“If you want to be wrong then follow the masses”— Socrates
Centuries ago, from every corner of the Mediterranean, people traveled to Greece to get answers about their life and future by the Oracle of Delphi.
It was there that the god Apollo, through different women named Pythia chosen by local priests, sent his messages to those who needed them and those who could afford them.
This happened for the 12 hundred yrs the Oracle was active.
While the Oracle was active, wealthy people and leaders from different territories paid to get to the front of the line to see the Oracle.
At Delphi, there were always lots of people waiting in line to see it. We know about them because the ones who paid a lot of money are immortalized in stone inscriptions.
Interestingly, these are not the only stone inscriptions.
Despite wars, the rise and fall of different empires, 2 messages still survive to this day on the entrance of the Temple: “Know thyself” and “Nothing too much”.
The Pythia was always a woman from Delphi, regardless of her age or social class. While she was serving as Oracle, she lived in the sanctuary, abstained from sexual activity, and fasted on or before the days scheduled for oracular sessions.
During days of Oracle activity, the Pythia would initially be brought by priests of the temple from a private residence and led through a series of purification and religious rituals before her performance.
Eventually she was led down into the inner sanctum of the Temple.
Rulers and wealthy citizens of the known world, as well as famous philosophers made the journey to this mountainous site to make the most important decisions of their lives, and the lives of those around them. War and Peace were determined by these messages.
The Oracle started its decline in late Hellenistic and early Roman times. In 389 CE, Theodosius I started persecutions against Old Religion and prohibited the cult of Apollo and the celebration of the Pythian games in honor of Apollo.
In 391 CE, Christianity was the exclusive state religion and older temples were closed.
Even though Temples were shut down and the oracle was “silenced”, splendid structures still stand today, preserving the magnificent, if not fantastic, history of the Pythia and the Oracle of Delphi.
Have a happy, healthy prosperous weekend, Keep the Faith!