Delphic Maxims: Follow God (Επου θεω)

The first Delphic Maxim is a doozy. It’s got a very monotheistic sound to it. One rough translation of it is “follow/honor that which is godly” which isn’t much better. It sounds like a line out of an Evangelical exhortation from the pulpit. Yet when over the centuries the lists of the Maxims, the wisdom of the sages of Greece, and the moral exhortations of the oracular temple of Apollo at Delphi, this was first on their list.

If you’re anything like me, your mind is likely roiling in consternation. I’m considering abandoning this series before it’s even begun.

What does it mean to follow what is godly? Well, first it means being lead by what is godly, as it’s instructing you to follow. So the first thing this tells us is that we are not driving this train.

And it’s also giving us a very simple way to judge whether we are headed in the right direction.

1. Is what we are pursuing godly, sacred and of high virtue?

2. Are we following that instead of trying to drive the train ourselves?

If the answer to either is no then we aren’t heeding the wisdom of the first Maxim.

But just what is godly? What does that mean in polytheism? I think that’s a big topic to tackle on another day…

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