Delphi is the archaeological site and modern town of Fokida prefecture, west to the slopes of Mount Parnassos. The climate of Delphi has characteristics of the Mediterranean climate, influenced by but Parnassos during the winter months. The seat of the Municipality of Delphi and municipal departments which are included in the municipality of Delphi and Chrisso. Because of the importance of Delphi in antiquity, which was called Omphalos of the Earth, the site of one of the most popular destinations of foreign tourists to Greece from around the world.
At the foot of Mount Parnassos, subjected to the natural landscape formed between two rocks theoratous, the Faidriades, is the Greek temple of Delphi and the most famous oracle of ancient Greece. Delphi was the navel of the earth, where according to legend, met the two eagles sent by Zeus from the edges of the universe to find the center of the world, and for many centuries formed the spiritual and religious center and the symbol of unity of the ancient Greeks. The history of Delphi lost in history and myths of the ancient Greeks. According to tradition, here was originally dedicated to the sacred feminine goddess Gaia, and the guards were fearful dragon Python. Apollo Pythona killed and his sanctuary was founded by Cretans who arrived in Kirra, the port of Delphi, to the accompaniment of God, transformed into a dolphin. The myth is about the sovereignty of Apollo survived in celebrations made representations to Delphi, the Septiria, the Dolphins, the Thargilia, the Epiphany, and, of course, the famous Pythia, who telountan to remind the victory of God against Pythona and included musicians gymnikous competitions and matches.
The previous findings in the area of Delphi back to the Neolithic Age (4000 BC) and from the Korykeio Andron, cave in Parnassos, where the first telountan cults. Within the temple found residues of Mycenaean settlement and cemetery. The traces of occupation are minimal and very fragmented until the 8th century. BC, a period during which finally prevailed the cult of Apollo started and the development of the sanctuary and Oracle. Towards the end of the 7th century. BC lithinoi built the first temples, one dedicated to Apollo and the other in Athena, who also worshiped officially under the name «Pronaia> or« Pronoia> and had its own mosque. According to testimony literary and archaeological finds, love at Delphi, including the Artemis, Poseidon, Dionysus, Hermes, the Poliefs Zeus, the healthy and the Eileithyia.
Associated with the sacred institution of amfiktyonias, the federation of twelve tribes of Thessaly and Central, which was originally a religious association, and later acquired and political importance. The Delphic amfiktyonia had control of property and operation of the sanctuary, having set the priests and other officials, elected by all the inhabitants of Delphi. Under the protection and management of the 6th century. BC the sanctuary has consolidated its autonomy against the aspirants (A Holy War), increased the Greek religious and political influence, grew in scope and reorganized the Pythia, the second most important panhellenic after the Olympic Games, which telountan every four years.
The period from the 6th to the 4th century. BC coincides with the great edge of the Delphic Oracle. The oracle, who was considered the most reliable, expressed by the Pythia, priestess of the oracle, and interpreted by the priests of Apollo. Cities, rulers and ordinary people come to consult God and expressed their gratitude with brilliant votive, which gradually kateklysan the sanctuary. The reputation of the oracle was all over the world and the launch, which lost in the mists of antiquity and myth. Believing that the Delphi oracle delivered key predictions of the avalanche of Defkaliona, the Argonautic campaign and the Trojan War, and is accredited by the great role of his opinion to the establishment of the Greek colonies. But it is precisely the prestige and power of Delphi caused two further holy war, in the middle of the 5th and mid-4th century. BC In the 3rd century. BC a new political and military power appears to the fore, are Aitoliko, expressing the dynamic presence in the temple with various offerings. During the period of Roman domination (from 168 BC) Delfi sometimes looted and sometimes benefited from the emperors, such as by 86 Syllas BC.
The decline of the oracle began with the philosophical movement of rationality in the 3rd century. BC, however, in the typical operation remained unchanged until the 2nd century. AD, the time of Hadrian. Then visited the traveler Pausanias, who took too much detail remains of buildings, sculptures and inscriptions. A detailed description of contributed significantly to the reconstruction of the area. The 394 was a definitive end to the operation of the oracle by decree of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I. With the prevalence of Christianity, Delphi was the bishopric seat, but abandoned early in the 7th century. AD, age advent of the Slavs. Gradually the ancient temple filled with epichosthike and, much later, on thammena ruins of an entire village was installed, the castle, which in recent times has accepted visits travelers archaiofilon.
The investigation at the archeological site of Delphi started around 1860 by Germans. In 1891 the French took the Greek government approval to conduct systematic research and then began the so-called «Great Excavation>, after having removed the village Kastri. During that period came to light striking findings, among which some 3,000 inscriptions, revealing various aspects of ancient public life. Today, work at the site of the two holy Delphic continuing with the cooperation of the Greek Archaeological Service and the French School, with excavation and restoration activities. The only monument to the ancient material available for almost a full restoration was the treasure of Athens, which was restored in 1903-1906 by French at the expense of the Municipality of Athens. Other monuments have been restored is the altar of Chion, the temple of Apollo and the dome.
In a later era, the site of Delphi associated with the effort to revive the Delphic Idea, by the poet Sikeliano Angelo and his wife Eva Palmer, who put forward two ancient drama, in 1927 and 1930, wanting to create a new intellectual hub of land.
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