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Irony Versus Eulogy The Vita Apollonii As Metabiographical Fiction

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Chapter Summary

Readers of the Vita Apollonii must follow the life of the hero, since along the way they are informed of many other curiosities which the narrator expounds with a certain Fabulierlust. This chapter examines the product of such sophistry, the narration itself. After reading several episodes of Philostratus' biography one may wonder why scholars have so seldom noticed elements of contradiction, discrepancy, even humor, and why they have, on the contrary, tended to take the narrative seriously. The chapter presents some examples of strange elements. Hierocles and Eusebius present themselves as two typically disposed nearly contemporary readers. Typically disposed, that is, in the sense that on the basis of the same source the former considers Apollonius a godlike philosopher with superhuman powers, the latter a charlatan of some capacity.

Keywords: Apollonius; eulogy; Eusebius; hierocles; irony; metabiographical fiction; Philostratus' biography; Vita Apollonii



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