I've been an admirer of Robert Temple ever since reading THE SIRIUS MYSTERY back in the late 1970s. Unlike Von Daniken or Zechariah Sitchen, Temple's scholarship is impeccable, and his blistering rebuttal of Carl Sagan's pathetic attempt to "explain away" the Sirius material deserves a place in -- dare I hope? -- a 3rd edition of that terrific book.
I've spent more money in the last 30+ years purchasing books that Temple mentioned in the bibliography of THE SIRIUS MYSTERY, just to check and see if he was quoting his sources responsibly, and not just making it all up. No other book has prompted me to buy ever more books than that one!
If you haven't read "THE CRYSTAL SUN" yet, go and read it. It, too, is a magnificent bit of scholarship.
Which brings us to "ORACLES OF THE DEAD". When I first read the blurb about this book -- the notion that the Journeys into the Underworld taken by the epic heroes of "myth" are based on ritual journeys taken by real people into a real place -- I just about had a heart attack. Long before Masons had their little rituals involving "death"-enactments for the purposes of some sort of initiation into a "mystery" the Ancients had sculpted a landscape meant to serve various functions both for the individual suppliant and for the powers-that-be who controlled their societies, both politically and religiously.
The world is poorer for not having become acquainted with the sites Temple discusses, these man-made landscapes of Hades. That "ORACLES OF THE DEAD" isn't being mass-produced and read by the multitudes who devour pot-boilers like "THE DA VINCI CODE" is a travesty. I wouldn't even have known about this book had I not been a fan of Robert Temple's prior work. Lucky for me that I had previously been enthralled by his thought-provoking books, and was easily willing to shell out money for a book that isn't stocked on the shelves at the Barnes & Noble in my home town.