oracular sites had a high value in the Ancient Greece. They were the
connection between the mortal and the immortal worlds. Every oracular
site was the spokesman of a different God who expressed him or herself
through the priestesses of Pythia. Villagers, kings, warriors,
constructors and politicians came from distant places to listen to the
prophecy of the Gods. The words they were told were the will of the Gods
and determined their fate and behavior. In order to enter the temple,
people had to bring many offerings for the Gods, which were offered
during open air ceremonies where people had to wear white clothes as a
sign of purity.
most known oracular sites of the Ancient Greece are the Oracle of Zeus
in Dodona and the oracle of Apollo in Delphi.
the priests told
the will of Zeus under the effects of the leafs of a holy oak or of the
tones of the holy pigeons that sat on this tree.
there was an
opening in the floor that inspired those who sat next to it and a
holy spring surrounded by holy laurel. There, a pristess
sat on a tripod and, high from the water vapour, received the will of
oracles were consulted in all situations and their answers determined
the conduct of mortals in front of war, revenge and the understanding of life.
All the stories about heroes and their myths are strongly related with
the oracle or its sayings. These sayings were usually enigmas difficult to
interpret and many times with a double interpretation that, in a way, protected the
oracles from incorrect decisions. Apart from the priests, there were
also some seers who had a special relation with the Gods and to whom
many people went to discover their fate. The most famous were Teiresias
There were not
many who would dare to go to a war without a positive answer from the
oracle. So many people were arriving to Delphi from places as far as the
North of Africa to listen to the will of the Gods, that it possessed a
incredible wealth. However, all this richness was stolen by the Romans
after the disintegration of the Hellenic Kingdom.
Of course, there
was always the danger of an oracle bribery. With the sayings of the
oracle it was easy to get the support of the national assembly and even
from a great part of the citizen. For this reason, it is not crazy to
think that the oracle was serving to the political power up to a certain
Click here to
see a general map of the oracular sites in Ancient Greece
Gods / Heroes / The Danaids / Europa / The Atriden / Trojan War / The Oracle