Oracles are of all times: the Greek Pythia and the octopus Paul (who predicted the winners of the matches during the World Championship 2010) are just two examples. Ancient man consulted the supernatural on a daily basis: whether it was a good plan to travel, whether a son would be cured of his illness, and whether business would be good. Communities, too, sent delegations to oracles to ask about war and peace and religious decisions. Graeco-Roman oracles have to be studied from various angles if we wish to understand what went on: from the practical role of the agency of the supernatural of daily life to the psychology of divination and crisis. Did ancient man perform riskmanagement or did he believe in luck?
Profound knowledge of ancient mentalities, especially religious mentalities, in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds.
Use of comparative method; anthropology; social sciences
Formulating a worthwhile research question and being able to construct a scientific paper
With the use of primary sources (in translation)
Discussion and feedback skills
Mode of instruction
Total: 280 hours
Lectures: 28 hours
Compulsory literature: 50 hours
Time to write a paper (including reading / research): 202 hours
Will be made available during the seminar.
E-mail: Dr. K. Beerden.