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Consulting the Oracle by John William Waterhouse, showing eight priestesses in a temple of prophecy

In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination.


  • The oracle-glass was maddeningly literal, capable of answering only the question one asked, rather than that which one wanted answered.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 572.
  • Ibis redibis non morieris in bello.
    • Thou shalt go thou shalt return never in battle shalt thou perish.
    • Utterance of the Oracle which through absence of punctuation and position of word "non" may be interpreted favorably or the reverse.
  • A Delphic sword.
    • Aristotle, Politica, I, 2 (referring to the ambiguous Delphic Oracles).
  • The oracles are dumb,
    No voice or hideous hum
    Runs thro' the arched roof in words deceiving.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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