This book provides an exploration of the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, where the god Apollo was believed to speak to inquirers through his priestesses. In particular, it examines Athens' use of the oracle c. 500-300 BC. Demonstrating the importance of communication with the gods, and doing their will, in classical Athenian society, Hugh Bowden concludes that ancient Athens was not a secular Westernized democracy as we understand the term today.Read more
- Presents an accessible and comprehensive account of the role of oracles in Athenian society
- Provides the fullest explanation, based on the evidence, of how consultations at the Delphic Oracle were undertaken
- Offers a new analysis of the relationship between religion and politics in ancient Athens
Reviews & endorsements
"With Bowden's reminder of the centrality of religion in Athens, the 2,500-year-old city-state turns out to play a more important part in the political education of modern democracy than anyone - even the oracle at Delphi - might have predicted." Dallas Morning News, Joy ConnollySee more reviews
All scholars of Athenian democracy should read this brief, well written book. The publisher deserves praise for its numerous photographs and diagrams, footnotes, scholarly appendix, and extensive bibliography, as well as for publishing the book in an affordable paperback edition. Highly recommended.
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- Date Published: June 2005
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521530811
- length: 206 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 138 x 12 mm
- weight: 0.26kg
- contains: 11 b/w illus. 2 maps 3 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. How did the Delphic oracle work?
2. What did the Athenians think of the Delphic Oracle?
3. What did historians and philosophers say about the Delphic oracle?
4. How and why did the Athenians consult the Delphic oracle?
5. What did the Athenians ask the Delphic oracle?
6. Why did the Athenians (and other Greek cities) go to war?
7. Conclusion: divination and democracy
Appendix 1. Consultations of Delphi in Attic tragedy
Appendix 2. Concordance of Athenian consultations.
Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses
- Classical Literature
- Intermediate Latin I
- Intro to Ancient Greece
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