Precinct. DELPHI. 5. Route. 147
arising from increasing poverty and decreasing interest. Perhaps the final
collapse was due to an earthquake. This temple, unlike so many others,
seems never to have been converted into a Christian church.
According to Pausanias the Pedimeht Sculptures of the temple de¬
scribed by him were by the Athenians Praxias and Androsthenes (5th cent.);
but it is difficult to reconcile this statement with the history of the edifice.
Th3 E. pediment contained representations of Apollo, Artemis, Leto, the
nine Muses, and the setting Helios; and the W. pediment had figures of
Dionysos, who also was worshipped at Delphi, and the Thyades. Pausanias
saw golden armour on the architrave; to the E. the shields dedicated by
the Athenians after the battle of Platsea (not Marathon), to the W. and S.
the long shields hung there by the .AStolians in memory of the successful
repulse, of the Gauls in 279.
In the Vestibule of the temple were engraved the famous sayings of
the Seven Sages: Tvio&i jauro'v (know thyself), Mrjoev oyav ('nothing too
much', i. e. 'moderation in all things'), etc. A statue of Homer, who re¬
presented to the Greeks the incarnation of wisdom, was also appropriately
placed in this conspicuous position. — Of the objects which were contained
within the temple the famous Omphalos may be mentioned, a stone in the
shape of half an egg, which was said to mark the centre of tbe world,
because here the two eagles met, which Zeus had caused to fly from the
opposite ends of the earth. In the Adyton, an apartment by itself, was the
Chasm of the Oracle, a cleft in the earth from which a narcotic vapour
issued. Above the chasm was placed the golden tripod, on which sat the
prophetic virgin«(afterwards matron) whose words none but the initiated
could understand. The responses were communicated to inquirers by the
priests in hexameter verses. The well-known ambiguity of the oracle
not only had the appearance of superhuman wisdom, but also secured the
reputation of the priests in any doubtful case. The site of the Adyton
has been thoroughly, and apparently deliberately, destroyed, so that in
spite of unusually deep excavations nothing has been established as to the
arrangement of the actual seat of the oracle. The statement of Pausanias,
however, that the prophetic spring in the Adyton was fed from the spring
Kassotis seems to be corroborated; the channels visible to the S. of tbe
temple served to regulate the discharge of the water.
The platform on which the temple stands is supported on the S.
by the polygonal wall and on the N. is separated from the earth-
slopes above by a high wall, erected in its present form at a late
period, probably after the landslip occasioned by the earthquake in
the 4th century. It has convenient connection with the rest of the
sacred precinct only at its N.E. and N.W. angles. Close to the temple,
at the N.E. corner, we observe the foundations of the large Votive
Offering of Gelon and his brothers, who here dedicated golden tripods
and figures of Nike to the weight of 50 talents from the booty cap¬
tured from the Carthaginians at the battle of Himera (B.C. 479).
Jt» As we ascend the hill from this point we come upon a quadran¬
gular peribolos (perhaps the Temenos of Neoptolemos?), on one of
whose walls rises a lofty oblong pedestal. To the left is a high sup¬
porting-wall, the lower part of which is built of colossal polygonal
blocks though the upper part is a modern restoration. Above this
rises the substructure of the extensive Thessalian Votive Offering,
consisting of a long two-stepped base of fine grey limestone, formerly
enclosed by a square hall, open in front. The lower courses of the
wall of the hall, also of limestone, are extant, but the upper portions
have disappeared. These were apparently not of hewn stone, but
probably of sun-dried brick, so that the structure must certainly have