|Oracle of Delphi|
Today on Discovery
we join archaeologists, geologists, chemists and toxicologists in unlocking the
secrets of the the Oracle of Delphi.
Dating back to 1400 BC, the Oracle of Delphi was the most important shrine in all
, and in
theory all Greeks respected its independence. Built around a sacred spring, Greece Delphi was considered to be the omphalos - the center
(literally navel) of the world.
People came from all over
and beyond to have their questions about the future answered by the Pythia, the
priestess of Apollo. And her answers, usually cryptic, could determine the
course of everything from when a farmer planted his seedlings, to when an
empire declared war. Greece
|The Delphic Sibyl at Oracle of Delphi and the Strange Fumes|
Arguments over the correct interpretation of an oracle were common, but the oracle was always happy to give another prophecy if more gold was provided. A good example is the famous incident before the
Battle of when the Pythia
first predicted doom and later predicted that a 'wooden wall' (interpreted by
the Athenians to mean their ships) would save them. Salamis
|The Pythia, commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, was the priestess at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi|
The lack of a strict religious dogma associated with the worship of Greek gods also encouraged scholars to congregate at
and it became a focal point for intellectual enquiry, as well as an occasional
meeting place where rivals could negotiate.
This documentary Secrets of the Ancient World: Oracle of
Secrets Revealed is available on DVD from Amazon Books.