- Paperback: 453 pages
- Publisher: Destiny Books; First U.S. of Netherworld ed. edition (7 Sept. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594770859
- ISBN-13: 978-1594770852
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.6 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 890,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Oracles of the Dead: Ancient Techniques for Predicting the Future Paperback – 7 Sep 2005
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" A uniquely powerful account of a hidden side to the story of mankind, as it affects us still today. Not only has Robert Temple revealed the secrets of the underground Greek Oracle of the Dead, which was lost and forgotten for more than two thousand years, but he has broken the spell that has kept the innermost secrets of the Chinese I Ching hidden for more than three thousand years. His research, whether carried out by crawling through dangerous ancient tunnels or prowling the corriders of the world's libraries like a panther on the track of a scent, is overwhelming."
" . . . an amazing history of divination that is both revealing and educational."
" For those interested in the history of prophecy as it relates to the I Ching, Oracle-Bones, the Baian prophecy site, and prophecy through entrails, this is a must read book."
" Oracles once ruled the secret life of humanity. This is the best book I have ever read on those mysterious temples and techniques that preserved age-old traditions of seeking knowledge of the future."
" A unique journey of discovery, an adventure beyond most people' s wildest dreams. Only someone with Robert Temple' s originality, persistence, and courage could have undertaken it. This book enables us to accompany him to places where mythology, archaeology, ritual, and spiritual vision meet."
" Temple suggests modern science is just starting to appreciate the higher-order mathematical structure and geometric framework which are implicit in the I Ching and make it such an interesting system for our times. A fascinating insight into the prophetic underside of history and notions of fate, fortune and probability."
" Temple makes progress in enhancing the understanding and ultimate value of divination by relating a divinatory system to physical reality. His investigation of Greek and Roman ancient divinatory practices could well stand as a book in its own right."
& quot; . . . an amazing history of divination that is both revealing and educational.& quot;
& quot; For those interested in the history of prophecy as it relates to the I Ching, Oracle-Bones, the Baian prophecy site, and prophecy through entrails, this is a must read book.& quot;
& quot; Temple makes progress in enhancing the understanding and ultimate value of divination by relating a divinatory system to physical reality. His investigation of Greek and Roman ancient divinatory practices could well stand as a book in its own right.& quot;
From the Back Cover
NEW AGE / DIVINATION "Oracles once ruled the secret life of humanity. This is the best book I have ever read on those mysterious temples and techniques that preserved age-old traditions of seeking knowledge of the future." MICHAEL BAIGENT, author of Holy Blood, Holy Grail "A unique journey of discovery, an adventure beyond most people's wildest dreams. Only someone with Robert Temple's originality, persistence, and courage could have undertaken it. This book enables us to accompany him to places where mythology, archaeology, ritual, and spiritual vision meet." RUPERT SHELDRAKE, author of The Presence of the Past and A New Science of Life Many methods for predicting the future, such as tarot, runes, the I Ching, and other divinatory oracles, can be traced back to ancient cultures. In Oracles of the Dead Robert Temple examines the Greek and Roman traditions and techniques of divination and compares them to those of ancient China. He reveals the real physical location of the "hell" of the ancient Greeks--known in antiquity as the Oracle of the Dead and used for s顮ces intended to contact the spirits of the dead--and provides photographs from his explorations there. Relating them to the ancient belief in the Oracle of the Dead, Temple examines the various mysteries associated with Delphi and the other oracles of the ancient world and explains how they were used to allow visitors to experience contact with the divine. Furthermore, his examination of the Chinese oracular system shows how the latest developments in science are validating the system of the I Ching. ROBERT TEMPLE is visiting professor of the history and philosophy of science at Tsinghua University in Beijing; fellow of the Royal Astro-nomical Society; member of the Egypt Exploration Society, Royal Historical Society, Institute of Classical Studies, and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies; and visiting research fellow of the University of the Aegean in Greece. He is the author of ten books, including The Sirius Mystery and The Genius of China. His translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh was staged at the Royal National Theatre in London in 1993 and, together with his wife, Olivia, he is the translator of Aesop: The Complete Fables. He also wrote, produced, and presented the documentary film Descent into Hell, based upon this book, for the National Geographic Channel. He resides in England.See all Product description
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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.