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Observations placeholder

Apollonius of Tyana prophesies



Type of Spiritual Experience


Vespasian's dissolute son Domitian was a tyrant peculiarly hateful to Apollonius.  In the midst of a discourse at Ephesus in the year 96AD Apollonius appears to have predicted his death, if not predicted it at least seen it, hence the two fold type of experience above - out of body he sees it, predicting it before it happen then it is prophecy, we will never know which as there are no times attached to the observation

A description of the experience

In honour of Apollonius of Tyana - Philostratus translated by J S Phillimore 1912

Apollonius stopped short as if he had broken down in what he had to say, gave an awful glance at the ground, advanced three or four steps and exclaimed

'Strike the tyrant, strike!'

Ephesus was terror-stricken: All the city was present at his discourse. He paused like a spectator waiting intently till a doubtful issue shall determine, and then said,

'Take heart, gentlemen; the tyrant has been slain this day.  This day?  Why by Athena, it was but now, just now,  at the very moment of uttering the words at which I stopped"

At that moment , away in Rome, hundreds of miles from Ephesus, a freedman, Stephanus was striking down the second son of Vespasian, the cruel tyrant Domitian.

Flammarion, C., Carroll, L, - Death and its mystery: before death


It was at noon. Apollonius happened to be in one of those little parks on the outskirts of Ephesus, speaking on grave philosophical subjects before hundreds of listeners. At a certain moment his voice dropped as if he had been seized by a sudden and profound emotion. Nevertheless he continued his discourse but more slowly, visibly troubled by the rush of ideas which were turning his mind from those with which he was occupied. Then he stopped completely, words seemed to fail him, as with a man who seeks to see the issue of an event.

Finally he cried out: “Be of good courage, Ephesians ! The tyrant has been killed to-day. What am I saying? To-day? By Jupiter! he has just been killed at this very instant when I stopped speaking."

The Ephesians thought that Apollonius had lost his mind, they wished ardently that he might have spoken the truth, but they feared that some danger might come to them from this speech.

"I am not surprised," said Apollonius, “if you do not yet believe me: Rome herself does not yet know all about it. But now she is learning of it; the news spreads; already thousands of men know it. It makes twice that number of men four times as many-the whole people wild with joy. The noise of it will come even here. You need not believe me until the moment when you are informed of the event, and put off, until then, the sacrifice you should offer the gods on this occasion; as for me, I am going to render thanks to them for what I have seen."

The Ephesians remained incredulous; but soon messengers arrived to announce the good news and bear witness to the correct divination of Apollonius, for the murder of the tyrant, the day on which it had occurred, the hour of noon, all these details agreed perfectly with those which the gods had shown him the day of his discourse to the Ephesians.

The source of the experience

Apollonius of Tyana

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Activity not known