I've a question ...

what would a man in early 15th century perceive, when he heard the name "Delphi" ...

Delphi is somehow at the mount Parnossos.
Mantegna, 1497, Parnassos
15th century bookpainting
Delphi lost his function as oracle in 390 AD.
The place was taken and used for living by settlers from Albanien in 14th/15th century.
The site was localized in 19th century, with the help of an earthquake it was possible to remove the village and start excarvations.
Mount Helicon
It seems to me, as if Parnassos and Helicon (place of Hesiod) were occasionally mixed, although this are different locations.

"Helicon is the name of a mountain and a range of mountains in Boeotia in central Greece. It is a continuation of the Parnassus range of mountains. In the beginning of his Theogony, Hesiod refers to the muses of Mt. Helicon, which was considered by the Greeks to be the Muses' home.
On Mt. Helicon there was a temple and statue-filled grove. Near it were the fountains of Hippocrene and Aganippe that had been created, according to legend, by the winged horse Pegasus.
Pausanias said Mt. Helicon was the most fertile in Greece."
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica
see the mountains "Ellkonas" and "Parnassos"

Archeological interests developed slowly in 15th century ... naturally first for Italian objects.

So .. actually one should assume, that a person in early 15th century couldn't identify a natural location with the word "Delphi", though with some eagerness they could identify the different mountains (and likely would realise, that it's difficult to climb Greek mountains).

It's strange ... Petrarca clearly showed signs of Apollo interests, ca. 1341, when crowned as poetus laureatus.
Apollo was the god of the plague. The plague arrived 1348 and stayed till 1450. Laura, Petrarca's female idol, died with it (good Friday 1348) ... according to Petrarca, but we don't know, if Laura (Laura = Daphne = Petrarca's laurel as poetus laureatus) was fiction or real. So Petrarca was frustrated ... actually one should assume, that Petrarca has expected different things from his cooperation with Apollo in 1341.

Nonetheless Petrarca started his poem Trionfi (1355 - 1374), which stayed a little unfinished. ... and in its center was the old love Laura.
It's said, that the Visconti then got a familiary Apollo-fever, at least they used the phoinix as a heraldic design. Apollo came back, when in ca. 1424/25 or little earlier Filippo Maria Visconti commissioned the oldest Trionfi cards, the Michelino deck (though likely Filippo Maria didn't use the Trionfi name). The deck was focused on Daphne ... (= Laura) and Apollo of course.

Short before (1421) somebody imported the Manilius-poem from Germany, an action, which should have reached Filippo Maria Visconti as an information. . The Manilius-poem refered to an astrology, which used the 12 Olympian gods and much later duke Borso of Ferrara (also involved in Trionfi card productions) realised on the base of the poem the famous paintings in Palzzo Schifanoia (1469).
Filippo Maria Visconti much earlier used also the 12 Olympian gods system, although modified and not identical to the Manilius system. One should know, that the Visconti genealogy knew some of the gods as real ancestors of the family and that it was the same painter, Michelino da Beszzo, which painted the genealogy (1403) and the Michelino deck (ca. 1424/25).

In another world outside of Milan the Greek scholar Chrysoloras started to teach the Greek language in Florence. In his didactical considerations he thought it a good idea to focus the learning energies on the biographies of Plutarch, cause Plutarch presented Roman and Greek hero figures ... as the Roman biographies were well known by his pupils, the learning of Greek was much easier for his pupils. Chrysoloras indeed also spend some time in Milan and was present, when the Visconti genealogy was commissioned ... but the reigning duke Giangaleazzo died (1402) and the political situation in Milan started to become instabile. ... Chrysolares left and 10-11 years old young Filippo Maria Visconti started to suffer then.
Guarino (later teacher in Ferrara) started to become the leading translator of the many biographies of Plutarch.

Was he aware, that Plutarch once had been a priest in Delphi? Interesting question ... Is that explorable? Where does the informations of Plutarch's own life come from?


The link shows a big collection of sybils:

... only 2 of them have something to do with Delphi, one is of Baldini, who is suspected by some to have engraved the Mantegna Tarocchi, and the other is the well known one from Michelangelo, who seems to have painted her in balance to the sybil of Cumae, that of Eritrea, that of Libica (? Lybia), Persicha, perhaps more (?) (which was also engraved by Baldini, who made also Delphian and Persian sybil) ...

... but all the others are more or less the sybil of Cumae, often accompanied by the Trojan/Roman hero Aineas.

... which tells, that the theme Delphi was not very popular in 15th century, I would guess. Although Plutarch was popular.

None of them, btw., used Tarot cards.

Jan van Eyck paired two sybils in 1432, but he didn't take the sybil of Delphi, but that of Eritrea (and that of Cumae).

Konrad Witz refers to a meeting between Emperor August and a sybil of Timur’Empereur_Auguste_et_la_sibylle_de_Tibur.jpg
The same story ... a book painting.,_the_Sibyl_and_the_Emperor_Augustus.jpg
The same story in 1580

This page

declares, that there were 10 sybils and in Christian time occasionally more

Here is a prophets-sybils group of Perugino (six of each sort)

This article looks well informed:

... but, back to the original question: I couldn't identify a sign, that the Delphic oracle reached special interest in 15th century by the translations of Plutarch, who was priest at the oracle in Delphi.


Cyriac of Ancona, who in the early 15th century discovered and recorded inscriptions at the site of Delphi in 1436, was a friend of many of the leading humanists of the period and of the d'este, being a guest at their court in for example 1449.



Yes, I thought that Cyriac might have been one, who looked for it.

A radio interview with a recently working archeologist in Delphi ... interesting. He reassures, that Cyriac found the right place ... but it was under the village. So Cyriav couldn't give a very good description, that started a great enthusiasm, I would say.

The interview gives some interesting explanations about the nature of the oracle. A Gaia oracle ... "from earth".