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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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A Lapse into Unreason

A Lapse into Unreason

Chapter:
(p.26) 2 A Lapse into Unreason
Source:
Oracles, Curses, and Risk Among the Ancient Greeks
Author(s):

Esther Eidinow (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277780.003.0003

In the Ancient Greek world, engagements with the supernatural were mundane, many, and varied: a spectrum of interactions at different social levels, involving different mortal and supernatural personnel and conducted with a variety of intentions. Alongside state-organized events, there was a vast market in supernatural services, offered both by institutions and individuals. This chapter examines the nature of this market, from the ritual specialists (male and female) who sold oracles, binding spells/curses, healing spells and initiations into mysteries, to the many different kinds of oracular sanctuaries scattered across the Greek landscape; as well as examining how modern attitudes to, and understanding of, these activities have changed over time.

Keywords:   Ancient Greek world, supernatural services, oracles

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