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Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle: Divination and Democracy (Paperback)
  • Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle: Divination and Democracy (Paperback)
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Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle: Divination and Democracy (Paperback)

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£26.99
Paperback 206 Pages / Published: 05/05/2005
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The Delphic Oracle was where, according to Greek tradition, Apollo would speak through his priestesses. This work explores the importance placed on consultations at Delphi by Athenians in the city's age of democracy. It demonstrates the extent to which concern to do the will of the gods affected Athenian politics, challenging the notion that Athenian democracy may be seen as a model for modern secular democratic constitutions. All the known consultations of the oracle by Athens in the period before 300 BC are examined, and descriptions of consultations found in Attic tragedy and comedy are discussed. This work provides a new account of how the Delphic oracle functioned and presents a thorough analysis of the relationship between the Athenians and the oracle, making it essential reading both for students of the oracle itself and of Athenian democracy.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521530811
Number of pages: 206
Weight: 260 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 12 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'... clear, straightforward and jargon-free'. BBC History
'This work provides a new account of how the Delphic oracle functioned, making it essential reading both for students of the oracle itself and of Athenian democracy.' History Today
'His discussion of this central theme of the book is carefully and thought-provokingly placed within a wider religious, political, intellectual and cultural context than one might immediately imagine such a title to embrace ... closely argued and immensely provocative ....' Journal of Classics Teaching
'This excellent little book challenges many generally accepted views about both Athenian democracy and the Delphic oracle in an attempt to highlight the role religion played in ancient Greek political discourse. ... well written and researched ... this affordable monograph with its clean text, useful appendices, full bibliography, and fine (and extensive) English translations will surely become a standard reference on both the Delphic oracle and Athenian society.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"With Bowden's reminder of the centrality of religion in Athens, the 2,500-year-old city-state turns out to play a more important part in the political education of modern democracy than anyone - even the oracle at Delphi - might have predicted." Dallas Morning News, Joy Connolly
"All scholars of Athenian democracy should read this brief, well written book. The publisher deserves praise for its numerous photographs and diagrams, footnotes, scholarly appendix, and extensive bibliography, as well as for publishing the book in an affordable paperback edition. Highly recommended." Choice

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