Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Oracular Language
(1,731 words)


Greek oracles ‘speak’ and are a way for human beings to enter into a dialogue with the gods, but do not convey clear information. From a single quick dialogue, the oracular moment may develop into a longer conversation, for instance, when the consultant does not understand the first answer of the god, or does not obey his instructions. The semantics of oracular ‘signs’ are linked to the role of time in the oracles: the oracle usually regards the future, not the remote future, but rather the days to come, a…

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Françoise Létoublon, “Oracular Language”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 22 January 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_SIM_00000504>
First published online: 2013

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