The oracle at Dodona in Epirus in north-western Greece was a sanctuary devoted to Zeus rather than Apollo, and was probably the second most famous and influential oracle in Greece after Delphi. For this reason and a host of others, Dodona provides an appropriate contrast for Becoming Jason to the oracle at Delphi.
According to Herodotus in his Histories (Book II, 54-57) the oracle was founded by one of two princesses abducted from Thebes in Egypt by Phoenician traders. One was sold in Libya, one in Thesprotia in north-western Greece. Another version says two black doves flew from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and the other to Greece. Whether women or doves, the two travellers established places of divination sacred to Zeus - an oracle of Zeus Naios at Dodona in Greece and an oracle of Ammon at the oasis of Siwa. In chapter 39 the priestess relates a version of this tale that combines the two concepts - the priestesses of Thebes and the doves.
The oracle in Dodona offered prophecies through the rustling of oak leaves, interpreted by the priestesses. The sacred oak was in a grove close by a spring, from which Zeus took the epithet Naios (god of the spring). Zeus was also worshipped under the epithet Bouleus, the counsellor. Also worshipped at Dodona was the goddess Dione. The sanctuary's tranquillity is emphasised in contrast with the challenging nature of Delphi, and also works as a juxtaposition to chapter 38, the first encounter between Acastus and the mortal, savage centaurs.
The oracle gives Jason a sacred oak branch to include in the Argo. She also makes an enigmatic reference to Jason visiting her sister-oracle at Siwa, an oracle most-famously visited by Alexander the Great.