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Abaris Biography
Abaris the Hyperborean was a semi-legendary physician , magician and prophet of Apollo who was commented upon by the philosopher Plato.

Abaris is said in apocryphal legends to have visited Greece several times around 770 BC. Variant legends favor a lower chronology for these visits as recently as two or three centuries later, possibly during epidemics of plague. According to such legends, Abaris travelled and fasted extensively throughout mainland Greece, using on a golden arrow which was the gift of god Apollo; he healed the sick, foretold the future, worked miracles, and delivered Sparta from miasmata coming from mount Taygetus. Apollo's magical arrow gave Abaris the power to fly, cure the sick, be invisible, and even make prophecies.

It was Plato who first mentioned the ancient, common and famous (not only mythological) attribute of Υπερβορέος for Αβάρις. This Abaris is a "physician" from the "north" in the dialogue Charmides (fragment 158 c). The quotes probably cover "thaumaturgy", respectively "Hyperborean" or "Realm beyond ours, in which The North Wind swept". Fragments 156d-157c further explained the principles of good medicine, as practiced by the "Thracians" (whoever they were, for the Attic reference to barbarians lacked the fine-grained ethnic identity which modern scholars are used to). Socrates detailed the principles for the young (and apparently beautiful) Charmides:

"As the eye cannot be healed without healing the head first, and the head cannot be healthy if the whole body is not healthy to start with, so the disease must be addressed by physicians at its very root, if we want to cure for real."
Real, in Platonic concepts, meant the higher realm of the soul. This Platonic soul is parsed nowadays into various technical brands of analysis. The soul is only diminutively connoted in post-modern medicine (hence the derogative but very apt name "shrink" for "headshrinker"). On the contrary, for the soul to thrive, there were harmonic principles to be followed, namely incantamenta, medicamenta and unguenta (incantations, medicines and unguents). According to Old European medical tradition, at that time they were all pointing to some special "material", certainly and utterly different from music, drugs and ointments.

Abaris, or more likely his mythic identity as employed by Plato, was held in high esteem by several late 3rd century A.D. neoplatonists, including Porphyrios and Iamblichus who also wrote about Abaris. Notably, they insisted on Abaris having given the arrow back to Pythagoras in whom he might have recognized god Apollo or only his hierurgical hypostasis. The Suda credited Abaris with several written works on Scythian oracles, the visit of Apollo to the Hyperboreans, expiatory formulas, and a prose theogony.

Understandably, in modern times, almost everything super-human, from telepresence to antigravitation, and from prolonged fasting to Pythagorean miracles, including immortality, levitation and resurrection from the dead, have been attributed to Abaris. This was done by mystery-loving commentators, based on false interpretations of the happax legomena in mainstream sources, including Suda, Hesychius, Stephanus Byzantinus and Isidorus Hispalensis.

If and how Abaris related to "magick" will probably remain unknown. This thick corpus of knowledge is neglected by the eurocentric medical schools, the hippocratic and the knidic. Despite being more recent, they had only led all the way down to what many describe as the current technoanimism of mainstream, official medicine. Hoewever, and in conclusion, the name of Abaris the Hyperborean which may be generical, is still revered. It could represent a confirmed and convenient way to refer to a medical tradition which has long disappeared, despite its obvious merits and long, attested effectivity.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Abaris.