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This study of Philostratus , first published in 1986, presents the Greek biographer’s treatment of both sophists and holy men in the social and intellectual life of the early Roman Empire, which also displays his own distinctive literary personality as a superficial dilettante and an engrossing snob. Through him we gain a glimpse of the rhetorical schools and their rivalries, as well as a bizarre portrayal of the celebrated first-century holy man Apollonius of Tyana, long loathed by his later Christian press as a Pagan Christ.
Rarely does a biographer’s reputation revolve round the charge that he forged his principal source. Graham Anderson’s account produces new evidence which supports Philostratus’ credibility, but it also extends the charges of ignorance and bias in his handling of fellow-sophists.
Philostratus is intended for any reader interested in the social, cultural and literary history of the Roman Empire as well as the professional classicist.