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The Virtual Reality Oracle (VRO)

The Virtual Reality Oracle (VRO) will draw on the ancient question tablets from the oracle of Zeus at Dodona, NW Greece, to develop a VR experience of consulting the oracle, based on stories about individual visitors.

Photo: Oak tree at the Oracle of Zeus at Dodona (present day)

Why Dodona?

How will the VRO be viewed?

How will the VRO be used?

The VRO for Education

We are developing the VRO in close collaboration with teachers, students, and museum curators, and aim to develop:

  1. An accessible, online VR resource, which can be viewed on a smartphone, with accompanying educational materials for teachers and students of the ancient world, which will be hosted on this website.
  2. A mobile museum installation to display in museums in Bristol, London and Ioannina, Greece.



Outreach and Public Engagement

The VRO for Research

The VRO project comprises four overlapping disciplines: ancient history, neuroscience, psychology, and human/computer interaction. This interdisciplinary combination, along with the team behind it, will help us to investigate the following research questions:

  1. Can the VRO advance our understanding of ancient Dodona, the oracular consultation process, and the effects of this ritual on ancient individuals?
  2. Can the cognitive and sensory responses of individual users of the VRO enhance the design of immersive VR experiences, particularly for cultural, heritage, educational and academic audiences?

Ancient History



Human-Computer Interaction


Research Team

The Virtual Reality Oracle (VRO) is a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research project led by Professor Esther Eidinow (University of Bristol), in partnership with Kings College London and the University of Bath.​

Photo: Chris Bevan

Chris Bevan

Chris Bevan is a Research Associate in Computer Science at the University of Bristol, specialising in Human Computer Interaction.

Photo: Hugh Bowden

Hugh Bowden

Hugh Bowden is Professor of Ancient History at King's College London, specializing in ancient Greek religious experience.

Photo: Kirsten Cater

Kirsten Cater

Kirsten Cater is a Professor in Computer Science at the University of Bristol, specialising in Human Computer Interaction and Virtual Reality.

Photo: Richard Cole

Richard Cole

Richard Cole is a Research Associate in Ancient Greek History and Virtual Reality at the University of Bristol, specialising in fictional and non-fictional reconstructions of antiquity.

Photo: Quinton Deeley

Quinton Deeley

Quinton Deeley is Senior Lecturer in Social Behaviour and Neurodevelopment at King's College London

Photo: Esther Eidinow

Esther Eidinow

Esther Eidinow is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Bristol, specialising in ancient Greek religion and magic.

Photo: Jo Gildersleve

Jo Gildersleve

Jo Gildersleve is a Research Administrator supporting the Virtual Reality Oracle project and other projects at the University of Bristol.

Photo: Michael J. Proulx

Michael J. Proulx

Michael J. Proulx is Reader in Psychology at the University of Bath, specialising in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Virtual Reality and Assistive Technology.

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