Voices from the Cave: Oracles, Shrines and Mysteries of Magna Graecia
Leonard George, PhD
2.24.13 (MP4 Webinar Recording: 1 hr 57 min, 31 MB download)
Before departing for new lands, Greek colonists asked the Delphic oracle for advice. The entranced sibyl on her tripod spoke in Apollo’s voice—hence the tripod shown on coins from Magna Graecia’s cities. Soon the colonists had their own oracles. Most famous was the sibyl’s cave at Cumae; her recorded prophecies would later shape the destiny of Rome. At Baiae seekers plumbed tunnels to the underworld’s edge where departed souls were consulted. Shrines to Asklepios drew pilgrims eager for a god’s healing touch. And inscribed golden tablets found in tombs hint at the secret rites of the Orphic Mysteries which promised post-mortem enlightenment.
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