Oracles of the Dead: Ancient Techniques for Predicting the Future

Excerpts & Samples

By Robert Temple

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Robert Temple

Robert Temple
Robert Temple is visiting professor of the history and philosophy of science at Tsinghua University in Beijing; fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society; member of the Egypt Exploration Society, Royal Historical Society, Institute of Classical Studies, and the Society for the Promotion of  More...



An examination of the shadow side of prophecy in human history and our attitudes toward fate and predicting the future

•   Explores the divinatory techniques and traditions of classical Greece and Rome as compared with ancient China

•   Contains new information concerning the location of the Greek Oracle of the Dead at Baia

•   Shows how the latest discoveries in science may validate the system of the I Ching

•   First U.S. Edition of Netherworld

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 séances 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.

"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."
Uri Geller, author of Uri Geller's Little Book of Mind-Power

"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."
Nexus Magazine

“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

"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."
Bonnie Cehovet, Angelfire, Aug 2005

". . . an amazing history of divination that is both revealing and educational."
Lesley Crossingham, New Dawn, Jan-Feb 2006

"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."
Ashé! Journal of Experimental Spirituality, May 2006