4. Asking on Behalf of Another: Nikokrateia

In this fourth film, while you, the traveller are thinking about the questions you want to ask, we meet Nikokrateia, a wealthy woman who has come to ask about her son’s illness… And then, finally, it’s your turn to consult the oracle…

For an immersive experience follow these viewing instructions. For more information about the historical background to this scene, see below.

The oracle question that Nikokrateia asks is based on a couple of different historical oracle questions. First, a woman called Nikokrateia came to the oracle in the fourth-mid-third century BCE and asked about her own health:

Nikokrateia asks by sacrificing to which of the gods would she do better and be

relieved of her disease?

Other consultants came to ask about members of their family who were sick: sometimes they asked simply what they must do to be healthy; others asked about particular diseases or parts of the body, such as the eyes.

Discussion Questions

  1. How is Nikokrateia’s question different from those we have examined so far?
  2. What kind of question would you like to ask an oracle?

Film Credits:

Nikokrateia: Catt Hurman

Priestess 1: Aniqah Rawat

Priestess 2: Eleanor Fulford

Scripted by: Riley Nicholas with Esther Eidinow

Directed by: Jimmy Hay

Filmed and edited by: Daisy Dai, Liping Pan (Orange Vision Productions)

Produced by: Kirsten Cater, Esther Eidinow, Jimmy Hay, David Jones, Talhah Nesar

From an idea by Esther Eidinow. Funded by The Leverhulme Trust.


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