The Oracle



Oracle, like oral, comes from the Latin word for spoken, and is the foretelling of the future by ritual divination. Divination has been used for thousands of years by all cultures, and is still regularly used today although not always in the same forms. Whilst astrology, tarot, runes and the use of crystal balls remains today, in the past ritual divination usually centred around the use of sacrificial animals, whose bones or intestines were examined, although priests and soothsayers also predicted the future from omens they saw in nature, for example the movement of clouds or animals, or patterns in flames or smoke, as these were controlled by the Gods.


When Alexander the Great captured Miletus in 334 BCE, he gave control of the Temple and oracles to that city. Alexander was told of his forth coming victory over the Persians, and in 331 BCE he was proclaimed "the son of Zeus" by the oracle. Alexander then commenced the final enlargement and restoration of the Ionic Temple which, although work continued until 2 CE under the Romans, the Temple was never completed.