Nice feature in Fortean Times … here’s the incipit:
Alexander of Abonoteichus may not be one of the most famous figures of the second century AD… in fact, with a mouthful of a name like that it’s surprising anyone remembers him at all. But a Roman emperor threw lions into the Danube on the advice of Alexander’s talking snake, so he obviously made, well, a bit of a splash…
Alexander was born at the beginning of the second century and lived until the 170s. According to his own publicity, he was the prophet of a new god, Glycon, a purveyor of oracles and a healer; to his opponents, he was a charlatan and a conman. But the cult he started appealed to all classes of society and spread throughout the Roman Empire, surviving his own death by perhaps another century, which isn’t bad going if he was nothing but a trickster. [...]
… speaking of Fortean Times, one of my summer goals is to resume Barry Baldwin’s columns therefrom … stay tuned on that score.