Apollonius of Tyana

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Apollonius of Tyana (Greek: Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Τυανεύς; ca. 15?–ca. 100? AD[2]) was a Greek Neopythagorean philosopher from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor. Little is certainly known about him. Being a 1st-century orator and philosopher around the time of Christ, he was compared to Jesus of Nazareth by Christians in the 4th century[3] and by various popular writers in modern times.

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Life dates

Apollonius's dates are uncertain. His primary biographer, Philostratus the Elder (c.170–247 CE) places him c. 3 BCE to 97 CE.[4] Others agree that he was roughly a contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth. Charles P. Eells[5] states that his date of birth was three years before Jesus, whose date of birth is also uncertain. However, Philostratus, in his Life of Apollonius of Tyana, places him staying in the court of King Vardanes I of Parthia for a while, who ruled between c.40–47 CE. Apollonius began a five year silence at about the age of 20, and after the completion of this silence travelled to Mesopotamia and Iran. Philostratus also mentions emperors Nero, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, and Nerva at various points throughout Apollonius’ life. Given this information, a timeline of roughly the years 15–98 CE can be established for his adult life.

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