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 Next after the Poseidium of the Milesians, at the distance of 181 stadia from the sea-coast, is the oracle of Apollo Didymeus among the Branchidæ. This, as well as the other temples, except that at Ephesus, was burnt by the order of Xerxes.2 The Branchidæ delivered up the treasures of the god to the Persian king, and accompanied him in his flight, in order to avoid the punishment of sacrilege and treachery. The Milesians afterwards built a temple, which exceeded in size all others, but it remained without a roof on account of its magnitude. The circuit of the sacred enclosure contained within it a village with a magnificent grove, which also extended beyond it; other sacred enclosures contain the oracle, and what belongs to the worship of the god. Here is laid the scene of the fable of Branchus, and Apollo's love for him. The temple is adorned with the most costly offerings, the productions of ancient art. Thence to the city the journey is not long either by land or sea.3
1 Pliny, v. 29, says the distance is 20 stadia.
2 The Branchidæ were descendants of Branchus, who himself was descended from Macæreus, who killed Neoptolemus, son of Achilles. According to Herodotus, the temple was burnt by order of Darius, Herod. v. 36; vi. 19.
3 Pliny, v. 29, says that the distance is 180 stadia.
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