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Dodona

A famous oracle in Epiros, and the most ancient of Greece. It was dedicated to Zeus (Jupiter), and situate in the village of Dodona.

The tale is, that Jupiter presented his daughter Thebe with two black pigeons which had the gift of human speech. Lemprière tells us that the Greek word peleiai (pigeons) means, in the dialect of the Eperots, old women; so that the two black doves with human voice were two black or African women. One went to Libya,

in Africa, and founded the oracle of Jupiter Ammon, the other went to Epirus and founded the oracle of Dodona. We are also told that plates of brass were suspended on the oak trees of Dodona, which being struck by thongs when the wind blew, gave various sounds from which the responses were concocted. It appears that this suggested to the Greeks the phrase Kalkos Dodones (brass of Dodona), meaning a babbler, or one who talks an infinite deal of nothing.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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