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Latin Oracle

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The word oracle in Greek can mean several related things. It means a God who predicts the future like Apollo. It also means a priest who hears a message, the message itself, and the place where the priest hears the message. Most often however it means the priest or the message. The Greeks believed that you could communicate with the gods at certain places, at certain times through certain people, and that the gods would give you advice and maybe tell you what was going to happen in the future. Oracles were the spiritual link between the gods and mortal men. Consulted not just by the poor and strictly religious, but by everyone from kings to beggars. Such oracles were numerous Herodotus lists five in mainland Greece. Also one in Asia Minor who was supposedly consulted by Lydian king Croesus (cro-seus) in the sixth century. The business of a "general purpose" oracle is to answer enquiries asked by individuals and sometimes by states. Most ask how to keep divine favour such as which sacrifices need to be made, whether to sail or to lend or to marry. ...read more.


A sacrifice always took place outside the temple if the signs were good they would be allowed in if not they wouldn't. The Pythia prepared herself for the consultation by purification at the Castilian spring. She would at the start of the consultation burn laurel leaves and barley meal on the altar. Crowned with laurel she would then sit on the tripod and become "possessed" by the God. Shaking a laurel branch she would prophesise under divine influence. The Delphic oracle was probably one of the most famous oracles in ancient Greek history. She was the oracle of Apollo residing in a large temple at Delphi consulted by many including Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great visited the Delphic oracle wishing to hear a prophecy that he would soon conquer the entire ancient world. To his surprise the oracle refused a direct comment and asked him to come later. Furious, Alexander dragged the Pythia by the hair out of the chamber until she screamed "let go of me, you're unbeatable". The moment he heard these words he dropped her saying "Now I have my answer". ...read more.


But it is no different from the horoscopes girls by in magazines nor those in the paper. Hundreds of people ring The Psychic hotline every day. In truth an oracle is better than all these things. Your trip would be like a day out; you would get to know the priests who worked there. Not to mention if you were going to ask a question like "am I at threat from murder?" that a person who planned to kill you had been before and asked if it was a good idea or of course if you were not they wouldn't have been. Oracles continued to answer questions up until 390AD the one at Delphi lasted for more than 1000 years. But towards the end, fewer and fewer people came. In the very end, the Roman emperor Theodosius decided that a Christian emperor shouldn't let people worship Apollo at Delphi and he ordered the shrine to shut down. The doom of oracles had been decided. Whether they were true or not, silly or not, oracles were a big part of ancient Greek culture and life, deciding and sealing the fate of many. The art of divination has survived to this very day. THE END ~ DA DAR (said in a pirate accent) ...read more.

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