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The Oracle of Delphi

Religio Romana

The Lord ApolloIn ancient Greece, the sacred jurisdiction of Delphi, the Oracle of the god Apollo, spoke to multitudes of pilgrams, philosophers, and rulers for centuries on end, informing them of the future and revealing the hidden present. Her words repeatedly changed the course of history. She forecasted the outcome of battles, of war itself, and of other political actions. For a vast period, the Oracle was the most durable and compelling force of the most important European society of that time. She was the heart and soul of Greece. The Oracle also communicated on behalf of Apollo warnings, advice, and help for the common citizen, if one chose to ask.

What is often overlooked by modern scholars is the importance and high respect the Delphic Oracle enjoyed by the leading scholars of the ancient world, including Homer, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, Strabo, and Plutarch.

There once existed extensive literature about the Oracle, she was of such vital importance in Greek life. No one in the Greek world stood higher, was respected more, was given more honor, or was more influential than the Oracle. None.

Unlike other oracles in Greece, the Delphic Oracle was always presided over by a priestess, and she became merged with the gracious Apollo and became his mouthpiece. He words were by his will and authority. Apollo is a young god of great beauty, and he traditionally rules over prophecy, music, poetry, and medicine. He was light and enlightenment, later associated with the sun, the very embodiment of goodness.

The Oracle was the guiding star of Greek civilization.

Sole source of this article is The Oracle: The Lost Secrets And Hidden Message Of Ancient Delphi by William J. Broad. The Penguin Press, NYC, 2006.

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