tinctly and in a fashion close to death. His soul would escape from his body and wander through the ether like a bird, observing everything beneath, land, sea, rivers, cities, peoples, their experiences and the natural world. Then it would enter into his body again and set it back on its feet, as if it were making use of an instrument, and it would recount the various things it had seen and heard among the various peoples.

FOR MAXIMUS, AS for OTHERS, the ASSOCIATION between reincarnation and soul-projection was an obvious one, as was the bond between Pythagoras and Aristeas.

7 Aristeas of Proconnesus: Soul-projection, metempsychosis, and bilocation

Herodotus 4.13-6 Greek

13. The Proconessian poet Aristeas, son of Cay-strobius, said that he was possessed by Apollo [phoibolamptos] and came to the Issedones, and that beyond the Issedones lived the one-eyed Arimaspians, and beyond these the gold-guarding griffins, and beyond these again the Hyperboreans, the last people before the sea. He said that all these peoples apart from the Hyperboreans were forever attacking their neighbors, and that the Arimaspians started it. The Isse-dones were being expelled from their territory by the Arimaspians, the Scythians from theirs by the Issedones, and that the Cimmerians who live on the southern sea [i.e., the Black Sea] abandoned their territory under pressure from the Scythians. Thus Aristeas too disagrees with the Scythians about this land.

14. I have told where the Aristeas that said these things came from. Now I shall tell the story I heard about him in Proconnesus and Cyzicus. They tell that Aristeas, from one of Proconnesus's best families, went into a fuller's in the city and dropped dead. The fuller shut up shop and went off to inform the dead man's relatives. The news of Aristeas's death spread throughout the city, but it was disputed by a man of Cyzicus who had just come from the city of Artace. He said that he had met Aristeas heading for Cyzicus and had had a conversation with him. His denial was strenuous. Meanwhile, the dead man's relatives arrived at the fuller's with the appropriate accoutrements to perform the funeral. When the room was opened up there was no Aristeas to be seen, dead or alive. Seven years later he rematerialized in Proconessus and composed the poem that is now known by the Greeks as the Arimaspeia, only to disappear again as soon as he was done. 15. This is the story one hears in these two cities, but I know for sure what happened to the Metapon-tines in Italy two hundred and forty years after Aristeas's second disappearance, as I discovered by making calculations in Proconessus and Metapontum. The Metapon-tines tell that Aristeas made an actual appearance in their country and bade them establish an altar for Apollo and to erect by its side a statue bearing the legend "Aristeas of Proconessus." For, he explained, they were the only people in Italy to whose land Apollo had come, and that he himself, who was now Aristeas, had attended him. But at the time he had attended him, he had been a crow. After saying this he disappeared. The Metapontines sent to Delphi and asked the god what this manifestation/ghost [phasma] of the person was, and the Pythia bade them obey it and told them that they would benefit from doing so. On receipt of this response they carried out the instructions. And there now stands a statue bearing the legend "Aristeas" beside the actual effigy of Apollo. Laurels surround it, in the marketplace. No more need be said of Aristeas.

16. No one really knows for sure about the land currently at issue. I haven't been able to interrogate anyone who claims to have seen it for himself. And not even Aristeas, whom I mentioned just above, claimed in his poems to have gone beyond the Issedones, but he described the peoples to their north on the basis of hearsay alone, and explained that he had his information from the Issedones. But I shall lay everything out as accurately as possible and covering the furthest distance possible.

COMPARISON WITH OTHER SHAMAN STORIES indicates that the Proconessus-Cyzicus narration (14) has been conflated from two or three different tales:

1. A tale in which Aristeas performed bilocation, as Pythagoras could (3).

2. A tale in which Aristeas's soul could temporarily leave his body as dead and wander at will before returning to it and reanimating it (see 6).

3. A tale in which Aristeas dematerialized completely before remate-rializing again after an extended interval (as in 15).

Aristeas was evidently supposed to have made his journey to the fantastic lands north of the Black Sea by means of soul-projection. The term phoibo-lamptos apparently describes the ecstatic condition in which this was achieved. The more cynical might observe that Aristeas's island of Procones-sus, situated in the Propontis, was an obvious collection point for travelers' lore about the lands around the Black Sea. Aristeas's reappearance is undated, but even if recent at the time of Herodotus's writing, it puts his original lifetime back in the early seventh century. He was to be referred to by Strabo as a sorcerer (goes) par excellence (C589 F16). For Aristeas's detached soul as a bird see 5, 6; the crow was sacred to Apollo. For the Pythagorean connection with Metapontum see 3.

Apollonius Historiae Mirabiles 3


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