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Studies in Greek epigraphy and history in honor of Stefen V. Tracy

Gary Reger
Francis X. Ryan
Timothy Francis Winters

2. The Wider Greek Word

Chapter 25. The City of Kyzikos, Client of Oracles

Christian Habicht

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Every Greek city felt the need to consult an oracle. The most famous oracles were those at Delphi and Dodona in Greece, Didyma and Klaros in Asia Minor and the oracle of Ammon in the oasis of Siwa in Egypt; many others had mostly local significance1. As Kyzikos was a colony of Miletos, one would assume that the city’s oracular needs would best be met by Apollo of Didyma, on the territory of Miletos. This might have happened, the record is meager and also shows consultations with Delphi and Ammon to be earlier than the first attested case for Didyma. Without a doubt the city of Kyzikos venerated Apollo of Didyma. According to the testimony of Aelius Aristides, the god himself was considered the founder, the archegetes, of the city2. Whether this represents an old tradition or simply a panegyric fiction of the sophist, in any event it is true that, centuries after its foundation, Kyzikos used to send to Apollo’s temple at Didyma one or more silver bowls (φιάλαι) as offerings every yea...

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