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ABAI Phokis, Greece.

Important city near Exarcho village in the upper reaches of a tributary of the Kephisos. Abai and nearby Hyampolis were on the main Orchomenos-Opous road, and astride the main route from E Lokris into NE Phokis (Paus. 10.1.1, 35.1). The valley was the scene of two famous Phokian victories over the Thessalians, shortly before 480 (Hdt. 8.27-28; Paus. 10.1.3-11). Half of the spoils and several colossal figures were dedicated to Apollo at Abai; this oracular shrine was famous enough to be consulted by Croesus (Hdt. 1.46).

The hill of Abai is encircled by two well-preserved lines of wall; a considerable portion of these has been regarded as archaic. Some parts, and probably also the walls descending the E and NE slopes to the plain, can hardly be earlier than the mid 4th c. There are scattered remains inside these latter walls, and Pausanias saw an ancient theater and agora.

Some 600 m NW of the city a temenos was explored, probably that of Apollo. In addition to a classical stoa, it contained two buildings, identified as the old temple, burned by Xerxes and again in the Third Social War, and a small Hadrianic replacement (Paus. 10.35.2-4). IG IX 1.78 is a letter from Philip V reconfirming the ancient tax-exemption of the sanctuary.

Cemeteries have been found W of the sanctuary, and also near Exarcho.


V. W. Yorke in JHS 16 (1896) 291ff; J. G. Frazer, Paus. Des. Gr. V (1898) 436ff; G. Soteriadis, Praktika (1909) 125-26; F. Schober, Phokis (1924) 20ff; R. L. Scranton, Greek Walls (1941) 37-38, 47.


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