14. Philostratus. De vita Apollonii (1501-1504).

2° ; [73], 73, [1] leaves; 295 x 189mm.

The life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus (b. ca. 170 A.D.) has been successively admired and dismissed as a fraud from the time of its writing. Apollonius was a wandering mystic from Asia Minor, active at about the beginning of the Christian era, who spent his life teaching, performing miracles, and visiting lands as distant as India. Aldus began publication of this work with his characteristic enthusiasm, but soon concluded that the work was worthless trash, actually stating this in the preface. For the sake of the work's profitability, one hopes that the buying public was not completely discouraged by this bizarre expression of opinion.

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