Delphic oracle

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Delphic oracle:

see DelphiDelphi
, locality in Phocis, Greece, near the foot of the south slope of Mt. Parnassós, c.6 mi (10 km) northeast of the port of Cirrha. It was the seat of the Delphic oracle, the most famous and most powerful of ancient Greece.
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, Greece.

Delphic Oracle


the oracle at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, one of the most ancient religious centers of ancient Greece. Individual citizens as well as government representatives directed questions to the Delphic oracle. The prophetess Pythia, in a state of ecstasy, uttered the answers to the inquirers. These answers were given poetic form by one of the priests and had the value of prophecies given by Apollo. The prophecies of the oracle have been preserved in the works of Herodotus and in other sources. Although the Delphic oracle enjoyed great respect in ancient Greece, the well-known inclination of the Delphic priesthood, the interpreters of the “prophecy,” toward the aristocratic and conservative strata of the Greek city-states (for example, support of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War against Athens) often evoked criticism from progressive public figures and thinkers (Euripides, for example).


Parke, H. W., and D. E. W. Wormell. Delphic Oracle, vols. 1–2. Oxford, 1956.

Delphic oracle

ultimate authority in ancient Greece; often speaks in ambiguous terms. [Gk. Hist.: Leach, 305]
References in periodicals archive ?
Instead of being Hillary's Delphic oracle, she turned into her Andromeda, the helpless girl in Greek mythology who was sacrificed to atone for her mother Cassiopeia's screw-ups.
This makes sense because prophecy has typically been the preserve of religion since the days of the Delphic Oracle and before.
Yet the Delphic Oracle told him that he was the wisest of men because he knew, at least, that he didn't know.
With Xuthus and Creusa visiting the Delphic oracle the human and divine dimensions are represented as opposing and potentially supplementary spheres.
New evidence for the geological origins of the ancient Delphic oracle (Greece).
Are we looking for a Delphic Oracle in the Scriptures, especially in Revelation?
As a young man, Oedipus is told by the Delphic oracle that he will kill his father and marry his mother.
It would have greatly strengthened Hadot's case were he to have shown that this definition of philosophy and the philosopher appears also in at least two other dialogues: in the notion of "Socratic Ignorance," familiar from the Delphic Oracle story in the Apology of Socrates and in the Lysis (217e-218b).