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Ancient Divination and Experience

Lindsay G. Driediger-Murphy and Esther Eidinow

Abstract

The introduction to this volume describes the contribution that it makes to scholarship on ancient divinatory practices. It analyses previous and current research, arguing that while this predominantly functionalist work reveals important socio-political dimensions of divination, it also runs the risk of obscuring from view the very people, ideologies, and experiences that scholars seek to understand. It explains that the essays in this volume focus on re-examining what ancient people—primarily those in ancient Greek and Roman communities, but also Mesopotamian and Chinese cultures—thought the ... More

Keywords: Divination, functionalism, anthropology, communication, interaction, anxiety, Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian, Chinese

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198844549
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198844549.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lindsay G. Driediger-Murphy, editor
Assistant Professor in Latin and Roman Social/Religious History, University of Calgary

Esther Eidinow, editor
Professor of Ancient History, University of Bristol

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Contents

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Introduction

Lindsay G. Driediger-Murphy and Esther Eidinow

Part I Expertise and Authority

2 Testing the Oracle?

Esther Eidinow

4 Whose Dream Is It Anyway?

Jason P. Davies

Part II Signs and Control

6 Making Sense of Chaos

Andrew Stiles

Part III Divine Presence?

10 The Pythia at Delphi

Quinton Deeley

11 Which Gods if Any

Lisa Raphals