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 The place where the oracle is delivered, is said to be a deep hollow cavern, the entrance to which is not very wide. From it rises up an exhalation which inspires a divine frenzy: over the mouth is placed a lofty tripod on which the Pythian priestess ascends to receive the exhalation, after which she gives the prophetic response in verse or prose. The prose is adapted to measure by poets who are in the service of the temple. Phemonoë is said to have been the first Pythian prophetess, and both the prophetess and the city obtained their appellation from the word Pythesthai, to inquire, (πυθέσθαι). The first syllable was lengthened, as in the words ἀθάνατος ἀκάματος διάκονος. 1[The establishment of cities, and the honour paid to common temples, are due to the same feelings and causes. Men were collected together into cities and nations, from a natural disposition to society, and for the purpose of mutual assistance. Hence common temples were resorted to, festivals celebrated, and meetings held of the general body of the people. For friendship commences from and is promoted by attending the same feasts, uniting in the same worship, and dwelling under the same roof. The advantages derived from these meetings were naturally estimated from the number of persons who attended them, as also from the number of places from whence they came.]
1 Apparently an interpolation. Groskurd.
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