Nekromanteion: Gateway to Hades & Oracle

area mapNear Parga on the west coast of Greece and dedicated to Pluto and Persephone, this oracular sanctuary was the second most famous in Epirus after Dodona and was where the living could speak with the dead.It was also considered to be the entrance to Hades or the underworld.

Standing at the confluence of the rivers Archeron and Cocitus and looking over lake Acherusio (now drained) the site is remarkably like Circe's Description in Homer's Odyssey (Book X) of where Odysseus must go to consult Tiresisa. Circe states " You will find it near the place where the rivers Pyriphlegethon and Cocytus flow into Archeron, and you will see a rock near it, just where the two roaring rivers run into one another."

the oracle of the deadthe sanctuaryThe oracle was open for business as early as the 7th C BC when Periander, the tyrant of Corinth sent a delegation to ask the spirit of his wife where she had hidden some treasure.

The oracle was most famous in the 3d and 2nd AD but destroyed by the Romans for the support it offered via the Epirote League to King Perseus of Macedonia. Built in a labyrinthine shape, the precinct was deliberately designed to confuse and disorient visitors with the use of a bronze windlass, counterweights and toothed wheels (for mechanical trickery), as well as disorientation techniques and hallucinatory drugs to evoke satisfactory spiritual visitations.

Today called fraud maybe, this preying-pandering on the credulous is as old as the preisthood, this particular flim flam was a pre Greek invention I wonder?