The Pythia (c. 800 BC-c.400), the name given to each priestess who served as the Oracle at Delphi, was arguably the most powerful individual in the classical world. In the male-dominated culture of ancient Greece, this woman was consulted as a civil and religious authority on matters of politics, law, war, crime, and more. Her high status as Apollo’s mouthpiece granted her many privileges unheard of for other women, such as the right to own property, the right to attend public events, and freedom from taxation. The only real downside? The Pythia’s life was said to be shortened by the rigors of her oracular duties.
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