History of Apollonius of Tyre, Chapters 14-15


The king, however, after he saw that Apollonius had departed, turned to his friends and said, “I swear to you my friends, by my life, that I have never bathed better than I did today with the assistance of one young man, whom I don’t even know! He looked at one of his servants and said, “Find out who that young man is, who did me such a gracious service.” The servant followed the young man, and as he saw him covered in a shabby cloak, he returned to the king and said, “Best of kings, the young man has been shipwrecked.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because, though he said nothing, his clothes indicated it,” the servant responded.

“Go to him at once and tell him that the king invites him to dinner.”

When the servant told Apollonius this, he agreed and followed him to the home of the king. The servant entered first and said, “The shipwrecked man is here, but hesitates to come in with such disgraceful clothing.” Immediately, the king ordered that he be decked out in worthy clothes and enter the dining room. Once Apollonius had come to the dining couch, the king said to him, “Take a load off, young man, and eat! The lord will give you anything: you will soon forget the travails of shipwreck!”

Immediately, Apollonius sat in the seat assigned to him, directly opposite the king. An appetizer was brought out, followed by the royal feast. While everyone else was dining, Apollonius alone did not eat, but rather looking at the gold, the silver, the feats, and the servants, he began weeping and looked at everything with a sense of sorrow. But one of the elder statesmen, who had his place next to the king, saw Apollonius looking at individual things in amazement, and looked back at the king to say, “Your good majesty, behold! The young man, to whom you showed such kindness of spirit, is jealous of your possessions and fortune!” The king responded to him, “Friend, your suspicions are unfounded: for the young man does not envy my possessions or fortune, but rather, as I imagine, demonstrates that he has lost a great deal.”

The king then looked at Apollonius with a merry countenance and said, “Young man, dine with us! Be merry, rejoice, and hope that the god will grant you better things!”


While the king was urging Apollonius on, suddenly the king’s daughter entered the room. She was beautiful, shining with gold, and indeed a fully mature young maiden. She gave a kiss to her father, and afterwards to each of her friends who were sitting there. In the process of her kisses, she arrived at the shipwreck, and returned to her father, saying, “Good king, best of fathers, who is this unknown stranger who reclines in the seat of honor opposite you, nursing some unknown sorrow with a sad countenance?” The king said to her, “This young man is a shipwreck and did me a most gracious service in the gymnasium today, for which I invited him to dinner. Who he is or where from, I do not know. But, if you wish, go ahead and ask him; for it is right, my wisest daughter, for you to know everything. Perhaps, if you learn his story, you will pity him.”

Since her father goaded her on so with such a true speech, she questioned Apollonius; she approached him and said, “Your silence may be rather sad, but your good bearing demonstrates that there is a certain nobility about you. If it is no trouble to you, tell me your name and all about your ill fortune.”

Apollonius responded, “If you are asking my name, I am called Apollonius; if you are asking about my treasure, I lost it in the sea.”

The girl then said, “Tell me a bit more openly, so that I may understand.”

14 Rex autem, ut vidit iuvenem discessisse, conversus ad amicos suos ait: “Iuro vobis, amici, per communem salutem, me melius nunquam lavisse nisi hodie, beneficio unius adolescentis, quem nescio.” Et intuens unum de famulis suis ait: “Iuvenis ille, qui mihi servitium gratissime fecit, vide, quis sit.” Famulus vero secutus est iuvenem, et ut vidit eum sordido tribunario coopertum, reversus ad regem ait: “Bone rex optime, iuvenis naufragus est.” Rex ait: “Et tu unde scis?” Famulus respondit: “Quia illo tacente habitus indicat.” Rex ait: “Vade celerius et dic illi: rogat te rex, ut ad cenam venias.”

Et cum dixisset ei, acquievit Apollonius et eum ad domum regis secutus est. Famulus prior ingressus dicit regi: “Adest naufragus, sed abiecto habitu introire confunditur.” Statim rex iussit eum dignis vestibus indui et ad cenam ingredi. Et ingresso Apollonio triclinium ait ad eum rex: “Discumbe, iuvenis, et epulare. Dabit enim tibi dominus, per quod damna naufragii obliviscaris!”

Statimque assignato illi loco Apollonius contra regem discubuit. Adfertur gustatio, deinde cena regalis. Cunctis epulantibus ipse solus non epulabatur, sed respiciens aurum, argentum, mensam et ministeria, flens cum dolore omnia intuetur.

Sed quidam de senioribus iuxta regem discumbens, ut vidit iuvenem singula quaeque curiose conspicere, respexit ad regem et ait: “Bone rex, vide, ecce, cui tu benignitatem animi tui ostendis, bonis tuis invidet et fortunae!” Cui ait rex: “Amice, suspicaris male: nam iuvenis iste non bonis meis aut fortunae meae invidet, sed, ut arbitror, plura se perdidisse testatur.” Et hilari vultu respiciens iuvenem ait: “Iuvenis, epulare nobiscum; laetare et gaude et meliora de deo spera!”

15 Et dum hortaretur iuvenem, subito introivit filia regis speciosa atque auro fulgens, iam adulta virgo; dedit osculum patri, post haec discumbentibus omnibus amicis. Quae dum oscularetur, pervenit ad naufragum. Retrorsum rediit ad patrem et ait: “Bone rex et pater optime, quis est hic iuvenis, qui contra te in honorato loco discumbit et nescio quid flebili vultu dolet?” Cui rex ait: “Hic iuvenis naufragus est et in gymnasio mihi servitium gratissime fecit; propter quod ad cenam illum invitavi. Quis autem sit aut unde, nescio. Sed si vis, interroga illum; decet enim te, filia sapientissima, omnia nosse. Et forsitan, dum cognoveris, misereberis illi.”

Hortante igitur patre verecundissimo sermone interrogatur a puella Apollonius, et accedens ad eum ait: “Licet taciturnitas tua sit tristior, generositas autem tuam nobilitatem ostendit. Sed si tibi molestum non est, indica mihi nomen et casus tuos.” Apollonius ait: “Si nomen quaeris, Apollonius sum vocatus; si de thesauro quaeris, in mari perdidi.” Puella ait: “Apertius indica mihi, ut intelligam.”

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