Study Guide

Oracle of Delphi (The Pythia)

  • Profile

    The Oracles of Delphi (a.k.a. the Pythias) were complete know-it-alls. Literally: they knew everything. They got the inside scoop about the future from Apollo, god of prophecy, so they totally knew everything that was going to happen. There were tons of different Oracles over the years—mostly young virgins drafted from the area surrounding the village of Delphi. For centuries, pilgrims traveled from all around the Mediterranean to the slopes of Mount Parnassus, where the Oracles gave out their cryptic prophecies (for a price). It was like Googling "What's my future?" and actually getting an answer.

    Basic Information


    Oracles of Delphi


    The Pythias, Little Miss Know-It-Alls



    Current city

    Elysium (We miss Delphi!)

    Work & Education


    Priestesses of Apollo


    Apollo's School of Prophecy


    Political views

    What's the point when you know what's going to happen anyway?

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)


    There were tons of us, so we had tons of different parents.


    A whole bunch.


    We took vows of chastity, so not too many.


    Apollo (a great god to serve)
    Priests of Apollo (who helped run our temple)


    Emperor Theodosius I (the stupid Roman who shut down Delphi)


    Relationship status

    Sworn virgins

    Interested in

    We only have eyes for Apollo.


    TV Shows



    "The ancient oracle said that I was the wisest of all the Greeks. It is because I alone, of all the Greeks, know that I know nothing."
    – Socrates

    "Prophecy: Two bull's eyes out of a possible million."
    – Mark Twain

    "Where there is no vision, the people perish."
    – Proverb

    "Picture yourself in a boat on a river,
    With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
    Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly,
    A girl with kaleidoscope eyes."
    – from "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by the Beatles

    "You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
    Dancing queen, feel the beat from the tambourine"
    – from "Dancing Queen" by ABBA


    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez 
    The Bald Soprano by Eugene Ionesco (Life really starts to seem this absurd once you know everything that's going to happen.) 
    "Dream-Land" by Edgar Allan Poe (This poem totally describes what it's like when we go into one of our trances.) 
    "The Hollow Men" by T.S. Eliot (We're not going to tell if the last lines of this poem are true or not.) 
    "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock" by Wallace Stevens 
    The Time Machine by H.G. Wells 
    "Her Kind" by Anne Sexton 
    Oedipus the King by Sophocles (Hey, we tried to warn him.) 
    "The Mind is an Enchanting Thing" by Marianne Moore 
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger 


    Crazy by Patsy Cline (You can't help but be a little crazy after inhaling fumes all day.)
    Lights by Ellie Goulding (Yes!) 
    Karma Chameleon by Culture Club 
    Dancing Queen by ABBA (Little known fact: this is a great song to prophesize to.)  
    Into the Great Wide Open by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 
    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds by the Beatles (Lucy was totally one of us.) 
    Maximal Crazy by Tiesto (Yeah, we can't get enough trance music.) 
    Where is My Mind? by the Pixies 


    The Matrix (We're all about the Oracle.) 
    Final Destination 
    Donnie Darko (weird, but awesome) 
    Mulholland Drive 
    Paranormal Activity 
    Minority Report 

    Activities & Interests


    Fortune cookies
    Crystal balls
    Tarot cards




    Seers and Seeresses
    League of Prophets
    No Boys!
    Apollo Fan Club

  • Spotter's Guide

    There were tons of different Oracles over the years, so they all looked a little different. Mostly, they were pretty young virgins chosen from the neighborhoods of Delphi to take on the role of the Pythia. These ladies always looked clean and well kept from bathing in the Castalian Spring all the time. They did spent a lot of time inhaling volcanic fumes and the smoke from their tripod, though, so they looked a little sickly. Sounds like a crazy job if you ask us, but if Apollo chooses you, you kind have to do it, right?

    Sex: Females
    Age: Mostly young girls
    Build: Thin
    Complexion: Pale, a little green from inhaling fumes all day
    Hair Color: Varies
    Facial Hair: No
    Scars/marks/tattoos: No
    Jewelry and accessories: Tripod
    Clothing: Priestess robes
    Armor: None
    Type of Weapon: Ability to see the future

    Typical Companions

    Priests of Apollo

    Known Hangouts

    Temple of Apollo at Delphi

  • Sightings

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Libation Bearers by Aeschylus

    In this play, Orestes receives orders from Apollo via the Oracle that he must kill his mother, Clytemnestra.

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Eumenides by Aeschylus

    This sequel to The Libation Bearers opens at Delphi, where Orestes is taking refuge from some vengeful Furies, angry over his mother's death.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Oedipus the King by Sophocles

    The Oracle of Delphi proves to be all too right when she says that Oedipus is destined to sleep with his mother and kill his father. (Something tells us that the Pythia's prophecies wouldn't be too popular in fortune cookies.)

    Dec 20, 2019

    Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles

    In this final Oedipus play, it's revealed that the Oracle also told Oedipus that he would die in a place sacred to the Furies. (Yup, she was totally right again.)

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    Electra by Euripides

    Check out another version of Orestes' Oracle-ordered execution of his own mother.

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 2019

    Ion by Euripides

    Set at Delphi, this play portrays a temple boy named Ion who finds out that Apollo is his long lost father.

    Dec 20, 2019

    Electra by Sophocles

    Aaaaaand here's yet another version of Orestes' famous Oracle-ordered matricide. (Sometimes we wonder if the Oracle should've kept her big mouth shut.)

    Dec 20, 2019 - Dec 20, 0099

    Oedipus by Seneca

    The big deal Roman playwright puts his spin on the Oedipus story, complete with the Oracle's prediction.

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Metamorphoses by Ovid

    The Oracle pops up in tons of stories in this book of mythological poems. (Don't miss the tale of how Apollo conquered the Python and made it his own.)

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

    The spirit of the Oracle is trapped in a corpse by Hades in this first Percy Jackson novel.

    Dec 20, 2019

    The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

    The Oracle's spirit is finally able to pass on to its new host, Rachel Elizabeth Dare, in this Percy Jackson adventure.