Apollo's Oracle at Delphi Essay

Apollo's Oracle at Delphi Essay

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The Oracle of Apollo at Delphi is shrouded in myth and mystery, but one thing is certain, their prophetic influence stretched far and wide and was detrimental in shaping Greece.
Neither war nor boundary was determined without conferring the Delphic Oracle first. The Oracle of Apollo was held in high regard by the likes of "Plutarch, Plato, Aristotle, and Diodorus" (Broad 10). The Trojan War and Theban War were in part responses to the Oracle's forecasts (Fontenrose 4). The Delphic Oracle shaped the decision of Spartans and consulted the "Greek states at the time of the Persian War" (Fontenrose 6). For well over a millennium, devotees would continue to seek the Delphic Oracle's counsel. The Greek legacy is riddled with her prophecies.
Delphi, Greece's relative geographic location is in the center of Greece. According to Richard Haywood, its location could literally be the reason that the "Delphic Oracle was near the center of Greek life for centuries" (112). Delphi was inhabited as early as the Bronze Age. The Oracle's existence is believed to have appeared as early as the 8th century BCE (Scott 11). Several stories exist to explain the origins of Delphi. One myth says that Zeus released two eagles "from opposite ends of the world and they met at Delphi" signifying the geographic center of the earth (Scott 36). Another myth claims the word Delphi was obtained directly from a Greek word meaning "womb", indicating the birthplace of the world (Scott 36). However, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo written "between the late 7th century BCE and mid-sixth century BCE" tells the tale of Delphi's genesis in a different light.
According to the Homeric tale, Apollo traveled throughout Greece in search of the perfect site for his temple. H...

... middle of paper ...

...'s future, creating a blurred line between the real and fantastical. Fact and fiction continues to cohabitate in the daily debate and rituals of Modern Greece and it is quite possible that the Delphic Oracle is to praise and/or to blame.

Works Cited
Broad, William J. The Oracle: The Lost Secrets and Hidden Message of Ancient Delphi. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.
Fontenrose, Joseph Eddy. The Delphic Oracle, Its Responses and Operations. Berkeley: U of California. Print.
Haywood, Richard. "THE DELPHIC ORACLE." Archaeology 5.2 (1952): 110-18. JSTOR. Web. 25 May 2014. .
Lehoux, Daryn. "Drugs and the Delphic Oracle." Classical World 101.1 (2007): 41-56. Web.
Scott, Michael. Delphi a History of the Center of the Ancient World. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2014. Print.

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