Apollonius of Tyana and his party journey to Rome.
“Yes, by Zeus,” said Philolaus, “if you could do it with impunity; but if you are going to lose your life by going thither, and if Nero is going to devour you alive before you see anything of what he does, your interview with him will cost you dear, much dearer than it ever cost Ulysses to visit the Cyclops in his home; though he lost many of his comrades in his anxiety to see him, and because he yielded to the temptation of beholding so cruel a monster.”
Apollonius Approaches Rome.
NERO was opposed to philosophy, because he suspected its devotees of being addicted to magic, and of being diviners in disguise; and at last the philosopher’s mantle brought its wearers before law courts, as if it were a mere cloak of the divining art. I will not mention other names, but Musonius of Babylon, a man only second to Apollonius, was thrown into prison for the crime of being a sage, and there lay in danger of death; and he would have died for all his gaoler cared, if it had not been for the strength of his constitution.
Such was the condition in which philosophy stood when Apollonius was approaching Rome; and at a distance of one hundred and twenty stadia from its walls he met Philolaus of Cittium in the neighbourhood of the Grove of Aricia.
Now Philolaus was a Rome polished speaker, but too soft to bear any hardships. He had quitted Rome, and was virtually a fugitive, and any philosopher he met with he urged to take the same course. He accordingly addressed himself to Apollonius, and urged him to give way to circumstances, and not to proceed to Rome, where philosophy was in such bad odour; and he related to him what was taking place there, and as he did so he kept turning his head round, lest anybody should be listening behind him to what he said. “And you,” he said, “after attaching this band of philosophers to yourself, a thing which will bring you into suspicion and odium, are on your way thither, knowing nothing of the officers set over the gates by Nero, who will arrest you and them before ever you enter or get inside.”