Oracles of Ancient Greece


Kelly Macquire
published on 25 October 2022

Oracles in the ancient Greek world were the way in which the people of Greece could communicate with their gods. Gods couldn’t be communed with directly, so an oracle, who was often a woman, was the person that the gods spoke through, acting as the medium between the divine realm and the world of mortals. Consulting with an oracle was the way in which people could learn the will of the gods for their lives, what the future held, and these oracles were set up at important religious sites across Greece, with the most important being the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi and the Oracle of Zeus at Dodona.

The Oracle of Delphi was the home to the most popular oracle in the Greek world, the Pythia or priestess of Apollo, the god of prophecy, music, light, and healing. The temple complex at Delphi, built in honour of Apollo, dates back over two thousand seven hundred years and was known all throughout the Mediterranean world. The temple was built based on a mythological story of Apollo. The god killed the monster Python after it was sent by Hera to terrorise Leda, a lover of Hera’s husband Zeus and the mother of Apollo and Artemis. After slaying Python at Delphi, a temple was built in his honour, and that is where his oracle was situated.



0:00​ Introduction
0:52 The Ancient Greek Oracle
2:45 The Oracle of Delphi
8:49 Outro

The Pythia - Priestess of Ancient Delphi—priestess-of-ancient-delphi/
Ancient Greek Religion

The Greek God Apollo: The Myths of the Olympian God of Music, Medicine, the Sun and Archery
The Greek Goddess Demeter and the Eleusinian Mysteries
The Tragic Tale of Orpheus and Eurydice
Aphrodite the Goddess of Love and Beauty in Greek Mythology

You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here -

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

World History Encyclopedia

#greekoracle #oracleofdelphi #delphicoracle

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2022, October 25). Oracles of Ancient Greece. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Oracles of Ancient Greece." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified October 25, 2022.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Oracles of Ancient Greece." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 25 Oct 2022. Web. 24 May 2024.