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Magic And Divination: Two Apolline Oracles On Magic

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter the author takes a close look at two oracles. The first is an oracle from Clarus given to an unknown town in Western Anatolia and known to us through an inscription found by the Austrian excavators in Ephesus. The second text comes from Porphyry's De Philosophia ex Oraculis Haurienda and is preserved in Eusebius's Praeparatio Evangelica and has been discussed in Apolline divination in the Imperial Epoch. The oracle from Ephesus belongs to a well-known series of Clarian oracles advising a specific city on measures against an epidemic that is threatening the city, after its inhabitants sent a delegation to the oracle asking for help. All these oracles, the Clarian one as well as the much earlier texts from Dodona, construct sorcery as something negative, a ritual that was the cause of bad things such as pandemic disease or other afflictions. The second oracle contradicts this.

Keywords: Apolline oracles; Clarian oracles; Clarus; divination; Dodona; Ephesus; Imperial Epoch



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