Hon John Collier
British, 1850 - 1934
Priestess of Delphi
Originally a shrine of the earth-goddess and the most famous of all oracles. The oracle of Apollo at Delphi was thought to be located at the centre of the known world, and served as one of the few unifying elements for the fragmented Hellenic community.
The priestess sat symbolically; at the center of the world, in the sunken area at the end of the temple interior, on a tripod over cracks in the earth's crust which emitted sulphur fumes and enhanced her state of trance. She was considered the mouthpiece of the Olympian gods and spent one month each year accepting visitors and answering their questions.
The rich and powerful throughout Greece and the Mediterranean world came to her for advice, leaving valuable treasures as payment for the priestess' words of wisdom and prophesy.
See also The Delphic Oracle by John William Godward.
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