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Apollonius of Tyana in Cappadocia, the most celebrated of the Neo-Pythagoreans, lived about the middle of the 1st century A.D.; by a severely ascetic life on the supposed principles of Pythagoras, and by pretended miracles, he obtained such a hold on the multitude that he was worshipped as a god, and set up as a rival to Christ. The account of his life by the elder Philostratus (q.v.) is more romance than history, and offers little to build upon. Having received his philosophical education, and lived in the temple, of Asclepius at Egae till his twentieth year, he divided his patrimony among the poor, and roamed all over the world; he was even said to have reached India and the sources of the Nile. Twice he lived at Rome; first under Nero till the expulsion of the philosophers, and again in Domitian's reign, when he had to answer a charge of conspiring against the emperor. Smuggled out of Rome during his trial, he continued his life as a wandering preacher of morals and worker of marvels for some years longer, and is said to have died at a great age, master of a school at Ephesus. Of his alleged writings, eight-five letters have alone survived.
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