Philostratros’ Life of Apollonios of Tyana and its Literary Context — Ebook

Author : Nikoletta Kanavou
Publication : 2020-10-02
Language : English
Pages : 296
Publisher : C.H.Beck
Collections : Zetemata
ISBN : 9791036555817
Categories : Literary criticism / General

This book surveys a range of intersections between the fictitious biography of the sage Apollonios of Tyana by Philostratos and selected prose narratives of the imperial period. The survey considers both pagan and Christian literature and includes both parallels to the philosophical ideology of the Life of Apollonios and features that embellish and enhance the Life as a work of literature. The book’s various themes and topics are held together by a common thread: the hero’s virtue, in particular his sōphrosynē, which encapsulates not only his wise-man status but also his novelistic traits (sōphrosynē is of central importance in the Greek romance), and which contributes to the interpretation both of Apollonios as hero and of the work’s generic affinities. The characterisation of Apollonios and the contextualisation of his biography are equally served by the discussion of manifestations of erōs in the Life of Apollonios as echoes of a popular, indeed irresistible theme to the author; of travel as an intergeneric metaphor for spiritual progression; and, finally, of the sage’s relationship with the written word - a relationship that further reveals the narrative’s authenticatory interests and precarious realism.

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