Apollonius of Tyana (1st century AD), philosopher
Apollonius had followed in Pythagoras' footprints and stuck to his insights very strictly. He travelled through Asia Minor, known as wonderworker, visionary and ascetic. Apollonius preached a monotheistic idea with sun god Helios (or Sol) being principal. According to his biographer Philostratus he was sentenced to death because of this in 93, although there were also accusations of ritual child murder. Others think the prophet died of natural causes.
Jesus Christ Parallel
Among his wonder deeds were healings of incurably illnesses and even resurrection. Especially these miracles make an easy comparison to Jesus Christ. In some works Apollonius is even placed above Christ. Philostratus wrote his biography around 217, building the story around (now lost) writings of Apollonius' pupils. The visionary himself has written a Pythagoras vita.
Apollonius is known especially as magician and creator of talismans that get rid of disease and evil. Particularly in the eastern part of the Roman Empire, these evil disposing symbols were countless. In Ecbatana he would reportedly have kept off snow, in Ktesiphon scorpions.
Symbol in poems and literature
The old story of a certain Lamia, a vampire who bewitched the beautiful boy Mennipus and was tamed by Apollonius' spells, has been passed down through the ages and is still known thanks to Keats' poem Lamia (1819). For modern ancient historians, Apollonius is an important symbol of the last rebels fighting Christianity and therefore struggling to keep up ancient Greek values. Dutch author Harry Mulisch refers to the prophet in several works.