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date: 18 January 2021


  • Walter Manoel Edwards,
  • Robert Browning,
  • Graham Anderson
  •  and Ewen Bowie


Up to four members of this family (probably Athenian, but property-owners on *Lemnos) can be tentatively distinguished on the basis of confused Suda entries φ 421–423: (1) Philostratus son of Verus, a sophist none of whose works probably survives. (2) His son L. Flavius Philostratus (‘the Athenian’—he held at least two high offices in Athens): his sophistic skills and connections brought him into the court of *Septimius Severus, whose wife *Iulia Domna (he says) prompted him to write (a) his eight-book novelistic biography of *Apollonius (12) of Tyana (τὰ ἐς τὸν Τυανέα Ἀπολλώνιον), published after ce 217. Later (perhaps in 242) he completed (b) Βίοι σοφιστῶν (‘Lives of the Sophists’), dedicated to a *Gordian. He probably also wrote: (c) Ἡρωïκός (‘On heroes’), a dialogue between a Phoenician sailor and a vintner exploring the cult and epiphanies of Protesilaus and other Trojan War heroes, ‘authorizing’ ‘eye-witness’ revision of some canonical details, (d) Γυμναστικός (‘On Athletic Training’) an essay both historical and protreptic on athletics with special attention to Olympia (where Philostratus was honoured with a statue, (e) a collection of some 50 very short ‘Love letters’ (plus some 15 others), (f) the second of two Διαλέξεις (‘Talks’), this on custom versus nature, (g) a short dialogue Νέρων (‘Nero’) transmitted with *Lucian's works, (h) a set of Εἰκόνες (‘Pictures’), lush but oblique descriptions of paintings supposedly in a gallery near Naples, purporting to instruct a ten-year-old boy (cf.

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