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
The valley was the scene of two famous Phokian victories over the Thessalians, shortly before 480 (Hdt.
; 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
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
20ff; R. L. Scranton, Greek Walls
(1941) 37-38, 47.
F. E. WINTER