Epictetus's sage, like the Cynic Heraclitus and the gymnosophist Dandamis, considers himself to be engaged in an intimate relationship with this single theistic entity standing in close relationship to nature, but not fully identified with the cosmos itself.
'Les gymnosophistes etaient-ils des Cyniques modeles?' In Goulet-Caze & Goulet 1993:225-239.
His pliability and manoeuvrability, though not discreditable in these circumstances, lack the tranquil assurance of the Gymnosophists
with whom he is implicitly contrasted.(53)
Nevertheless, the existence of these texts and the wide range of sources mentioned by Porphyry are sufficient to suggest that Palladius' diatribe could have been developed entirely in Greek circles, though not necessarily Cynic ones.(48) Dombrowski remarks that Porphyry's gymnosophists sound remarkably like Neoplatonists!(49) The diatribe has been attributed to the Brahmans because of their known vegetarianism, though it does not preserve Brahmanical ideas, and attached to a predominantly Cynic account of the Brahmans.
Hamilton, Plutarch: Alexander - A Commentary (Oxford, 1969), 179; Claire Muckensturm, 'Les Gymnosophistes etaient-ils des cyniques modeles?' in M.
The Gymnosophists, to the man ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) Alexander, write this letter:
The gymnosophists demand nothing, refuse nothing, and make little more of their missive than a statement of identity.
(57) Meroe's government pursues a celestial harmony through the worship of the Sun and Moon, with a priest-king at its head and an advisory council of philosopher/saints, the Gymnosophists, and thus has correspondences with the solar/celestial oriented theologies of later antiquity as well as philosophical utopias like Iambulus' City of the Sun, Zeno of Citium's Stoic Cosmopolis or Campanella's much later City of the Sun.
Likewise the solar/celestial religion of Meroe and of Sisimithres' gymnosophists can be viewed in part as Heliodorus' imaginative dream of a more effective religion, (76) as Apuleius' Metamorphoses presents Isis worship (at least from Lucius' perspective) as an ideal type of religious experience.