The Temples at Klaros– Part Six

The Temples at Klaros– Part Six June 28, 2023

The measure of the importance of an ancient prophetic site like Klaros can be seen in some of the extra buildings, for instance in what amounted to a hostel for consultants to stay in while visiting the prophets over a period of time….. The name of said building was Katagogeion and it was a bit apart from the temples themselves….

Naturally as well, at a famous site there would be some entertainment— Greek comedies or tragedies by Sophocles or Aristophanes and others. There was such a small theater here…and the dignitaries had the seats of honor.


The setting was attractive in these rolling hills.

But none but the locals were likely to come for pure entertainment. Most came for religious purposes of visiting the temples, making offerings, hoping to get answers from the oracles.  They mainly came to be in the presence of Artemis, or Apollo, the god of prophecy.

This is the remains of the temple of Artemis with the sundial on the left side.  They would not have walked that far had they not believed in the power and help of prophecy just as before and during  medieval times, people went on pilgrimage to holy sites in the Holy Land, or even to Canterbury as the Canterbury tales record.   The ancients were for the most part very religious.  They were pagans, but they were not secular people.  Their values differed from Jewish and Christian values, but not in all ways, and indirectly such places as Claros provide silent attestation to the fact that we are all created in God’s image, and most of us are seekers after a relationship, or succor or prayer help from God.  And they came to leave offerings, tributes of various sorts….sacrifices even of large animals like bulls. 

The Ancients weren’t all that different from us in many ways even if they sought that help from those who were not gods, but as Paul calls them ‘daimons’ in 1 Corinthians– spiritual beings that were less than gods.  The need was so great that they would even take ambiguous answers from the oracles like— ‘if you marry this man, someone will be happy’ or the advice given to Agamemnon ‘if you go to war against the Persians a great victory will be won’.

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