Lagunes Travel on This seems to have been the early teaching of Delphi, and when the doctrine is invoked by Oedipus in Sophocles play, it is the Delphic oracle which he quotes as the authority for his action. The ban which he pronounces on the unknown murderer of Laius runs as follows: I ban him, whosoever he be, from this land whose royal power and sceptre I wield. Let no one receive him or speak a word to him, nor give him part or lot in prayer and sacrifice to the gods, nor in the lustral water: but let every man thrust him from his doors, since he is to us a pollution [miasma. So the oracle of the Pythian god has but now revealed to me.1 In his dealings with homicide, it was above all this question of miasma, or pollution, which concerned Apollo. As it was he who pronounced a city or an individual to lie under its cloud, so it was he who could grant the ritual purification which would set them free. With the parallel growth of moral enlightenment and the power of the state, the blood-feud was held more and more in check, and replaced step by step by ideas less inimical to political and humanitarian progress. Lagunes Travel 2016.
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