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Alexander, Meet the Oracle of Amun.

Alexander the Great kicked back in Siwa and had several consultations with the local Oracle of Amun. Persian King Cambyses II, son of Cyrus the Great, sent an army to destroy it and was consumed in a sandstorm in the desert (as opposed to in the tundra) over 2,500 years ago (according to Herodotus anyway, who has been known to ramble incoherently sometimes).

I’m not one for Beatle bed sheets or anything, but was definitely a little goosebumpy to stand in a once-sacred spot where Alexander the Great put great weight into the fortunes predicted to him. I would love to see the questionnaire he submitted. At least I hope that’s how it works. Like online dating.

I would do well to learn how an oracle actually worked. Were there beautiful half-naked women as in 300? Did they dismember animals and read the entrails? Ouija board? I hope the oracle spoke in rhyme anyway. That makes any prediction more fun.

I like to believe that the Magic 8 Ball’s predictions are actual translations from ancient oracles. The idea of Alexander the Great asking a high priest in flowing robes whether he will live to be an old man, and being told “Outlook not so good” is an appealing vision.

oracle of amun at siwa
You really couldn't ask for a nicer location for an oracle. Great view and easy access to a salt marsh.


One Trackback

  1. By No, Not Afghanistan. Egypt. 9 May ’11 at 10:08 am

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