1. Arrival: Archephon

In this film, you, the audience, play the role of the Traveller, accompanying Dionysios, a wealthy man, and Kittos, his slave, on the way to the oracle of Zeus at Dodona.

When you reach the oracle you will meet: Archephon, a farmer; and, of course, two of the priestesses at Dodona.

For an immersive experience follow these viewing instructionsBelow you’ll find some more information about the historical background of the scene.

Archephon’s oracle question is based on a real question asked by a real man called Archephon. He wrote it on a lead tablet when he visited the oracle some time in the first half of the third century BCE:

Zeus and Themis and Zeus Naios, I, Archephon have the ship in place, built according

to the order of Apollo. Will there be safety for me and the ship, and will I pay back

what is needed?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Archephon’s question includes information about a previous consultation: what is it and what does it reveal about his use of oracles?
  2. Archephon’s question is about travel: about what other areas of life did people and communities consult oracles? Were there differences between the questions asked by communities and the questions about by individuals?

Film Credits:

Dionysios: David Jones

Kittos: Talhah Nesar

Archephon: Henry Fuller

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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