Plutarch of Chaironea and Delphi
Plutarch of Chaeronea

Plutarch of Chaeronea, a city of Boeotia, was a Platonic Philosopher, the author of Convivium and Parallel Lives. He lived at the times of Traian and Hadrian. He was a favourite of both Emperors.

He was a priest of the Delphic Sanctuary for many years. He wrote several works in which we find testimony about the Oracle, such as “Why Pythia is not giving prognoses in rhyme anymore” and “About the delphic ‘Epsilon’“.

Plutarch of Chaeronea - Parallel Lives book
Third Volume of a 1727 edition of Plutarch’s “Parallel Lives” printed by Jacob Tonson. (source wikipedia)

He also talks about the position of upper class women in religion and society: He was a friend of his contemporary Arhiis, the woman leading the dionysiac dance in honour of Dionysus in Mount Parnassus. This particular individual could, acccording to Plutarch, discuss issues of religious syncretism [about Greek Dionysus and Egyptian Ossiris].

Plutarch mentions a rather interesting story about Pythia’s answer to a young priest who, after being seduced by a young girl, asked if there was a way to achieve a forgiveness.

Pythia answered: “God is not prohibiting what he was not able to prevent from happening“.


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