150 Route 5. DELPHI. Gymnasmm.
is mentioned as having grown herein antiquity; and plane-trees
still flourish beside the hut, where refreshments (comp. p. 142) may
be obtained. From the point where the road bends abruptly to the
S. we ascend a modern path with flights of steps, passing some
scanty ruins, to the entrance of the gorge. Here, in front of an arti¬
ficially smoothed face of rock, is the Fountain, a space about 30 ft.
long and 10 ft. wide, hewn out of the rock. We descend to it by a
flight of 8 steps, occupying the entire length of one of the sides.
On the opposite side, hewn in the rock, is the channel which led
the water hither; it is about 6 ft. high and was originally covered,
the water issuing from holes pierced in front, which are still to be
seen. The water comes from the rock on the right, and the super¬
fluous supply was carried off by the channel to the open air on
the left, as is still partly the case. The recesses in the rock-face
probably contained votive-offerings. The largest recess was at one
time fitted up as a Chapel of St. John; the altar, the drum of an
antique column, still remains.
Before consuiting the oracle fhe pilgrims washed or sprinkled them¬
selves at the spring.
'To the pure precincts of Apollo's portal,
Come, pure in heart, and touch the lustral wave:
One drop sufflceth for the sinless mortal;
All else, e'en ocean's billows cannot lave'.
(Pythian Response; trans, by J. E. Sandys.)
The poetic beiief in the inspiring power of the water, of which Ovid
and others speak, dates from the Roman period.
Wo now follow the carriage-road for about 2 min. to the S.
from the Castalia, and reach, a little below the road, the Gymnasium.
A small convent was afterwards built on this site which has naturally
much injured the ancient structure, though its general arrangement
is still clear. The conformation of the ground required the different
portions of the Gymnasium to be distributed among several terraces,
formed by the erection of supporting-walls. Highest up, and ad¬
joining a supporting-wall, was a colonnade (Xystos; only partially
exhumed); from its length (ca. 200 yds.) it seems to have been
intended to serve as a race-course in bad weather, but it was also
probably used for lectures, etc. On the lower terrace we notice
arrangements for bathing — a round deep basin, about 30 ft. in
diameter, while at regular distances in the well-built supporting-
wall behind are openings through which the water gushed (perhaps
through lions' heads) to form douches. The water-channel and clay
water-pipes may be seen behind the wall. On the S. this was ad¬
joined by a series of chambers of an earlier date, built in front of an
irregular supporting-wall; these were afterwards rebuilt and their
floor raised a little. Still farther to the S. is a square court.
About 2 minutes to the S. of the Gymnasium, on the spot
known as the Marmaria, a long supporting-wall with two terraces
above it has been laid bare. On the lower terrace are two fair-
sized Doric temples. That to the W. f37'/-> bv 731/* ft.), of lime-