Vedere e ascoltare con la mente. Antropologia dell'indovino nella Grecia antica

Carmine Pisano


The myths of Tiresias, Helenus, Calchas and Theoclymenus permit us to better define the prerogatives, functions and role of the seer (mántis) in ancient Greece. As a dēmioergós who reports to men "the things said by the god" (thésphata), the seer stands out among ancient professional communicators for his ability to see and hear through the mind (nóos). The mythical seer's systems of perception and modus operandi thus suggest a reconsideration of the distinction – derived by many modern scholars from Cicero's De divinatione – between "ecstatic" divination, inspired by the god, and "technical" divination, based on specific skills of reading signs (sémata) sent by the gods.

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