Philostratus, Flavius

, an ancient Greek author, who wrote the life of Apollonius Tyanensis, and some other works still extant, was either of Athens, or Lemnos, and educated in the schools of the Sophists. He lived in the reign of the emperor Severus, from the years 193 to 212, and becoming known afterwards to Julia Augusta, the consort of Severus, he was one of those learned men whom this philosophic empress had continually about her, and it was by her command, that he wrote the “Life of Apoilonius Tyanensis.Suidas and Hesychius say, that he taught rhetoric, first at Athens, and then at Rome, from the reign of Severus to that of Philippus, who obtained the empire in the year 244. This “Life of Apollonius” is his most celebrated work, as far as celebrity can depend oh imposture, of which it contains abundant proofs. We have already, in our account of Apollonius, noticed its being refuted by Dupin, as a collection of fables, either invented or embellished by himself; but some of the most judicious strictures on Philostratus with which we are acquainted, may be found in bishop Douglas’s Criterion from p. 50, edit. 1807. | The works of Philostratus, however, originally published separately, have been thought not unworthy the attention of critics of the first class. Graevius had a design of giving a correct edition of them, as appears from the preface of Meric Casaubon, to a dissertation upon an intended edition of Homer, printed at London in 1658, 8vo. So had Bentley, who designed to add a new Latin version of his notes: and Fabricius says, that he saw the first sheet of Bentley’s edition printed at Leipsic in 1691. Both these designs being given up, a correct and beautiful edition, was published at Leipsic, in 1709, in folio, by Olearius. At the end of Apollonius’s “Life,” are ninety-five “Letters,” which go under his name, but bear all the marks of forgery. The “Lives of the Sophists,” which make part of Philostratus’ s works, contain many things, which are to be met with no where else; and his “Icones,” or images, are elegant descriptions and illustrations of some ancient paintings, and other particulars relating to the fine arts: to which Olearius has subjoined the description of some statues by Callistratus. The volume concludes with a collection of Philostratus’s “Letters:” but some of these, though it is not easy to determine which, were written by a nephew to the principal Philostratus, of the same name; as were also the last eighteen, in the book of images. This is the reason, why the title of Olearius’s edition runs, not “Philostrati,” but “Philostratorum qua? supersunt omnia.

There were many of the name of Philostratus among the ancients and there were many other works of the Philostratus here recorded but we have mentioned all that are extant. 1


Fabric. Bibl. Graec.—Vossius de Hist. Grac.Ulount’s Censura, —Moreri, —Saxii Onomast,