Flavius Philostratus was a Greek sophist and belletrist born around 170, who studied in Athens but made his name in Rome. He is best known for his Life of Apollonius of Tyana, a romanticized account of the life of first century philosopher and seer, Apollonius. The work may have been based on the memoirs of a disciple of Apollonius, Damis of Nineveh, and was written to impress Empress Julia, wife of Severus. One incident in the Life, that of Apollonius's unmasking of a Corinthian disciple's bride as a vampire or lamia, was later the basis for John Keats' masterful poem, Lamia, in his collection of 1820. Philostratus's others works include The Lives of the Sophists and the Epistles.
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