One well-known prophecy
was that Croesus, King of Lydia, (now part of Turkey), asked the oracle whether he would be victorious in war against Persia. The oracle replied that if Croesus crossed the river Halys he would destroy a great empire. Croesus took this as a positive sign, but shortly after crossing the river, Persians attached his forces and won – the powerful empire destroyed was Croesus’s own.
As people entered the Temple of Apollo
in the courtyard they would see three maxims inscribed in the temple’s forecourt: “Everything in moderation,” “Do what you mean to do” and perhaps most well known: “Know yourself.”
According to legend, Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, and his twin sister was Artemis, goddess of hunting.
He is the god of music, playing with his golden lyre. His weapon was a silver bow and arrow. He was also god of truth, which made him incapable of lying. Most of all however, Apollo was considered the god of light, wisdom, divine art and poetry. He is also known as the god of medical judgment. The bay tree is his tree, the raven his bird and dolphin his animal.
Apollo’s son was Asclepius
who became god of healing. Asclepius’s temples sprang up all over ancient Greece, the holiest of which was in Epidaurus. These temples were akin to today’s health spa resorts. Paintings from the period apparently show operations being conducted under so-called temple hypnotherapy. People slept in the temples and were probably also treated with hypnotherapy for psychotherapeutic purposes.
Bra Böckers Lexikon 2000
& Edelstein : Asclepius, Vols. I & II
MEDUSA : Tidskrift