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some spell it AntinoosThe Oracle of Delphi page six

The Stoa of the Athenians, which contains the naval trophies captured from the Persians is a wooden colonnade with Ionic marble columns.

the paln of the sanctuary of apollothe temple todayThe Temple of Apollo The ruins you will see there today date from 330 BCentury BC, the previous, 6th century, building having been destroyed by earthquake, as well as the temple to Gaia. This last temple is considered to have been the sixth on this site, and was built to the same dimension as the previous one, and with the same materials. The foundations, columns and entablature were of poros stone and the pediments of Parian marble.

Six columns have been reconstructed to present a visual idea of how the temple appeared in its last phase. The exterior Doric columns numbered 38, six on the fascades and fifteen on the sides (an unconventional design, perhaps because of the need for the inner chamber where oracles were given, something not necessary in other temples). The total length was 59.5meters/195feet and the width 23.8meters/78 feet. The interior columns were Ionic.

Antinoos caption, the story goes that out of love for Hadrian, Antinoos drowned/sacrificed  himslef to save the emperor from illnessIn the portico, along with a statue of Homer, were inscriptions with the precepts of the Sages of Greece including the famous: 'Know theyself', and 'Nothing in excess'. The naos at the center of the temple contained altars and statues. Of the latter, the most important was the golden statues of Apollo. The eternal hearth, the hestia (estia in Greek) was there as well. and beyond was the crypt or inner sanctum-- the adyton where the Pythia sat near the omphalos and the tomb of Dionysos. The area was sunken, with steps descending to it, and surrounded by Ionic columns. It has been suggested that in addition to the burning of laurel leaves and barley meals, ergot or hallucinogenic mushrooms might have been ingested by the Pythia. Though scholars have pooh-poohed this idea, the use of such substances by native peoples throughout the millennia speaks in favor of such a theory. The tripod on which the Pythia sat resembled a cauldron, which, according to myth, contained the bones of the slain Python, or of Dionysos.

the theater todayThe Theater dates from the 4th century BC and was restored by both the king of Pergamon (Eumenes II) and the Romans during the 2nd century BC, the earlier structure built of white marble from Parnassos; the latter with wooden seats. Restorations were necessary due to earthquake damage in this very seismic area. It seated 5000 spectators on 35 terraces of seats, who watched re-enactments of the battle between Apollo and the Python and heard the hymns honoring Apollo.

The orchestra, paved with polygonal slabs, is in the shape of a horseshoe, with a diameter of 18.5meters/60 feet. Behind the orchestra is a stone building which includes the raised stage, in front of which was a frieze in relief depicting the Labors of Herakles (Hercules), now housed in the museum.

From the top of the theater, fine views are to be seen. The theater is one of the best preserved in Greece. The theater was strongly connected with Dionysos, god of arts, wine and ecstasy, who reigned during the three winter months in Delphi when Apollo was on retreat up north.

the hunterA steep path leads upwards from here to the Stadium passing votive niches and fountains fed by natural springs on the way` The Stadium is situated in the highest part of the ancient city (645meters/2115 feet). The north side of the building is cut into the rocks; the south side supported by Classical period masonry. Of the Roman Triumphal Arch (at the southeast entrance) four pillars remain (in the final 2nd century AD phase of the building, given as a gift to the site by the wealthy Athenian Herodes Atticus, who was also responsible for the stone seating. The first stadium was built around 450BC. Before that time the Pythian games were musical contests that honored Apollo; later athletic contests were added, finally superceding the musical ones. The track was 177meters/600 Roman feet with twenty lanes. Some races involved two lengths of the stadium, and some were with chariots and horses. 7000 spectators could be accommodated here. It is surrounded by pine trees. Plays are now performed there in summer during the Festival of Delphi.

The Museum of Delphi was rebuilt in 1959-61 and is beautifully arranged. It features Archaic sculpture from the site. The inscriptions are in both Greek and French, due to cooperation between the Greek government and the French School of Archaeology during the course of excavations at Delphi. For English guides, you'll need to get one at the desk. The museum is open in summer Mon-Fri &:30am-6:45 pm; Sat & Sun *:30am-2:45pm; 6euros joint ticket with site).

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