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Herodotus and his WorldEssays from a Conference in Memory of George Forrest$
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Peter Derow and Robert Parker

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253746

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253746.001.0001

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Oracles for Sale

Oracles for Sale

Chapter:
(p.256) 15 Oracles for Sale
Source:
Herodotus and his World
Author(s):

Hugh Bowden (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253746.003.0015

This chapter examines the role of chresmologoi (oracle interpreters) and written collections of oracles in the life of the Greek cities in the archaic and classical period. It demonstrates that the hostile picture of chresmologoi and manteis (seers) found in the works of Aristophanes and other writers is not accurate. Epigraphic and other evidence shows that religious experts like these were given honours by cities, and their advice was formally sought. Cities held collections of written oracles, guarding them carefully and consulting them on a range of issues.

Keywords:   chresmologoi, oracles, manteis, Aristophanes

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