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  1. Perhaps no one living today knows this. Moreover, there is little historical evidence about the death of Apollonius of Tyana: they are practically exhausted by the eighth book of Flavius Philostratus the Younger (also known as Philostratus the Athenian), who was guided mainly by the notes of Apollonius ' associate and disciple Damidus of Assyria (as well as fragmentary testimonies of Maximus of Aegis) and some rumors (see Philostratus of Athens). The Life of Apollonius of Tyansky, Moscow: Nauka Publ., 1985, pp. 195-197; if desired, you can freely download here –

    According to Damidus, Appolonius himself took measures so that no one would know the circumstances of his death, confessing Maxim: “Live secretly, and if you don't know how, then at least die secretly.” So that Damidus would not know (and he is always with Apollonius), Apollonius sent him to the emperor Nerva with a letter, which, allegedly, could only be entrusted to him (although later it turned out that there was nothing special in the letter, and anyone could deliver it). And the last words that Apollonius said before parting: “Do not forget me, Damid, even when you have to make love alone.” Therefore, Philostratus states that the death of Apollonius “is told all sorts of things, but Damidus does not say anything about it.”

    And then he cites several rumors (“rumors”, “legends”) with different versions.

    According to one of them, the most “prosaic” and plausible, before Apollonius ' death, two slaves remained with him in Ephesus, one of whom he gave free rein (and according to Roman law, she became his heir, since there were no other heirs). Naturally, the second one was offended, and Apollonius allegedly told her: “It's good for you to be her slave here.” And when he died, the first, already a former slave, inherited all the property, including the second slave. Then she sold her to some rich man, and he fell in love, gave her freedom, and married her, and the second slave became a rich, well-respected lady (so, indeed, slavery brought her benefits).

    According to the second legend – the shortest version: “Apollonius passed away in Linda-entered the temple of Athena and disappeared there.”

    Finally, according to the third legend, Apollonius spent his last days in Crete, where a very incredible story happened. There, on one of the rocks of the northern coast, there was a temple of Diktinna (Cretan virgin goddess, companion of Artemis, patroness of sailors, hunters and fishermen). It was there that Apollonius entered during the night, for some reason known only to him. And since he supposedly also knew the language of animals, the fierce dogs guarding the temple not only did not bite, but, so to speak, went over to his side. This greatly displeased the watchmen, who seized Apollonius and chained him up “as a sorcerer and a robber.” However, he shook off the bonds and went into the sanctuary, the doors of which opened and slammed as Apollonius entered. And, according to legend, “a girl's song was heard from inside, and the song was:” Up from the earth, far away to heaven, come woe!”, which means: “Ascend from earth to heaven” (as Philostratus put it).

    However, how Apollonius ended up in Linda or Crete, if he sent Damis to Nerva from Ephesus, already on the verge of death, there is not even any legend left about this.

    In short, the real circumstances are unlikely to ever be established. In this respect, Apollonius did a better job than Empedocles (who was still given sandals), if we consider him a continuation of the same tradition (“miracle-working philosophers”). Although, perhaps, he did not try, because Philostratus painted artistically more than a century after Apollonius ' death. Hence, perhaps, the peculiar stylization of the traditions about his death in the spirit of Christianity. Personally, I think the most likely version of death in Ephesus. But this opinion, of course, does not oblige anyone to do anything.

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