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The Pythia ( ) was the priestess presiding over the Oracle of Apollo at Delphimarker, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. The Pythia was widely credited with giving prophecies inspired by Apollo, giving her a prominence unusual for a woman in male-dominated ancient Greece. The Delphic oraclemarker was established in the 8th century BC. Its last recorded response was given in 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I ordered pagan temples to cease operation. During this period the Delphic Oracle was the most prestigious and authoritative oracle in the Greek world.

The oracle is one of the best-documented religious institutions of the classical Greek world. Writers who mention the oracle include Herodotus, Thucydides, Euripides, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Pindar, Aeschylus, Xenophon, Diodorus, Strabo, Pausanias, Plutarch, Livy, Justin, Ovid, Lucan and Julian.

The name 'Pythia' derived from Pytho, which in myth was the original name of Delphi. The Greeks derived this place-name from the verb pythein (πύθειν, "to rot"), used of the decomposition of the body of the monstrous serpent Python after she was slain by Apollo.One common view has been that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from a chasm in the rock, and that she spoke gibberish which priests reshaped into the enigmatic prophecies preserved in Greek literature.

This picture has been challenged by scholars such as Joseph Fontenrose and Lisa Maurizio, who argue that the ancient sources uniformly represent the Pythia speaking intelligibly, and giving prophecies in her own voice. Recent geological investigations have shown that real gas emission from a geologic chasm in the earth could have started the myth of the Delphic Oracle. Some authors suggested the possibility that ethylene gas caused the Pythia's state of inspiration. Other authors, infer instead that methane might have been the gas emitted from the chasm, or CO2 and H2S arguing that the chasm itself might have been a seismic ground rupture.

Origins of the Oracle

There is one early account of the origin of the Delphic oracle, provided in the Homeric Hymn to Delphic Apollo, which recent scholarship dates within a narrow range, ca. 580-570 BC. It describes in detail how Apollo chose his first priests, whom he selected in their "swift ship"; they were "Cretans from Minos' city of Knossos" who were voyaging to sandy Pylos. But Apollo, who had Delphinios as one of his cult epithets, leapt into the ship in the form of a dolphin (delphinos)). Dolphin-Apollo revealed himself to the terrified Cretans, and bade them follow him up to the "place where you will have rich offerings". The Cretans "danced in time and followed, singing Iē Paiēon, like the paeans of the Cretans in whose breasts the divine Muse has placed "honey-voiced singing". G.L. Huxley observes, "If the hymn to (Delphic) Apollo conveys a historical message, it is above all that there were once Cretan priests at Delphi." Robin Lane Fox notes that Cretan bronzes are found at Delphi from the eighth century onwards, and Cretan sculptures are dedicated as late as ca 620-600 BC: ""Dedications at the site cannot establish the identity of its priesthood," he observes, "but for once we have an explicit text to set beside the archaeological evidence." An early visitor to these "dells of Parnassus", at the end of the eighth century, was Hesiod, who was shown the omphalos.

There are also many later stories of the origins of the Delphic Oracle. One late explanation, which is first related by the 1st century BC writer, Diodorus Siculus, tells of a goat herder called Kouretas, who noticed one day that one of his goats, who fell into a crack in the earth, was behaving strangely. On entering the chasm, he found himself filled with a divine presence and could see outside of the present into the past and the future. Excited by his discovery he shared it with nearby villagers. Many started visiting the site, until one of them was killed by the experience. From then, only young girls were allowed to approach the chasm and then in conditions regulated by a guild of priests and priestesses.

According to earlier myths, the office of the oracle was initially held by the goddesses Themis and Phoebe, and that the site was sacred first to Gaia. Subsequently it was held sacred to Poseidon, the "Earth-shaker" god of earthquakes, a later offspring of Gaia. During the Greek Dark Age, from the 11th to the 9th century BC, the arrival of a new god of prophecy saw the temple being seized by Apollo who expelled the twin guardian serpents of Gaia. Later myths stated that Phoebe or Themis had "given" the site to Apollo, rationalizing its seizure by priests of the new god, but presumably, having to retain the priestesses of the original oracle because of the long tradition. Apparently Poseidon was mollified by the gift of a new site in Troizenmarker.

Diodorus also explained how initially, the Pythia was a young virgin, but one consultant notes,

The scholar Martin Litchfield West writes that the Pythia shows many traits of shamanistic practices, likely inherited or influenced from Central Asian practices, although there is no evidence of any Central Asian connection at this time. He cites the Pythia sitting in a cauldron on a tripod, while making her prophecies in an ecstatic trance state, like shamans, and her unintelligible utterings.

Organization of the Oracle


The Pythia was probably selected, at the death of her predecessor, from amongst a guild of priestesses of the temple, and was required to be a woman of good character. Although some were married, upon assuming their role as the Pythia, the priestesses ceased all family responsibilities, and individual identity. In the heyday of the oracle, the Pythia may have been a woman chosen from a prominent family, well educated in geography, politics, history, philosophy, and the arts. In later periods, however, uneducated peasant women were chosen for the role, which may explain why the poetic pentameter or hexameter prophecies of the early period, later were made only in prose. The archaeologist John Hale reports:

During the height of the oracle's popularity, as many as three women served as Pythia, another vestige of the triad, with two taking turns in giving prophecy and another kept in reserve.

Several other officials served the oracle in addition to the Pythia. After 200 BC at any given time there were two priests of Apollo, who were in charge of the entire sanctuary; Plutarch, who served as a priest in the late first century and early second century AD, gives us the most information about the organization of the oracle at that time. Before 200 BC, while the temple was dedicated to Apollo, there was probably only one priest of Apollo. Priests were chosen from among the leading citizens of Delphi, and were appointed for life. In addition to overseeing the oracle, priests would also conduct sacrifices at other festivals of Apollo, and had charge of the Pythian games. Earlier arrangements, before the temple became dedicated to Apollo, are not documented.

The other officials associated with the oracle are less well understood. These are the hosioi ("holy ones") and the prophētai (singular prophētēs). Prophētēs is the origin of the English word "prophet", but a better translation of the Greek word might be "one who speaks on behalf of another person. "The prophetai are referred to in literary sources, but their function is unclear; it has been suggested that they interpreted the Pythia's prophecies, or even reshaped her utterances into verse, but it has also been argued that the term prophētēs is a generic reference to any cult officials at the sanctuary, including the Pythia. There were five hosioi, whose responsibilities are unclear, but may have been involved in some way with the operation of the oracle.

Oracular procedure

In the traditions associated with Apollo, the oracle gave prophecies only between spring and autumn. In the winter months, Apollo was said to have deserted his temple, his place being taken by his divine half-brother Dionysus, whose tomb was within the temple. It is not known whether the Oracle participated in the Dionysian rites of the Maenads or Thyades in the Korykion cave on Mount Parnassos, although Plutarch informs us that his friend Clea, was both a Priestess to Apollo and to the secret rites of Dionysus. The male priests seem to have had their own ceremonies to the dying and resurrecting God. Apollo was said to return at the beginning of Spring, on the 7th day of the month of Bysios, his birthday. This also would reiterate the absences of the great goddess Demeter in winter also, which would have been a part of the earliest traditions.

Once a month thereafter the oracle would undergo special rites, including fasting, to prepare Pythia for the event, on the seventh day of the month, sacred to Apollo. Washing in the Castalian Springmarker, she then received inspiration by drinking of the waters of the Kassotis from the naiad said to be living in the stream that ran beneath the adyton (a Greek word meaning "do not enter") of the temple where she sat.

Descending into her chamber, she mounted her tripod seat, holding laurel leaves and a cauldron of the Kassotis water into which she gazed. Nearby was the omphalos, the navel of Earth, flanked by the two golden eagles of Zeus, and the cleft from which emerged the sacred Pneuma.

Consultants, carrying laurel branches sacred to Apollo approached the temple along the winding upward course of the Sacred Way, bringing a black ram for sacrifice in the forecourt of the temple, and a gift of money for the oracle. Petitioners drew lots to determine the order of admission, but big donations to Apollo could secure them a higher place in line. The ram was first showered with water and observed to ensure that it shivered from the hooves upward, an auspicious sign that the oracular reading could proceed. Upon sacrifice, the animal's organs, particularly its liver, were examined to ensure the signs were favourable.

Between 535 and 615 of the Oracles of Delphi are known to have survived since classical times, of which over half are said to be historically accurate (see the article Famous Oracular Statements from Delphi for some examples).

At times when the Pythia was not operating, consultants obtained information from the future in other ways at the site, through the casting of lots, using a simple questioning "yes/no" device, or by seeking counsel from dreams.

The experience of supplicants

It would appear that the supplicant to the oracle would undergo a four stage process, typical of shamanic journeys.

  • Step 1: The Journey to Delphi — Supplicants were motivated by some need to undertake the long and sometimes arduous journey to come to Delphi in order to consult the oracle. This journey was motivated by an awareness of the existence of the oracle, the growing motivation on the part of the individual or group to undertake the journey, and the gathering of information about the oracle as providing answers to important questions.

  • Step 2: The Preparation of the Supplicant — Supplicants were interviewed in preparation of their presentation to the Oracle, by the priests in attendance. The genuine cases were sorted and the supplicant had to go through rituals involving the framing of their questions, the presentation of gifts to the Oracle and a procession along the Sacred Way carrying laurel leaves to visit the temple, symbolic of the journey they had made.

  • Step 3: The Visit to the Oracle — The supplicant would then be led into the temple to visit the adyton, put his question to the Pythia, receive his answer and depart. The degree of preparation already undergone would mean that the supplicant was already in a highly aroused and meditative state, similar to the shamanic journey elaborated on in the article.

  • Step 4: The Return Home — Oracles were meant to give advice to shape future action, that was meant to be implemented by the supplicant, or by those that had sponsored the supplicant to visit the Oracle. The validity of the Oracular utterance was confirmed by the consequences of the application of the oracle to the lives of those people who sought Oracular guidance.

Science and the Pythia

There have been many occasional attempts to find a scientific explanation for the Pythia's inspiration. However, most commonly, these refer to Plutarch's observation that her oracular powers appeared to be linked to vapors from the Castalian Springmarker that surrounded her, together with the observation that sessions of prophecy would either take place in, or be preceded by, a visit to an enclosed chamber at the base of the temple. Plutarch had presided over the Delphic Oracle as a priest at the site for a long period. It has often been suggested that these vapors may have been hallucinogenic gases.

The first excavation of Delphi conducted by a French team led by Theophile Homolle of the Collège de Francemarker from 1892 to 1894 and reported by Adolphe Paul Oppé in 1904, stated that there were no fissures and no possible means for the production of fumes. Oppé flatly stated that the French excavations had found no evidence for a chasm underneath the temple.

Following this definitive statement, such scholars as Frederick Poulson, E.R. Dodds and Joseph Fontenrose, all stated that there were no vapours and no chasm.

A recent re-examination of the French excavations, however, has shown the possibility that this consensus is mistaken. Broad (2006) demonstrates that a French photo of the south west corner of the temple, taken at the time where the team had excavated down to the bedrock, not only clearly demonstrated the presence of a water filled pit beneath the temple, but also demonstrated numerous fissures, suggesting numerous pathways by which any intoxicating vapours present could enter the base of the temple.

In 2001 evidence of the presence of ethylene, a potential hallucinogen, was found in the temple's local geology and nearby springs by an interdisciplinary team of geologist Jelle Zeilinga de Boer, archaeologist John R. Hale, forensic chemist Jeffrey P. Chanton, and toxicologist Henry R. Spiller. Ethylene in the highest concentrations was found in the waters of the Kerna spring, immediately above the temple. Although in small quantities, currently the waters of the Kerma spring are diverted from the site for use by the nearby modern town of Delphi. Currently, it is unknown the degree to which ethylene or other gases would be produced at the temple should these waters be allowed to run free, as they did in the ancient world.

It also has been shown recently that the temple of Delphi lies exactly on the intersection of two major fault lines, the north-south, Kerna fault and another east-west Delphic fault paralleling the shore of the Corinthian Gulfmarker, and overlies a local geology of limestone with about 20% of its volume made up of layers of bituminous tars rich in hydrocarbons. The Rift of the Gulf of Corinth is one of the most geologically active sites on Earth. Earth movements there impose immense strains on the earth at accompanying fault lines, heating the rocks and leading to the expulsion of the lighter gasses. It has been disputed as to how the adyton was organized, but it appears clear that this temple was unlike any other in Ancient Greece, in that the supplicant descended a short flight of stairs below the general floor of the temple to enter the Sanctuary of the Oracle. It would appear that a natural cleft or chasm at the intersection of fault lines was enlarged to create the adyton off the centre of the temple, and the flowing waters of the underground springs, would accumulate the gas, concentrating it in the enclosed space. Plutarch reports that the temple was filled with a sweet smell when the deity was present:

Only ethylene of all of the hydrocarbons has such an odor.

Inhalation of ethylene in an enclosed space in which the Pythia was separated from the supplicant by a screen or curtain of some kind, it was argued, exposed the Pythia to sufficiently high concentrations of the narcotic gas to induce a mildly euphoric or trance-like state. Frequent earthquakes, produced by the fact that Greece lies at the intersection of three separate tectonic plates, seem to have been responsible for the observed cracking of the limestone, and the opening up of new channels by which hydrocarbons enter the flowing waters of the Kassotis. This would cause the amounts of ethylene emitted to fluctuate, increasing or decreasing the potency of the drug released, over time. It has been suggested that the decline in the importance of the Oracle after Hadrian was in part due to the fact that there had not been an earthquake in the area for a significant length of time.

In the early twentieth century, an anaesthesiologist named Isabella Herb found that a dose of 20% ethylene gas administered to a subject was a clear threshold. A dosage higher than 20% caused unconsciousness. With less than 20% a trance was induced where the subject could sit up, hear questions and answer them logically, although the tone of their voice might be altered, their speech pattern could be changed, and they may have lost some awareness of their hands and feet, (with some it was possible to have poked a pin or pricked them with a knife and they would not feel it). When patients were removed from the area where the gas accumulated they had no recollection of what had happened, or what they had said. With a dosage of more than 20% the patient lost control over the movement of their limbs and may thrash wildly, groaning in strange voices, losing balance and frequently repeatedly falling. In such cases, studies show that shortly thereafter the person dies. According to Plutarch, who witnessed many prophecies, all of these symptoms match the experience of the Pythia in action.

Another interpretation, by the author Merlin Stone, suggests the use of venom instead. As she describes in "When God was a Woman", when people are bitten after they have been immunized , especially by krait, cobra or other elapids, the subject experiences an emotional and mental state that has been compared to the effects of hallucinogenic drugs.

Plutarch said that the Pythia's life was shortened through the service of Apollo. The sessions were said to be exhausting. At the end of each period the Pythia would be like a runner after a race or a dancer after an ecstatic dance. It clearly had a physical effect on the health of the Pythia.


  1. Morgan 1990, p. 148.
  2. Homeric Hymn to Apollo 363-369.
  3. For an example, see Lewis Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, 1907, vol. IV, p.189. "But all this came to be merely considered as an accessory, leading up to the great moment when the Pythoness ascended into the tripod, and, filled with the divine afflatus which at least the latter ages believed to ascend in vapour from a fissure in the ground, burst forth into wild utterance, which was probably some kind of articulate speech, and which the Ὅσιοι [Osioi], 'the holy ones', who, with the prophet, sat around the tripod, knew well how to interpret. ... What was essential to Delphic divination, then, was the frenzy of the Pythoness and the sounds which she uttered in this state which were interpreted by the Ὅσιοι [Osioi] and the 'prophet' according to some conventional code of their own."
  4. Fontenrose 1978, pp. 196-227; Maurizio 2001, pp. 38-54.
  5. Piccardi, 2000; Spiller et al., 2000; de Boer, et al., 2001; Hale et al. 2003; Etiope et al., 2006; Piccardi et al., 2008.
  6. Mason, Betsy. The Prophet of Gases in ScienceNow Daily News 2 October 2006. Retrieved 11 October 2006.
  7. Martin L. West, Homeric Hymns, pp 9-12, gives a summary for this dating, at or shortly after the inauguration of chariot-racing at the Pythian Games, 582 BC; M. Chappell, "Delphi and the Homeric Hymn to Apollo", Classical Quarterly 56 (2006:331-48)
  8. As Robin Lane Fox observes in discussing this origin of the Delphic priesthood, in Travelling Heroes in the Epic Age of Homer, 2008:341ff.
  9. Huxley, "Cretan Paiawones". Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 16 (1975:119-24) p. 122, noted by Fox 2008:343.
  10. Fox 2008:342.
  11. Diodorus Siculus 16.26.1-4.
  12. Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology notes on this point Ovid, Metamorphoses i. 321, iv. 642; Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica iv. 800; Servius, commentary on the Aeneid iv. 246; pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke i. 4. § 1 ; Pausanias x. 5. § 3; Aeschylus, The Eumenides opening lines; see excerpts in translation at Theoi Project: Themis.
  13. D. S. Robertson, "The Delphian Succession in the Opening of the Eumenides" The Classical Review 55.2 (September 1941, pp. 69-70) p. 69,reasoning that in the three great allotments of oracular powers at Delphi, corresponding to the three generations of the gods, "Ouranos, as was fitting, gave the oracle to his wife Gaia and Kronos appropriately allotted it to his sister Themis." In Zeus' turn to make the gift, however, Aeschylus could not report that the oracle was given directly to Apollo, who had not yet been born, Robertson notes, and thus Phoebe was interposed. These supposed male delegations of the powers at Delphi as expressed by Aeschylus are not borne out by the usual modern reconstruction of the sacred site's pre-Olympian history.
  14. Martin Litchfield West, The Orphic Poems, p.147. "The Pythia resembles a shamaness at least to the extent that she communicates with her [deity] while in a state of trance, and conveys as much to those present by uttering unintelligible words. [cf. Spirit Language, Mircea Eliade]. It is particularly striking that she sits on a cauldron supported by a tripod, reiterating the triad of the great goddess. This eccentric perch can hardly be explained except as a symbolic boiling, and, as such, it looks very much like a reminiscence of the initiatory boiling of the shaman translated from hallucinatory experience into concrete visual terms. It was in this same cauldron, probably, that the Titans boiled Dionysus in the version of the story known to Callimachus and Euphorion, and his remains were interred close by".
  15. Herbert W Parke, History of the Delphic Oracle and H.W. Parke and D.E.W. Wormell The Delphic oracle, 1956 Volume 1: The history attempt the complicated reconstruction of the oracle's institutions; a recent comparison of the process of select at Delphi with Near Eastern oracles is part of Herbert B. Huffman, "The Oracular Process: Delphi and the Near East" Vetus Testamentum 57.4, (2007:449-60).
  16. Plutarch Moralia 414b.
  17. On the temple personnel, see Roux 1976, pp. 54-63.
  18. Bowden 2005, pp. 15-16; see also Herodotus 8.36, Euripides Ion 413-416.
  19. Plutarch, op cit
  20. Fontenrose, op cit
  21. J.Z. De Boer, and J. R. Hale. “The Geological Origins of the Oracle of Delphi, Greece,” in W.G. McGuire, D.R. Griffiths, P Hancock, and I.S. Stewart, eds. The Archaeology of Geological Catastrophes. (Geological Society of London) 2000. Popular accounts in A&E Television Networks. History Channel documentary Oracle at Delphi, Secrets Revealed, 2003, and in William J. Broad, The Oracle: The Lost Secrets and Hidden Message of Ancient Delphi. (New York: Penguin) 2006.
  22. Broad, pp. 146-7: "[A] French photo of the temple's interior showed not only a spring-like pool but fissures... in the bedrock, suggesting a specific pathway by which intoxicating gases could have risen into the oracle's sanctum...What delighted de Boer so much was not the verification of the spring-like pool at the heart of the chasm, as the revelation of the bedrock's composition... there right above the waterline, the photograph clearly showed vertical fissures running through the bedrock. No denial could hide that fact, no scholarly disclaimer could deny the reality.... [The] cracks ...[showed] evidence of tectonic jolts and protracted flows of mineralised water."
  23. Jelle Zeilinga de Boer - Retrieved on 2006-10-01.
  24. John R. Hale - Retrieved on 2006-10-01.
  25. Jeffrey P. Chanton - Retrieved on 2006-10-01.
  26. Henry R. Spiller - Retrieved on 2006-10-01.
  27. "the Kerna Spring, once alive but now vanished since Greek engineers had re-routed its waters to supply the town of Delphi" Tests from a number of nearby sites showed the concentration of Ethylene at Kerna was ten times that of other nearby springs. In an interview reported in Broad (2006, p. 152), de Boer stated that "the Kerna sample, because of the spring's rerouting, had to be drawn from a city's holding tank ... letting some of the gas escape as it sat... and lessened the water concentrations. If so the actual levels of the methane, ethane and ethylene that came out of the ground would have been higher".
  28. In the French excavation report on the temple, Fernand Courby shows that the adyton was unlike adyta found in other temples as it was not central, but on the south western side, interrupting the normal symmetry of the Doric temple. It was divided into two areas, one small area 9 by 16 feet for the oracle, one for the supplicant. Modern research reported by Broad (p. 37) suggests that both the supplicant and the Pythia descended a flight of five steps into a small room within the temple with its own low ceiling. Walter Miller has argued that the stone block 3.5-4 feet, that Courby described as being part of the floor, was in fact the site where the oracle sat. It showed a square 6 inch hole, that windened to 9 inches, immediately under the triangular grouves for the tripod. Strange channels, possibly to carry water from the spring, surrounded the tripodal grouves. That these had in fact carried waters for long periods was confirmed by the layers of travertine that encrusted it. Nothing like this has been found at any other Greek temple. Holland (1933) argues that these channels and the hollow nature of the omphalos found by the French were to channel the vapours of intoxicant gases.
  29. John R. Hale - Retrieved on 2006-04-20.


Ancient sources

Modern sources

  • de Boer, J.Z., J.R. Hale, and J. Chanton, "New Evidence for the Geological Origins of the Ancient Delphic Oracle," Geology 29.8 (2001) 707-711.
  • Bouché-Leclercq, Auguste, Histoire de la divination dans l'Antiquité, I-IV volumes, Paris, 1879-1882.
  • Burkert, Walter, Greek Religion 1985.
  • Connelly, Joan Breton, Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece, Princeton University Press, 2007. ISBN 0691127468
  • Courby, Fernand Feuilles de Delphi: Tome 2, Topographie et Architecture, La Terrace du Temple, 1927.
  • Dempsey, T., Reverend, The Delphic oracle, its early history, influence and fall, Oxford : B.H. Blackwell, 1918.
  • Dodds, E. R. The Greeks and the Irrational (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1963).
  • Farnell, Lewis Richard, The Cults of the Greek States, in five volumes, Clarendon Press, 1896-1909. (Cf. especially, volume IV on the Pythoness and Delphi).
  • Fontenrose, Joseph Eddy, The Delphic oracle, its responses and operations, with a catalogue of responses, Berkeley : University of California Press, 1978. ISBN 0520033604
  • Fontenrose, Joseph Eddy, Python; a study of Delphic myth and its origins, New York, Biblio & Tannen, 1959, 1974. ISBN 081960285X
  • Goodrich, Norma Lorre, Priestesses, New York : F. Watts, 1989. ISBN 0531151131; Harper Collins, Perennial, November 1990, ISBN 0060973161
  • Guthrie, William Keith Chambers, The Greeks and their Gods, 1955.
  • Hale, John R., Jelle Zeilinga de Boer, Jeffrey P. Chandon and Henry A. Spiller, Questioning the Delphic Oracle, Scientific American August 2003.
  • Hall, Manly Palmer, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, 1928. Ch. 14 cf. Greek Oracles, www, PRS
  • Holland, Leicester B. "The Mantic Mechanism at Delphi," American Journal of Archaeology 37 (1933) 201-214.
  • Maass, E., De Sibyllarum Indicibus, Berlin, 1879.
  • Maurizio, Lisa, The Voice at the Centre of the World: The Pythia's Ambiguity and Authority pp. 46–50 in Andre Lardinois and Laura McClure, eds., Making Silence Speak: Women's Voices in Greek Literature and Society, (Princeton University Press 2001).
  • Miller, Water, Daedalus and Thespis Vol 1, 1929.
  • Morgan, Catherine. Athletes and Oracles (Cambridge 1990).
  • Mitford, William, The History of Greece, 1784. Cf. v.1, Chapter III, Section 2, p. 177, Origin and Progress of the Oracles.
  • Parke, Herbert William, History of the Delphic Oracle, 1939.
  • Parke, Herbert William, Sibyls and Sibylline Prophecy, 1988.
  • Potter, David Stone, Prophecy and history in the crisis of the Roman Empire: a historical commentary on the Thirteenth Sibylline Oracle, 1990. Cf. Chapter 3.
  • Poulson, Frederick. Dephi (London, Gleydenhall, 1920).
  • Rohde, Erwin, Psyche, 1925.
  • Spiller, Henry A., John R. Hale, and Jelle Z. de Boer. "The Delphic Oracle: A Multidisciplinary Defense of the Gaseous Vent Theory." Clinical Toxicology 40.2 (2000) 189-196.

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