The Delphic oracle (Delphicum oraculum) is an oracle at the temple of Apollo at Delphi  , located at the foot of the southern slope of Parnas mountain in Fokida   . According to ancient Greek mythology, it was founded by Apollo himself at the site of his victory over the monstrous serpent Python . The Delphic oracle, where the priestess ( Pythia ) was nominally the main person, but in fact all predictions were formulated by the priests of the temple who interpreted it, was one of the main forerunners in the Hellenic world .
Its appearance belongs to the Mycenaean time, and the final disappearance - to the IV. n Oe., the heyday of the oracle falls on the VII – V centuries. BC e. archaic and classical periods of the history of ancient Greece  .
The Delphic oracle was a symbol of Apollo wisdom  .
|Apollo Sanctuary Card|
The oracle originally belonged to Gey , protected by the dragon Python (according to another version of the dragon) and the place was called Pifot ( ancient Greek πύθω - to rot .) That was when, as Betty Radish notes, the Gay cult was basic throughout Greece, until it was ousted by the Olympic gods  . The first prophetess of Gaia was the mountain nymph Daphne ( ancient Greek ἡ δάφνη - laurel ). From the mother Gays Themis received the Delphic oracle, which she transferred to her sister Phebe , and the one to her grandson Apollo, who, having learned the art of divination from Pan , arrived in Delphi , where he killed the dragon Python, who was guarding the entrance to the promise zone, and captured the oracle . The dark chthonic prophecies of the son of Earth gave way to the will of Zeus , the father of the gods and the organizer of the new, Olympic cosmic order, expressed by the "sun-thrower", evoking evaporation in the earth for divination.
After the defeat and death of the dragon, Apollo gathered his ashes into a sarcophagus and installed funeral games in honor of Python. Then Apollo went to look for the priests for his temple. At sea, he saw a ship coming from Knossos on Crete . Turning around a dolphin, he brought the ship to Chris with the power of his spell, where he opened to the sailors and told them about their destination. In Chris, the sailors erected an altar to Apollo and he was named Delphic, after the image in which Apollo appeared to them. From Chris, the sailors went to Parnassus , where they became the first priests of the temple of Apollo. Bees brought from the country of the Hyperborean temple of wax, and all subsequent temples were built on his model. The first pythia was Femonoy .
According to Aeschylus , the Delphic oracle originally belonged to the oldest soothsayer, the goddess Gee, who gave it to her daughter Themis , and she, in turn, to her sister Phoebe , who presented it to her grandson Apollo as a gift  .
According to another version, after joint ownership of the oracle of Gaia and Daphne, and then Gaia with Poseidon, Gaia transferred her part to Themis, and that to Apollo, who traded the part that belonged to Poseidon to Kalavriya  .
According to Homer's anthem in honor of the Pythian (epithet) Apollo - he, shortly after his birth, arrived from the island of Delos, seizes an oracle, killing his own arrow Python's son Snake, Gaia, and appointing Cretan men from the city of Knossos; Apollo had to clear himself of the murder of Python and soften the wrath of Gaia   .
In Hesiod's Theogony, the ancient myth about the struggle of Zeus and Kronos is associated with the sanctuary in Pifo  . When Zeus forced Kronos to spew back the brothers and sisters of Zeus he had eaten, the first to be erupted was a stone that, under the guise of a baby Zeus, fed Fed to Kronos. Zeus installed this stone in Pifo in the valley near Parnassus. 
According to another version, the founder of the ancient oracle Pifo was the son of Poseidon and the nymph Cleodora Parnassus  , whose name was named Parnas Mountain .
Archaeological excavations carried out from the end of the XIX century, showed that the Kastali Gorge was inhabited from the middle of the II millennium BC. e., a religious significance Delphi is rooted in Mycenaean time  . Myths about Python testify to the pre-Apollo cult, about the pre-Greek origins of the oracle. The sanctuary arose, perhaps even at the turn of the tenth and ninth centuries BC. e.  The Delphic oracle was one of the most ancient, but later Dodonian  . Even Homer in the Iliad writes about the "Temple of Phoebus of the Prophet at Pithos, menacing cliffs." Pausanias (Description of Hellas) talks about four successively built temples: from a laurel tree, from wax and feathers, from copper and stone.
The stone church, built according to legend, at the request of Apollo, by architects Agamed and Trofonius in the middle of the 7th century BC. e., burned in 548 BC. er and was replaced by a new, Dorian-style Delphic amphictiona built with great splendor (the building cost 300 talents ), it was destroyed by an earthquake in 373 BC. er The current ruins are remnants of buildings 369 - 339 years BC. er Since Apollo was considered the patron saint of colonial expeditions and newly founded cities, before the start of the new expedition it was decided to turn to the oracle. Due to this, the temple of Apollo became a peculiar center of Greek colonial policy, which was largely controlled by oracle priests. The newly created temples in different parts of the Mediterranean Sea were accepted into citizenship. Relations were established with the Etruscan dynasty of Tarquinia in Rome through the Cuman temple . After the fall of this dynasty ( 510 BC ), the Delphic priests, helping to transfer the oracles of the Kuma Sibyl (the Sibyllic books ) to Rome, were able to influence the gradual Hellenization of the Roman religion .
The heyday of the Delphic oracle falls on the VII — V century BC. e. On all important issues of public and private life, it was customary to turn to the oracle. A political alliance was made with Sparta , which became the temple's secular sword. Delphi hastened to embassies with rich gifts from many of the kingdoms of the Ancient World. Midas presented a golden throne to the temple. Creuse was a fan of the Apollo Delphic. The weakening of the influence of the temple began from the time of the Greek-Persian Wars, when Delphi took the side of the Persians, hoping to become the religious center of the Persian Empire . But even during the time of Roman rule, money deposits from various regions of the Mediterranean were kept in the church.
The temple was repeatedly plundered, burned during the invasion of the Gauls in 279 BC. Oe., and under Emperor Theodosius (391 AD), it was finally closed.
K. K. Zelin noted the peculiarity of local relations in Delphi, unlike the rest of Greece  .
According to V. Tarn , Delphi always stood guard over humanity . However, F. Böhmer believes the opposite, believing that the local priests had no “humanity” in the modern sense of the word  .
The temple was located on the southern rocky slope of Parnassus at an altitude of 700 m above sea level. The slopes of the surrounding mountains abounded sources, the most famous of which is Kastalsky , surrounded by laurels dedicated to Apollo. Near this source, muse and nymph sources gathered to sing to the accompaniment of the Apollo lira. On the front of the temple were the sayings of the Seven Wise Men : “ know yourself ”, “nothing beyond measure”, and also the mysterious image of the letter “Ε”. The wooden image of this letter was the offering of the Seven Wise Men, the Athenians replaced it with a brass one, and Empress Livia presented a gold one. On the meaning of this inscription there is a treatise of Plutarch (I-II cc. AD.) "On the inscription" E "in Delphi, in which the following versions are expressed on the meaning of the symbol :
“E” means the number “5”, since the wise men wanted to say that there are only five of them ( Chilon , Thales , Solon , Biant and Pittak ), and the tyrants Cleoboul and Periander of Corinth do not deserve the name of the wise men; "E" means the interrogative particle of the old-Greek. "εἰ" and indicates that Apollo is being approached with questions; the letter "E" means the second person from the verb of ancient-Greek. "εἰμι" - "εἷ" , that is, "you are," because at the entrance to the temple, God meets those who enter with the words "Know yourself," and you should answer him, "you are," affirming in him the true and pure being ; "E" means the Greek union dr.-greek. "εἰ" ("if") and indicates the dialectic inherent in Apollo; "E" can correspond to the Pythagorean five.
For visitors were available: the altar of Poseidon , the statues of two Moir , Zeus- Moiraget, Apollo and the iron throne of the poet Pindar .
The question remains about the cleft in the rock, from where the intoxicating fumes supposedly rose. In the study of the temple of Apollo, no traces of cracks or caves were found  .
The sanctuary was visited by a large number of pilgrims and access to the oracle was very free, but the questioners could only come to him on certain days, while they had to undergo a series of cleansing ceremonies, make sacrifices and pay a certain amount of fees  .
In the inner part of the temple ( adyton ), inaccessible to questioners, there was a golden statue of Apollo, a laurel tree, a sacred source and a white marble Omphal with two golden eagles, and under it was a sarcophagus with Python's ashes. In the middle of the amphitheater was a platform with a cleft in the rock, from which evaporates of a poisonous source rose. Here was a golden tripod .
In antiquity, divinations were given once a year - on the birthday of Apollo - 7 Bisius (mid-February - mid-March), when he returned from hyperborean . C VI. BC e. they began to be held monthly on the seventh day, except for the three winter months, when Apollo visited the Hyperboreans, and even later — daily, except for special unclean days, and Pythia refused to give divinations to a person desecrated by crime. Pythia was chosen regardless of social affiliation. Before taking the dignity, she could be married. From her required commitment to Apollo and chastity. Before the prophecy, Pythia , having washed herself in Kastalsky spring , put on gold-woven clothes, spread her hair, put a wreath of laurel branches on her head, went down to the aditon , where she drank from a source, chewed laurel, sat on a high tripod and, inhaling evaporation, began to prophesy. At the same time, the Pythia fell into a narcotic ecstasy, uttered vague separate phrases and mutters that were recorded and interpreted by the priests ( ancient Greek προφήτης - prophet ) of the temple as the prophecy of Apollo.
Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and other ancient authors give more than fifty prophecies and responses of the Pythia, many of which are very specific or amaze with their figurative content and hints. "Do not burn the vessels in the furnace" meant - do not burn people in the tower. "Put the bread in a cold oven" - coped with the corpse of the strangled wife. "Find your horse" - the recipient of the answer found his death in the town of Hippos (the horse).
Socrates is the wisest of people.
In his “Memories of Socrates,” Xenophon writes that one of his disciples, named Herefonth, went to the oracle in Delphi to ask who is the wisest of people. Pythia replied that Socrates is undoubtedly wiser than all.
By starting a war you will destroy a great kingdom.
The famous prediction that was received in Delphi by the richest Lydian king Creuse , who fought with Persia. He was told: "If you cross the river Galis (on the sides of which there were two troops - approx. ), Then you will destroy the great kingdom"  . Encouraged Creuse suffered a crushing defeat against Cyrus  . To the complaint of Croesus to the oracle he was told that the prediction did not say which kingdom it was  .
Fight silver spears
To the question of the king of Macedonia, Philip , father of Alexander the Great , how to achieve victory over the neighboring powers: " Fight with silver spears, and you will win everywhere ." Subsequently, Philip, who earlier began to mint gold coins before his neighbors, subordinated one by one the Greek cities, saying that there was no such impregnable fortress where a donkey loaded with gold could not enter  .
False prophecies and corruption
Herodot cites a story about the conversion to Delphi regarding the legality of the king’s origin from the house of Eurypontids son Ariston Demarat: wanting to depose him, his colleague Kleomen used a widespread rumor that he was a bastard , in Delphi, whether the son of Ariston Demarth. Cleomenes was able to attract to his side Cobon, the son of Aristophant, a very influential man in Delphi, who persuaded Pythia Perialla to give an answer that appeals to Cleomena: Demarth is not the son of Ariston. Later, when the deception was revealed, Kobon was expelled from Delphi, the Pythia lost her dignity, ”writes O. V. Kulishova. According to Herodotus, because of his wickedness, Cleomenes, who bribed the pythia, later went mad  .
In another case, O. V. Kulishov gives an example of how the Alkmeonides played a decisive role in overthrowing tyranny in Athens — through bribing the Delphic priesthood to those containing instructions to make these answers to the oracle Lacedaemonians  .
- "About the gods"
- “Hymn to Apollo” (Homer's hymn)
- "Description of Hellas"
- “The Pythian Ode”
- Plutarch (was a priest of the temple)
- Greek Issues
- "On the dying oracles"
- "About" E "in Delphi"
- “That Pythia does not prophesy with verses”
- Delphic oracle // Great Soviet Encyclopedia : [in 30 t.] / Ch. ed. A. M. Prokhorov . - 3rd ed. - M .: Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969-1978.
- Bocharov Nikolai Alekseevich. Handbook of mythology
- Decathiyayhi Npuysk
- O.V. Kulishov. Delphic oracle in the system of ancient interstate relations
- Delphic Oracle / / Real Dictionary of Classical Antiquities / ed.-comp. F. Lubker ; Edited by members of the Society of Classical Philology and Pedagogy F. Gelbke , L. Georgievsky , F. Zelinsky , V. Kansky , M. Kutorgi and P. Nikitin . - SPb. 1885.
- Hesiod. Theogony 495
- O. V. Kulishova. Delphic oracle in the system of ancient interstate relations
- O. V. Kulishova - Delphic mall missions in modern research on ancient slavery
- O.V.Kulishova Delphic Oracle
- APOLLO 1
- Myths and legends of ancient Greece | Polis period | The period of high classics (V century. BC. E.). Greek religion
- Yu. S. Tsybulnik. Winged Latin expressions. - M. :: Publishing House AST Ltd., 2003. - p. 67. - 830 p. - 5000 copies - ISBN 5-17-016376-2 .
- O.V. Kulishova - Spartan king Cleomenes and Delphi
- O. Kulishova (Yoshkar-Ola). Delphic oracle and tyranny in archaic Greece
- (G. Park) Parke N. W. and Wormell DEW, Delphic oracle, v. 1-2, Oxf., 1956 (Eng.)
- Delphic Oracle // Real Dictionary of Classical Antiquities / ed.-comp. F. Lubker ; Edited by members of the Society of Classical Philology and Pedagogy F. Gelbke , L. Georgievsky , F. Zelinsky , V. Kansky , M. Kutorgi and P. Nikitin . - SPb. 1885.
- The Delphic Oracle ( mp3 ) - the program Nowadays (BBC Radio 4) Release September 30, 2010
- The “E” of Delphi (English)
- Plutarch. About "E" in Delphi (Greek) = Περί τού Εί τού έν Δελφοίς // Per. and comm. Nb Klyachko (Moscow). Herald of ancient history: the journal. - M .: Science, 1978. - Τ. 143 , αρ. 1 . - ISSN 0321-0391 . Archived May 13, 2014.