The Two First Books of Philostratus, Concerning the Life of Apollonius Tyaneus: Written Originally in Greek, And now Published in English: Together with Philological Notes upon each Chapter. By Charles Blount

PHILOSTRATUS, Flavius [b. c. A.D. 170]

Published by Printed for Nathaniel Thompson, London, 1680
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Two First Books of Philostratus, ...

Publisher: Printed for Nathaniel Thompson, London

Publication Date: 1680

Binding: Full Leather

Book Condition: Very Good


Pp. 4 p.l., 243, [1]. Title page printed in red and black. Woodcut initials and ornaments, diagram in text. Contemporary panelled calf, recently rebacked with hinges relined using contemporary paper, corners renewed, spine with blind rules between raised bands and morocco label, gilt. Extremities of binding rubbed, front free endpaper chipped at edges, ownership signature of Henry Peckitt on title, text evenly browned with some marginal spotting, but on the whole a very good copy. The First Edition of Philostratus’s "Life of Apollonius of Tyana" in English. The book recounts the career of the wandering Greek Pythagorean mystic, Apollonius Tyaneus (d. c. A.D. 98), whose virtuous life and miraculous exploits were embellished to the point where they bore an unmistakeable resemblance to the life of Christ. He was credited, for instance, with raising a Roman woman from the dead, and his own death was shrouded in mystery. "Concerning the matter of his death", says Philostratus, "if he did die, the accounts are various". Composed at the suggestion of Julia, wife of the Emperor Severus, the account of Philostratus is generally regarded as a work of pious fiction. Nevertheless, from the time of the early church down to the present, Philostratus’s controversial "Life" has furnished the adversaries of Christianity, including Voltaire and the present translator, Charles Blount (1654-1693), a prominent English freethinker, with the means to dispute the uniqueness of the Christian tradition. Lowndes states that, according to Dr. A. Clarke, "his piece was published with the design to invalidate the testimony of the Evangelists concerning the miracles of our blessed Lord. A few copies only were dispersed before the work was suppressed." Lowndes adds in parentheses that the book is still "common enough" (ie. in the early 19th century). Wing P2132. Lowndes IV, p. 1860. Size: Folio. Bookseller Inventory # 21552

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