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The Oracles Last Statement

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The Oracles Last Statement

Post  Achrelus on Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:00 am

There is some controversy I have found about what the Pythia said when she was shut down by Emperor Theodosius. It is my understanding she said "There will be a day when Phoebus will return, and he will always be here." Other sources say "Tell the king; the fair wrought house has fallen. No shelter has Apollo, nor sacred laurel leaves; The fountains are now silent; the voice is stilled. It is finished." What is the historostiy of these accounts? Could one have come after the other, and the second half only ignored?
Ex: "Tell the king; the fair wrought house has fallen. No shelter has Apollo, nor sacred laurel leaves; The fountains are now silent; the voice is stilled. It is finished. [i]But there willl be a day when Phoebus will return and he will be here forever."?

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Re: The Oracles Last Statement

Post  Erodius on Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:47 am

The 'tell the king . . . ' phrase I recall as having been the Pythia's response to Emperor Iulianus' seeking an oracle. The other I have heard pandered about often, but it has never come up in any historical source I have encountered.

I wouldn't be surprised if it is a quasi-propagandistic slogan created recently, partly because it just doesn't seem to fit with the general hopelessless that the Pythian Oracle had already expressed earlier to Iulianus.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
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Re: The Oracles last statement

Post  Achrelus on Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:22 am

Well, that is somewhat dissapointing. Too bad, I guess sometimes history jusst isn't quite what we want it to be.

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Re: The Oracles Last Statement

Post  Saesara on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:03 pm

I know, it'd be pretty neat if the other oracle were true. Unfortunately, I don't think it's likely that Delphi will ever be resumed as an oracle. Plutarch's "On Cessation of Oracles" argues that the mouthpieces of the oracular sanctuaries are really daimons that die after a while. In which case...I think its a safe call to say the daimon at Delphi is probably gone. If it makes you feel any better, Apollo hasn't quite taken his gifts from us. There are still running oracles in the Greek Church of St George Balsamites and the Rhodian Shrine of Panaghia at Cremasto.
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