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Oracles of the Dead: Ancient Techniques for Predicting the Future Paperback – September 7, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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)

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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books (September 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594770859
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594770852
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,180,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. M. TILTON on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
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.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John J. Wright on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Having read three of temple's books I allways come away with some great insights into the world and possibly the universe. He is IMO one of the best alternate historians out there. He does his work people. In this book he goes on the trail of what he considers the underworld or Hades in Baia Italy. He present a good case. But more then that he has stumbled onto what he calls the hexagonal oracular lattice. He should investigate this more as there is a great truth to the beginnings of all life in this. I give him credit for his work in this It has not been reconized by many people and those who have do not understand it. Great book with solid work done in it. Keep the good work up Robert you are coming closer to the answers you are searching for.
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Format: Paperback
Many methods of predicting the future, from tarot to runes and the I Ching, can be traced to ancient cultures, and in Oracles Of The Dead: Ancient Techniques For Predicting The Future, Robert Temple surveys the Greek and Roman traditions and techniques which have carried these methods to modern times. The ancient belief in the Oracle of the Dead is considered as Temple examples mysteries associated with Delphi and other world oracles and considers different world oracular systems.
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4 of 19 people found the following review helpful By D. Nielsen on August 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
Was VERY disappointed ....reviews and title lead you to think this is a book of 'how to DO ancient oracles' ....when in essence it is a history-being-unraveled-type of book. If you are are a history buff you may like it, but I certainly did not !
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