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Oracle of Delphi Ancient Greece Mount Parnassos Apollo Plutarch True Account

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,184) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 381746770327 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see 1,000 archaeology/ancient history books and 2,000 ancient artifacts, antique gemstones, antique jewelry! The Oracle: The Lost Secrets and Hidden Message of Ancient Delphi by William J. Broad. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 320 pages. Publisher: The Penguin Press; (2006). 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. CONDITION: LIKE NEW. "New" and unread (but shelfworn) hardcover w/dustjacket. Penguin (2006) 320 pages. From the inside the book is perfect. The pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. From the outside the book evidences some "shopwear", consequence of a "previous lifetime" on a bookseller's retail shelf. First, there is a black remainder mark (drawn with a black marker) on the bottom surface of the closed page edges indicating that the book was unsold surplus inventory). The mark is not visible of course on individual opened pages, only to the mass of closed page edges. In addition, the dustjacket and covers evidence relatively mild edge and corner, EXCEPT that if you remove the dustjacket, you'll see that there's a very small piece (known as a "chip") of the cover torn away from the spine heel. It's not unusual for the dustjacket and/or cover at the spine heel to show shelfwear as while in nthe bookstore the book is dragged across the bookshelf as it is shelved and re-shelved. In this instance a tiny strip of the cover at the spine heel tore off, a strip about 1/4 inch wide and 3/4 inch across (6x18mm). It's not a prominent blemish, you have to remove the dustjacket for it to become apparent, and even then it is a fairly small cosmetic blemish, but a blemish nonetheless, and so we feel obliged to disclose the fact. Otherwise the dustjacket and covers are in reasonably nice condition, evidencing little additional wear beyond this single blemish. Overall the book's condition is entirely consistent with new stock from an open-shelf bookstore environment such as Barnes & Noble or B. Dalton), where patrons are permitted to browse new books and so otherwise "new" (albeit "remaindered; i.e. surplus unsold) books might show very minor signs of handling/browsing, simply as a consequence of being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #1721L. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR SAMPLE PAGES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: What were those strange fumes that supposedly produced the visions of the Oracle at Delphi? Perhaps only a Pulitzer Prize and an Emmy Award winner could tell this story. 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. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Thoughtfully blending geology, archaeology and ancient history, New York Times staffer Broad (author of "The Universe Below") shows scientists unraveling one of antiquity's mysteries. In ancient Greece, a visit to the Oracle of Delphi was de rigueur before any major decision of state. A cult of mystics passed down the title of Oracle from woman to woman, each serving as the mouthpiece of Apollo, god of prophecy. Plutarch, Socrates and Plato were among the Greeks who viewed the Oracle as an invaluable weapon against foes. They credited her, for example, with their stunning victory over the invading Persians in 480 B.C. The slopes of Delphi's Mount Parnassus, on which the Oracle conducted monthly audiences from her temple's inner sanctum, bore a steady stream of petitioners looking for advice on everything from the choice of a bride to political strategy. Scientists had long puzzled over the trances that reportedly enveloped the Oracle as she sat on her tripod, surrounded by high priests who relayed her messages. Some credited the trance to vapors that emanated from beneath the temple, but a 1950 French scientific study debunked that theory. In 1996, however, geologist Jelle de Boer and archaeologist John R. Hale decided to re-open the investigation. They eventually discovered that the Oracles were indeed exposed to ethylene, an intoxicating but harmless gas that rose through underground fissures beneath the Temple of Delphi. Broad follows the story with care and diligence, melding complex science and ancient history into a riveting account bolstered by a helpful glossary and chronology. "The Oracle" is an eye-opening account that will fascinate fans of both ancient history and modern science. REVIEW: 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. REVIEW: The most sacred religious site in ancient Greece was the Temple of Apollo nestled in the mountainside of Delphi. It was there that trained oracles inhaled vapors that produced divine possessions. Political leaders, generals, and private citizens petitioned the oracles for counsel, which they ignored at their own risk. By the early Christian era, the power of the vapors was ebbing. When French archaeologists unearthed the temple in 1892 and found no evidence of intoxicating fumes, many scholars dismissed the stories of trance-inducing gases as nothing more than folklore. This book, a scientific investigation that reads like a detective story, restores the Delphic Oracle to its proper place in history. REVIEW: I intended just to sample this book, but I found "The Oracle" so engrossing that I couldn't put it down. Bill Broad's seductive tale is provocatively told with verve and elegance. With surefooted authority and lyric story-telling, he delivers a stunning manifesto, a clear-eyed exploration of the ways we know that challenges the metaphysics of science itself. "The Oracle" illuminates, fascinates, and enlightens. REVIEW: William Broad takes us on an intellectual adventure that illuminates some of our deepest questions, turning a meditation on the ancient past into a penetrating look at science and spirituality in our future. He combines a colorful, scientific detective story with an important and timely discussion of what science is and what it is not. A seductive read, it is a splendid example of how bridges can be erected between the sciences and the humanities. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: I had no idea there was any scientific basis for believing in the existence of a Delphi oracle until I picked up a review copy of William Broad's real life thriller "The Oracle". In highly serviceable prose, Broad does two things at once: he sketches in a history of Greece both ancient and modern, and also he brings us up to date on recent scholarship and archaeological findings concerning this mystical site. It is said that when Apollo visited the inner chambers of Delphi that visitors nearby would sense the lingering aromas of his distinctive, unearthly perfume! It is this sort of memorable detail that makes Broad's writing so delightful. It almost had me believing in gods, a feeling I haven't had since I was small watching Harry Hamlin and Lawrence Olivier duke it out in Harryhausen's "Clash of the Titans". I eat this stuff up, but as I say, this book makes the stone carved figures of Mount Olympus come alive in a very real way. They might almost be flesh and blood. Broad also excels at explaining how politics have obscured and occluded the progress of scientific analysis at least since the romantic age of Byron and Shelley. When the West became involved in Grecian affairs, it was almost always with the idea of empire in mind, thus for example the Elgin Marbles being carted off to London like so many trophies of war. But on the other hand some serious scholars with admittedly sketchy and unproven theories about the rise and fall of the Oracle were on the brink of a major discovery, if only they could surmount the bureaucracy of the stubborn French controllers of research. Jelle De Boer (I know, what a name!) emerges as the hero of the tale, with his intuitive notions that the Apollonian messages might have emerged from beyond the "adyton" through a gas which perhaps altered consciousness. Little by little De Boer persuaded people to believe in him. Basically they said, "Give the kid a chance," and voila! His hypothesis involved a study of the shifting planes which broke up the landmass of Eurasia, and the creation of the Gulf of Corinth. Another young man helped him process his ideas, translating his sometimes awkward Dutch into colloquial English. If you liked "The Da Vinci Code" this is the real life equivalent, a book of daring-do and a pair of scientific heroes like Indiana Jones who are incomparably larger than life. You may not have heard of "ethylene" before this book but once you pick up "The Oracle", you will feel as though one of the secrets of life itself has been made a gift to you. Look over your shoulder, Apollo may be whispering your name. REVIEW: William Broad has written an absolutely delightful book that will fascinate anyone with any interest in the Ancient Greeks. There are many tools (a timeline and a glossary) for people who don't know much about the subject, but there's also a great deal of excellent material for folks who have been studying this subject for years. What Broad proves is that the ancient accounts of the shrine at Delphi need to taken seriously; not because Apollo really resided there, but because an important natural phenomenon gave a select group of women the opportunity to teach ethics, guide kings, and even free some slaves. I was able to visit Delphi a decade ago and I can assure you that the guide painted a truly depressing picture about the most important shrine in all of Greece. The old account was that crazy old women were compelled to utter gibberish and then a group of male priests would say whatever they felt like. This was something the Greeks took seriously? The book is well-written and filled with details that make for an engaging narrative. REVIEW: I picked it off the shelf and read it in two days. Adjectives fail me. It is a remarkable story. The job Mr. Broad did on this fine tale is one of the best examples of long-form journalism I have ever come across. I've not been to Delphi, but I have stood in the Sybil's chamber at Cumae (listening to a Stanford classics professor reading from "The Aeneid), and I've been intrigued by the numerous references I've come across over the years about such oracles ever since I first discovered Delphi's oracle in the pages of Herodotus. Thanks to the author for telling her story, and the compelling story of the scientists who unraveled her secrets, and giving her the place she deserves to be in the history of western civilization. Her revelations, and the actions of those who interpreted and acted on them, have undoubtedly affected all of us. REVIEW: When I heard about this book, the topic; an exploration of whether the Oracle of Delphi got high from gases bubbling up from underground faults, immediately intrigued me. And since it was written by William Broad, a top New York Times science writer, I knew it would be well done. But I did not fully expect such a fascinating tale, and such beautiful writing. There was just enough history of the oracle to make clear her huge role in Greek history (on a word from one of a series of female oracles, spanning centuries, wars were fought, or not fought) and thus make clear why we should care; but not too much history. There was just enough science; but not too much to scare off the layman. And the two-decade detective story, in which a determined geologist and an archeologist follow clues about the source of the oracle's behavior, and perhaps her powers; is told with a lively, compelling sense of drama. Who'd ever thought a book on geology could be a page-turner? And for the third act, Mr. Broad took the substantial risk of having it seem, to the casual reader, that the whole pursuit was meaningless in the end ; but then weathered that risk with a fascinating and thought-provoking take on the role, and limits, of science. REVIEW: I absolutely inhaled this book. It is magnificently written and is very hard to put down. I will have to admit that I visited Delphi in Greece last year and I am sure that this recent visit really increased my interest in this story. William Broad is a complex thinker who explores the facts and fiction of Delphi on several different levels. I think this is a book not to be missed! I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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