The Delphic Oracle, It's Responses and Operations, with a Catalogue of Responses

The Delphic Oracle, It's Responses and Operations, with a Catalogue of Responses

Language: English

Pages: 476

ISBN: 0520033604

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will be my concern") in the face ofJason ofPherai's threat to Delphi. E1: 2 L, 2 H. E2. Clear Predictions. Unambiguous predictions occur with fair frequency among Legendary responses. For example, the Achaeans learn that they will take Troy in ten years (L122); Akrisios learns that Danae's son will kill him (L23), Aipytos that Euadne's son will become a great mantis (L10). Among Historical responses only H34 and H70 can be placed in this category. The text of H34 is mostly lost, but appears to

I 16 TRANSMISSION AND ATTRIBUTION OF NARRATIVE ORACLES The hexameter oracle itself points to Lykurgos' divine character in the third and fourth verses. In Herodotos' story, as soon as Lykurgos entered the megaron of the temple, and before he could ask his question, the Pythia greeted him with Q7. The spontaneous response is characteristic of Legendary oracles. As L41 begins with the statement that Hesiod, dear to the Muses, is entering Apollo's temple, Q7 begins with an address to Lykurgos in

final two were added to fit the riddle as an oracle to the tale. Even so the final three words TEYETJS Emnl.ppo8os ECTCT[J do not properly have the 1 See Crahay 1956: IID-IJ3; Oeri 1935: 2o-28; Defradas 1954: 245-253; Ludolf Malten, Kyrene: Sagengeschichtliche und historische Untersuchungen (Berlin: Weidmarm, 19II) 196--201. A fourth-century B.C. inscription of Cyrene (SEG 9.3 = Meiggs-Lewis, Greek Historical Inscriptions 5) offers evidence of the Cyrenaean tradition and may point to a chronicle.

and pseudo-historical consultations that the Pythia's reply ignores the questions asked. (3) A direction to establish a hero cult is common enough. In most cases the cult would be observed at an existing grave; in special cases a new grave would have to be made and the hero's remains (or what passed for them) be brought from elsewhere. But an oracular order to move a man's grave to the place where he died is strange and unprecedented among Historical responses. It has the flavor of legend about

four verses, a full half of the response, for further definition of the place and a promise of victory and glory from Zeus if they conduct themselves rightly. Such final promises of future victory or prosperity-when the question has not been how to obtain it-<:annot be considered an expression of the message: they are more like expressions of purpose, meant to add conviction to the message (cf. Q47. longer form; L164, 167). The chresmologue's oracle ofBakis in the Birds (977--979) and the

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