Oracle of Siwa

CODEX Entry 5123: Oracle of Siwa


Oracles were spirits that lived in the bodies of priestesses, and who could see the future and they normally based themselves near unusual natural phenomena like springs. The chief priest would interpret their pronouncements. Unlike many others, Siwa attempted to keep its temples and spending simple, making the Oracle hard to bribe and therefore more respected. The Greeks would often ignore their corrupted Oracle, and sent a regular galley to Ammonia, where questions would be carried on into the desert to the Oasis. Cimon, the Athenian general, paused at Cyprus in 449 BC awaiting news from the Oracle before attacking Egypt. It is said that when his emissaries reached the Temple, the Oracle spoke, “Cimon is already with me!”. When they returned to Cyprus, they discovered that Cimon had died as they were speaking to the Oracle. Lysander, the Spartan general, came to Siwa twice to consult with the Oracle. When Alexander arrived after capturing Egypt, the current manifestation of the Oracle was paraded through the city accompanied by eighty priests.