ago I read a small biography of Apollonius, and was struck by the parallels with his contemporary, Jesus Christ. Both, in a way, have had their teachings and histories suppressed ever since.