Apollonius of Tyana, Letters

LCL 458: 10-11

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Ἐπιστολαὶ Ἀπολλωνίου

τοῦ Τυανέως

1. Ἀπολλώνιος Εὐφράτῃ. Ἐμοὶ πρὸς φιλοσόφους ἐστὶ φιλία, πρὸς μέντοι σοφιστὰς ἢ γραμματιστὰς ἤ τι τοιοῦτον γένος ἕτερον ἀνθρώπων κακοδαιμόνων οὔτε νῦν ἐστι φιλία, μήτε ὕστερόν ποτε γένοιτο. τάδε μὲν οὖν οὐ πρὸς σέ, πλὴν εἰ μὴ καὶ σὺ τούτων εἷς, ἐκεῖνα δὲ καὶ πάνυ πρὸς σέ· θεράπευέ σου τὰ πάθη καὶ πειρῶ φιλόσοφος εἶναι καὶ μὴ φθονεῖν τοῖς ὄντως φιλοσοφοῦσιν, ἐπεί σοι καὶ γῆρας ἤδη πλησίον καὶ θάνατος.

2. τῷ αὐτῷ. Ἡ ἀρετὴ φύσει, μαθήσει, [κτήσει]1 χρήσει, δι᾿ ἣν ἕκαστον ἂν εἴη τῶν προειρημένων ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιον. σκεπτέον, εἴ τί σοι τούτων ἐστίν, ἢ σοφιστείας παυστέον λοιπὸν ἢ προῖκά γε χρηστέον αὐτῇ πρὸς τοὺς ἐντυγχάνοντας, ἐπείπερ ἤδη σοι καὶ τὰ Μεγαβύξου.2

3. τῷ αὐτῷ. Ἐπῆλθες ἔθνη τὰ μεταξὺ τῆς Ἰταλίας ἀπὸ Συρίας ἀρξάμενος, ἐπιδεικνὺς σεαυτὸν ἐν ταῖς τοῦ βασιλέως λεγομέναις διπλαῖς. τρίβων δέ σοι



Letters of Apollonius of Tyana

1. To Euphrates:1 I feel friendship towards philosophers, but towards sophists, teachers of literature, or any other such kind of godforsaken people I neither feel friendship now, nor may I ever do so in future. Now all this is not aimed at you, unless you are one of these people, but the following is very much so: control your emotions, and try to be a philosopher and not to resent real philosophers, since old age and death are already near you.

2. To the same: Virtue comes by nature, learning, and practice, and thanks to virtue all of the aforesaid may deserve approval. Ask yourself whether or not you have any of them, or else give up the sophistic career forthwith, or at least practice it without charging your hearers, seeing that you already have the wealth of Megabyxus.2

3. To the same: You have traveled the provinces as far as Italy starting from Syria, showing yourself off in so-called “king’s robes.”3 Once you had a cheap cloak, a long white

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.apollonius_tyana-letters.2006