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"From Sorcerer to Philosopher: The Affordances of Epistolarity in Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius"
Apollonius of Tyana was an ancient holy man with a divided reputation. Some thought he was a sophisticated philosopher, with deep wisdom about the divine. Others thought he was a sorcerer, who deceived many with clever tricks. Historians of religion are interested in these contentious figures and the various strategies used to shape their reputations for later generations. This paper focuses on the earliest extant biography of Apollonius and asks how its author used a simple literary form - the letter - to paint a portrait of Apollonius as a philosopher, not a sorcerer.
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