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DAULIS or DAULIA

DAULIS (Δαυλίς: at a later time Δαυλία, Strab. ix. p.423, and Δαύλιον, Plb. 4.25: Eth. Δαύλιος, Hdt. 8.35; Δαυλιεύς, Aesch. Choëph. 674: Dhavlía), a very ancient town of Phocis, near the frontiers of Boeotia, and on the road from Orchomenus and Chaeroneia to Delphi. It is said to have derived its name from the woody character of the district, since δαύλος was used by the inhabitants instead of δάλος, while others sought for the origin of the name in the mythical nymph Daulis, a daughter of Cephissus. (Strab. ix. p.423; Paus. 10.4.7.) Daulis is mentioned by Homer as a Phocian town along with Crissa and Panopeus. (Il. 2.520.) It is celebrated in mythology as the residence of the Thracian king, Tereus, who married Procne, the daughter of Pandion, king of Athens, and as the scene of those horrible deeds in consequence of which Procne was changed into a swallow, and her sister Philomele into a nightingale. Hence the latter was called by the poets the Daulian bird. (Thuc. 2.29; Paus. l.c.) The woody district round the town is still a favourite haunt of the nightingale.

Daulis was destroyed by the Persians in the invasion of Xerxes. (Hdt. 8.35.) It was destroyed a second time by Philip, at the end of the Sacred War (Paus. x 3.1); but it was subsequently rebuilt, and is mentioned in later times as a town almost impregnable in consequence of its situation upon a lofty hill ( “Daulis, quia in tumulo excelso sita est, nec scalis nec operibus capi poterat,” Liv. 32.18). Pausanias relates (10.4.7) that the inhabitants of Daulis were few in number, but surpassed all the other Phocians in stature and strength. The only building in the town mentioned by him was a temple of Athena; but in the neighbourhood he speaks of a district called Tronis, in which was the chapel of a hero called the Archegetes.

The name of Daulis is still preserved in that of the modern village of Dhavlía, situated in a narrow valley, through which flows a branch of the Cephissus, called Plataniá. The walls of the acropolis may be traced on the summit of the height rising opposite the modern village, and connected with the foot of Parnassus by a narrow isthmus. Within the enclosure is an ancient church of St. Theodore. Here an inscription has been found in which mention is made of the worship of Athena Polias and of Serapis. Before the door of the church in the modern village is another ancient inscription, of considerable length, recording an arbitration made at Chaeroneia in the reign of Hadrian, concerning certain property in Daulis. It is given by Leake, and in Böckh's collection (No. 1732). In this inscription we read of “a road leading to the Archagetes,” which is evidently the chapel of the hero spoken of by Pausanias. One of the plots of land in the inscription is called Platanus, from which probably comes the name of the river Plataniá.

On one of the heights above Dhavlía lies the monastery of Jerusalem. The road leading to it from the village, and from it to the upper heights of Parnassus, is no doubt the same as the road from Daulis to Parnassus correctly described by Pausanias as longer than the one from Delphi, but less difficult. (Dodwell, Tour through Greece, vol. i. p. 204; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 97, seq.; Ulrichs, Reisen in Griechenland, p. 148.)

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