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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Plutarch, Oracles At Delphi No Longer Given In Verse, 22

nanHomer Il. ii. 169; v. 1. also gives testimony on my side by his assumption that practically nothing is brought to pass for any reason without a god For example, Od. ii. 372; xv. 531. ; he does not, however, represent the god as employing everything for every purpose, but as employing each thing in accordance with the aptitude or faculty that each possesses. Do you not see, he continued, my dear Diogenianus, that Athena, when she wishes to persuade the Achaeans, summons Odysseus Il. ii. 169. ; when she wishes to bring to naught the oaths, seeks out Pandarus Il. iv. 86. ; when she wishes to rout the Trojans, goes to Diomedes Il. v. 1. ? The reason is that Diomedes is a man of great strength and a warrior, Pandarus a bowman and a fool, Odysseus adept at speaking and a man of sense. The fact is that Homer did not have the same idea as Pindar, if it really was Pindar who wrote God willing, you may voyage on a mat; From the Thyestes of Euripides: Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag., Euripides, no. 397; but the line is sometimes ascribed to other poets also. but Homer recognized the fact that some faculties and natures are created for some purposes and others for others, and each one of these is moved to action in a different way, even if the power that moves them all be one and the same. Now this power cannot move to flight that which can only walk or run, nor move a lisp to clear speaking, nor a shrill thin voice to melodious utterance. No, in the case of Battus Cf. Herodotus, iv. 155; Pindar, Pythian Odes, v., and the scholium to Pythian iv. 10. it was for this reason, when he came to consult the oracle for his voice, that the god sent him as a colonist to Africa, because Battus had a lisp and a shrill thin voice, but also had the qualities of a king and a statesman, and was a man or sense. So in the same way it is impossible for the unlettered man who has never read verse to talk like a poet. Even so the maiden who now serves the god here was born of as lawful and honourable wedlock as anyone, and her life has been in all respects proper; but, having been brought up in the home of poor peasants, she brings nothing with her as the result of technical skill or of any other expertness or faculty, as she goes down into the shrine. On the contrary, just as Xenophon Oeconomicus, 7. 4-5. believes that a bride should have seen as little and heard as little as possible before she proceeds to her husband’s house, so this girl, inexperienced and uninformed about practically everything, a pure, virgin soul, becomes the associate of the god. Now we cherish the belief that the god, in giving indications to us, makes use of the calls of herons, wrens, and ravens; but we do not insist that these, inasmuch as they are messengers and heralds of the gods, shall express everything rationally and clearly, and yet we insist that the voice and language of the prophetic priestess, like a choral song in the theatre, shall be presented, not without sweetness and embellishment, but also in verse of a grandiloquent and formal style with verbal metaphors and with a flute to accompany its delivery I

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apollo Taylor and Hay (2020) 284
athena Taylor and Hay (2020) 284
chaeremon the stoic' Taylor and Hay (2020) 284