Secrets of the Oracle of Delphi

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Taught by Andrew Coletti

Andrew Coletti is an educator, food writer and history nerd who has been known to throw historical dinner parties just for fun. He makes videos about food history on TikTok and Instagram @passtheflamingo, and writes about food for Tasting Table and other publications.

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Few places in the Ancient Greek world are more legendary than Delphi, where the oracle priestess of Apollo foretold the future for anyone brave enough to hear it. For centuries, people journeyed to Delphi from across the Classical world for answers to their most pressing questions. Emperors sought the oracle’s counsel before founding cities, while generals asked her permission to go to war. It’s hard to find a writer from Ancient Greece or Rome who doesn’t at least mention the Oracle of Delphi in passing. 

Yet who were these women who spoke the words of a god? How were they chosen for their role, and what was the source of their apparent powers of foresight? How was this peculiar institution established, and how did it come to an end after so many years?

This class will reveal the history of the Delphic Oracle: from her unlikely beginnings to her rise and fall, to the modern efforts to find a scientific explanation for her prophecies.

No prior knowledge required!

Cancellation policy