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Academic reference | Articles and abstracts | Books and reviews | Student work | Bibliography | Other academic

Academic reference

Oraculum, from Charles Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1867), pp. 836ff. Page 840 is on Dodona, page 841 has Zeus Ammon in Siwa.

Delphic Oracle from Oskar Seyffert's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1894). Three pages.

Articles and abstracts

PDF: "Delphic Oracles as Oral Performances: Authenticity and Historical Evidence" by Lisa Maurizio, Classical Antiquity (October 1997). The rarest find: a scholarly article on the free web. How? It's from the "sample issue" for Classical Antiquity's pay site.

Abstract: "Re-Reading Delphic Oracles: The Significance of Textual Representations of Oracle Consultations" by Julia Kindt, APA 2002. Another investigation of representation, as opposed to history.

Books and reviews

Amazon. Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle: Divination and Democracy by Hugh Bowden, also available in hardcover. See also Cambridge UP blurb("Presents an accessible and comprehensive account of the role of oracles in Athenian society"), with TOC. No reviews online yet.

Amazon. Delphic Oracle: Its Early History, Influence and Fall by T. Dempsey (1921). Outdated, but in print through a reprint house.

Amazon. Offrandes monumentales � Delphes by Anne Jacquemin.

Reviewed by Dylan Bloy, Bryn Mawr Classical Review (11/9/2000). Bloy praises Jacquemin's encyclopedic learning, but dispraises her organization.

Amazon. The Poetics of Colonization: From City to Text in Archaic Greece by Carol Dougherty. (Oxford UP blurb). Consulting the Delphic oracle was a standard part of the colonization experience and subsequent foundation myth.

Reviewed by Mark W. Edwards, Bryn Mawr Classical Review (5/4/94).

Oracle (Cont'd), from the New York Review of Books (October 11, 1979). Major-league Classicists Ernst Badian and Peter Green discuss Delphi and political manipulation. It's all rather tied up in Green's review of Joseph Fontenrose's The Delphic Oracle (a paid-only link), but with so much junk on the web, hearing these sober, intelligent Classicists on the topic is a joy.

Amazon. Marmaria: Le sanctuaire d'Athéna � Delphes de Bommelaer ed. Jean-François Bommelaer (or at French Amazon). High-end (semi-scholarly) French guidebook, with detailed computer-generated images.

Reviewed by H. Eiteljorg, , Bryn Mawr Classical Review (12/18/97). Eiteljorg reviews the book on account of its groundbreaking use of computer imagery, but is unimpressed.

Student work

Delphi: Pathways to Ancient Myth. Excellent tour of the site, with academically-grounded but accessible text, a site plan and numerous photos. Introduction covers the history of the site and narrates some of the more famous consultations. Subsequent sections visit areas of the site much as a tour guide would.Pathways to Ancient Myth was developed by Calvin College student Joe Stubenrauch. It also includes a smaller but equally good Tour of Dodona.

The Feminine Voice at Delphi. Student paper/project by Leslie DesMarteau, for Tufts professor Gregory Crane's Delphi and Olympia. The work is broken into sections, ie., The Pythia and the Priests discusses whether the Pythia was an independent power or a creature of the male priests. (The issue largely depends on whether the oracle normally gave her responses in glossolalic or in intelligible speech.)

Outline presentation notes on Delphi on "orality" and who wrote the Pythia's verses, with bibliography, by a student from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Summer Session 2, 2003. (By Ian Halim?)

Travelling to Delphi and Olympia by Maria Daniels, for the Gregory Crane's course Delphi and Olympia.

Pythia as Ancient Therapist . Student paper/project by Carrie Berenson, for the Gregory Crane's course Delphi and Olympia. This one's a bit thin.

Class presentation notes by Lisa Weiss, for Janice Siegel's course Religious Foundations of Greek Institutions.


A short bibliography and citation checklist on Delphi, from the Interactive Ancient Mediterranean.

A useful list of classical dictionary entires on oracles and divination and other on- and off-line resources, compiled by the Community College of Allegheny County for an English course doing Oedipus Rex.

Other academic

Three Powerpoint presentations on Delphi from Prof. David Gill, for his course Sacred Spaces: Sanctuaries of the Greek World:

Plato and his dialogues: Delphi. Good short and hyperlinked introduction from Bernard Suzanne's Plato project. Covers Chaeremon's consultation of the oracle on the question "Is anyone wiser than Socrates?" (No.)

Perseus Project: Delphi. High quality information, with a strong archaeological bent. Page includes links to site plans and photographs.

Notes on Apollo from a course by University of Houston prof. Casey Due Hackney. This page includes inter alia a good summary of the myths surrounding the origin of the Delphic oracle.

LibraryThing: Catalog your books online.

If you enjoy this site you may like this other site by me:

Ancient Astrology and Divination. Annotated guide to over 200 sites about Greco-Roman divination. (This site is a spin-off from it.)

The Wiki Classical Dictionary. New project includes a category for divination and oracles.