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Ominous swans in Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius (1.5)


Miles, G, Ominous swans in Philostratus' Life of Apollonius (1.5), Mnemosyne, 70, (5) pp. 758-774. ISSN 0026-7074 (2017) [Refereed Article]

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© Koninklijke Brill NV 2016

DOI: doi:10.1163/1568525X-12342212


The opening chapters of Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius of Tyana present readers with a series of signs foreshadowing the future character of the text’s protagonist. This article addresses a little discussed omen at Apollonius’ birth: the appearance of swans who set up a chorus around the future philosopher’s mother, startling her and bringing on his birth, before departing, apparently on their annual migration. This curious avian episode is, on closer inspection, laden with evocations, which have so far been only partially explored: of the god Apollo, and of the philosophers Pythagoras, Plato and Socrates, specifically as Apollonian philosophers.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Latin and classical Greek literature
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Europe's past
UTAS Author:Miles, G (Dr Graeme Miles)
ID Code:111822
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2016-10-10
Last Modified:2018-09-12

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