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Oracle of dating

Success in punitive wars against neighbouring tribes, in hunting expeditions and bringing in the harvest all depended on the benevolence of the royal ancestors, while sickness and natural disaster were punishments inflicted for impiety to the departed.

Divination by making cracks in bone and shell was a method of predicting the future and ensuring a favourable outcome for the enquirer by identifying the correct target for appeasement.

The attribution to dead ancestors of power to influence the living and the consequent need for propitiatory sacrifice expressed as ancestor worship are deep-rooted in the Chinese people.

) was an ancient Greek town located in Epirus, historical region now shared between Greece and Albania.

Dodona was the ancient seat of the oracle of Zeus and Dione, the mother of Aphrodite, also honored as the wife of Zeus instead of Hera. It became mainly famous in antiquity as a cultural and religious Zeus shrine and oracle center, where many people traveled from neighboring places to worship Zeus and the goddess Dione, from which the city took its name.

About six thousand different characters have been recorded from the inscriptions, of which some two thousand can be identified with modern versions; the remainder are mostly proper names.

Though constricted by the formulaic nature of their composition, the texts yield a mass of varied information which gives a vivid insight into the lives of the Shang people.

An example of the upper portion of an ox scapula prepared in this way is shown above.

The application of heat to the hollows on the reverse produced characteristic shaped cracks on the obverse; this is the origin of the Chinese character bu (‘to divine’).

According to a new interpretation, the oracular sound originated from bronze objects hanging from oak branches and sounded with the wind blowing, similar to a ‘wind-chime’, a percussion-like instrument constructed from suspended tubes, rods, bells or other objects, usually made of metal or wood.

Dodona oracle, was usually used to settle more private matters regarding marriage, children or theft, and it was famous, but being rather inaccessible. However, it never lost its reputation, and it was still consulted, also by the states of Athens and Sparta.

Dodona’s theatre was one of largest in Greece with its 130 m diameter and dates from the 3rd BC and it was built by Pyrrhus (319-272 BC), the king of Epirus, a Greek general and statesman of the Hellenistic period, who was one of the fiercest opponents of Rome.

The cult and oracle at Dodona remained until 391 AD; later, it ceased to exist as a pagan site; the sacred oak tree was cut down and in the 5 century AD destroyed the ancient site and Dodona was abandoned. Sutherland Ancient Staff Writer Copyright © Ancient All rights reserved.

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