Past, Present, and Future: Old and New Perspectives in Dodona and Greek Oracles
October 10, 2017 · 4:30 pm—6:00 pm · 106 McCormick Hall
Pierre Bonnechere, University of Montreal
Program in the Ancient World
The recent publication of about 4200 new lamellae from the oracle of Dodona , was a revolution only a few people noticed. Yet the existence of 4200 new epigraphical texts focused on a same theme is in itself truly exciting, especially in the field of oracles, which has long been exaggeratedly dominated by literary texts. How is Dodona, even before 2013, already a very promising case-study for approaching Greek divination and history, and why, after 2013, scholars who have remained reluctant to change their minds about the foundations of Greek mantic practice will definitely be forced to do so. The lecture will analyze the image of Dodona according to the literary tradition, then look at the decline of the oracles as it was seen by the Greeks themselves, to eventually come back to the epigraphical evidence and the necessary shift in paradigm about and to what extent divination played a role in Greek society and history.