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THE PYTHIA

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the Pythia was (on occasion) a noble of aristocratic family, sometimes a peasant, sometimes rich, sometimes poor, sometimes old, sometimes young, sometimes a very lettered and educated woman to whom somebody like the high priest and the philosopher Plutarch would dedicate essays, other times who could not write her own name. So it seems to have been aptitude rather than any ascribed status that made these women eligible to be Pythias and speak for the god.

 

Before 200 BC, while the temple was dedicated to Apollo, there was probably only one priest of Apollo. Priests were chosen from among the main 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 officiants associated with the oracle are less well known. These are the hosioi ("ὅσιοι", "holy ones") and the prophētai ("προφῆται", 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 reformatted her utterances into verse, but it has also been argued that the term prophētēs is a generic reference to any cult officials of the sanctuary, including the Pythia. There were five hosioi, whose responsibilities are unknown, but may have been involved in some manner with the operation of the oracle.

 

Experience of Supplicants:

Step 1: 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: 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: Visit to the Oracle — The supplicant would then be led into the temple to visit the adyton,

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Adyta were spaces reserved for oracles, priestesses, priests, or acolytes, and not for the general public. Adyta were found frequently associated with temples of Apollo, as at Didyma, Bassae, Clarus, Delos, and Delphi, although they were also said to have been natural phenomena (see the story of Nyx). Those sites often had been dedicated to deities whose worship preceded that of Apollo and may go back to prehistoric eras, such as Delphi, but who were supplanted by the time of Classical Greek culture.

 

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Temple of Apollo [Delphi]

 

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 very aroused and meditative state, similar to the shamanic journey elaborated on in the article.

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The Delphic maxims are a set of 147 aphorisms inscribed at Delphi. Originally, they were said to have been given by the Greek god Apollo's Oracle at Delphi and were therefore attributed to Apollo himself. Contemporary scholars, however, hold that their original authorship is uncertain and that 'most likely they were popular proverbs, which tended later to be attributed to particular sages.'Perhaps the most famous of these maxims is 'know thyself,' which was carved into the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. The specific order and wording of each maxim varies between different versions (and translations) of the text.

 

147 Delphic maxims

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No. Greek English

001.Ἕπου θεῷFollow God

002.Νόμῳ πείθουObey the law

004.Γονεῖς αἰδοῦRespect your parents

005.Ἡττῶ ὑπὸ δικαίουBe overcome by justice

006.Γνῶθι μαθώνKnow what you have learned

007.Ἀκούσας νόειPerceive what you have heard

008.Σαυτὸν ἴσθιBe/Know yourself

009.Γαμεῖν μέλλεIntend to get married

010.Καιρὸν γνῶθιKnow your opportunity

011.Φρόνει θνητάThink as a mortal

012.Ξένος ὢν ἴσθιIf you are a stranger act like one

013.Ἑστίαν τίμαHonor the house

014.Ἄρχε σεαυτοῦControl yourself

015.Φίλοις βοήθειHelp your friends

016.Θυμοῦ κράτειControl anger

017.Φρόνησιν ἄσκειExercise prudence

018.Πρόνοιαν τίμαHonor providence

019.Ὅρκῳ μὴ χρῶDo not use an oath

020.Φιλίαν ἀγάπαLove friendship

021.Παιδείας ἀντέχουCling to discipline

022.Δόξαν δίωκεPursue honor

023.Σοφίαν ζήλουLong for wisdom

024.Καλὸν εὖ λέγεPraise the good

025.Ψέγε μηδέναFind fault with no one

026.Ἐπαίνει ἀρετήνPraise virtue

027.Πρᾶττε δίκαιαPractice what is just

028.Φίλοις εὐνόειFavor friends

029.Ἐχθροὺς ἀμύνουDefend against enemies

030.Εὐγένειαν ἄσκειExercise nobility of character

031.Κακίας ἀπέχουShun evil

032.Κοινὸς γίνουBe impartial

033.Ἴδια φύλαττεGuard what is yours

034.Αλλοτρίων ἀπέχουShun what belongs to others

035.Ἄκουε πάνταListen to everyone

036.Εὔφημος ἴσθιHave good reputation

037.Φίλῳ χαρίζουDo a favor for a friend

038.Μηδὲν ἄγανNothing to excess

039.Χρόνου φείδου Use time sparingly

040.Ὅρα τὸ μέλλον Foresee the future

041.Ὕβριν μίσει Despise insolence

042.Ἱκέτας αἰδοῦHave respect for suppliants

043.Πᾶσιν ἁρμόζουBe accommodating in everything

044.Υἱοὺς παίδευε Educate your sons

045.Ἔχων χαρίζου Give what you have

046.Δόλον φοβοῦFear deceit

047.Εὐλόγει πάντας Speak well of everyone

048.Φιλόσοφος γίνου Be a seeker of wisdom

049.Ὅσια κρῖνεChoose what is divine

050.Γνοὺς πρᾶττεAct when you know

051.Φόνου ἀπέχουShun murder

052.Εὔχου δυνατάWish for things possible

053.Σοφοῖς χρῶConsult the wise

054.Ἦθος δοκίμαζεTest the character

055.Λαβὼν ἀπόδοςGive back what you have received

056.Ὑφορῶ μηδέναDown-look no one

057.Τέχνῃ χρῶUse your skill

058.Ὃ μέλλεις, δόςDo what you mean to do

059.Εὐεργεσίας τίμαHonor a benefaction

060.Φθόνει μηδενίBe jealous of no one

061.Φυλακῇ πρόσεχεBe on your guard

062.Ἐλπίδα αἴνειPraise hope

063.Διαβολὴν μίσειDespise a slanderer

064.Δικαίως κτῶGain possessions justly

065.Ἀγαθοὺς τίμαHonor good men

066.Κριτὴν γνῶθιKnow the judge

067.Γάμους κράτειMaster wedding-feasts

068.Τύχην νόμιζεRecognize fortune

069.Ἐγγύην φεῦγεFlee a pledge

070.Ἁπλῶς διαλέγουSpeak plainly

071.Ὁμοίοις χρῶAssociate with your peers

072.Δαπανῶν ἄρχουGovern your expenses

073.Κτώμενος ἥδουBe happy with what you have

074.Αἰσχύνην σέβουRevere a sense of shame

075.Χάριν ἐκτέλειFulfill a favor

076.Εὐτυχίαν εὔχουPray for happiness

077.Τύχην στέργεBe fond of fortune

078.Ἀκούων ὅραObserve what you have heard

079.Ἐργάζου κτητάWork for what you can own

080.Ἔριν μίσειDespise strife

081.Ὄνειδος ἔχθαιρεDetest disgrace

082.Γλῶτταν ἴσχεRestrain the tongue

083.Ὕβριν ἀμύνουKeep yourself from insolence

084.Κρῖνε δίκαιαMake just judgements

085.Χρῶ χρήμασινUse what you have

086.Ἀδωροδόκητος δίκαζεJudge incorruptibly

087.Αἰτιῶ παρόνταAccuse one who is present

088.Λέγε εἰδώςTell when you know

089.Βίας μὴ ἔχουHave no violence

090.Ἀλύπως βίουLive without sorrow

091.Ὁμίλει πρᾴωςLive together meekly

092.Πέρας ἐπιτέλει μὴ ἀποδειλιῶνFinish the race without shrinking back

093.Φιλοφρόνει πᾶσιν Deal kindly with everyone

094.Υἱοῖς μὴ καταρῶDo not curse your sons

095.Γυναικὸς ἄρχεInitiate / lead / guide your wife

096.Σεαυτὸν εὖ ποίειBenefit yourself

097.Εὐπροσήγορος γίνουBe courteous

098.Ἀποκρίνου ἐν καιρῷGive a timely response

099.Πόνει μετ’ εὐκλείαςStruggle with glory

100.Πρᾶττε ἀμετανοήτωςAct without repenting

101.Ἁμαρτάνων μετανόειRepent of sins

102.Ὀφθαλμοῦ κράτειControl the eye

103.Βουλεύου χρόνῳGive a timely counsel

104.Πρᾶττε συντόμωςAct quickly

105.Φιλίαν φύλαττεGuard friendship

106.Εὐγνώμων γίνουBe grateful

107.Ὁμόνοιαν δίωκεPursue harmony

108.Ἄρρητον κρύπτεKeep deeply the top secret

109.Τὸ κρατοῦν φοβοῦFear ruling

110.Τὸ συμφέρον θηρῶPursue what is profitable

111.Καιρὸν προσδέχουAccept due measure

112.Ἔχθρας διάλυεDo away with enmities

113.Γῆρας προσδέχουAccept old age

114.Ἐπὶ ῥώμῃ μὴ καυχῶDo not boast in might

115.Εὐφημίαν ἄσκειExercise (religious) silence

116.Ἀπέχθειαν φεῦγεFlee enmity

117.Πλούτει δικαίωςAcquire wealth justly

118.Δόξαν μὴ λεῖπεDo not abandon honor

119.Κακίαν μίσειDespise evil

120.Κινδύνευε φρονίμωςVenture into danger prudently

121.Μανθάνων μὴ κάμνεDo not tire of learning

122.Φειδόμενος μὴ λεῖπεDo not stop to be thrifty

123.Χρησμοὺς θαύμαζεAdmire oracles

124.Οὓς τρέφεις, ἀγάπαLove whom you rear

125.Ἀπόντι μὴ μάχουDo not oppose someone absent

126.Πρεσβύτερον αἰδοῦRespect the elder

127.Νεώτερον δίδασκεTeach a youngster

128.Πλούτῳ ἀπίστειDo not trust wealth

129.Σεαυτὸν αἰδοῦRespect yourself

130.Μὴ ἄρχε ὑβρίζεινDo not begin to be insolent

131.Προγόνους στεφάνουCrown your ancestors

132.Θνῆσκε ὑπὲρ πατρίδοςDie for your country

133Τῷ βίῳ μὴ ἄχθουDo not be discontented by life

134.Ἐπὶ νεκρῷ μὴ γέλαDo not make fun of the dead

135.Ἀτυχοῦντι συνάχθουShare the load of the unfortunate

136.Χαρίζου ἀβλαβῶςGratify without harming

137.Μὴ ἐπὶ παντὶ λυποῦGrieve for no one

138.Ἐξ εὐγενῶν γένναBeget from noble routes

139.Ἐπαγγέλλου μηδενίMake promises to no one

140.Φθιμένους μὴ ἀδίκειDo not wrong the dead

141.Εὖ πάσχε ὡς θνητόςBe well off as a mortal

142.Τύχῃ μὴ πίστευεDo not trust fortune

143.Παῖς ὢν κόσμιος ἴσθιAs a child be well-behaved

144.Ἡβῶν ἐγκρατής As a youth be self-disciplined

145.Μέσος δίκαιοςAs of middle-age be just

146.Πρεσβύτης εὔλογοςAs an old man be sensible

147.Τελευτῶν ἄλυποςOn reaching the end be without sorrow

 

 

 

 

Step 4: 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.

 

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Fumes and Vapors

 

The vapor is if high importance in the Chaos Story line. Here is some info that can bring light to this mystery.

 

The oracle of Apollo at Delphi was famed throughout the Greek world and even beyond. The oracle - the Pythia or priestess - would answer questions put to her by visitors wishing to be guided in their future actions. The whole process was a lengthy one, usually taking up a whole day and only carried out on specific days of the year. First the priestess would perform various actions of purification such as washing in the nearby Castilian Spring, burning laurel leaves, and drinking holy water. Next an animal - usually a goat - was sacrificed. The party seeking advice would then offer a pelanos - a sort of pie - before being allowed into the inner temple where the priestess resided and gave her pronouncements, possibly in a drug or natural gas-induced state of ecstasy. 

 

 There have been many attempts to find a scientific explanation for the Pythia's inspiration. However, most commonly, these refer to an observation made by Plutarch, who presided as high priest at Delphi for several years, who stated that her oracular powers appeared to be associated with vapors from the Kerna spring waters that flowed under the temple. It has often been suggested that these vapors may have been hallucinogenic gases.

 

 Recent geological investigations have shown that gas emissions from a geologic chasm in the earth could have inspired the Delphic Oracle to "connect with the divine." Some researchers suggest the possibility that ethylene gas caused the Pythia's state of inspiration. Traces of ethylene have been found in the waters of the Castallian spring, which is now largely diverted for the town water supply of the town of modern Delphi. However, Lehoux argues that ethylene is "impossible" and benzene is "crucially underdetermined." Others argue 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources and Links to more interesting info regarding The Pythia: 

 

 

Ancient-Origins

Pythia Wiki

Oracle of Delphi

 

 

 

Edited by RequixEclipse
Updating OP/New Pics/New Information

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Great post, Requix! I'm really fund on in-depth threads like this, espessially when a mythology can be linked/explained by science. Medusa was the Oracle, right?

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I had absolutely no interest in Greek mythology before AE, but I currently have quite a fascination with it.

 

Oh, and the CoDZ Reddit... lol... I literally just got banned from there. The moderators haven't got a clue. I kept posting high rounds stuff and apparently it's self-promotion because it's from YouTube, even though the rules state "Submissions from community figures are not considered promotion as long as the content adds something of value to the subreddit or sparks discussion" - it most likely would have sparked discussion given half a chance. Even posted a screenshot of my AE round 100 post-game screen, and it got removed for "repetitive topics" with the message essentially saying, we get too many people just posting about their accomplishments here and we're not interested, the only things welcome here are memes, EE stuff and complaints about the game. I posted one last video and said if the mods ban me for self promotion then whatever, this sub is a pile of crap anyway - duly banned 🤣 Don't care anymore, lost interest. Before I was banned someone else made a thread asking why the mods hate high rounders and it was an active topic, so I made my own sub-Reddit for high rounders anyway and shared it there which likely contributed to my ban, might be a decent place to share with the handful that actually care about high rounds and not just EEs, plus here of course!

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On 5/2/2019 at 2:50 AM, anonymous said:

Great post, Requix! I'm really fund on in-depth threads like this, espessially when a mythology can be linked/explained by science. Medusa was the Oracle, right?

Epithets of Athena include Pallas(girl) and Parthenos (virgin), living up to which, she is conspicuous amongst the gods for not indulging in illicit relationships with other divinities, demi-gods, or mortals. Other epithets were Promachos (of war) - perhaps referring to more patriotic, defensive, and strategic warfare, rather than attacking warfare, in contrast to her more aggressive, conflict-loving brother Ares, Ergane (of the crafts), and Nike (victory).

 

The goddess was not to be trifled with as her transformation of Medusa into a Gorgon demonstrates, and her sense of justice was such that acts of impiety were swiftly avenged, as with the Archaean heroes following their capture of Troy and desecration of the goddess’ sanctuary. @anonymous

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