Heed The Oracle Well, Boy. Heed the Oracle Well.

Samhain                                                 New Winter Solstice Moon

Fourth week A.V.  No, not audio-visuals, but after Vikings.  I find my life just fine without the consummate misery of watching our various teams implode, year after year, often at the most heartbreaking moment.

So, again, in the spirit of decline and fall, I will spend Sunday working on my translation of Ovid, using him and his work as a window through which to view Roman culture and life at the turn of the first millennium of the common era.  I hope to include more Roman reading in Latin, too, but my focus for now, and for the foreseeable future, lies with learning the language and the Metamorphosis.

After several months of fiddling–hey, amateur here!–I have the TV, tivo, blu-ray and cd player all functional through the amplifier and therefore through all of our speakers.  That means I can read in my red leather chair while listening to jazz, beethoven or dvorak or whatever else we have on our increasingly antique cd collection.  Last night Beethoven’s late sonatas played while I read Herodotus, the story of Croesus.

Croesus did an empirical study of the oracles available to him before deciding to go to war with Persia.  He sent messengers   throughout Asia and Greece, asking them to inquire of the oracles what he did on the one hundredth day after they left his capitol.  Only two, the oracle at Delphi and of Amphiaraus, saw that he took a tortoise and a hare, cut them up and cooked them in a brass pot with a brass lid.  He chose this combination for its unlikeliness.

Upon learning of their accuracy he put together elaborate gifts and sent them to the Oracles, asking this time about a possible war with the Persians.  The reply from Amphiaraus is not known, but the one from Delphi stands as an example to future seekers.  When you go to war against Persia, a great empire will be destroyed.  That’s what the Oracle, the Pythoness, said.  And she was right.  Only it was Lydia, Croesus’s empire, that fell.  Oops.

After I finished with Herodotus, I turned off the lights and listened to the music.  A calming transition to bed.  And I did not wake up again until morning.