"How is it," inquires Justin Martyr, in dismay, "how is it that
the talismans (telesmata) of Apollonius have power,
for they prevent, as we see, the fury of the waves, and the violence of the
winds, and the attacks of wild beasts; and whilst our Lord's miracles are preserved by
tradition alone, those of Apollonius are most numerous, and actually manifested
in present facts?"
Apollonius of Tyana. 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 subjects
under Euxenus of Heraclea. According to the tenets of the Pythagorean school he remained a
vegetarian the whole of his long life, ate only fruit and herbs, drank no wine, wore
vestments made only of plant fibres, walked barefooted and let his hair grow to the full
length, as all the Initiates have done before and after him. He was initiated by the
priests of the temple of AEculapius (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, and Pamphylia and other parts -- he repaired via Babylon to India,
alone, all his disciples having abandoned him as they feared to go to the "land of
enchantments." A casual disciple, Damis, whom he met on his way, accompanied him,
however, on his travels. At Babylon he got initiated by the Chaldees and Magi, according
to Damis, whose narrative was copied by one named Philostratus one hundred years later.
After his return from India, he showed himself a true Initiate in that the pestilence,
earthquakes, deaths of kings and other events, which he prophesied, duly happened.
At Lesbos, the priests of Orpheus got jealous of him, and
refused to initiate him into their peculiar mysteries, though they did so several years
later. He preached to the people of Athens and other States the purest and noblest ethics,
and the phenomena he produced were as wonderful as they were numerous, and well
authenticated. "How is it," inquires Justin Martyr, in dismay, "how is it
that the talismans (telesmata) of Apollonius have power, for they prevent, as we
see, the fury of the waves, and the violence of the winds, and the attacks of wild
beasts; and whilst our Lord's miracles are preserved by tradition alone, those of
Apollonius are most numerous, and actually manifested in present facts?" (Quest.
XXIV.) But an answer is easily found to this, in the fact that, after crossing the Hindu
Koosh, Apollonius had been directed by a king to the abode of the Sages, whose
abode it may be to this day, and who taught him their unsurpassed knowledge. His
dialogues, with the Corinthian Menippus, give to us truly the esoteric catechism, and
disclose (when understood) many an important mystery of nature. Apollonius was the friend,
correspondent, and guest of kings and queens, and no wonderful or "magic" powers
are better attested than his. Towards the close of his long and wonderful life he opened
an esoteric school at Ephesus, and died at the ripe old age of one hundred years.