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KORYKIAN (Corycian) CAVE Phokis, Greece.

This grotto on Mt. Parnassos (altitude 1360 m), 2 1/2 hours' walk from Delphi, owed its name to its “knapsack” shape (korykos). Described by Pausanias (10.32.2), it was sacred to Pan and the nymphs (dedication of a peripolarkos of Ambrysos engraved on the rock to the right of the entrance) and no doubt also to Dionysos (mention of the Thyads, the Delphic bacchantes, in a second, barely legible, rock inscription), whose biennial festival (Trieteris) was celebrated by torchlight by the Thyads of Delphi and Athens on the plateau close by. Excavations by the French School of Athens (1970) have shown that the grotto, which had two chambers (the first some 70 m long), was consecrated to the cult from the Neolithic Age. Another Korykian Cave was in Cilicia, near the town of Korykos.


J. G. Frazer, Paus. Des. Gr. (1913) V 399-400; L. Rabert, Etudes Anatoliennes (1937) 108ff; M. Launay, Recherches sur les armées hellénistiques (1949) 1010; J. Fontenrose, Python: a Study of Delphic Myth and Its Origins (1959) 409-12M. The finds of the recent excavations will be published in BCH and FD.


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