weebly reliable statistics
DIVINATION IN HELLENISMOS
Delphic Tripod on krator pottery from the British Museum, part of larger depiction of the trial of Orestes. Foto: Jastrow who kindly releases it to the Public Domain. File found on this page: File:Delphi tripod.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
MANTOSÝNI - ΜΑΝΤΟΣΥΝΗ
HellenicGods.org
HOME           GLOSSARY             RESOURCE             ART            LOGOS           CONTACT


MANTOSÝNI - (Gr. μαντοσύνη, ΜΑΝΤΟΣΥΝΗ.  Pronounced: mahn-toh-SEE-nee) Mantosýni is the art of divination.  [1] Mántis (Gr. Μάντῐς) is prophet or seer who speaks the will of God.


Zefs is the source of all oracle

The source of genuine oracle is Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς), for which he is known by the epithet Panomphaios (Gr. Πανομφαῖος), as says Ómiros (Homer; Gr. Ὅμηρος) in the epic poem, Iliás (The Iliad; Gr. Ἰλιάς):  

"Beside the beautiful altar of Zeus he let fall the fawn where the Achaeans were used to offer sacrifice to Zeus from whom all omens come (Πανομϕαίῳ)." [2]

Why, as Ómiros states, do all oracles come from Zefs? ...for many reasons, not the least of which is that he has dominion over and complete knowledge of Destiny, which he shares with and administers through the Mírai (Moirai or Moerae; Gr. Μοῖραι), the FatesZefs is Ýpatos (Gr. Ὕπατος), the highest, supreme deity, who even holds sway over the lives of mortals and the course of events.

Since oracle comes from Zefs himself, a most important divinity, it is necessary to understand how it is used and not used in Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion.


Who is Thǽmis and why is this Goddess important in regards to oracle?

Oracle was first spoken by Earth and the gift of oracle was given to Thǽmis (Themis; Gr. Θέμις) and passed down, eventually becoming the possession of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων), who holds it permanently.

Thǽmis (Themis; Gr. Θέμις) is the daughter of Ouranós (Uranus; Gr. Οὐρανόςand Yi (Ge = Earth; Gr. Γῆ). Ouranós is a pre-form of Zefs. Thǽmis is the face and voice of divine Law and with her oracular power reveals it to mortals. The Orphic hymn to Thǽmis does not speak of her dominion over Law and Justice, the dominions of which are usually associated with her, but, rather, speaks of her oracular ability; this oracular ability, however, is intimately connected with Law and Justice, as is elaborated by Diódohros Sikælióhtis (Diodorus Siculus; Gr. Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης) in his Library of History:

"Themis, the myths tell us, was the first to introduce divinations and sacrifices and ordinances which concern the Gods, and to instruct men in the ways of obedience to laws and of peace. Consequently men who preserve what is holy with respect to the Gods and the laws of men are called ‘law-guardians’ (thesmophulakes [ed. thæsmophýlakas; Gr. θεσμοϕύλακας]) and ‘law-givers’ (thesmothetai [ed. thæsmothǽtas; θεσμοθέτας]), and we say that Apollo at the moment when he is to return the oracular responses, is ‘issuing laws and ordinances’ (themisteuein [ed. thæmistévein; Gr. θεμιστεύειν]), in view of the fact that Themis was the discoveress of oracular responses."  [3]


What is the source of the oracles of Thǽmis?  The Homeric hymn to Zefs states that he... 

"...whispers words of wisdom to Themis as she sits leaning towards him."  [4]


  

Apóllohn receives the oracle from Thǽmis and holds the oracle forever

Thǽmis received the oracle from her mother Yi (Earth). Thǽmis then gave the oracle to Apóllohn (Gr. Ἀπόλλων) for which he is known by the epithet Loxías (Gr. Λοξίας), the prophet and interpreter of Zefs. Some sources say that she first gave it to Phívi (Phoebe: Gr. Φοίβη) who then gave it to Apóllohn: 

The Pythia speaks: "I give first place of honor in my prayer to her
who of the Gods first prophesied, the Earth; and next
to Themis, who succeeded to her mother's place
of prophecy; so runs the legend; and in third
succession, given by free consent, not won by force,
another Titan daughter of Earth was seated here.
This was Phoebe. She gave it as birthday gift
to Phoebus (ed. 
Apóllohn), who is called still after Phoebe's name.
And he, leaving the pond of Delos and the reef,
grounded his ship at the roadstead of Pallas, then
made his way to this land and a Parnassian home.
Deep in respect for his degree Hephaestus' sons
conveyed him here, for these are builders of roads, and changed
the wilderness to a land that was no wilderness.
He came so, and the people highly honored him,
with Delphus, lord and helmsman of the country. Zeus
made his mind full with Godship and prophetic craft
and placed him, fourth in a line of seers, upon this throne.
So, Loxias is the spokesman of his father, Zeus." [5]

The important point is that Thǽmis had the oracle and it was at last given to Apóllohn and that by this oracle, Apóllohn is "the spokesman for his father, Zeus."

"... Apollo learned the art of prophecy from Pan (ed. Πᾶν), the son of Zeus and Hybris (ed. Gr. Ὕβρεως in the text), and came to Delphi (ed. Dælphí; Gr. Δελφοί), where Themis at that time used to deliver oracles; and when the snake Python (ed. Pýthohn; Gr. Πύθων), which guarded the oracle, would have hindered him from approaching the chasm, he killed it and took over the oracle." [6]

Thus Thǽmis is a pre-form of Apóllohn, and Apóllohn, like Thǽmis, speaks the will of his father: 

"...for Apollo hath power, for that he sitteth on the right hand of Zeus." [7]  

This image of Apóllohn sitting on the right hand of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς)Sympárædros (Gr. Συμπαρεδρος = joint-throne-holder) to Zefs, can be likened to that of Thǽmis receiving Zefs' whispered words, making Apóllohn the chief minister of Nómos, (Gr. Νόμος) the manifestation of the Law and Justice of Zefs. Thus, oracle is intimately connected with Law, Justice, and the will of Zefs, the father of Gods and man. Therefore, oracle and how it is used is no small matter. 

In ancient times, Apóllohn spoke the mind of Zefs by means of the Pythía (Gr. Πυθία) at the sanctuary of Dælphí (Delphi; Gr. Δελφοί). The Pythía was merely the vehicle for Apóllohn, as the God himself is the true Oracle of Dælphí (Manteio tohn Dælphóhn; Gr. Μαντείο των Δελφών) and Apóllohn speaks the very will of Zefs himself, for which he is called the genuine Mántis (Gr. Μάντς), the Prophet, because he knows and speaks the mind of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς).  


The Homeric hymn to Ærmís as concerns Apóllohn and divination

Near the conclusion of the Homeric hymn to to Ærmís (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς), Apóllohn says to his brother:

"...μαντείην δέ, ϕέριστε, διοτρεϕές, ἣν ἐρεείνεις, οὔτε σὲ θέσϕατόν ἐστι δαήμεναι οὔτε τιν' ἄλλον ἀθανάτων·  τὸ γὰρ οἶδε Διὸς νόος·"

"But as for sooth-saying, noble, heaven-born child, of which you ask, it is not lawful for you to learn it, nor for any other of the deathless Gods: only the mind of Zeus knows that." [8]

Apóllohn goes on to say that he reserves the power of oracle to himself:

"I am pledged and have vowed and sworn a strong oath that no other of the eternal Gods save I should know the wise-hearted counsel of Zeus." [8]

Further, the God warns people who might consult soothsayers with these words:

"But whoso shall trust to idly-chattering birds and shall seek to invoke my prophetic art contrary to my will, and to understand more than the eternal Gods, I declare that he shall come on an idle journey..."  [8]

If Apóllohn says that it is not lawful for a God to learn the art of divination, so much more for a mortal.

Returning to the text, Apóllohn goes on to say a most unusual thing:

"There are certain holy ones, sisters born---three virgins gifted with wings: Their heads are besprinkled with white meal, and they dwell under a ridge of Parnassus.  These are teachers of divination apart from me, the art which I practised while yet a boy following herds, though my father paid no heed to it.  From their home they fly now here, now there, feeding on honey-comb and bringing all things to pass.  And when they are inspired through eating yellow honey, they are willing to speak truth; but if they be deprived of the Gods' sweet food, then they speak falsely."  [8]

In the hymn, Apóllohn definitively connects divination with oracle (oracle in Greek is khrismós; Gr. χρησμός), for he uses the word "sooth-saying" (μαντείην in the ancient text) in regard to asking for an ability which is forbidden [9] and that soothsaying infringes on his oracular dominion, for Apóllohn states that "only the mind of Zeus knows it" and that "no other of the eternal Gods save I should know the wise-hearted counsel of Zeus." This prohibition can be assumed to apply even more so to mortals. These words are worthy of repetition and grave deliberation.


Established Oracles of the Ancient World

There were many sanctuaries in antiquity which were oracular centers, answering the queries of suppliants. They are a special case in a discussion of divination, as these sanctuaries were the seats of mighty deities. 

The most important oracular sanctuary in the ancient world was Dælphí (Delphi; Gr. Δελφοί), which was the geographical heart of Ællinismόs as it was thought to be the center of the world. Dælphí is the principal seat of Apóllohn where oracles were delivered by a priestess called the Pythía (Gr. Πυθία), who sat upon a tripod and uttered answers to questions. These came in the form of riddles which were somewhat interpreted by priests. Ultimately, it was up to the recipient to decipher the meaning of the oracle, and this was determined by their virtue, for Apóllohn uses his oracular power to both assist and impair mankind:

"As for men, I will harm one and profit another, sorely perplexing the tribes of unenviable men." 

It was universally accepted that the oracles delivered by the Pythía were from Apóllohn himself, and, as explained above, the authority of this mighty God is based on his perfect knowledge of the will of his father, Ýpatos (Supreme; Gr. Ὕπατος) Zefs. The Oracle of Dælphí was consulted by all who were able to do so, rulers and common folk, sometimes journeying great distances to have their questions answered. These oracles figure prominently in the history of the ancient world as momentous decisions were made based upon the advise received; there are several hundreds of these which have been preserved, some of the more famous can be found here: 
List of Oracular Statements from Dælphí.
 

There were many other oracular centers in antiquity; some of the more notable include the following, grouped according to the deity associated with the sanctuary:

Apóllohn: The sanctuary at Dídyma (Gr. Δίδυμα) was an oracular shrine of Apóllohn Philísios (Philesius;Gr. Φιλήσιος), Apollo the amicable. The oracles given there were interpreted by priests after having been delivered by a priestess who sat above a sacred spring. The entire proceedings were conducted by the priestly Vrángkhidai (Branchidae; Gr. Βράγχιδαι), descendants of Vrángkhos (Branchos; Gr. Βράγχος), a beautiful youth to whom Apóllohn gave the gift of prophecy. And there were more oracular sanctuaries dedicated to Apóllohn, those at Ávai (Abae; Gr. Ἄβαι) and Dílos (Delos; Gr. Δήλος), as well as many others. 

Zefs: At Dohdóhna (Dodona; Gr. Δωδώνᾱ), the sanctuary was dedicated to Zefs and Dióhni (Dione; Gr. Διώνη), and the oracles were construed from the sounds of the rustling leaves of oak, a tree sacred to Zefs. This place is regarded as the oldest oracular temple complex of the ancient Hellenic world. The sanctuary of Zefs at Olympía (Gr. Ολυμπία) was also an oracular shrine. The sanctuary of Zefs-Ammon at the Siwa Oasis in Egypt was another notable source of oracles; it was visited by Alǽxandros (Alexander the Great; Gr. Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας) as he journeyed east. 

Asklipiós: The numerous temples of Asklipiós (Asclepius; Gr. Ἀσκληπιός) made medical diagnosis by means of a type of divination, the interpretation of dreams which patients had while visiting; these temples included the most famous of all, that at Æpídavros (Epidaurus; Gr. Ἐπίδαυρος) at the Gulf of Aiyina (Aegina; Gr. Αίγινα), the principal seat of the God, but there were many others throughout the Hellenic and Hellenistic world, for there is no place from which mortal beings are exempt from illness. 


With the closing of the ancient temples by the Christian emperor Theodosius I, beginning in 381 CE, these eminent oracular centers have receded into history. 


Seers and Diviners of Antiquity

The ancient literature provides ample evidence of historical personages who practiced various forms of divination, and in mythology, we have numerous examples of people who were given the gift of prophecy, often from Apóllohn or Zefs. Providing here just a few examples, would be Mópsos (Gr. Μόψος) of Kláros (Claros; Gr. Κλάρος), Kassándra (Cassandra; Gr.Κασσάνδρα), the priestess of Apóllohn from Troy, and Kálkhas (Calchas; Gr. Κάλχας) of Árgos (Gr. Ἄργος), who was given this gift by Apóllohn, Perhaps the most famous of all the ancient seers would be Teiræsías (Teiresias; Gr. Τειρεσίας), the blind prophet of Thívai (Thebes; Gr. Θῆβαι), who figures prominently in many of the myths.

"They say that Teiresias saw two snakes mating on Cithaeron (ed. KithairóhnGr. Κιθαιρών, a mountain range in central Greece) and that, when he killed the female, he was changed into a woman, and again, when he killed the male, took again his own nature. This same Teiresias was chosen by Zeus and Hera to decide the question whether the male or the female has most pleasure in intercourse. And he said:

'Of ten parts a man enjoys one only; but a woman's sense enjoys all ten in full'

For this Hera was angry and blinded him, but Zeus gave him the seer's power." [11]


Conclusion

The long Homeric hymn to Ærmís, as illustrated above, limits the practice of divination to Apóllohn alone, forbidding it even to other Gods. It must be stated, however, that there is plentiful evidence from the ancient world which would seem to contradict such a prohibition. We are not allowed to violate the freedom of individuals nor to make judgments: we are mortals, not Gods. However, the author of this little essay prays that those who dabble in divination actually know what they are doing, that their hearts are pure and consumed with Arætí (Arete; Gr. Ἀρετή), genuine Virtue, that they do not squander the precious time both of themselves and others, and that the "sisters" mentioned above in the hymn have "fed on the honey-comb" and have not been "deprived of the Gods' sweet food," for if they have been deprived, says Apóllohn, they will speak falsely.


"And now there is no seer among mortal men such as would know the mind of Zeus who holds the aegis." [12]


NOTES:

A list of abbreviations can be found near the bottom of this page: GLOSSARY HOME.

[1] L&S p. 1080, left column. L&S = Greek-English Lexicon by H.G. Liddell and R. Scott, 1843; we are using the 1996 Clarendon Press edition (Oxford, England).

[2] Ómiros (Homer; Gr. Ὅμηρος) Iliás (Iliad; Gr. Ἰλιάς) viii.250. HIM1 p. 369.  HIM1 = Homer Iliad I: Books 1-12 trans. A. T. Murray, Revised by William F. Wyatt, 1924.  We are using the 1999 edition published by Harvard University Press (Cambridge MA USA and London England), Loeb Classical Library LCL 170.

[3] Diódohros Sikælióhtis (Diodorus Siculus; Gr. Διόδωρος Σικελιώτης) Library of History Book V. 67. 4; trans. C. H. Oldfather, 1939; found here in the 2000 Harvard [Cambridge, MA and London, England] edition of Diodorus Siculus Library of History, Loeb LCL 340, p. 279.

[4] Homeric hymn to Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) To the Son of Kronos Most High, trans. Hugh Evelyn-White, 1914; found here in the 1936  Heinemann [London]/Harvard [Cambridge, Mass.] edition, Loeb Vol. 57, Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica, p. 449.

[5] Aiskhýlos (Aeschylus; Gr. Αἰσχύλος) Efmænídæs 1-19 (Eumenides; Gr. Εὐμενίδες) CGT1 p. 135, trans. by Richard Lattimore, 1953.  CGT1 = The Complete Greek Tragedies Vol. 1: Aeschylus,  translated by various authors.  Published by the University of Chicago Press (Chicago IL USA) 1959, the individual plays have various original copyright dates.

[6] Apollódohros (Apollodorus; Gr. Ἀπολλόδωρος) The Library I.IV.I, trans. James George Frazer, 1921; found here in the 1990 Harvard [Cambridge, Mass./London] edition, Loeb Vol. 121, Apollodorus The Library Vol. 1, p. 27.

[7] Kallímakhos (Callimachus; Gr. Καλλίμαχος) hymn To Apollo 27-29, trans. A. W. Mair and G. R. Mair,1921found here in the 1989 Harvard [Cambridge, Mass./London] edition, Loeb Vol.129, Callimachus Hymns and Epigrams, p. 51.

[8] Homeric Hymn To Ærmís 524-578 [conclusion of the hymn]. HHH pp. 401-403.  HHH = Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA) and William Heinemann LTD (London England), Loeb Classical Library, 1914.  We are using the 1936 edition.

[9] A soothsayer is a mántis (Gr. μάντῐς) who possesses manteia (Gr. μαντεία), prophetic power, and delivers khrismós (Gr. χρησμός), oracle.

[10] Homeric hymn IV to Ærmís, lines 541-542, trans. Hugh Evelyn-White, 1914; found here in the 1936 Heinemann [London]/Harvard [Cambridge, Mass.] edition, Loeb Vol. 57, entitled Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica, p. 403.

[11] Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. ἩσίοδοςMælampodía (Melampodia; Gr. Μελαμποδία) fragment 3, trans. Hugh Evelyn-White, 1914; found here in the 1936 Heinemann [London]/Harvard [Cambridge, Mass.] edition, Loeb Vol. 57, entitled Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns, and Homerica, p. 296.

[12] Ibid. Hugh Evelyn-White, p. 271, Isíodos Mælampodía fragment 9.


GLOSSARY 

A list of abbreviations can be found near the bottom of this page: GLOSSARY HOME.

Eikastís - (eicastes; Gr. εἰκαστής, ΕΙΚΑΣΤΗΣ) Lexicon entry: εἰκαστής, οῦ, one who conjectures, diviner. II. one who portrays, represents. (L&S p. 484, right column, within the entries beginning with εἰκᾰσία.)

Iærómantis - (Hieromantis; Gr. Ἱερόμαντις, ΙΕΡΟΜΑΝΤΙΣ), εως, ὁ, holy seer, Cat. Cod. Astr.8(4).148.  (L&S p. 821, right column within the definitions beginning with ίερό-ληπτος)

Khrismohdǽoh - (chresmodeo; Gr. χρησμῳδέω, ΧΡΗΣΜΩΔΕΩ. Verb.) Lexicon entry: χρησμῳδέωdeliver oracles, prophesy. II. Pass., to be inspired, receive a divine revelation. (L&S p. 2006, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Khrismohdía - (chresmodia; Gr. χρησμῳδία, ΧΡΗΣΜΩΔΙΑ. Noun.) Lexicon entry: χρησμῳδία, answer of an oracle, prophecy, prop. chanted or in verse, Plu.2.402d. (L&S p. 2006, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Khrismóhdima - (chresmodema; Gr. χρησμῴδημα, ΧΡΗΣΜΩΔΗΜΑ) Lexicon entry: χρησμῴδημα, ατος, τόoracular response. (L&S p. 2006, right column, within the entries beginning with χρησμῳδέω, edited for simplicity.)

Khrismohdós - (chresmodos; Gr. χρησμῳδός, ΧΡΗΣΜΩΔΟΣ. Adjective.) Lexicon entry: χρησμῳδός, όν, (ᾠδή) prop. chanting oracles, or delivering them in verse; then, generally, prophesying, prophetic, χ. παρθένος, of the Sphinx; epith. of Apollo. 2. oracular, φάτις. II. as Subst., soothsayer, oracle-monger. (L&S p. 2006, right column, within the entries beginning with χρησμῳδία, edited for simplicity.)

K
hrismolýtis - (Gr. χρησμολύτης, ΧΡΗΣΜΟΛΥΤΗΣ) Lexicon entry: χρησμολύτης [ῠ], ου, , expounder of oracles. (L&S p. 2006, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Khrismológos - (Gr. χρησμολόγος, ΧΡΗΣΜΟΛΟΓΟΣ) Lexicon entry: χρησμολόγος (parox.), ον, uttering oracles, χ. ἀνήρ soothsayer, diviner; of Musaeus. II. expounder of oracles, Hdt.7.142,143; and in 7.6, of Onomacritus, collector of oracles, oracle-monger. (L&S p. 2006, left column, within the entries beginning with χρησμολογέω, edited for simplicity.)

Khrismoloyía - (Gr. χρησμολογία, ΧΡΗΣΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ) Lexicon entry: χρησμολογία, ἡ, an uttering of oracles(L&S p. 2006, left column, within the entries beginning with χρησμολογέω, edited for simplicity.).

K
hrismoloyikí - (Gr. χρησμολογική, ΧΡΗΣΜΟΛΟΓΙΚΗ) Lexicon entry: χρησμολογική (sc. τέχνη), ἡ, the art of divination (L&S p. 2006, left column, within the entries beginning with χρησμολογέω, edited for simplicity.).

Khrismolóyion - (Gr. χρησμολόγιον, ΧΡΗΣΜΟΛΟΓΙΟΝ) Lexicon entry: χρησμολόγιον, τό, divination(L&S p. 2006, left column, within the entries beginning with χρησμολογέω, edited for simplicity.)

Khrismopefstǽoh - (Gr. χρησμοπευστέω, ΧΡΗΣΜΟΠΕΥΣΤΕΩ) Lexicon entry: χρησμοπευστέω, consult an oracle. (L&S p. 2006, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Khrismós(Gr. χρησμός, ΧΡΗΣΜΟΣ, , (χράω (B) A) oracular response, oracle.  (L&S p. 2006, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Khristírion - (chresterion; Gr. χρηστήριον, ΧΡΗΣΤΗΡΙΟΝ) Lexicon entry: χρηστήριον, τόan oracle, i. e., I. the seat of an oracle, such as Delphi. 2. oracular response. II. an offering for the oracle, made by those consulting it: generally, sacrificial victim. (L&S p. 2006, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Khrístis - (chrestes; Gr. χρήστης, ΧΡΗΣΤΗΣ) Lexicon entry: χρήστης (written χρείστης), ου, : gen. pl. χρήστων (not χρηστῶν, to distinguish it from the gen. pl. of χρηστός): (χράω (B) A):— one who gives or expounds oracles, prophet, soothsayer. (L&S p. 2006, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Klidónisma - (kledonisma; Gr. κληδόνισμα, ΚΛΗΔΟΝΙΣΜΑ) Lexicon entry: κληδόνισμα, ατος, τό, sign, omen(L&S p. 958, right column at the very bottom, within the entries beginning with κληδονίζω, edited for simplicity.)


Klidonismós - (kledonismos; Gr. κληδονισμός, ΚΛΗΔΟΝΙΣΜΟΣ) Lexicon entry: κληδονισμός, observation of a sign or omen(L&S p. 959, left column at the very top, within the entries beginning with κληδονίζω from the previous page, edited for simplicity.)

Manteia (Gr. μαντεία, ΜΑΝΤΕΙΑ) Manteia is prophetic power, power of divination. (L&S p. 1079, right column)

Mántis (Gr. Μάντῐς, ΜΑΝΤΙΣFeminine: Mántissa; Gr. Μάντισσα, ΜΑΝΤΙΣΣΑ) - A Mántis is prophet or seer who speaks the will of God. Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων) is the genuine Mántis because he knows and speaks the mind of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς). (L&S p. 1080, left column)

Mantosýni - (Gr. Μαντοσύνη, ΜΑΝΤΟΣΥΝΗ. Pronounced: mahn-toh-SEE-nee)  Mantosýni is the art of divination. (L&S p. 1080, left column.)

Oneirokrisía - (Gr. Ὀνειροκρισία, ΟΝΕΙΡΟΚΡΙΣΙΑ) Oneirokrisía is the art of interpreting dreams. The surviving text from antiquity regarding this subject is the Oneirokritikón (Oneirocriticon; Gr. Όνειροκριτικόν) of Artemídohros (Artemidorus; Gr. Ἀρτεμίδωρος). Oneirokrisía was used, in part, as a tool to predict the future, and, as such, it is a form of divination, but there is another use for Oneirokrisía involving Thæofánia (Gr. Θεοφάνεια), the appearance of a God . If they have reason to do so, Gods have the ability to appear to mortals, but they rarely appear in waking hours. Such an experience would overwhelm mortals and have undesirable side-effects. Therefore, Gods, if they have reason to appear to us, will do so in dreams or in the state between dreams and waking. In such a circumstance, the details of the dream are important and must be interpreted through Oneirokrisía.

Panomphaios (Gr. Πανομφαῖος, ΠΑΝΟΜΠΑΙΟΣ) Lexicon entry: Πανομφαῖος, sender of ominous voices, author of divination, Ζεύς Il.8.250, Orph.A.660; Ἠέλιος Q.S.5.626; Ἥρα πανομφαία EM768.53. (L&S p. 1298, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Psykhomanteia - (psychomanteia; Gr. ψυχομαντεία, ΨΥΧΟΜΑΝΤΕΙΑ) Lexicon entry: ψῡχομαντεία, , necromancy. (L&S p. 2028, left column, within the entries beginning with ψυχολιπής.)

Síma - (Sema; Gr. σῆμα, ΣΗΜΑ) Lexicon entry: σῆμα, Dor. σᾶμα: ατος, τό:— sign, mark, token. 1. sign from heaven, omen, portent. (L&S p. 1592, right column, edited for simplicity.)

Splángkhnon - (splangchnon; Gr. σπλάγχνον, ΣΠΛΑΓΧΝΟΝ) Lexicon entry: σπλάγχνον, τό, mostly in pl. σπλάγχνα (σπλάγχανα), inward parts, esp. the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, which in sacrifices were reserved to be eaten by the sacrificers at the beginning of their feast; also as used in divination. 2. any part of the inwards, ὑπὸ σπλάγχνων ἐλθεῖν to come from the womb, of a babe. 3. οἱ παῖδες (children) σπλάγχνα λέγονται Artem.1.44. II. metaph. (like heart), the seat of the feelings, affections, esp. of anger. III. = βρύον. (L&S p. 1628, left column, edited for simplicity.)

Thæopropǽoh - (Theopropeo; Gr. θεοπροπέω, ΘΕΟΠΡΟΠΕΩ. Verb.) Lexicon entry: θεοπροπέωprophesy, but only in part. masc., θεοπροπέων ἀγορεύεις Il.1.109. II. to be a θεοπρόπος 11, in Boeot. form θιοπρ-. (L&S p. 791, left column, edited for simplicity.)

Thæosimeia - (theosemeia; Gr. θεοσημεία, ΘΕΟΣΗΜΕΙΑ) Lexicon entry: θεοσημεία, , a sign from the Gods, Suid.:—also θεοσημία, , Hsch. s.v. εὐαμερία (ed. or εὐημερίαgood weather, prosperity, health, honor). (L&S)


Thæopropía - (theopropia; Gr. θεοπροπία, ΘΕΟΠΡΟΠΙΑ. Noun.) Lexicon entry: θεοπροπία, prophecy, oracle, Il.1.87, Od.1.415, etc. (L&S p. 791, left column, within the entries beginning θεοπροπέω.)


Vakís - (Bakis or Bacis; Gr. Βακίς, ΒΑΚΙΣ) There were two people by the name of Vakís who were seers from antiquity, one from Viohtía (Boeotia; Gr. Βοιωτία) and one from Arkadía (Arcadia; Gr. Αρκαδία)Vakís may originally have just meant "seer" but came to be applied to these individuals as being their names.

Lexicon entry: βᾰκίς, ίδος, ὁ, Boeotian prophet, Hdt. 8.20,77, al.; acc. Βάκιν Ar. Pax1071; others are mentioned in Sch.Ar. l.c.: hence in pl., Βακίδες, οἱ, soothsayers, Arist.Pr.954a36. (L&S p. 303, left column)


AISOHPOS (Aesop; Gr. Αἴσωπος): "THE PROPHET: A WIZARD, sitting in the marketplace, was telling the fortunes of the passers-by when a person ran up in great haste, and announced to him that the doors of his house had been broken open and that all his goods were being stolen. He sighed heavily and hastened away as fast as he could run. A neighbor saw him running and said, "Oh! you fellow there! you say you can foretell the fortunes of others; how is it you did not foresee your own?' " (Aesop's Fables, Fable No. 195, trans. George Fyler Townsend, 1871.)


The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς).  



PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as mythology, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

PHOTO COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: The many pages of this website incorporate images, some created by the author, but many obtained from outside sources. To find out more information about these images and why this website can use them, visit this link: Photo Copyright Information

DISCLAIMER: The inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) with the views of HellenicGods.org by the external sources from which they were obtained.

Further, the inclusion of images, quotations, and links from outside sources does not in any way imply agreement (or disagreement), approval (or disapproval) by HellenicGods.org of the contents or views of any external sources from which they were obtained.

For more information: Inquire.hellenicgods@gmail.com

For answers to many questions: Hellenismos FAQ

© 2010 by HellenicGods.org.  All Rights Reserved.



HOME               GLOSSARY                RESOURCE                ART               LOGOS                CONTACT