Dodona Oracle & Theater Page 1

ancient map of areaarea mapThe site is open daily 8am-5pm; admission 2 euros.

Dodona is far less visited than Delphi, which eclipsed it long ago, and both the site and village are very unspoilt. There are good places to camp,as well as some rooms and local tavernas in the village.

The oracle of Dodona is felt to be one of the oldest if not the oldest in Greece. Legend attributes its founding to ca 2,000 BC when the worship of Gea the Great Mother was still practiced. Its origins are felt to be Pelasgic e.g.. to precede the Greek speakers. "Wintery Dodona" is mention in the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer. Still later the sanctuary was consecrated to a triad of Goddesses: Dion, Aphrodite and Themis.

site paln dodonaAccording to Herodotus it was founded by one of the two priestesses taken from Thebes in Egypt and brought to Greece by the Phoenicians. The other priestess was taken and sold in Libya and founded the Oracle of Ammon in Siwa oasis. You may remember that Alexander the Great consulted the oracle of Ammon after his conquest of Egypt over a thousand years later. Dodona theater above right.

The earliest current ruins date from the 14th C BC but it was rebuilt on a monumental scale during the reign of Pyrrhus 280 BC. It was sacked by the Aetolians in 219 BC along with 70 other centers in the surrounding region. The Roman Aemiluius Paullis destroyed it for aiding Perseus. Mithradates sacked it in 86 BC and it lay abandoned until the Roman period when it was revivified until 300 AD.

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