Apollonius of Tyana EARLY SOURCES
Apollonius of Tyana was a neo-pythagorean philosopher who it was said could do miracles. If he really did raise someone from the dead, and ascended into heaven, that would make the miracles of Jesus not so unique. So what is the evidence about Apollonius of Tyana?

Indeed, non-Christians, from the wife of Emperor Severus, to Hieorcles in the third century, to Voltaire in the 17th century, have presented the legends of Apollonius of Tyana as a substitute for Christ.

Let’s look at what we actually know about Apollonius from two angles: earlier sources, and later sources.

Earlier Sources
Damis of Ninevah, in his memoirs claimed to be a disciple of Apollonius of Tyana. Damis says that Apollonius of Tyana was a neo-pythagorean philosopher who flourished in the last half of the first century. He was also a magician who could predict the future and performed healing. He also wrote on astrology. According to Damis, Apollonius of Tyre visited Brahmans in India and Egypt, and had a conflict with a man named Euphrates of Tyre.
Moeragenes in his Reminiscences also claims Apollonius was a magician.
There are letters that were claimed to by by Apollonius, but many of them were very likely forged.


Life of Apollonius by Flavius Philostratus


§41] And on the next day he called Damis and said: "My defense has to be pleaded by me on the day appointed, so do you betake yourself in the direction of Dicaearchia,[1] for it is better to go by land; and when you have saluted Demetrius, turn aside to the sea-shore where the island of Calypso lies; for there you shall see me appear to you."


"Alive," asked Damis, "or how?"


Apollonius with a smile replied: "As I myself believe, alive, but as you will believe, risen from the dead."


Accordingly he says that he went away with much regret, for although he did not quite despair of his master's life, yet he hardly expected him to escape death. And on the third day he arrived at Dicaearchia, where he at once heard news of the great storm which had raged during those days; for a gale with rain had burst over the sea, sinking some of the ships that were sailing thither, and driving out of their course those which were tending to Sicily and the straits of Messina. And then he understood why it was that Apollonius had bidden him to go by land.


[§42] The events which followed are related by Damis, he says, from accounts given by Apollonius, both to himself and Demetrius. For he relates that there came to Rome from Messene in Arcadia a youth remarkable for his beauty, and found there many admirers, and above all Domitian, whose rivals even the former did not scruple to declare themselves, so strong was their attachment.


By Philostratus


[§29] The memoirs then of Apollonius of Tyana which Damis the Assyrian composed, end with the above story; for with regard to the manner in which he died, if he did actually die, there are many stories, though, Damis has repeated none.




The Gospel of Luke presents itself as history.  But it never gives its sources which makes it an interpretation of history whether true or alleged history.  It has no right to claim to be history.  Philostratus like Luke says that he consulted many sources. Philostratus is smarter than Luke for he says he had letters and writings and scripts from Apollonius to go by. He said Maximus of Aegae wrote a history of the holy man and that he consulted that too. He even condemned somebody else’s history of Apollonius as rubbish. The condemned historian was Moeragenes. Even Luke did not go as far as Philostratus and yet it is clear that as plausible as Philostratus seems to be he wrote lies.  His method is reasonable but the end result is still lies and myth.  If Philostratus was a fake, Luke had to be a bigger one.


Here is a note about Philostratus: It is also noteworthy that Philostratus, a known author, claims to have gathered information on Apollonius from a number of sources, including : letters and treatises from the hand of Apollonius himself , a history of Apollonius written by Maximus of Aegae, and memoirs written by Damis and furnished by Julia Domna, the wife of Roman EmperorSeptimius Severus. Philostratus even goes so far as to mention his scepticism over Moeragenes’ four books about Apollonius. By comparison, the anonymous Gospel accounts of Jesus only offer Luke 1: 1-4 where no specific (and non-supernatural ) sources are cited, and where scepticism and criticism is generally found wanting. See Philostratus and C. P. Jones, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana: Books 1-4 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2005), 1.2-3.