Chapter

Seers and Poets

Yulia Ustinova

in Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199548569
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720840 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548569.003.0004
Seers and Poets

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This chapter envisages the mental frame of freelance ‘impresarios of gods’, their behaviour, method of attaining illumination, and especially the role of cave experiences in their lives. The cave environment required for the Sibyls reflects the traditional Greek views on the conditions necessary for the quintessential seers. The blindness of sightless prophets and poets emphasizes their constant state of visual deprivation. The insistence of myths and quasi-historical narratives on sensory deprivation experienced by seers and bards is rooted in age-long observation, which gave rise to their conventional image in the popular tradition. The recurring immersion in the outer darkness of a grotto or in the inner darkness of blindness indicates that inspired visions and revelations came to Greek seers and poets from within their minds.

Keywords: Sibyls; seers; poets; caves; blindness; sensory deprivation

Chapter.  8609 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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