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How Literary Works Depicts Delphi The Old Sanctuary

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In the Ancient Greece, Delphi was the most important center for religious purposes. In fact, individuals who wanted information regarding their futures travelled from diverse places to consult the Oracle of Apollo. Accordingly, scholars claim that Pythia, a woman possessed by a god provided these individuals with the predictions regarding their futures (Piccardi 651). According to Greek myths, Pythia was Gaea’s child, the Goddess of earth (Sommerstein 679). However, contemporary researchers claim that the Oracle of Delphi comprised of different women who came from the village below. Subsequently, these women were normal girls who climbed the mountain to perform rituals and wore the Oracle’s outfit (Hale 69). According to ancient Greece myths, the Oracle breathed holy smoke that came from a tripod base before providing answers to visitor’s questions (Sommerstein 679). Conversely, modern geologists claim that the ground area at Delphi comprises of fissures that emit gases (De Boer and Hale 400). According to these researchers, the women who performed the role of the oracle inhaled the ethylene gas from the fissures before answering individuals (Hale 66). For this reason, when Pythia replied to inquiries from people, she appeared to be ecstatic and magically gibberish.

Similarly, ancient Greek myths assert that the oracles provided actual information to individuals. Consequently, Greeks believed that Delphi was the most religious place because they could get information regarding their future from this center. Nevertheless, modern scholars claim that the oracle had a network of spies who provided answers to the questions of individuals. Notably, since the oracle spoke in ecstatic forms, there had to be a male priest to translate her words. These male priests got their information from their network of spies and, thus, they knew almost every happening in the world (De Boer and Hale 400). Hence, while the oracle was under the influence of the ethylene gas and, thus, could not speak coherently, these priests wrote the information they wanted to give to individuals. Subsequently, the priests aimed at providing information to people especially advices that would prevent conflict. For this reason, they provided enquirers with advice aimed at maintaining peace and keeping Delphi safe.

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Homer, an ancient poet from Greece, was the author of the Iliad, an article containing Greek literature. The reason for writing this poem was to record the Trojan War (Schein n.d.). In the Iliad, Homer narrates the story regarding Apollo, who killed the dragon, Python to become a deity. In addition, the writer claims that Delphi was the “navel of the world” and that Zeus had sent two eagles to the opposite ends of the world to prove his claim (Finley n.d.). Accordingly, these eagles met at Delphi, depicting that it had religious importance. Similarly, in the Odyssey and Delphi, Homer claims that the emissions from the oracles at Delphi had divination. In fact, individuals prayed using phrases such as, “Oh god of the silver bow, who protects Chryse and holy Cilla and rule Tenedos with might, hear me O god of Sminthe” to depict their belief on the oracle’s divine power (Finley 35).

In ancient Greece, tripods had diverse roles. For instance, the Greeks could award tripods to individuals who won wars (Piccardi 654). Accordingly, these tripods comprised of different models and materials. Particularly, the tripods of Pythia at Delphi had divine powers that provided individuals with predictions in oracle of Apollo. For this reason, Homer, as well as ancient Greeks, believed in the divine nature of tripods. Likewise, the play on Libation Bearers contain an excerpt regarding the role of the oracle and the tripods. For instance, Electra, returns from the tomb of Agamemnon and reveals to people the cause of Agamemnon’s death. However, she is half-convinced that Orestes could return to avenge the murder. Nevertheless, Orestes appears and claims that the Apollo’s oracle requested him to travel to Argos and avenge his father. According to him, “Such oracles are persuasive. And even if I am not convinced, the rough work of the world is still to do. So many yearnings meet and urge me on” (Goldhill, Aeschylus 298). Subsequently, he believes that failure to avenge the death of his father will lead to punishments such as a horrible malady sent by the gods.

In Medea, Aegeus, who is the king of Athens greets his friend and narrates to him the accounts of his journey to the Delphi to visit the Oracle. Accordingly, Aegeus had visited the holy place to seek a cure for his sterility in which, the oracle gave him in a riddle form. According to the riddle, Aegeus was not supposed to “unstop the wineskin’s neck” (Sommerstein 679). Consequently, the king is on a journey to visit Pittheus, a person with renowned skills regarding the interpretation of announcements from the oracle. In line 796, Medea is willing to hurt herself in the process of revenge, “Yes, I can endure guilt, however horrible, the laughter of my enemies I will not endure”. Nevertheless, after the king’s departure, she remains alone on stage and portrays excitement because she believes that her plans of revenge are cleared. Accordingly, due to the promise that Aegeus makes to her, Athens remains to be an unconditionally safe place for her to stay.

Arguably, these literature works portray the role of Delphi in Greece. In fact, the authors portray the significance of the oracle in the lives of individuals in the emperor. Accordingly, these individuals believed in the power of the oracle to provide true and accurate predictions of their future lives. For instance, king Aegeus does not tire in his quest to find the riddle’s meaning (Hubbard et al. 98). Nevertheless, modern scholars claim that this, among other strategies, was a plan by the members of the oracle to acquire more time to answer questions. Similarly, Orestes believes that failure to fulfill the request of the oracle could lead to adverse consequences on his health. Nevertheless, the articles portray the significance that equipment used in Delphi had on Greece. For instance, Greek citizens valued the tripod and, thus, reserved it for special occasions.


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