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Title: The customers of the oracle of Dodona through the analysis of the literary and archaeological evidence up to the mid-4th century BC
Author: Piccinini, Jessica
ISNI:       0000 0003 7899 9427
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Studies published to date on the oracle of Dodona in Epirus have to different extents been coloured by, or fully reliant on, the possibility of unravelling divinatory practice, especially in the wake of Parke. Despite a plethora of attempts at identifying how the priestesses and/or priests give the responses of the oracle at Dodona, such a prospect has remained unrealised and at the moment it is impossible to determine the oracular practices in detail. Today new prospects in the study of shrines demand that we turned from attempting to understand how the oracle of Dodona worked, so as to concentrate on who consulted it. The present investigation aims to give a comprehensive study of the catchment area of the shrine of Dodona through the identification of its clients. All available sources have been considered, from the very first attestation of worship at Dodona, in the second millennium, to the mid- 4th century BC, when the geopolitical dynamics of Greece, and especially of Epirus, changed drastically. My thesis responds to the need, on the one hand, for an interdisciplinary analysis of the sources to gain a wider and exhaustive scenario, with a critique of the several archaeological and historical interpretations proposed until today, and, on the other, for the creation of the first corpus of all extant evidence. So far modern scholars have relegated the oracle to a marginal position in the ancient Greek world, considering it as a shrine consulted for private questions by people circulating in the area of the Adriatic Sea. From the analysis of the sources (material and literary evidence), the scenario I have drawn is wholly different. From the 6th century onwards, not only private individuals, but also communities consulted and made offering to the oracle. The catchment area of the shrine grew, passing from an almost local to an interregional (6th cent.) and then pan-Hellenic dimension (5th - 4th cent). The sanctuary attracted devotees not only from local and neighbouring regions, Epirus, Thessaly, the Corinthian colonies of the Adriatic, as one might expect, but also from Boiotia, Magna Graecia, Sicily, Athens, Cyprus, and the Peloponnese, particularly from Sparta.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available