[§1] The votaries of Pythagoras of Samos have this story to tell of him, that he was not an Ionian at all, but that, once on a time in Troy, he had been Euphorbus, and that he had come to life after death



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[§22] He also corrected the following abuse at Athens. The Athenians ran in crowds to the theater beneath the Acropolis to witness human slaughter, and the passion for such [gladiatorial] sports was stronger there than it is in Corinth today; for they would buy for large sums adulterers and fornicators and burglars and cut-purses and kidnappers and such-like rabble, and then they took them and armed them and set them to fight with one another. Apollonius then attacked these practices, and when the Athenians invited him to attend their assembly, he refused to enter a place so impure and reeking with gore
And this he said in an epistle to them; he said that he was surprised

"that the goddess [Athena] had not already quitted the Acropolis, when you shed such blood under her eyes. For I suspect that presently, when you are conducting the pan-Athenaic procession, you will no longer be content with bull, but will be sacrificing hecatombs of men to the goddess. And thou, O Dionysus, dost thou after such bloodshed frequent their theater? And do the wise among the Athenians pour libations to thee there? Nay do thou depart, O Dionysus. Holier and purer is thy Cithaeron."

Such were the more serious of the subjects which I have found he treated of at that time in Athens in his philosophical discourses.

[§45] Here too is a miracle which Apollonius worked: A girl had died just in the hour of her marriage, and the bridegroom was following her bier lamenting as was natural his marriage left unfulfilled, and the whole of Rome was mourning with him, for the maiden belonged to a consular family. Apollonius then witnessing their grief, said: "Put down the bier, for I will stay the tears that you are shedding for this maiden."

And withal he asked what was her name. The crowd accordingly thought that he was about to deliver such an oration as is commonly delivered to grace the funeral as to stir up lamentation; but he did nothing of the kind, but merely touching her and whispering in secret some spell over her, at once woke up the maiden from her seeming death; and the girl spoke out loud, and returned to her father's house, just as Alcestis did when she was brought back to life by Heracles. And the relations of the maiden wanted to present him with the sum of 150,000 sesterces, but he said that he would freely present the money to the young lady by way of dowry.

Now whether he detected some spark of life in her, which those who were nursing her had not noticed -for it is said that although it was raining at the time, a vapor went up from her face- or whether her life was really extinct, and he restored it by the warmth of his touch, is a mysterious problem which neither I myself nor those who were present could decide.



Book 6.

[§29] After [Vespasian's son] Titus had taken Jerusalem, and when the country all round was filled with corpses, the neighboring races offered him a crown; but he disclaimed any such honor to himself, saying that it was not himself that had accomplished this exploit, but that he had merely lent his arms to God, who had so manifested his wrath; and Apollonius praised his action, for therein he displayed a great deal of judgment and understanding of things human and divine, and it showed great moderation on his part that he refused to be crowned because he had shed blood. Accordingly Apollonius indited to him a letter which he sent by the hands of Damis and of which the text was as follows:

Apollonius sends greetings to Titus the Roman general.


     Whereas you have refused to be proclaimed for success in war and for shedding the blood of your enemies, I myself assign to you the crown of temperance and moderation, because you thoroughly understand what deeds really merit a crown. Farewell.

Now Titus was overjoyed with this epistle, and replied:

In my own behalf I thank you, no less then  in behalf of my father, and I will not forget your kindness; for although I have captured Jerusalem, you have captured me.
[§30] And after Titus had been proclaimed autocrat in Rome and rewarded with the meed of his valor, he went away to become the colleague in empire of his father; but he did not forget Apollonius, and thinking that even a short interview with him would be precious to himself, he besought him to come to Tarsus; and when he arrived he embraced him, saying: "My father has told me by letter everything in respect of which he consulted you; and lo, here is his letter, in which you are described as his benefactor and the being to whom we owe all that we are. Now though I am only just thirty years of age, I am held worthy of the same privileges which my father only attained at the age of sixty. I am called to the throne and to rule, perhaps before I have learned myself to obey, and I therefore dread lest I am undertaking a task beyond my powers." 

Thereupon Apollonius, after stroking his neck, said (for had as stout a neck as any athlete in training): "And who will force so sturdy a bull-neck as yours under the yoke?"

"He that from my youth up reared me as calf," answered Titus, meaning his own father, and implying that he could only be controlled by the latter, who had accustomed him from childhood to obey himself.

"I am delighted then," said Apollonius, "in the first place to see you prepared to subordinate yourself to your father, whom without being his natural children so many are delighted to obey, and next to see you rendering to his court a homage in which others will associate yourself. When youth and age are paired in authority, is there any lyre or any flute that will produce so sweet a harmony and so nicely blended? For the qualities of old age will be associated with those of youth, with the result that old age will gain in strength and youth in discipline."



[§31] "And for myself, O man of Tyana," answered Titus, "can you give me any precepts as to how to rule and exercise the authority of a sovereign?"

"Only such rules," replied the other, "as you have laid upon yourself; for in so submitting yourself to your father's will, it is, I think, certain that you will grow like him. And I should like to repeat to you on this occasion a saying of Archytas, which is a noble one and worth committing to memory. Archytas was a man of Tarentum who was learned in the lore of Pythagoras, and he wrote a treatise on the education of children, in which he says:

Let the father be an example of virtue to his children, for fathers also will the more resolutely walk in the path of virtue because their children are coming to resemble them.

But for myself, I propose to associate with you my own companion Demetrius, who will attend you as much as you like and instruct you in the whole duty of a good ruler."

"And what sort of wisdom, O Apollonius, does this person possess?"

"Courage," he replied, "to speak the truth unabashed by anyone, for he possesses the constancy and strength of character of a cynic."

And as Titus did not seem very pleased to hear the name of dog, he continued: "And yet in Homer, Telemachus, when he was young, required, it appears, two dogs, and the poet sends these to accompany the youth to the market place of Ithaca, in spite of their being irrational animals; but you will have a dog to accompany you who will bark in your behalf not only at other people, but at yourself in case you go wrong, and he will bark withal wisely, and never irrationally."

"Well," said the other, "give me your dog to accompany me, and I will even let him bite me, in case he feels I am committing injustice."

"I will write him a letter, for he teaches philosophy in Rome."

"Pray do so," said Titus, "and I wish I could get someone to write to you in my behalf, and induce you to share with me my journey to Rome."

"I will come there," said the other, "whenever it is best for both of us."
[§32] Then Titus dismissed the company, and said: "Now that we are alone, O man of Tyana, you will allow me perhaps to ask you a question upon matters of grave importance to myself."

"Pray do so," said the other, "and do so all the more readily because the matter is so important."

"It is about my own life," said the other, "and I would feign know whom I ought most to be on my guard against. That is my question, and I hope you will not think me cowardly for already being anxious about it."

"Nay, you are only cautious," said the other, "and circumspect; for a man ought to be more careful about this than about anything else."

And glancing at the Sun he swore by that god that he had himself intended to address Titus about this matter even if he had not asked him. "For," he said, "the gods have told me to warn you, so long as your father is alive, to be on your guard against his bitterest enemies, but after his death against your own kith and kin."

"And," said Titus, "in what way am I to die?"

"In the same way," said the other, "as Odysseus is said to have died, for they say that he too met with his death by the sea."

Damis interprets the above utterance as follows: Namely, that he was to be on his guard against the cusp of the fish called the trygon, with which they say Odysseus was wounded. Anyhow, after he had occupied the throne for two years, in succession of his father, he died through eating the fish called the sea-hare; and this fish, according to Damis, causes secret humors in the body worse and more fatal than anything else either in the sea or on land.

And Nero, he says, introduced this sea-hare in his dishes to poison his worst enemies; and so did Domitian in order to remove his brother Titus, not because he objected to sharing his throne with his brother, but to sharing it with one who was both gentle and good.

Such was their conversation in private, after which they embraced one another in public, and as Titus departed Apollonius greeted him with these last words: "Pray you, my King, overcome your enemies by your arms, but your father by your virtues."


[§33] But the letter to Demetrius ran as follows:

"Apollonius, the Philosopher, sends greeting to Demetrius the cynic.


     I have made a present of you to the Emperor Titus, that you may instruct him how to behave as a sovereign, and take care that you confirm the truth of my words to him, and make yourself, anger apart, everything to him. Farewell."

[§34] Now the inhabitants of Tarsus had previously detested Apollonius, because of the violent reproaches which he addressed to them, owing to the fact that through their languid indifference and sensual indolence they could not put up with the vigor of his remarks. But on this occasion they became such devoted admirers of our hero as to regard him as their second founder and the mainstay of their city.

For on one occasion the Emperor was offering a sacrifice in public, when the whole body of citizens met and presented a petition to him asking for certain great favors; and he replied that he would mention the matter to his father, and be himself their ambassador to procure them what they wanted; whereupon Apollonius stepped forward and said: "Supposing I convicted some who are standing here of being your own and your father's enemies, and of having sent legates to Jerusalem to excite a rebellion, and of being the secret allies of your most open enemies, what would happen to them?"

"Why, what else," said the Emperor, "than instant death?"

"Then is it not disgraceful," replied Apollonius, "that you should be instant in demanding their punishment, and yet dilatory in conferring a boon; and be ready yourself to undertake the punishment, but reserve the benefaction until you can see and consult your father?"

But the king, over-delighted with this remark, said: "I grant the favors they ask for, for my father will not be annoyed at my yielding to truth and to yourself."

Book 7.

[§10] Moved by these considerations Domitian had already written to the governor of Asia, directing the man of Tyana to be arrested and brought to Rome, when the latter foreseeing in his usual way through a divine instinct what was coming, told his companions that he needed to depart on a mysterious voyage; and they were reminded of the opinion enunciated by [the legendary sage] Abaris of old, and felt that he was intent upon some such scheme.

Apollonius however, without revealing his intention even to Damis, set sail in his company for Achaea, and having landed at Corinth and worshipped the Sun about midday, with his usual rites, embarked in the evening for Sicily and Italy. And falling in with a favorable wind and a good current that ran in his direction, he reached Dicaearchia [Puteoli] on the fifth day.

There he met Demetrius who passed for being the boldest of the philosophers, simply because he did not live far away from Rome, and knowing that he had moved to get out of the way of the tyrant, yet said by way of amusing himself: "I have caught you in your luxury, dwelling here in the most blessed part of happy Italy, if indeed she be happy, here where Odysseus is said to have forgotten in the company of Calypso the smoke of his Ithacan home."

Thereupon Demetrius embraced him and after sundry pious ejaculations said: "O ye gods, what will come upon philosophy, if she risks the loss of such a man as yourself?"

"And what risks does she run?" asked he.

"Those, surely, a foreknowledge of which brought you here," said the other; "for if I do not know what is in your mind, then I do not know what is in my own. But let us not conduct our conversation here, but let us retire where we can talk together alone, and let only Damis be present whom, by Heracles, I am inclined to consider an Iolaus [4] of your labors."



[§11] With these words, Demetrius led them to the villa in which [the Roman orator] Cicero lived of old, and it is close by the city. There they sat down under a plane tree where the grasshoppers were chirping to the soft music of the summer's breeze, when Demetrius glancing up at them, remarked: "O ye blessed insects and unfeignedly wise, it would seem then that the Muses have taught you a song which is neither actionable, nor likely to be informed against; and they made you superior to all wants of the belly, and settled you far above all human envy to live in these trees, in which you sit and sing in your blessedness about your own and the Muses' prerogative of happiness." 

Now Apollonius understood the drift of this apostrophe, but it jarred upon him as inconsistent with the strenuous professions of his friend. "It seems then," he said, "that, though you only wanted to sing the praises of grasshoppers, you could not do it openly, but came cowering hither, as if there were a public law against anyone praising the grasshoppers."

"I said what I did," he replied, "not by way of praising them, but of signifying that while they are left unmolested in their concert halls, we are not allowed even to mutter; for wisdom has been rendered a penal offense. And whereas the indictment of Anytus and Meletus ran: Socrates commits wrong in corrupting youth and introducing a new religion, we are indicted in such terms as these: So and so commits wrong by being wise and just and gifted with understanding of the gods no less than of men, and with a wide knowledge of the laws.

And as for yourself, so far forth as you are cleverer and wiser than the rest of us, so much the more cleverly is the indictment against you drawn up; for Domitian intends to implicate you in the charges for which Nerva and his associates were banished."

"But for what crime," said Apollonius, "are they banished?"

"For what is reckoned by the persecutor to be the greatest of latter-day crimes. He says that he has caught these persons in the act of trying to usurp his throne, and accuses you of instigating their attempt by mutilating, I think, a boy."

"What, as if it were by an eunuch, that I want his empire overthrown?"

"It is not that," he replied, "of which we are falsely accused; but they declare that you sacrificed a boy to divine the secrets of futurity which are to be learned from an inspection of youthful entrails; and in the indictment your dress and manner of life are also impugned, and the fact of your being an object of worship to some. This then is what I have heard from our Telesinus, no less your intimate than mine."

"What luck," exclaimed Apollonius, "if we could meet Telesinus: for I suppose you mean the philosopher who held consular rank in the reign of Nero."

"The same," he said, "but how are we to come across him? For despots are doubly suspicious of any man of rank, should they find him holding communication with people who lie under such an accusation as you do. And Telesinus, moreover, gave way quietly before the edict which has lately been issued against philosophers of every kind, because he preferred to be in exile as a philosopher, to remain in Rome as a consul."

"I would not have him run any risks on my account anyhow," said Apollonius, "for the risks he runs in behalf of philosophy are serious enough.

[§12] But tell me this, Demetrius, what do you think I had better say or do in order to allay my own fears?"

"You had better not trifle," said the other, "nor pretend to be afraid when you foresee danger; for if you really thought these accusations terrifying, you would have been away by now and evaded the necessity of defending yourself from them."

"And would you run away," said Apollonius, "if you were placed in the same danger as myself?"

"I would not," he replied, "I swear by Athena, if there were someone to judge me; but in fact there is no fair trial, and if I did offer a defense, no one would even listen to me; or if I were listened to, I should be slain all the more certainly because I was known to be innocent. You would not, I suppose, care to see me choose so cold-blooded and lavish a death as that, rather than one which befits a philosopher.

And I imagine that it behoves a philosopher to die in the attempt to liberate his city or to protect his parents and children and brothers and other kinsfolk, or to die struggling for his friends, who in the eyes of the wise are more precious than mere kinsfolk, or for favorites that have been purchased by love. But to be put to death not for true reasons, but for fancy ones, and to furnish the tyrant with a pretext for being considered wise, is much worse and more grievous than to be bowed and bent high in the sky on a wheel, as they say Ixion was.

But it seems to me the very fact of your coming here will be the beginning of your trial; for though you may attribute your journey hither to your quiet conscience, and to the fact that you would have never ventured upon it if you were guilty, Domitian will credit you with nothing of the kind; but will merely believe that you ventured on so hardy a course because you possess some mysterious power. For think, ten days, they say, have not elapsed since you were cited to appear, and you turn up at the court, without even having heard as yet that you were to undergo a trial. 

 
Will not that be tantamount to justifying the accusation, for everyone will think that you foreknew the event, and the story of the boy will gain credit therefrom? And take care that the discourse which the say you delivered about the Fates and Necessity in Ionia does not come true of yourself; and that, in case destiny has some cruelty in store, you are not marching straight to meet it with your hands tied, just because you won't see that discretion is the better part of valor.

And if you have not forgotten the affairs of Nero's reign, you will remember my own case, and that I showed no coward's dread of death. But then one gained some respite: for although Nero's harp was ill attuned to the dignity that befits a king, and clashed therewith, yet in other ways its music harmonized not unpleasantly with ours, for he was induced thereby to grant a truce to his victims, and stay his murderous hand. At any rate he did not slay me, although I attracted his sword to myself as much by your discourses as by my own, which were delivered against the bath; and the reason why he did not slay me was that just then his voice improved, and he achieved, as he thought, a brilliant melody.

But where's the royal nightingale, and where the harp to which we can today make our peace-offerings? For the outlook of today is unredeemed by music, and full of spleen, and this tyrant is as little likely to be charmed by himself, as by other people. It is true that Pindar says in praise of the lyre that it charms the savage beast of [the war god] Ares and stays his hand from war; but this ruler, although he has established a musical contest in Rome, and offers a civic crown for those who win therein, nevertheless slew some of them, for whom it was the proverbial swan-sung that they piped or sang.

And you should also consider our friends and their safety, for you will certainly ruin them as well as yourself, if you make a show of being brave, or use arguments which will not be listened to.

But your life lies within your reach; for here are ships -you see how many there are- some about to sail for Libya, others for Egypt, others for Phoenicia and Cyprus, others direct to Sardinia, other still for places beyond Sardinia. It were best for you to embark on one of these provinces; for the hand of tyranny is less heavy upon these distinguished men, if it perceives that they only desire to live quietly and not put themselves forward."

[§13] Damis was so impressed by the arguments of Demetrius that he exclaimed: "Well, you anyhow are a friend and by your presence you can do a very great service to my master here. As for me, I am of little account, and if I advised him not to throw somersaults upon naked swords, nor expose himself to risks with tyrants, than whom none were ever yet deemed harsher, he would not listen to me. As a matter of fact I should never have known, if I had not met you, what he meant by his journey hither; for I follow him more readily, more blindly, than another man would follow himself; and if you asked me where I am bound or for what, I should merely excite your laughter by telling you that I was traversing the seas of Sicily and the bays of Etruria, without knowing in the least why I took ship.

And if only I were courting these dangers after I had received open warning, I could then say to those who asked me the question, that Apollonius was courting death, and that I was accompanying him on board ship because I was his rival in his passion. But as I know nothing of this matter, it's time for me to speak of what I do know; and I will say it in the interests of my master.

For if I were put to death, it would not do much harm to philosophy, for I am like the esquire of some distinguished soldier, and am only entitled to consideration because I am his suite. But if someone is going to be set on to slay him, and tyrants find it easy to contrive plots and to remove obstacles from their path, the I think a regular trophy will have been raised over the defeat of philosophy in the person of the noblest of her human representatives; and as there are many people lurking in our path, such as were Anytus and Meletus, writs of information will be scattered from all quarters at once against the companions of Apollonius; one will be accused of having laughed when his master attacked tyranny, another of having encouraged him to talk, a third of having suggested to him a topic to talk about, a fourth of having left his lecture-room with praise on his lips for what he had heard.

I admit that one ought to die in the cause of philosophy in the sense of dying for one's temples, one's own walls, and one's sepulchers; for there are many famous heroes who have embraced death in order to save and protect such interests as those; but I pray that neither I myself may die in order to bring about the ruin of philosophy, and that no one else either may die for such an object who loves philosophy and loves Apollonius."





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