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Oracles, Curses, and Risk Among the Ancient Greeks$
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Esther Eidinow

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199277780

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277780.001.0001

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(p.233) Conclusion
Oracles, Curses, and Risk Among the Ancient Greeks

Esther Eidinow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a comparison of the findings of this book for the relationship between risk and oracles and curses. It argues that these activities show some of the ways in which ancient Greek men and women constructed and responded to perceptions of risk and uncertainty in their everyday lives. The concerns of oracle questions show the areas of life perceived as particularly likely to be sources of risk: marriage, travel, work and disease. The curse material, in turn, demonstrates how in moments of particular crisis, other people were perceived as sources of risk. In addition, these texts and the related ritual practices, reveal perceptions of the distribution of responsibility, causes of misfortune and allocation of blame, shedding light on relationships between mortals, and between mortals and the supernatural.

Keywords:   oracles, curses, risk

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