Apollonius of Tyana

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Apollonius of Tyana (Gr.). A wonderful philosopher born in Cappadocia about the beginning of the first century; an ardent Pythagorean, who studied the Phœnician sciences under Euthydemus; and Pythagorean philosophy and other studies under Euxenus of Heraclea. According to the tenets of this school he remained a vegetarian the whole of his long life, fed only on fruit and herbs, drank no wine, wore vestments made only of plant-fibres, walked barefooted, and let his hair grow to its full length, as all the Initiates before and after him. He was initiated by the priests of the temple of Æsculapius (Asciepios) at Ægae, 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, Pamphylia and other parts, he journeyed via Babylon to India, all his intimate disciples having abandoned him, as they feared to go to the “land of enchantments”. A casual disciple, Damis, however, whom he met on his way, accompanied him in his travels. At Babylon he was initiated by the Chaldees and Magi, according to Damis, whose narrative was copied by one named Philostratus a hundred years later. After his return from India, he showed himself a true Initiate, in that the pestilences and earthquakes, deaths of kings and other events, which he prophesied duly happened. At Lesbos, the priests of Orpheus, being jealous of him, refused to initiate him into their peculiar mysteries, though they did so several years later. He preached to the people of Athens and other cities the purest and noblest ethics, and the phenomena he produced were as wonderful as they were numerous and well attested. “How is it”, enquires 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 the 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?”. (Quaest, XXIV.). But an answer is easily found to this in the fact that after crossing the Hindu Kush, Apollonius had been directed by a king to the abode of the Sages, whose abode it may be to this day, by whom he was taught unsurpassed knowledge. His dialogues with the Corinthian Menippus indeed give us 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 marvellous or “magic” powers are better attested than his. At the end of his long and wonderful life he opened an esoteric school at Ephesus, and died aged almost one hundred years.

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary


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.

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Key to Theosophy, The theosophical glossary