- "I sprang upon the swift ship in the form of a dolphin, pray to me as Apollo Delphinius; also the altar itself shall be called Delphinius and overlooked forever."
The Oracle is a powerful generalist Wonder that every civilization wants to build and exploit, maybe except for pure Domination ones who can just conquer it instead. The numbers on the Oracle are quite deceptive, since it does not give you the real picture of its strength. Normally, a district without any building in it will give you 1 Great Person points of its respective type, the Oracle effectively triples it. If you have Pingala with his Grants title in the city as well (which you absolutely should if you built the Oracle), every district will provide 6 Great Person points per turn, without any building in it, which makes patronage of Great People never easier. The Faith discount is also a nice touch for civilizations with incentives to build a lot of Holy Sites, although this is not the main reason you would build the Oracle. Overall, this is a solid Wonder in the base game and an absolute powerhouse from Rise and Fall and beyond, since its power suits every civilization for every Victory path.
Of all the places in ancient Greece where priestesses uttered prognostications, by far the most famous (and cryptic) was the Oracle at Delphi, a shrine to Apollo located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. There a priestess known as the “Pythia” would – for suitable compensation – interpret dreams, commune with the gods while in a trance, and read the signs in the entrails of sacrificed animals (chickens for the cheap, or goats for those willing to pay more). The Oracle began operation as early as 1400 BC, and enjoyed a thriving business until Christianity arrived with the Romans. The greatest structure was the stately temple to Apollo (of course), and it stayed standing until pulled down on orders from Theodosius I in 390 AD. The site remained an active “pagan” center throughout the 4th Century, however, and the Pythian Games (a predecessor to the Olympics today) continued to at least 424 AD.