“Have I Been Poisoned?”



This papyrus fragment from the Ancient Lives project shows a list of questions submitted to a Greek oracle. They appear to have been submitted by people of all walks of life and varying fortunes! A few examples:

  • “Am I to obtain benefit from my friend?”
  • “Am I to be reconciled with my offspring?”
  • “Am I to profit by the transcription?”
  • “Am I to become a beggar?”
  • “Shall I receive the present?”
  • “Am I to become a senator?”
  • “Am I to be divorced from my wife?”
  • “Am I to be sold up?”
  • “Have I been poisoned?”

Aside from perhaps the last two, it seems many of the things that concerned the ancient Greeks might be things we’d ask an oracle today, if we had them.

Explore more ancient history at Ancient Lives.

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