Delphi the Center of Ancient Greece

Greek name : Δελφοί, Pytho
Location: The foot of Mount Parnassus, Greece
Grid Location: 38° 37′ N, 23° 49' E.[1]


Short History

Delphi was a small town in the Phocis territory in the lower part of Mount Parnassus at a place where the mountain forms a twin rock. It was named by the United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a World Heritage Site in 1987[2] . It was consider by the ancient Greeks to be the center of the world. Delphi is also home of the Oracle of Apollo and the Pythian Games.


The earliest archaeological sites of Delphi date back to 4000 B.C.E, the Neolithic period. The founder of Delphi, According to Greek Mythology is Zeus. He sent out two eagles, one going to the East and the other going to the West until they met that location is where Delphi is located[4] .City States throughout ancient Greece came to Delphi to see the Oracle. This helped Delphi to become a major political and economic hub of ancient Greece. Many City States built Embassies and Treasuries at Delphi. The cult of Apollo first made their appearance to the area during the 8th century. During the aftermath of the Dorian Invasion in 1100 B.C.E. The temple in Delphi became home to the Amphictyonic League. Delphi fell into Roman hands in 191 B.C.E During Roman control the city lost its influence as Christianity became the major religion of the Roman Empire


**__Oracle of Delphi & the Temple of Apollo[5]

Delphi is famous for Apollo's priestess Pythia. She held such influence that nations would counsel her before dealing with manners like war. Legend has it that originally the serpent Python was the original protector of Delphi. The Python was the son of the goddess Gaia mother to all. The Temple at the site was originally dedicated to her. Apollo came and killed the Python and took the spring for himself. Apollo went on and named the temple a place for the oracle of men to rest. The Oracle was named after the Python as well as the Pythian Games. Pythia operates from the Temple of Apollo,her bronze seat was located in the Adytum section of the temple. The faithful would go to the temple and present gifts and offerings to male priests and ask questions. The male priests would then ask the Oracle the questions. While in the chamber the Oracle was said to be overwhelmed by the spirit of Apollo. Many traditions state that the trance was caused by the vapors under the alter. The temple was only open to the public nine months out of the year, so people making the pilgrim to the temple payed a large sum in order to see her. The Temple was first built around the 7th century B.C.E with the help of the Trophonios and Agamedes. When the temple was destroyed by fire around the 6th century B.C.E it was rebuilt by an Athenian family, the Alkmaeonids. After the temple was destroyed by an earthquake in 373 B.C.E it was rebuilt by Corinthian Architects 330 B.C.E. The Temple was finally destroyed in 390 AD by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I in order for Christianity to become the major religion.


Pythian Games

The Pythian Games was the precursor to the modern day Olympic Games that took place in Delphi in honor of Apollo. It was the most prestige sporting contest in ancient Greece. They first started around the 6th century B.C.E. Not like their Olympic counterpart these games originally were just contests of musicians. That change in 582 B.C.E where sporting events like track and Chariot races after Apollo killed the Python and set up the oracle at Delphi[6] . The Games were open to all Greek and they were Delphic shrine on Mount Parnassus or the Crisaean plain below. The winner of the contest was awarded with a Laurel Wreath. The Games took place during the third August of the third year of the Olympiad. This time continued on to the 4th century AD


Other pages with more information
  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ __**
  6. ^