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Delphi (Δελφοί)

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Delphi (Δελφοί) 

 

Formally called Pytho (Πυθώ), is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia, the oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. Moreover, the Greeks considered Delphi the navel (or centre) of the world, as represented by the stone monument known as the Omphalos of Delphi.

 

Oracle: comes from the Latin verb ōrāre, "to speak" and properly refers to the priest or priestess uttering the prediction. In extended use, oracle may also refer to the site of the oracle, and to the oracular utterances themselves, called khrēsmē(χρησμοί) in Greek.

 

Oracles were thought to be portals through which the gods spoke directly to people. In this sense they were different from seers (manteis, μάντεις) who interpreted signs sent by the gods through bird signs, animal entrails, and other various methods.

 

The most important Oracles of Greek antiquity were The Pythia, priestess to Apollo at Delphi, and the oracle of Dione and Zeus at Dodona in Epirus. Other oracles of Apollo were located at Didyma and Mallus on the coast of Anatolia, at Corinth and Bassae in the Peloponnese, and at the islands of Delos and Aegina in the Aegean Sea.

The Sibylline Oracles are a collection of oracular utterances written in Greek hexameters ascribed to the Sibyls, prophetesses who uttered divine revelations in frenzied states.

 

800px-Delphi_by_Albert_Tournaire.jpg

Delphi was since ancient times a place of worship for Gaia, the mother goddess connected with fertility. The town started to gain pan-Hellenic relevance as both a shrine and an oracle in the 7th century BC. Initially under the control of Phocaean settlers based in nearby Kirra (currently Itea), Delphi was reclaimed by the Athenians during the First Sacred War (597–585 BC).

 

The site was sacked by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 86 BC, during the Mithridatic Wars, and by Nero in 66 AD. Although subsequent Roman emperors of the Flavian dynasty contributed towards to the restoration of the site, it gradually lost importance. In the course of the 3rd century mystery cults became more popular than the traditional Greek pantheon. Christianity, which started as yet one more mystery cult, soon gained ground, and this eventually resulted in the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. The anti-pagan legislation of the Flavian dynasty deprived ancient sanctuaries of their assets. The emperor Julian attempted to reverse this religious climate, yet his "pagan revival" was particularly short-lived. When the doctor Oreibasius visited the oracle of Delphi, in order to question the fate of paganism,he received a pessimistic answer:

 

Quote

 

Εἴπατε τῷ βασιλεῖ, χαμαὶ πέσε δαίδαλος αὐλά,

οὐκέτι Φοῖβος ἔχει καλύβην, οὐ μάντιδα δάφνην,

οὐ παγὰν λαλέουσαν, ἀπέσβετο καὶ λάλον ὕδωρ.

 

Tell the king that the flute has fallen to the ground.

Phoebus does not have a home any more,

neither an oracular laurel, nor a speaking fountain,

because the talking water has dried out.

 

 

Persecution of Pagans in the late Roman Empire began late during the reign of Constantine the Great, Delphi was shut down by Theodosius I in 381 AD.

 

Constantine ordered the pillaging and the tearing down of some temples. The first anti-pagan laws by the Christian state started with Constantine's son Constantius II, who was an opponent of paganism; he ordered the closing of all pagan temples, forbade pagan sacrifices under pain of death, and removed the traditional Altar of Victory from the Senate. Under his reign ordinary Christians began to vandalize pagan temples, tombs and monuments.This persecution had proceeded after a period of persecution of Christians in the Empire.

 

Rediscovery of Delphi:

800px-07Delphi_Fries01_(cropped).jpg

 

The Ottomans finalized their domination over Phocis and Delphi about. Delphi itself remained almost uninhabited for centuries. It seems that one of the first buildings of the early modern era was the monastery of the Dormition of Mary or of Panagia (the Mother of God) built above the ancient gymnasium at Delphi. It must have been towards the end of the 15th or in the 16th century that a settlement started forming there, which eventually ended up forming the village of Kastri.

 

-I have not finished but will be updating soon. More interesting facts to include and a few connections with our Chaos Story line. 😎😘

 

Santuario_de_Apolo_Pitio.gif

 

LINKS:

http://www.ancient.eu/map/-800/47.133/29.6/5400/

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