Pausanias’ »Description of Greece« is the only or at least the most important source to more than 60 percent of the oracular tales, it includes. This makes the work crucial to everybody, who wishes to study the oracular tales in the form they have been handed down to us in the antique written sources. In Oracular Tales in Pausanias a study of the collected oracular tales in Pausanias’ »Description of Greece« is made available for the first time.
Up till now, research into the history of oracles has emphasized either the archaeology of the oracle sites or the degree of authenticity of the oracular responses. The present book provides a new approach by not only focusing on the god’s oracular response, but also by viewing the entire oracle consultation as a narrative with a certain narrative structure, which makes it possible to view oracular tales as a specific, orally transmitted literary genre.