A brief presentation of Apollonius of Tyana

According to his biographer, Philostratus:

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Apollonius believed in social solidarity;

In ancient Greek: «Χρη τρέφειν τε αλλήλους και υπ’ αλλήλων τρέφεσθαι»

In English: «We need to feed the others and the others need to feed us»

He said that he uses wisdom in order to know the gods and understand people. He claimed that knowing the other person is much more difficult than knowing your own self.

He said that: «just is not the one who is not unjust, but rather the one who himself acts justly and, at the same time, leads the others to a point so that they don’t do wrong»

Apollonius delivers us a very useful information about the ‘gods’: «every man who is believed of being good/virtuous/honest/decent, is honored with the title of ‘god’»

Apollonius accepted only the allegoric meaning of the myths. He did not accept the representation of the gods with idols, while he was teaching as ideal way of worshiping the Divine, the spiritual and mystic worship and not animal sacrifices, which he fully rejected.

When he was asked, at the borders of some country, ‘what do you carry?’ he used to answer: «I carry prudence, justice, virtue, self-restraint, bravery/gallantry/valour, exercise/askesis»

Apollonius preached that:

In ancient Greek: «Σοφώ ανδρί Ελλάς πάντα»

In English: «For the wise man, everywhere is Hellas/Greece»

Meaning that, more or less, a wise man is a representative of Greece, of the Hellenic way of living. It appears that he identified the Hellenic stance for life/Hellenic living with wisdom. This is valid with its proper meaning, the one that the Philosophers/Theologists have defined since long before Apollonius as ‘Hellenic target/aim/objective’, i.e. the Virtue inspired by God, and not generally and vaguely. He does not speak ‘racially’ or ‘nationalistic’ here.

His opinions were brief and solid, while he spoke literally and his words were absolutely adjusted to things. He was not wasting time on quibbling and was never ironic.

Isidoros Aggelos

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