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Lecture 13

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York University
HUMA 1710
Carol Bigwood

Lecture 13 1/16/2012 4:03:00 PM Test Question 1. (10 marks) According to the lecture and you readings, discuss the Oracle of Delphi in terms of its establishment and use 2. (10 marks) According to the lecture and your readings, describe the condition of miasma and Apollo’s involvement in it. Greek Divination Plato: two kinds;  Conscious (deductive) art of prophecy: augury: reading of entrails, omens  Inspired prophecy: either gift of special persons (ex. Tiresias, Cassandra) or linked to special sanctuaries (Delphi, Dodona, Olympia) Apollo, Dionysos and Zeus only gods officially associated with oracular prophecy Oracle at Delphi high in mountains  Originally belonged to Gaia (earth) then Themis (collective justice/ law as custom), then Phoebe, then Phoibos (Apollo)  Has Minoan influence  During Dark Ages sanctuary abandoned; Themis giving oracle to Aegeus  Chthonian in contrast to Olympian sky gods  Old oracles: sacrifices in clefts  Thesmophoria: woman’s festival for Demeter: pig sacrifice laid in cleft is called “thesmos”: justice Apollo takes over Oracle after Dark Age  Apollo, comes in ship from Crete in form of dolphin (“Delphi”)  In myth: Apollo kills Pythia and has to do penance by leaving his sanctuary to Dionysos!  Oracle is given by prophetess seated on tripod over cleft in earth (vapors)  Cries are translated by priests  Pythia not chose from rich (unusual) Apollo  Brother of Artemis (who has older cult)  Mix of Minoan, Dorian, and Syrian-Hittite influences  Associated with law and reason prophecy; plagues and healing; music and poetry (leader of muses)  Precepts at his temple of Delphi: o Observe the limit; glory not in strength o Nothing too much; know thyself o Keep women under rule Apollo and Law  Responsible for most important legislative acts such as the founding of temples, constitutions, sacrifices and
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