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”3Delphi, I say, is famous because of these things, but Elateia, because it is the largest of all the cities there, and has the most advantageous position, because it is situated in the narrow passes and because he who holds this city holds the passes leading into Phocis and Boeotia. For, first, there are the Oetaean Mountains; and then those of the Locrians and Phocians, which are not everywhere passable to invaders from Thessaly, but have passes, both narrow and separated from one another, which are guarded by the adjacent cities; and the result is, that when these cities are captured, their captors master the passes also. But since the fame of the temple at Delphi has the priority of age, and since at the same time the position of its places suggests a natural beginning (for these are the most westerly parts of Phocis), I should begin my description there.  As I have already said, Parnassus is situated on the western boundaries of Phocis. Of this mountain, then, the side towards the west is occupied by the Ozolian Locrians, whereas the southern is occupied by Delphi, a rocky place, theatre-like, having the oracle and the city on its summit, and filling a circuit of sixteen stadia. Situated above Delphi is Lycoreia, on which place, above the temple, the Delphians were established in earlier times. But now they live close to the temple, round the Castalian fountain. Situated in front of the city, toward the south, is Cirphis, a precipitous mountain, which leaves in the intervening space a ravine, through which flows the Pleistus River. Below Cirphis lies Cirrha, an ancient city, situated by the sea; and from it there is an ascent to Delphi of about eighty stadia. It is situated opposite Sicyon. In front of Cirrha lies the fertile Crisaean Plain; for again one comes next in order to another city, Crisa, from which the Crisaean Gulf is named. Then to Anticyra, bearing the same name as the city on the Maliac Gulf near Oeta. And, in truth, they say that it is in the latter region that the hellebore of fine quality is produced, though that produced in the former is better prepared, and on this account many people resort thither to be purged and cured; for in the Phocian Anticyra, they add, grows a sesame-like medicinal plant with which the Oetaean hellebore is prepared.  Now Anticyra still endures, but Cirrha and Crisa have been destroyed, the former earlier, by the Crisaeans, and Crisa itself later, by Eurylochus the Thessalian, at the time of the Crisaean War.4 For the Crisaeans, already prosperous because of the duties levied on importations from Sicily and Italy, proceeded to impose harsh taxes on those who came to visit the temple,5 even contrary to the decrees of the Amphictyons. And the same thing also happened in the case of the Amphissians, who belonged to the Ozolian Locrians. For these too, coming over, not only restored Crisa and proceeded to put under cultivation again the plain which had been consecrated by the Amphictyons, but were worse in their dealings with foreigners than the Crisaeans of old had been. Accordingly, the Amphictyons punished these too, and gave the territory back to the god: The temple, too, has been much neglected, though in earlier times it was held in exceedingly great honor. Clear proofs of this are the treasure houses, built both by peoples and by potentates, in which they deposited not only money which they had dedicated to the god, but also works of the best artists; and also the Pythian Games, and the great number of the recorded oracles.  They say that the seat of the oracle is a cave that is hollowed out deep down in the earth, with a rather narrow mouth, from which arises breath that inspires a divine frenzy; and that over the mouth is placed a high tripod, mounting which the Pythian priestess receives the breath and then utters oracles in both verse and prose, though the latter too are put into verse by poets who are in the service of the temple. They say that the first to become Pythian priestess was Phemonoe; and that both the prophetess and the city were so called6 from the word pythésthai,"7 though the first syllable was lengthened, as in athanatos, akamatos, and diakonos.8 Now the following is the idea which leads to the founding of cities and to the holding of common sanctuaries in high esteem: men came together by cities and by tribes, because they naturally tend to hold things in common, and at the same time because of their need of one another; and they met at the sacred places that were common to them for the same reasons, holding festivals and general assemblies; for everything of this kind tends to friendship, beginning with eating at the same table, drinking libations together, and lodging under the same roof; and the greater the number of the sojourners and the greater the number of the places whence they came, the greater was thought to be the use of their coming together.  Now although the greatest share of honor was paid to this temple because of its oracle, since of all oracles in the world it had the repute of being the most truthful, yet the position of the place added something. For it is almost in the center of Greece taken as a whole, between the country inside the Isthmus and that outside it; and it was also believed to be in the center of the inhabited world, and people called it the navel of the earth, in addition fabricating a myth, which is told by Pindar, that the two eagles (some say crows) which had been set free by Zeus met there, one coming from the west and the other from the east. There is also a kind of navel to be seen in the temple; it is draped with fillets, and on it are the two likenesses of the birds of the myth.  Such being the advantages of the site of Delphi, the people easily came together there, and especially those who lived near it. And indeed the Amphictyonic League was organized from the latter, both to deliberate concerning common affairs and to keep the superintendence of the temple more in common, because much money and many votive offerings were deposited there, requiring great vigilance and holiness. Now the facts of olden times are unknown, but among the names recorded Acrisius is reputed to have been the first to administer the Amphictyony and to determine the cities that were to have a part in the council and to give a vote to each city, to one city separately or to another jointly with a second or with several, and also to proclaim the Amphictyonic Rights—all the rights that cities have in their dealings with cities. Later there were several other administrations, until this organization, like that of the Achaeans,9 was dissolved. Now the first cities which came together are said to have been twelve, and each sent a Pylagoras,10 the assembly convening twice a year, in spring and in late autumn; but later still more cities were added. They called the assembly Pylaea, both that of spring and that of late autumn, since they convened at Pylae, which is also called Thermopylae; and the Pylagorae sacrificed to Demeter. Now although at the outset only the people who lived near by had a share both in these things and in the oracle, later the people living at a distance also came and consulted the oracle and sent gifts and built treasure houses, as, for instance, Croesus, and his father Alyattes, and some of the Italiotes, 11 and the Sicilians.  But wealth inspires envy, and is therefore difficult to guard, even if it is sacred. At present, certainly, the temple at Delphi is very poor, at least so far as money is concerned; but as for the votive offerings, although some of them have been carried off, most of them still remain. In earlier times the temple was very wealthy, as Homer states: “"nor yet all the things which the stone threshold of the archer Phoebus Apollo enclosed in rocky Pytho."
”12The treasure houses clearly indicate its wealth, and also the plundering done by the Phocians, which kindled the Phocian War, or Sacred War, as it is called. Now this plundering took place in the time of Philip, the son of Amyntas, although writers have a notion of another and earlier plundering, in ancient times, in which the wealth mentioned by Homer was carried out of the temple. For, they add, not so much as a trace of it was saved down to those later times in which Onomarchus and his army, and Phaÿllus and his army,13 robbed the temple; but the wealth then carried away was more recent than that mentioned by Homer; for there were deposited in treasure houses offerings dedicated from spoils of war, preserving inscriptions on which were included the names of those who dedicated them; for instance, Gyges, Croesus, the Sybarites, and the Spinetae14 who lived near the Adriatic, and so with the rest. And it would not be reasonable to suppose that the treasures of olden times were mixed up with these, as indeed is clearly indicated by other places that were ransacked by these men. Some, however, taking "aphetor"15 to mean "treasure-house," and "threshold of the aphetor" to mean "underground repository of the treasure-house," say that that wealth was buried in the temple, and that Onomarchus and his army attempted to dig it up by night, but since great earthquakes took place they fled outside the temple and stopped their digging, and that their experience inspired all others with fear of making a similar attempt.  Of the temples, the one "with wings" must be placed among the myths; the second is said to be the work of Trophonius and Agamedes; and the present temple was built by the Amphictyons. In the sacred precinct is to be seen the tomb of Neoptolemus, which was made in accordance with an oracle, Machaereus, a Delphian, having slain him because, according to the myth, he was asking the god for redress for the murder of his father;16 but according to all probability it was because he had attacked the temple. Branchus, who presided over the temple at Didyma, is called a descendant of Machaereus.  As for the contests at Delphi, there was one in early times between citharoedes, who sang a paean in honor of the god; it was instituted by the Delphians. But after the Crisaean war, in the time of Eurylochus,17 the Amphictyons instituted equestrian and gymnastic contests in which the prize was a crown, and called them Pythian Games. And to the citharoedes18 they added both fluteplayers and citharists who played without singing, who were to render a certain melody which is called the Pythian Nome. There are five parts of it: angkrousis, ampeira, katakeleusmos, iambi and dactyli, and syringes. Now the melody was composed by Timosthenes, the admiral of the second Ptolemy, who also compiled The Harbours, a work in ten books;19 and through this melody he means to celebrate the contest between Apollo and the dragon, setting forth the prelude as anakrousis, the first onset of the contest as ampeira, the contest itself as katakeleusmos, the triumph following the victory as iambus and dactylus, the rhythms being in two measures, one of which, the dactyl, is appropriate to hymns of praise, whereas the other, the iamb, is suited to reproaches (compare the word "iambize"), and the expiration of the dragon as syringes, since with syringes20 players imitated the dragon as breathing its last in hissings.21  Ephorus, whom I am using more than any other authority because, as Polybius, a noteworthy writer, testifies, he exercises great care in such matters, seems to me sometimes to do the opposite of what he intended, and at the outset promised, to do. At any rate, after censuring those who love to insert myths in the text of their histories, and after praising the truth, he adds to his account of this oracle a kind of solemn promise, saying that he regards the truth as best in all cases, but particularly on this subject; for it is absurd, he says, if we always follow such a method in dealing with every other subject, and yet, when speaking of the oracle which is the most truthful of all, go on to use the accounts that are so untrustworthy and false. Yet, though he says this, he adds forthwith that historians take it for granted that Apollo, with Themis, devised the oracle because he wished to help our race; and then, speaking of the helpfulness of it, he says that Apollo challenged men to gentleness and inculcated self control by giving out oracles to some, commanding them to do certain things and forbidding them to do other things, and by absolutely refusing admittance to other consultants. Men believe that Apollo directs all this, he says, some believing that the god himself assumes a bodily form, others that he transmits to human beings a knowledge of his own will.  A little further on, when discussing who the Delphians were, he says that in olden times certain Parnassians who were called indigenous inhabited Parnassus; and that at this time Apollo, visiting the land, civilized the people by introducing cultivated fruits and cultured modes of life; and that when he set out from Athens to Delphi he went by the road which the Athenians now take when they conduct the Pythias;22 and that when he arrived at the land of the Panopaeans he destroyed Tityus, a violent and lawless man who ruled there; and that the Parnassians joined him and informed him of another cruel man named Python and known as the Dragon, and that when Apollo shot at him with his arrows the Parnassians shouted "Hie Paean"23 to encourage him (the origin, Ephorus adds, of the singing of the Paean which has been handed down as a custom for armies just before the clash of battle); and that the tent of Python was burnt by the Delphians at that time, just as they still burn it to this day in remembrance of what took place at that time. But what could be more mythical than Apollo shooting with arrows and punishing Tityuses and Pythons, and travelling from Athens to Delphi and visiting the whole earth? But if Ephorus did not take these stories for myths, by what right did he call the mythological Themis a woman, and the mythological Dragon a human being—unless he wished to confound the two types, history and myth? Similar to these statements are also those concerning the Aetolians; for after saying that from all time their country had been unravaged, he at one time says that Aeolians took up their abode there, having ejected the barbarians who were in possession of it, and at another time that Aetolus together with the Epeii from Elis took up their abode there, but that these were destroyed by the Aeolians, and that these latter were destroyed by Alcmaeon and Diomedes. But I return to the Phocians.  On the seacoast after Anticyra, one comes first to a town called Opisthomarathus; then to a cape called Pharygium, where there is an anchoring-place; then to the harbor that is last, which, from the fact in the case, is called Mychus;24 and it lies below Helicon and Ascre. And the oracle of Abae is not far from this region, nor Ambrysus, nor Medeon,25 which bears the same name as the Boeotian Medeon. Still farther in the interior, after Delphi, approximately towards the east, is a town Daulis, where Tereus the Thracian is said to have held sway (the scene of the mythical story of Philomela and Procne is laid there, though Thucydides26 says at Megara). The place got its name from the thickets, for they call thickets "dauli." Now Homer called it Daulis, but later writers call it Daulia. And "Cyparissus," in the words “"held Cyparissus,"
”27is interpreted by writers in two ways, by some as bearing the same name as the tree,28 and by others, by a slight change in the spelling, as a village below Lycoreia.29  Panopeus, the Phanoteus of today, borders on the region of Lebadeia, and is the native land of Epeius. And the scene of the myth of Tityus is laid here. Homer says that the Phaeacians "led" Rhadamanthys into Euboea “"to see Tityus, son of the Earth."
”30 And a cave called Elarium is to be seen in the island, named after Elara the mother of Tityus; and also a hero-temple of Tityus, and certain honors which are paid to him. Near Lebadeia, also, is Trachin, a Phocian town, which bears the same name as the Oetaean city; and its inhabitants are called Trachinians.  Anemoreia31 has been named from a circumstance connected with it: squalls of wind sweep down upon it from Catopterius,32 as it is called, a beetling cliff extending from Parnassus. This place was a boundary between Delphi and the Phocians when the Lacedaemonians caused the Delphians to revolt from the common organization of the Phocians,33 and permitted them to form a separate State of their own. Some, however, call the place Anemoleia. And then one comes to Hyampolis (later called Hya by some), to which, as I have said,34 the Hyantes were banished from Boeotia. This city is very far inland, near Parapotamii, and is not the same as Hyampeia on Parnassus; also far inland is Elateia, the largest city of the Phocians, which is unknown by Homer, for it is more recent than the Homeric age, and it is advantageously situated in that it commands the passes from Thessaly. Demosthenes35 clearly indicates the natural advantage of its position when he speaks of the commotion that suddenly took place at Athens when a messenger came to the Prytanes with the report that Elateia had been captured.36  Parapotamii is a settlement on the Cephissus River near Phanoteus and Chaeroneia and Elateia. Theopompus says that this place is distant from Chaeroneia about forty stadia and marks the boundary of the territories of the Ambryseans, the Panopeans and the Daulians; and that it lies on a moderately high hill at the pass which leads from Boeotia into Phocis, between the mountains Parnassus and Hadylius, between which is left a tract of about five stadia divided by the Cephissus River, which affords a narrow pass on each side. The river, he continues, has its beginnings in the Phocian city Lilaea (just as Homer says, “"and those who held Lilaea, at the fountains of Cephissus "
”37), and empties into Lake Copais; and the mountain Hadylius extends over a distance of sixty stadia as far as the mountain Acontius,38 where Orchomenus is situated. And Hesiod, too, describes at considerable length the river and the course of its flow, saying that it flows through the whole of Phocis in a winding and serpentine course; “"like a dragon it goes in tortuous courses out past Panopeus and through strong Glechon and through Orchomenus."
”39 The narrow pass in the neighborhood of Parapotamii, or Parapotamia (for the name is spelled both ways), was an object of contention in the Phocian war, since the enemy had here their only entrance into Phocis. There are, besides the Phocian Cephissus, the one at Athens, the one in Salamis, a fourth and a fifth in Sicyon and in Scyros, and a sixth in Argos, which has its sources in Mt. Lyrceius; and at Apollonia near Epidamnus there is a fountain near the gymnasium which is called Cephissus.  Daphnus is now razed to the ground. It was at one time a city of Phocis, bordering on the Euboean Sea; it divided the Epicnemidian Locrians into two parts, one part in the direction of Boeotia, and the other facing Phocis, which at that time reached from sea to sea. And evidence of this is the Schedieium in Daphnus, which, they say, is the tomb of Schedius; but as I have said,40 Daphnus "split"41 Locris on either side, so that the Epicnemidian and Opuntian Locrians nowhere bordered on one another; but in later times the place was included within the boundaries of the Opuntians. Concerning Phocis, however, I have said enough.
1 In Greek, the "Hesperioi."
2 9. 2. 1.
4 About 595 B.C.
5 Of Appolo at Delphi.
6 i.e., "Pythia" and "Pytho."
7 "To inquire of the oracle." Other mythologers more plausibly derived the two names from the verb pythesthai, "to rot" (note the length of the vowel), because the serpent Python, slain by Apollo, "rotted" at the place.
9 See 8. 7. 3.
10 i.e., Pylae—assemblyman.
11 Greeks living in Italy.
14 See 5. 1. 7.
15 The Greek word translated "archer" in the above citation from Homer.
17 On the time, compare 9. 3. 4 and footnote.
18 The citharoedes sang to the accompaniment of the cithara, and their contests must have had no connection with those of the fluteplayers and the citharists, whose performance (of the Pythian Nome) was a purely instrumental affair.
19 If the text of this sentence is correct, Strabo must be referring to the melody played as the Pythian Nome in his own time or in that of some authority whom he is quoting, earlier compositions perhaps having been superseded by that of Timosthenes (fl. about 270 B.C.). But since the invention of the Pythian Nome has been ascribed to Sacadas (Pollux 4.77), who was victorious with the flute at the Pythian Games about three hundred years before the time of Timosthenes (Paus. 6.14.9, 10.7.4), Guhrauer (Jahrb. für Class. Philol., Suppl. 8, 1875-1876, pp. 311—351 makes a strong argument for a lacuna in the Greek text, and for making Strabo say that the melody was composed by Sacadas and later merely described by Timosthenes in one of his numerous works. Cp. also H. Riemann, Handb. der Musikgeschichte 1919, vol. i, pp. 63-65.
22 A sacred mission despatched from Athens to Pytho (Delphi). See 9. 2. 11.
23 A shout addressed to Apollo in his capacity as Paean (Healer).
24 Inmost recess.
28 Cyparissus is the word for cypress tree.
29 As the text stands, the meaning is obscure. The scholiast on Ven. A, Hom. Il. 2.519, says that Cyparissus was named after Cyparissus the brother of Orchomenus, or after the cypress trees that grew in it; and the scholiast on Ven. B ibid., "Cyparissus, the present Apollonias, named after Cyparissus." Paus. 10.36.3 says: "In earlier times the name of the city was Cyparissus, and Homer, in his list of the Phocians, purposely used this name, though the city was even then called Anticyra" (see Frazer, note ad loc.). On the position of Lycoreia, see 9. 3. 3.
32 "The Look-out."
34 9. 2. 3. Cf. 10. 3. 4.
36 By Philip in 338 B.C.
38 Cf. 9. 2. 42.
39 A fragment otherwise unknown.Hes. Fr. 37 (Rzach)
40 9. 3. 1.
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