The most famous oracle for its prophecy was the oracle of Delphi. Delphi was located on the slope of Mount Parnassus of central Greece with views of the sea and valleys below. It was considered by the Greeks to be in the center of the earth. The Greeks believed that the gods lived in the heavens. The location of Delphi, high in the mountains, had a spritual significance to the Greeks.
Ordinary Greeks could get their futures told for a small fee. Questions like "Should I become a shepherd?" or "Is my wife having an affair with someone else?" or "Did my slave steal the eggs?" are common questions with a simple yes or no answer that were asked by people. Sometimes, cities asked the oracle a question with a detailed answer. If the answer was wrong, the god of the oracle would lose its standings, and put the priests out of business. Therefore, the priests gave answers with many sides. When King Croesus of Lydia went to the oracle to ask if he should go to battle with the Persians. The oracle of Delphi replied that a great kingdom would be destroyed if he went to fight. King Croesus thought that it meant the Persian empire, but it turned out that Croesus' own great kingdom was destroyed.
|Apollo was the god at Delphi. He was said to have defeated the serpent Python which had guarded the oracle previously. It was claimed that Apollo spoke to the chief priestess called Pythia who delivered his sayings the people. Many of her answers were said in complicated verses and translated by the priests of the temple.|
This is a tripod that Pythia would sit on.
The wealth of Delphi, because of the oracle, was a common target of attack. Delphi declined after the Roman conquest of Greece; however, the oracle continued until AD 390.