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(894 words)

[German version]

(μάντις; mántis), the commonest Greek word for ‘seer’, ‘soothsayer’, occurs from Homer onwards throughout antiquity. A mantis was usually a person. However, in sanctuaries with prophetic functions, the deity itself was regularly referred to as mantis (e.g. Aesch. Cho. 559), mortals in these cases serving the deity only as a mouthpiece. This relation between deity and inspired human is expressed by Pindar in his invocation of the Muse: ‘Prophesy, Muse, but I will be your mouthpiece’ (fr. 150 Snell). Since the μαντικὴ τέχνη (mantikḕ téchnē, ‘art of prophecy’) was p…

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Parker, Robert (Oxford), “Mantis”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 15 August 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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