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The Reputation of the Manteis in the Century after the Sicilian Expedition

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In Greek myth and history manteis ('seers', 'diviners') had a respected position, which did not, however, save them from being mocked by the fifth-century comic poets. They possessed a distinct technĂȘ, which was considered especially important in warfare but useful for other purposes too. This article considers their social profile, and the varied reactions to them of diverse elements in the population. The manteis encouraged the Sicilian Expedition and suffered some reputational consequences from its failure. But in the fourth century they retained a considerable degree of respectability in spite of the negative opinions of most (though not all) intellectuals.
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Keywords: DIVINATION; MANTEIS; PLATO; SEERS; THEOPHRASTUS; XENOPHON

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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  • Hermes, founded in 1866 and currently edited by Hans Beck, Marcus Deufert and Martin Hose, is an international, peer-reviewed journal on Greek and Roman antiquity. It focuses on linguistics, literature as well as history. It features original articles in English, German, French and Italian.
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