Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Selling the FutureThe Perils of Predicting Global Politics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Ariel Colonomos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190603649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190603649.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 10 April 2020

At the Centre of the World

At the Centre of the World

Oracles, Seers and Prophets

Chapter:
(p.17) 1 At the Centre of the World
Source:
Selling the Future
Author(s):

Ariel Colonomos

, Gregory Elliott
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190603649.003.0002

This chapter discusses the role of oracles in Roman and Greek politics during ancient times and raises some issues and patterns that we also find in our contemporary democracies. Whether in Greece or in Rome, oracles had an important political role. The messages that oracles were said to have spread were used by rulers when expressing some of their intentions; future telling was also a narrative that gave some legitimacy to political decisions. In Rome, Cicero highlighted the need for political rulers to provide an institutional framework for the oracles, otherwise diversity in future telling would have anarchical effects and superstition would have hampered political decision-making. Although oracles are part of centralized institutions, they also form ad hoc networks in myths such as Oedipus or in the Bible, stories in which we see oracles’ networks at work, i.e. a plurality of future tellers that mortals consult and whose words orient their trajectories.

Keywords:   Future, Oracle, Rome, Athens, Oedipus, Prophet, Bible, Cicero, Judaism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .