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Oracles of the Dead

Oracles of the Dead

Ancient Techniques for Predicting the Future

An examination of the shadow side of prophecy in human history and our attitudes toward fate and predicting the future

•   Explores the divinatory techniques and traditions of classical Greece and Rome as compared with ancient China

•   Contains new information concerning the location of the Greek Oracle of the Dead at Baia

•   Shows how the latest discoveries in science may validate the system of the I Ching

•   First U.S. Edition of Netherworld

Many methods for predicting the future, such as tarot, runes, the I Ching, and other divinatory oracles, can be traced back to ancient cultures. In Oracles of the Dead Robert Temple examines the Greek and Roman traditions and techniques of divination and compares them to those of ancient China. He reveals the real physical location of the "hell" of the ancient Greeks--known in antiquity as the Oracle of the Dead and used for s顮ces intended to contact the spirits of the dead--and provides photographs from his explorations there.

Relating them to the ancient belief in the Oracle of the Dead, Temple examines the various mysteries associated with Delphi and the other oracles of the ancient world and explains how they were used to allow visitors to experience contact with the divine. Furthermore, his examination of the Chinese oracular system shows how the latest developments in science are validating the system of the I Ching.
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  • Destiny Books | 
  • 480 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781594770852 | 
  • September 2005
List Price $19.95
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter Two

The Descent into Hell

It should be emphasized that the main purpose of the Baian Oracle of the Dead was to allow a man the privilege of going through the entrance to Hell, of consulting there the dead spirit of a friend or relation, and of returning alive to the surface. The enquirer might wish merely to see again a lost loved one, or, more commonly, he might wish to pose some particular question or set of questions to the spirit in order to obtain its advice. Since Homer describes Odysseus as consulting the spirit of the seer Teiresias, apparently at Baia, the antiquity of the place must be considerable. It... see more

About the Author

Robert Temple

Robert Temple is visiting professor of the history and philosophy of science at Tsinghua University in Beijing; fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society; member of the Egypt Exploration Society, Royal Historical Society, Institute of Classical Studies, and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies; and visiting research fellow of the University of the Aegean in Greece. He is the author of 12 books, including The Sphinx Mystery, The Sirius Mystery, Oracles of the Dead, and The Genius of China. He wrote, produced, and presented the documentary film Descent into Hell, based upon his book, Oracles of the Dead, for National Geographic Channel. His translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh was staged at the Royal National Theatre in London in 1993. He resides in England with his wife, Olivia. They are joint translators of Aesop: The Complete Fables.




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