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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Pausanias, Description Of Greece, 4.27.4

nanEpaminondas was most strongly drawn to the foundation by the oracles of Bacis, who was inspired by the Nymphs and left prophecies regarding others of the Greeks as well as the return of the Messenians: Then indeed shall the bright bloom of Sparta perish and Messene again shall be inhabited for all time. I have discovered that Bacis also told in what manner Eira would be captured, and this too is one of his oracles: The men of Messene o'ercome by the thunder's roll and spouting rain.

Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

6 results
1. Aristophanes, Knights, 1007-1009, 1015-1020, 1023-1025, 1027, 997, 1003 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1003. οὑμοὶ μέν εἰσι Βάκιδος. οἱ δὲ σοὶ τίνος;
2. Aristophanes, Peace, 1095, 1070 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1070. εἰ γὰρ μὴ νύμφαι γε θεαὶ Βάκιν ἐξαπάτασκον
3. Herodotus, Histories, 5.90.2, 6.19.2-6.19.3, 6.57.4, 8.20, 8.77, 8.96, 9.43 (5th cent. BCE - 5th cent. BCE)

5.90.2. Furthermore, they were spurred on by the oracles which foretold that many deeds of enmity would be perpetrated against them by the Athenians. Previously they had had no knowledge of these oracles but now Cleomenes brought them to Sparta, and the Lacedaemonians learned their contents. It was from the Athenian acropolis that Cleomenes took the oracles, which had been in the possession of the Pisistratidae earlier. When they were exiled, they left them in the temple from where they were retrieved by Cleomenes. 6.19.2. I will mention the part concerning the Argives when I come to that part of my history; this was the prophecy given to the Milesians in their absence: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Then, Miletus, contriver of evil deeds, /l lFor many will you become a banquet and glorious gifts; /l lYour wives will wash the feet of many long-haired men; /l lOther ministers will tend my Didyman shrine! /l /quote 6.19.3. All this now came upon the Milesians, since most of their men were slain by the Persians, who wore long hair, and their women and children were accounted as slaves, and the temple at Didyma with its shrine and place of divination was plundered and burnt. of the wealth that was in this temple I have often spoken elsewhere in my history. 6.57.4. They keep all oracles that are given, though the Pythians also know them. The kings alone judge cases concerning the rightful possessor of an unwedded heiress, if her father has not betrothed her, and cases concerning public roads. 8.20. Now the Euboeans had neglected the oracle of Bacis, believing it to be empty of meaning, and neither by carrying away nor by bringing in anything had they shown that they feared an enemy's coming. In so doing they were the cause of their own destruction, ,for Bacis' oracle concerning this matter runs as follows quote type="oracle" l met="dact"When a strange-tongued man casts a yoke of papyrus on the waves, /l lThen take care to keep bleating goats far from the coasts of Euboea /l /quote To these verses the Euboeans gave no heed; but in the evils then present and soon to come they suffered the greatest calamity. 8.77. I cannot say against oracles that they are not true, and I do not wish to try to discredit them when they speak plainly. Look at the following matter: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"When the sacred headland of golden-sworded Artemis and Cynosura by the sea they bridge with ships, /l lAfter sacking shiny Athens in mad hope, /l lDivine Justice will extinguish mighty Greed the son of Insolence /l lLusting terribly, thinking to devour all. /l /quote , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"Bronze will come together with bronze, and Ares /l lWill redden the sea with blood. To Hellas the day of freedom /l lFar-seeing Zeus and august Victory will bring. /l /quote Considering this, I dare to say nothing against Bacis concerning oracles when he speaks so plainly, nor will I consent to it by others. 8.96. When the battle was broken off, the Hellenes towed to Salamis as many of the wrecks as were still there and kept ready for another battle, supposing that the king could still make use of his surviving ships. ,A west wind had caught many of the wrecks and carried them to the shore in Attica called Colias. Thus not only was all the rest of the oracle fulfilled which Bacis and Musaeus had spoken about this battle, but also what had been said many years before this in an oracle by Lysistratus, an Athenian soothsayer, concerning the wrecks carried to shore there. Its meaning had eluded all the Hellenes: quote type="oracle" l met="dact"The Colian women will cook with oars. /l lBut this was to happen after the king had marched away. /l /quote 9.43. Now for this prophecy, which Mardonius said was spoken of the Persians, I know it to have been made concerning not them but the Illyrians and the army of the Enchelees. There is, however, a prophecy made by Bacis concerning this battle: , quote type="oracle" l met="dact"By Thermodon's stream and the grass-grown banks of Asopus, /l lWill be a gathering of Greeks for fight and the ring of the barbarian's war-cry; /l lMany a Median archer, by death untimely overtaken will fall /l lThere in the battle when the day of his doom is upon him. /l /quote I know that these verses and others very similar to them from Musaeus referred to the Persians. As for the river Thermodon, it flows between Tanagra and Glisas.
4. Cicero, On Divination, 1.34 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

1.34. Iis igitur adsentior, qui duo genera divinationum esse dixerunt, unum, quod particeps esset artis, alterum, quod arte careret. Est enim ars in iis, qui novas res coniectura persequuntur, veteres observatione didicerunt. Carent autem arte ii, qui non ratione aut coniectura observatis ac notatis signis, sed concitatione quadam animi aut soluto liberoque motu futura praesentiunt, quod et somniantibus saepe contingit et non numquam vaticitibus per furorem, ut Bacis Boeotius, ut Epimenides Cres, ut Sibylla Erythraea. Cuius generis oracla etiam habenda sunt, non ea, quae aequatis sortibus ducuntur, sed illa, quae instinctu divino adflatuque funduntur; etsi ipsa sors contemnenda non est, si et auctoritatem habet vetustatis, ut eae sunt sortes, quas e terra editas accepimus; quae tamen ductae ut in rem apte cadant, fieri credo posse divinitus. Quorum omnium interpretes, ut grammatici poe+tarum, proxime ad eorum, quos interpretantur, divinationem videntur accedere. 1.34. I agree, therefore, with those who have said that there are two kinds of divination: one, which is allied with art; the other, which is devoid of art. Those diviners employ art, who, having learned the known by observation, seek the unknown by deduction. On the other hand those do without art who, unaided by reason or deduction or by signs which have been observed and recorded, forecast the future while under the influence of mental excitement, or of some free and unrestrained emotion. This condition often occurs to men while dreaming and sometimes to persons who prophesy while in a frenzy — like Bacis of Boeotia, Epimenides of Crete and the Sibyl of Erythraea. In this latter class must be placed oracles — not oracles given by means of equalized lots — but those uttered under the impulse of divine inspiration; although divination by lot is not in itself to be despised, if it has the sanction of antiquity, as in the case of those lots which, according to tradition, sprang out of the earth; for in spite of everything, I am inclined to think that they may, under the power of God, be so drawn as to give an appropriate response. Men capable of correctly interpreting all these signs of the future seem to approach very near to the divine spirit of the gods whose wills they interpret, just as scholars do when they interpret the poets.
5. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.12.11, 10.14.6 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10.12.11. It is said that the men who uttered oracles were Euclus of Cyprus, the Athenians Musaeus, son of Antiophemus, and Lycus, son of Pandion, and also Bacis, a Boeotian who was possessed by nymphs. I have read the oracles of all these except those of Lycus. These are the women and men who, down to the present day, are said to have been the mouthpiece by which a god prophesied. But time is long, and perhaps similar things may occur again. 10.14.6. Now I greatly marveled that it was from Themistocles alone that the priestess refused to accept Persian spoils. Some thought that the god would have rejected alike all offerings from Persian spoils, if like Themistocles the others had inquired of Apollo before making their dedication. Others said that the god knew that Themistocles would become a suppliant of the Persian king, and refused to take the gifts so that Themistocles might not by a dedication render the Persian's enmity unappeasable. The expedition of the barbarian against Greece we find foretold in the oracles of Bacis, and Euclus wrote his verses about it at an even earlier date.
6. Lactantius, Divine Institutes, 1.6.9-1.6.12 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
appeal of the sibyl Bacchi (2022) 61
archaic greek (sibyl) Bacchi (2022) 59
aristophanes Edmonds (2019) 216
athens Edmonds (2019) 216
bakis Bacchi (2022) 59, 61; Edmonds (2019) 216
christianity Edmonds (2019) 216
cultural hybridity Bacchi (2022) 59
cyprus Edmonds (2019) 216
delphi Bacchi (2022) 61; Edmonds (2019) 216
divination Edmonds (2019) 216
herodotus Edmonds (2019) 216
hexameter verse Bacchi (2022) 61
judaism Edmonds (2019) 216
kleomenes Edmonds (2019) 216
lapis lazuli Edmonds (2019) 216
musaeus Edmonds (2019) 216
nymphs Edmonds (2019) 216
oracles Edmonds (2019) 216
pausanias Edmonds (2019) 216
pisistratids Edmonds (2019) 216
prophecy' Bacchi (2022) 59
roman imperial period Edmonds (2019) 216
roman sibylline books Edmonds (2019) 216
salvation Edmonds (2019) 216
sibyl Edmonds (2019) 216
sparta Edmonds (2019) 216
women Edmonds (2019) 216