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Pythagoreanism And The Planetary Deities:The Philosophical And Literary Master-Structure Of The Vita Apollonii

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Chapter Summary

The two main topics of the "old quest" in the literature on Apollonius, comparisons of the Vita Apollonii with New Testament writings and the source and critical search for the "historical Apollonius", have gradually been replaced by research that focuses on the role of Philostratus as an author in his own right. This chapter shows that Philostratus did manage to write a work of philosophy. The allusive use of Pythagorean arithmetical theology probably proves that Philostratus took a similar attitude towards number symbolism as towards astrology. Philostratus did something quite unique in the Vita Apollonii. He wrote a highly sophisticated literary work that functions on different levels simultaneously: it is a remarkable piece of literary entertainment but it is also a work that should be taken very seriously both in the history of philosophy and in the history of literary technique.

Keywords: Vita Apollonii; philosophy; Philostratus; Pythagorean arithmetical theology; Pythagoreanism



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