Flavius Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius of Tyana (Vita Apollonii), written in the first half of the third century CE, is a key text in the cultural, literary and religious history of the Second Sophistic and of Late Antiquity. Its generic and formal diversity, its shifting cultural and historical background, as well as its protean hero, call for a multifaceted and interdisciplinary reading.
Theios Sophistès is the first collection of interpretative essays on the
Vita Apollonii. Leading scholars in the field and younger critics make for a combination of methodological continuity and innovation. The book is divided into two sections, one focusing on literary and philological discussions and relating the Vita to other ancient texts and genres, and one dealing with religious and philosophical aspects. The wide range of approaches and perspectives does justice to the high level of literary, historical and philosophical-religious sophistication of this text.
Kristoffel Demoen, Ph.D. (1993) in Classics, is Professor of Greek Literature at Ghent University. He has published mainly on the interplay between rhetoric, poetry and ideology in Late Antiquity and Byzantium, including Pagan and Biblical Exempla in Gregory Nazianzen (Brepols, 1996).
Danny Praet, Ph.D. in Classics (1997), is Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Early Christianity at Ghent University. He has published mainly on the interplay between religion, philosophy and literature in Late Antiquity. He is currently preparing the edition of the
Collected Papers by Franz Cumont.
This excellent volume of essays serves as a showcase for how much interesting scholarship can come from viewing the Vita Apollonii [...] as a uniquely interesting text worthy of study in its own right, on a level with more canonical works. Specialists will want to read it thoroughly, and a great many others will find unexpectedly rich results from browsing.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review, October 2009.
Students and scholars interested in the Vita Apollonii, Philostratus, the Second Sophistic, Late Antiquity, Greek literature, the ancient novel, philosophy and religion.