Philostratus's Apollonius: A Case Study in Apologetics in the Roman Empire Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Hagstrom, Andrew
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Religious Studies
  • My argument is that Philostratus drew on the Christian gospels and acts to construct a narrative in which Apollonius both resembled and transcended Jesus and the Apostles. In the first chapter, I review earlier scholarship on this question from the time of Eusebius of Caesarea to the present. In the second chapter, I explore the context in which Philostratus wrote the VA, focusing on the Severan dynasty, the Second Sophistic, and the struggle for cultural supremacy between Pagans and Christians. In the third chapter, I turn to the text of the VA and the Christian gospels and acts. I point out specific literary parallels, maintaining that some cannot be explained by shared genre. I also suggest that the association of the Egyptian god Proteus with both Philostratus’s Apollonius and Jesus/Christians is further evidence for regarding VA as a polemical response to the Christians. In my concluding chapter, I tie the several strands of my argument together to show how they collectively support my thesis.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Plese, Zlatko
  • Ehrman, Bart D.
  • Rives, James
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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