Oracles Prophecy Divination
Prophecy in the Ancient World
Cicero believed that divination in some form was practiced by all nations and that the Greeks practiced a form that was inferior to the Romans who named it divination to indicate the participation of the gods. Learn more about ancient methods of making prophecies.
Pythia and the Delphic Oracle
From A Day in Old Athens, by William Stearns Davis, "She inhales the gas, sways to and fro in an ecstasy, and now, duly 'inspired,' answers in a somewhat wild manner the queries which the priest will put in behalf of the supplicants."
Great Oracles - Chapter 20 A Day in Old Athens
A look at the supremacy of the Delphic Oracle from A Day in Old Athens, by William Stearns Davis (1910).
Glossary entry on augur.
Augury - Augurium
Glossary entry on augury or augurium, in Latin.
Lustratio was a purification rite of the Greeks and Romans.
Cicero - De Amicitia
At the beginning of Cicero's De Amicitia -- On Friendship -- Cicero talks about being taken to Quintus Mucius Scaevola, an augur.
Delphi is best known as the home of the Delphic Oracle or the Pythia, a priestess of Apollo.
Dodona was the sanctuary of Zeus Naïos, in Epirus, the site of a famous and the oldest Greek oracle.
Extispicium comes from words for entrails and to look at and involves divination by means of reading the entrails of sacrificed animals.
About the Etruscan mantic art of haruspicy.
Games held in honor of the god Apollo, from the time of the second Punic War, the Ludi Apollinares were games held from 6-13 July in ancient Rome.
The most famous sibyl was the Cumaean Sibyl who offered the Roman King Tarquin nine books of prophecy, which he rejected.
The Art of Haruspicy which is the Etruscan Discipline
An article on the Etruscan art of haruspicy, with char (the Piacenzi liver) showing the significance of various sections of the liver.
The Sibylline Books
1899 translation, by Milton S. Terry, of the Pseudo-Sibylline Oracles, from c. A.D. 2-6th C. They include elements of Hellenistic and Roman Pagan mythology, Jewish legends, references to historical figures such as Alexander the Great and Cleopatra, and a list of Roman Emperors.
Romulus - Roman Mythology About the Founding and First King of Rome
An oracle interpreted led to this story of a famous fratricide.