18 China edit main articles: Oracle bone and i ching In China, oracle bones were used for divination in the make late Shang dynasty, (c. Diviners applied heat to these bones, usually ox scapulae or tortoise plastrons, and interpreted the resulting cracks. A different divining method, using the stalks of the yarrow plant, was practiced in the subsequent Zhou dynasty (1046256 BC). Around the late 9th century bc, the divination system was recorded in the i ching, or "book of Changes a collection of linear signs used as oracles. In addition to its oracular power, the i ching has had a major influence on the philosophy, literature and statecraft of China since the Zhou period. Celtic polytheism edit In Celtic polytheism, divination was performed by the priestly caste, either the druids or the vates. This is reflected in the role of "seers" in Dark Age wales ( dryw ) and Ireland ( fáith ). Hinduism edit In ancient India, the oracle was known as akashwani or Ashareera vani (a person without body or unseen) or Asariri (Tamil literally meaning "voice from the sky" and was related to the message of a god. Oracles played key roles in many of the major incidents of the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana.
The oracle was shared by dione and zeus. Trophonius edit Trophonius was an oracle at Lebadea of boeotia devoted to the chthonian zeus Trophonius. Trophonius is derived from the Greek word "trepho" (nourish) and he was a greek hero, or demon or god. Demeter - europa was his nurse. 13 Europa (in Greek: broad-eyes) was a phoenician princess whom zeus, having transformed himself into a white bull, abducted and carried to Creta, and is equated with Astarte as a moon goddess by ancient sources. 14 Some scholars connect Astarte with the minoan snake goddess, whose cult as Aphrodite spread from Creta to Greece. 15 Oracle of Menestheus edit near the menestheus's port or Menesthei portus ( Greek : Μενεσθέως λιμήν modern El puerto de santa maría, spain, was the Oracle of Menestheus ( Greek : Μαντεῖον το Μενεσθέως to whom, also, the inhabitants of Gades offered sacrifices. 16 17 "Oracles" in other cultures edit main article: divination The term "oracle" is also applied in modern English to parallel institutions of divination in other cultures. Specifically, it is used in the context of Christianity for the concept of divine revelation, and in the context of Judaism for the Urim and Thummim breastplate, and in general any utterance considered prophetic.
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Another was the response to the Athenians when the vast army of king Xerxes I was approaching Athens with the intent of razing the city to the ground. "Only the wooden palisades may save you" citation needed, answered the oracle, probably aware that there was sentiment for sailing to the safety of southern Italy and re-establishing Athens there. Some thought that it was a recommendation to fortify the Acropolis with a wooden fence and make a stand there. Others, Themistocles among them, said the oracle was clearly for fighting at sea, the metaphor intended to mean war ships. Others still insisted that their nursing case was so hopeless that they should board every ship available and flee to Italy, where they would be safe beyond any doubt. In the event, variations of all three interpretations were attempted: some barricaded the Acropolis, the civilian population was evacuated over sea to nearby salamis Island and to Troizen, and the war fleet fought victoriously at Salamis bay. Should utter destruction have happened, it could always be claimed that the oracle had called for fleeing to Italy after all.
Dodona was another oracle devoted to the mother Goddess identified at other sites with Rhea or gaia, but here called dione. The shrine of Dodona was the oldest Hellenic oracle, according to the fifth-century historian Herodotus and in fact dates to pre-hellenic times, perhaps as early as the second millennium bc when the tradition indeed probably spread from Egypt. Zeus displaced the mother goddess and assimilated her as Aphrodite. It became the second most important oracle in ancient Greece, which later was dedicated to zeus and to heracles during the classical period of Greece. At Dodona zeus was worshipped as zeus naios or naos (god of springs naiads, from a spring which existed under the oak and zeus bouleos (cancellor). Priestesses and priests interpreted the rustling of the oak leaves to determine the correct actions to be taken.
Croesus, king of Lydia beginning in 560. C., tested the oracles of the world to discover which gave the most accurate prophecies. He sent out emissaries to seven sites who were all to ask the oracles on the same day what the king was doing at that very moment. Croesus proclaimed the oracle at Delphi to be the most accurate, who correctly reported that the king was making a lamb-and-tortoise stew, and so he graced her with a magnitude of precious gifts. 9 he then consulted Delphi before attacking Persia, and according to herodotus was advised: "If you cross the river, a great empire will be destroyed". Believing the response favourable, croesus attacked, but it was his own empire that ultimately was destroyed by the persians.
She allegedly also proclaimed that there was no man wiser than Socrates, to which Socrates said that, if so, this was because he alone was aware of his own ignorance. After this confrontation, socrates dedicated his life to a search for knowledge that was one of the founding events of western philosophy. He claimed that she was "an essential guide to personal and state development." 10 This Oracle's last recorded response was given in 362 ad, to julian the Apostate. 11 The oracle's powers were highly sought after and never doubted. Any inconsistencies between prophecies and events were dismissed as failure to correctly interpret the responses, not an error of the oracle. 12 Very often prophecies were worded ambiguously, so as to cover all contingencies especially so ex post facto. One famous such response to a query about participation in a military campaign was "you will go you will return never in war will you perish". This gives the recipient liberty to place a comma before or after the word "never thus covering both possible outcomes.
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As a result, seers were the main source of everyday divination. The temple was changed to a centre for the worship of Apollo during the classical period of Greece and priests were added to the temple organization—although the tradition regarding prophecy remained unchanged—and the priestesses continued to provide the services of the oracle exclusively. It is from this institution that the English word, oracle, is derived citation needed. The delphic movie Oracle exerted considerable influence throughout Hellenic culture. Distinctively, this female was essentially the highest authority both civilly and religiously in male-dominated ancient Greece. She responded to the questions of citizens, foreigners, kings, and philosophers on issues of political impact, war, duty, crime, family, laws—even personal issues. 8 The semi-hellenic countries around the Greek world, such as Lydia, caria, and even Egypt also respected help her and came to delphi as supplicants.
Python, daughter (or son) of gaia was the earth dragon of Delphi represented as a serpent and became the chthonic deity, enemy of Apollo, who slew her and possessed the oracle. 5 Pythia (Delphi) edit When the Prytanies' seat shines white in the island of Siphnos, White-browed all the forum—need then of a true seer's wisdom— danger will threat from a wooden boat, and a herald in scarlet. — The pythoness, in The histories, herodotus. 6 The pythia was the mouthpiece of the oracles of the god Apollo, and was also known as the Oracle of Delphi. 7 The pythia was not conceived to be infallible and in fact, according to sourvinou-inwood in What is Polis Religion?, the ancient Greeks were aware of this and concluded the unknowability of the divine. In this way, the revelations of the Oracles were not seen as objective truth (as they consulted many) see: Hyp. The pythia gave prophecies only on the seventh day of each month, seven being the number most associated with supply Apollo, during the nine warmer months of the year; thus, delphi was the major source of divination for the ancient Greeks. Many wealthy individuals bypassed the hordes of people attempting a consultation by making additional animal sacrifices to please the oracle lest their request go unanswered.
are a collection of oracular utterances written in Greek hexameters ascribed to the sibyls, prophetesses who uttered divine revelations in frenzied states. Origins edit walter Burkert observes that "Frenzied women from whose lips the god speaks" are recorded in the near East as in Mari in the second millennium bc and in Assyria in the first millennium. 2 In Egypt the goddess Wadjet (eye of the moon) was depicted as a snake-headed woman or a woman with two snake-heads. Her oracle was in the renowned temple in Per-Wadjet (Greek name buto ). The oracle of Wadjet may have been the source for the oracular tradition which spread from Egypt to Greece. 3 evans linked Wadjet with the " Minoan Snake goddess ". 4 At the oracle of Dodona she is called Diōnē (the feminine form of diós, genitive of pdyaeus ; or of dīos, "godly literally "heavenly who represents the earth-fertile soil, probably the chief female goddess of the pie pantheon.
For other uses, see, oracle (disambiguation). In classical antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to provide wise and insightful counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the god. As such it is a form of divination. The word oracle comes from the, latin verb ōrāre, "to speak" and properly refers to the priest or priestess uttering the prediction. In extended use, oracle may also refer to the site of the oracle, and to the oracular utterances themselves, called khrēsmē (χρησμοί) in Greek. Oracles were thought to be portals through which the gods spoke directly to people. In this sense they were different from seers ( manteis, μάντεις) who interpreted signs sent by the gods through bird signs, animal entrails, and other various methods. 1, the most important oracles of Greek antiquity were. Pythia, priestess to, apollo at, delphi, and the oracle of, dione and.
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