The Oracle: Lost Secrets and Hidden Message of Ancient Delphi

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9781594200816: The Oracle: Lost Secrets and Hidden Message of Ancient Delphi
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Of all the stories of Ancient Greece, few capture the imagination as much as the Oracle of Delphi. Human mistress of the great god Apollo, the Oracle had the power to enter into ecstatic union with him and bring back his prophecies and counsel for all who came seeking answers. Residing in Apollo's temple on the sacred slopes of Mount Parnassus in central Greece, the Oracle was consulted on matters large and small. Though the air of magic that surrounds her might cast her as a legend like the cyclops or the mythical Cassandra, the Oracle did in fact exsist and her visions caused her to become the single most influential figure in all of ancient Greece.

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About the Author:

William J. Broad is a senior writer at The New York Times and with colleagues there has twice won the Pulitzer Prize as well as an Emmy. For three decades, he has covered topics ranging from biology and geology to astronomy and nuclear arms. He is the author or coauthor of six books, most recently Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War, a number-one New York Times bestseller. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and his work featured in The Best American Science Writing 2005. He holds a master's degree in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin and lives with his wife and three children in Larchmont, New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

The oracle at Delphi influenced politicians and slaves with her prophecies, yet her life and practices are shrouded in mystery. In a fascinating story that is part detective tale and part science report, Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times writer Broad unveils the oracle. In order to prepare for her encounter with Apollo, the oracle descended into a chasm near the temple, where she would breathe the holy pneuma. She would then deliver her prophecies in a trance, sometimes foaming at the mouth and sometimes in a frenzy. When the temple was unearthed in the 19th century, archeologists and geologists searched for the mysterious chasm. Broad traces the history of these efforts and the conflicts they produced. By the mid–20th century, many scientists argued that the chasm never existed. He follows two modern-day Indiana Joneses, geologist Jelle de Boer and archeologist John Hale, as they refute those conclusions by uncovering the chasm and the geological faults that produced hallucinogenic vapors. Broad's lively prose and fast-paced storytelling conduct us on a breathless adventure of religious mystery and scientific discovery—and ends with a surprising consideration of the meaning of the oracle's powers and the existence of "shadowy worlds... beyond the ken" of science. B&w illus. (Feb. 20)
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9780143038597: The Oracle: Ancient Delphi and the Science Behind Its Lost Secrets

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ISBN 10:  0143038591 ISBN 13:  9780143038597
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Book Description Penguin Press, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A renegade team of scientists discovers the truth behind the Oracle of Delphi s mythical powers of second sight. Of all the stories of life in ancient Greece, few capture the imagination as much as the Oracle of Delphi. Human mistress of the great god Apollo, the Oracle had the power to enter into ecstatic union with him and bring back his prophecies and counsel for all who came seeking answers. Residing in her temple on the sacred slopes of Mount Parnassos in central Greece, she was consulted on matters large and small. Though the air of magic that surrounds her might cast her as a legend, the Oracle did really exist-and her visions caused her to become the single most influential figure in all of ancient Greece. Eyewitness accounts from Plutarch and others describe temple practices in astonishing detail, claiming that the Oracle, in preparing to commune with Apollo, breathed in vapors rising from the temple floor. Modern scholars have had rigorous debates about the reliability of the material, and in 1892 French archaeologists unearthed the buried temple itself. Their guide was the ancient literature, which proved to be remarkably accurate, with one glaring, baffling exception-the excavators could find no hint of a chasm beneath the temple, no evidence that the rocky ground had brought vapors of any kind. There followed nearly a century of scholarly denouncement. Critics dismissed not only reports of intoxicating fumes but the Oracle herself, claiming the evidence suggested that she and her minions were nothing but pious frauds. Then a Wesleyan geologist named Joelle deBoer and a young archaeologist, John Hale, decided to take up the question once more. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author William J. Broad tells a modern-day detective story that blends history and science to describe how a team of scientists, working from subtle clues scattered throughout the ancient literature, as well as from the latest findings in geology, uncovered scientific evidence to explain the Oracle s powers. They discovered that the vapors from the ancient accounts were, in fact, petrochemical fumes containing a hallucinogenic gas, rising through natural faults hidden underneath the temple floor. Into the dramatic account of that groundbreaking discovery Broad weaves the fascinating story of the ancient Oracle, and her surprising power to open a modern debate between science and religion. Seller Inventory # NLF9781594200816

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Book Description Penguin Press, United States, 2006. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. A renegade team of scientists discovers the truth behind the Oracle of Delphi s mythical powers of second sight. Of all the stories of life in ancient Greece, few capture the imagination as much as the Oracle of Delphi. Human mistress of the great god Apollo, the Oracle had the power to enter into ecstatic union with him and bring back his prophecies and counsel for all who came seeking answers. Residing in her temple on the sacred slopes of Mount Parnassos in central Greece, she was consulted on matters large and small. Though the air of magic that surrounds her might cast her as a legend, the Oracle did really exist-and her visions caused her to become the single most influential figure in all of ancient Greece. Eyewitness accounts from Plutarch and others describe temple practices in astonishing detail, claiming that the Oracle, in preparing to commune with Apollo, breathed in vapors rising from the temple floor. Modern scholars have had rigorous debates about the reliability of the material, and in 1892 French archaeologists unearthed the buried temple itself. Their guide was the ancient literature, which proved to be remarkably accurate, with one glaring, baffling exception-the excavators could find no hint of a chasm beneath the temple, no evidence that the rocky ground had brought vapors of any kind. There followed nearly a century of scholarly denouncement. Critics dismissed not only reports of intoxicating fumes but the Oracle herself, claiming the evidence suggested that she and her minions were nothing but pious frauds. Then a Wesleyan geologist named Joelle deBoer and a young archaeologist, John Hale, decided to take up the question once more. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author William J. Broad tells a modern-day detective story that blends history and science to describe how a team of scientists, working from subtle clues scattered throughout the ancient literature, as well as from the latest findings in geology, uncovered scientific evidence to explain the Oracle s powers. They discovered that the vapors from the ancient accounts were, in fact, petrochemical fumes containing a hallucinogenic gas, rising through natural faults hidden underneath the temple floor. Into the dramatic account of that groundbreaking discovery Broad weaves the fascinating story of the ancient Oracle, and her surprising power to open a modern debate between science and religion. Seller Inventory # NLF9781594200816

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Book Description Condition: New. Ships From Canada. New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 320 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Book Description: A renegade team of scientists discovers the truth behind the Oracle of Delphi's mythical powers of second sight. Of all the stories of life in ancient Greece, few capture the imagination as much as the Oracle of Delphi. Human mistress of the great god Apollo, the Oracle had the power to enter into ecstatic union with him and bring back his prophecies and counsel for all who came seeking answers. Residing in her temple on the sacred slopes of Mount Parnassos in central Greece, she was consulted on matters large and small. Though the air of magic that surrounds her might cast her as a legend, the Oracle did really exist-and her visions caused her to become the single most influential figure in all of ancient Greece. Eyewitness accounts from Plutarch and others describe temple practices in astonishing detail, claiming tha. Seller Inventory # 9462522712

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Book Description East Rutherford, New Jersey, U.S.A.: Penguin USA, 2006. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Book Description: A renegade team of scientists discovers the truth behind the Oracle of Delphi's mythical powers of second sight. Of all the stories of life in ancient Greece, few capture the imagination as much as the Oracle of Delphi. Human mistress of the great god Apollo, the Oracle had the power to enter into ecstatic union with him and bring back his prophecies and counsel for all who came seeking answers. Residing in her temple on the sacred slopes of Mount Parnassos in central Greece, she was consulted on matters large and small. Though the air of magic that surrounds her might cast her as a legend, the Oracle did really exist-and her visions caused her to become the single most influential figure in all of ancient Greece. Eyewitness accounts from Plutarch and others describe temple practices in astonishing detail, claiming that the Oracle, in preparing to commune with Apollo, breathed in vapors rising from the temple floor. Modern scholars have had rigorous debates about the reliability of the material, and in 1892 French archaeologists unearthed the buried temple itself. Their guide was the ancient literature, which proved to be remarkably accurate, with one glaring, baffling exception-the excavators could find no hint of a chasm beneath the temple, no evidence that the rocky ground had brought vapors of any kind. There followed nearly a century of scholarly denouncement. Critics dismissed not only reports of intoxicating fumes but the Oracle herself, claiming the evidence suggested that she and her minions were nothing but pious frauds. Then a Wesleyan geologist named Joelle deBoer and a young archaeologist, John Hale, decided to take up the question once more. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and bestselling author William J. Broad tells a modern-day detective story that blends history and science to describe how a team of scientists, working from subtle clues scattered throughout the ancient literature, as well as from the latest findings in geology, uncovered scientific evidence to explain the Oracle's powers. They discovered that the vapors from the ancient accounts were, in fact, petrochemical fumes containing a hallucinogenic gas, rising through natural faults hidden underneath the temple floor. Into the dramatic account of that groundbreaking discovery Broad weaves the fascinating story of the ancient Oracle, and her surprising power to open a modern debate between science and religion. About the Author: William J. Broad is a senior writer at The New York Times and with colleagues there has twice won the Pulitzer Prize as well as an Emmy. For three decades, he has covered topics ranging from biology and geology to astronomy and nuclear arms. He is the author or coauthor of six books, most recently Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War, a number-one New York Times bestseller. His books have been translated into more than a dozen languages and his work featured in The Best American Science Writing 2005. He holds a master's degree in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin and lives with his wife and three children in Larchmont, New York. Seller Inventory # ABE-1102418166

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