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The seer (mantis), knowledgeable within the artwork of divination, operated in historical Greek society via a mix of charismatic concept and various abilities starting from analyzing the livers of sacrificed animals to spirit ownership. in contrast to the palm readers and mediums who exist at the edge of sleek society, many seers have been hugely paid, good revered, expert individuals of the elite who performed an important function within the behavior of everyday life, political judgements, and army campaigns. Armies, for instance, by no means went anyplace with out one. This enticing ebook, the single accomplished research of this interesting determine, enters into the socioreligious international of historical Greece to discover what seers did, why they have been so extensively hired, and the way their craft served as a workable and necessary social practice.

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The Acarnanian Megistias, who, as pointed out above, claimed descent from Melampus, took his simply son with him to Thermopylae, after which despatched his son away earlier than the Greeks have been surrounded. Herodotus doesn't say so (7. 221), however it is a good inference that the boy was once serving as apprentice to his father. regrettably, Herodotus doesn't let us know his identify or what later grew to become of him. At Athens we all know of a father and son who have been seers: a stele from an Attic peribolos tomb of the classical interval bears the inscription “Here I conceal a smart and simply guy, Calliteles, the mantis, son of the commemorated mantis Meidoteles. ”65 And at Plataea in Boeotia it sort of feels most probably that the seer Theaenetus, the son of Tolmides (Thuc. three. 20. 1), was once the grandson of the seer Theaenetus who had served the Athenian normal Tolmides among 466 and 457 b. c. (Paus. 1. 27. 5). sixty six town of Telmessus in Caria, if you could examine a group to a extended family, was once well-known sixty three. 1998: 143. sixty four. See Starr 1974: 221 n. 119 and Cryer 1994: 201. sixty five. SEG 23 (1968) 161. See Mastrokostas 1966: 282 and Garland 1982: 168–69. sixty six. this is often most likely a case of ritualized visitor friendship among the Athenian Tolmides and his seer of Plataean extraction; that's, Theaenetus named his son Tolmides after his service provider, and this Plataean Tolmides named his son after his personal father (see Herman [1989: 90–91], who leaves open the chance that the Theaenetus pointed out via Thucydides is an Athenian and the son of the final Tolmides). it might be great to understand if all 3 have been seers. forty six . W h o I s a S e e r ? for its seers,67 and was once the native land of that Aristander who so effectively served either Philip II and Alexander within the moment 1/2 the fourth century. eventually, is it only a accident that Tisamenus and Hegesistratus, who have been either from Elis, have names which are acceptable for his or her occupation, the previous which means “avenger,” and the latter “the chief of the army”? Hippomachus of Leucas (Hdt. nine. 37) has a reputation which means “cavalryman,” and Polemaenetus (whose domestic urban we're not advised) has a reputation which may be rendered “praised in conflict. ” you may cite extra examples of telling names, corresponding to the Spartan Cleomantis, or “famous seer” (Plut. Alex. 50. 5). it's attainable, i guess, that people who grew to become seers replaced their names with a purpose to elevate their mystique. sixty eight it sort of feels much more likely, although, that practising seers gave names to their sons that will either go well with and market it their destiny careers, and this may be another indication that seercraft used to be an hereditary profession. The proof that has been surveyed above doesn't only point out that a few seers, and plenty of of the main well-known ones, got here from demonstrated mantic households. It additionally unearths that they have been individuals of the elite. and that's precisely what one may still count on of households that traced their descent again both to a god or to a hero figure of Greek legend. after we flip to Etruria in northern Italy and to the close to East, we find the same development. There too seercraft used to be a high-status career that tended to be handed down in convinced households.

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