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Ancient Greek Divination

ISBN: 978-1-4051-1573-5
208 pages
August 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Ancient Greek Divination (1405115734) cover image
The first English-language survey of ancient Greek divinatory methods, Ancient Greek Divination offers a broad yet detailed treatment of the earliest attempts by ancient Greeks to seek the counsel of the gods.

  • Offers in-depth discussions of oracles, wandering diviners, do-it-yourself methods of foretelling the future, magical divinatory techniques, and much more
  • Illustrates how the study of divination illuminates the mentalities of ancient Greek religions and societies
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List of Figures.

Acknowledgments.

List of Abbreviations.

1. Why Divination?.

2. The Divine Experience Part One: Delphi and Dodona.

3. The Divine Experience Part Two: Claros, Didyma and Others.

4. Freelance Divination: The Mantis.

5. The Mantis and the Magician.

Index Locorum.

Subject Index

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Sarah Iles Johnston is Professor of Greek and Latin and Director of the Program in the Study of Religions at The Ohio State University. She is the author of Hekate Soteira (1990) and Restless Dead (1999) and the editor or co-editor of Medea: Essays on Medea in Myth, Literature, Philosophy and Art (1997), Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide (2004) and Mantike: Studies in Ancient Divination (2005). Her most recent book, which she co-authored with Fritz Graf, is Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets (2007).
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  • The first English-language survey of ancient Greek divinatory methods
  • Offers in-depth discussions of oracles, wandering diviners, do-it-yourself methods of foretelling the future, magical divinatory techniques, and much more
  • Illustrates how the study of divination illuminates the mentalities of ancient Greek religions and societies
See More
"This is a very accessible volume that explores the complicated roles and methods of divination throughout the Greek world. Johnston successfully elucidates the uses, importance, and pliancy of divination in the ancient world using both Greek and Roman sources. She bravely approaches this inherently vague realm and has created a text that is very useful in its breadth and scope." (Religious Studies Review, June 2010)

"It is, in fact, difficult to find fault with this work." (Aestimatio: Critical Reviews in the History of Science, June 2010)

"A highly readable and engaging work. The complex and fascinating modes through which the Greeks discerned the will of the gods has never been more accessible to a modern audience. Johnston's sweeping yet detailed discussion will surely be of interest to a generously wide readership."
Derek Collins, University of Michigan

“The most comprehensive, accessible treatment of ancient Greek divination available in English. It will be of interest to both specialists and students. Sarah Johnston brings lucid clarity to the shadowy range of ancient technologies by which the Greeks found messages from their gods.”
Peter T. Struck, University of Pennsylvania

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