148 Route 13. DELPHI.
erous clefts and artificial terraces, along which stretches a row of
tombs and recesses. The fortress, the remains of which crown the
height, is ascribed to Philomelas, the Phocian, who took possession
of the district of Delphi in 355 and fortified himself here against
the Thebans. As soon as we have crossed the spur of the ridge, we
catch sight of the village of Kastri, and beyondthe Castalian gorge
the (J/4 hr.; 55 min. from Chryso) Monasteri tes Panagias, a farm
(metoehi) of the Jerusalem convent at Daulis also comes into view.
Accommodation may be had here from Paraskevds, the keeper of the
antiquities (cp'JXal; tow dp^ouorfj-rurv), who charges 7-8 fr. a day for
board and a room. The contents of the Museum at present consist
mainly of inscriptions. Among the few sculptures is a relief of a
nude archer (Apollo?). An archaic relief of a four-horse chariot
(charioteer almost entirely missing), with a three-stepped altar,
obviously the votive offering of a victor in a chariot-race, is at pre¬
sent covered by the excavations at the Stoa of the Athenians (p.151),
A visit to the ruins takes at least 5 hrs.
Delphi (AeX<po(; 2130 ft.), called Pytho by the earliest author¬
ities, was the headquarters of the Grecian cult of Apollo, whose
most famous oracle it contained; and it was the centre of the Del¬
phic Amphictyony, the most ancient confederation of Greek states.
As a town, however, it was of no importance; it was exclusively a
sanctuary. High above the valley of the Pleistos rise the Phaedriadae
('shining rocks') of the ancients, two long cliffs approaching each
other at an obtuse angle and separated only by a narrow chasm.
In winter or after heavy rain a foaming torrent is precipitated
from this chasm into the deeply indented channel of the
modern Papadid, through which it finds its way into the Pleistos
(the modern Xeropotdmi) flowing past it towards the S. The
E. cliff, which rises above the monastery, is the ancient Hyam-
peia. Its modern name is Phlemboukos. At the foot of the W.
cliff (now called Rodini) lay the sanctuary, with its magnificent
temple, the public buildings, and thousands of statues and other
votive offerings, the whole surrounded by an extensive wall.
Here the Hieromnemonae, or representatives of the Amphictyony,
assembled twice a year; and here every four years they celebrated
the Pythian Festival and Games, held first in 586 to commemorate
the victory over Krissa.
The grandeur of the scenery, the ice-cold springs, and the currents of
air streaming from the gorges of the mountains filled men with a myster¬
ious awe from the earliest times, and seemed to invite the foundation
of a temple. According to the legend Delphi was the haunt of the dragon
Pytho, which the far-darting Apollo slew five days after his birth in
the island of Delos; and the god is said to have brought hither his
first priests from Crete. But the ascription of the foundation of Delphi
to a Cretan colony is most probably an error. The oracle influenced the
history of noble houses and of whole nations from a very early period;
barbarians as well as Hellenes consulted it, and its responses were impli¬
citly trusted, even when they involved the enquirer in destruction, as in
the case of Croesus. The oracle was consulted on all affairs of moment,