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Oracle and grove of Apollo belonging to the city of Colophon. The oracle appears to have been founded by the 8th cent. bc. The sanctuary was discovered 1907, and excavation turned up the oracular chamber under the temple and numerous inscriptions relating to its operation. From these inscriptions and literary texts, we know that there were ‘sacred nights’ upon which the consultations would take place, when there would be a procession of consultants to the temple of Apollo with sacrifices and singing of hymns. Consultants would then hand over questions to the priests, who would descend into the innermost sanctuary to a place outside the room in which the divine spring flowed. Within this room the thespiōdos (‘oracular singer’), a man, would drink from the spring and utter his responses to the questions of each consultant. These would then be written down in verse by the ‘prophet’ and delivered to the consultants. Claros was a major oracular site from roughly the 3rd cent. bc to the mid‐3rd cent. ad.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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