The Ancient Oracles (Hardcover)

Making the Gods Speak

By Richard Stoneman

Yale University Press, 9780300140422, 288pp.

Publication Date: May 24, 2011

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For more than a thousand years, Greeks from all walks of life consulted oracles for guidance received directly from the gods. This colorful and wide-ranging survey encompasses the entire history of Greek oracles and focuses fresh attention on philosophical, psychological, and anthropological aspects of oracular consultation. It also examines how Greek oracles' practices were distinctive compared to those of their neighbors, especially in Egypt, Babylon, and Israel.

Richard Stoneman weaves a fascinating historical tapestry, taking into account the different kinds of oracles (healers, advisors, prophets, and others), their most important sanctuaries, debates about them among ancient thinkers, and Christian attacks on them. Delving into the reasons behind the oracles' enduring position at the heart of Greek culture, Stoneman offers fresh insights into pagan religious practice and the history of Greek intellectual and spiritual life.

About the Author

Richard Stoneman is honorary fellow, University of Exeter. His most recent book is Alexander the Great: A Life in Legend, published by Yale University Press. He lives in Devon, UK.

Praise For The Ancient Oracles: Making the Gods Speak

"Students of ancient Greek religion will welcome this journeyman's comprehensive survey of Greek oracular mechanics complemented by discussions of the ancients' theorizing of prophecy and the various problems those theories challenged."—J.C. Hanges, Choice

— J.C. Hanges