Lycurgus Consulting the Pythia , as imagined by Eugene Delacroix
Today’s sharing from the Blue House of HYGEIA is a working translation into English from Henri Dominique Saffrey’s French translation from the original Greek. It is Chapter 143 from Joseph of Tiberias’ ‘HYPOMNESTICON’, Cod. Cambridge, University Library, 1157 (Ff.1.24), ff.187b-188b.It is also available in the Patrologia Graeca edited by Jacques Paul Migne. Henri Dominique Saffrey points to the ‘Letter to Anebo’ by Porphyry as the main source of this chapter. Original Greek and its French translation shared as pictures.
‘How many divinations methods were used in ancient Greece?
3. Through the interpretation of dreams.
4. Through auspices interpretation.
5. Through signs interpretation.
7. Through drawing a lot.
8. Through ossicles (small bones).
9. Through materials thrown into fire.
10. Through the sharing/casting of spells.
11. Through animal sacrifices.
12. Through the examination of eggs.
13. Through monstrous beings.
14. Through enthusiasm (trans).
15. Through the coming of an inspiration.
16. Through random speech.
17. Through fame.
18. Through movements induced by panic terror.
19. Through the study of shapes.
20. Through the study of the lines of the hands.
21. Through sealed tablets.
22. Through the use of a sieve.
23. Through the use of a magical basin.
24. Through the examination of the inside of a phial.
25. Through face-to-face invocation.
26. Through the invocation of souls.
27. Through statues carried by a chariot.
28. Through the use of flutes.
29. Through the use of cymbals.
30. Through the use of tambourines and all other music instruments.
31. You have those who ‘divinize’ through the god Sabazios.
32. You have those who ‘divinize’ while celebrating the Mother of all gods.
33. You have those who are inspired by the gods in their Imagination (in the Greek meaning).
34. You have other who are using darkness (incubation).
35. You have others who take drugs.
36. You have other who use incantations and conjunction rites.
37. You have others who see apparitions in water.
38. Others in walls.
39. Others in the outdoors.
40. You have some who study the sun and the stars in the sky.
41. You have others who ‘divinize’ through the use of the viscera.
42. You will find others who study the movements of birds.
43. You will find others who use flour.
44. You will find other who study the deformations and anomalies of animals and plants.
45. Other through the use of numbers.
46. Others using the features of the face. There is also divination through enthusiasm, but also through divine possession.
47. Divination used through the betyls (erected consecrated stones) used in temples.
48. Through the throwing/ casting of pebbles upon letters in Egypt.
49. Through the use of the BUNI, a musical triangular instrument the priests use in the processions, played with a plectrum.
50. Consecrated virgins in temples ‘divinize’ looking for signs in the perpetual fire.
51. You have those who, in the worship of Dionysus, divinize through the Corybantic rites, while agitated by the corybantic furor.
52. In the rites at Colophon, the Priest of Apollo Clarius, while drinking water, was telling everyone who came why they came.
53. In Delphi, women were divinizing sitting alongside the mouth of springs.
54. In the Branchid rites, the priestesses were giving oracles through breathing the fumes/ steam produced by the waters.
55. In some temples of Apollo, the priests standing on letters/characters were the object of raptures when the divine breath of the god was around them.
56. The Pythia, while seated legs open, on the tripod was giving oracles when the divinatory fumes were entering her genitals.
57. In most of the temples, many oracles were given through pebbles cast out of vases; the officiant examine the pebble and search for the corresponding oracle in a book.
And like Porphyry says in his ‘Letter to Anebo’: “For many people, divination is done through a charlatan who deceives/ tricks the craving of your expectation.”