Thursday, 25 September 2008

Mythology: Who or what was Delphi, Meaning and Origin

According to ancient belief Delphi was situated in the exact centre of the habitable earth and the centre of the Universe. (Zeus set two eagles free on the opposite ends of the earth and where they met denoted the centre.)
Situated on Mount Parnassus in Greece, this was the place of the oracle of Delphi.
From this place, Apollo, the god of light, music, poetry and prophecy made known to mankind the will of the heavens.
At Delphi there was a crack in the earth from which came intoxicating vapours. A priestess known as the Pythia (Pythoness) would drink water from the river Cassostis and then eat leaves of the sacred laurel. Afterwards she would sit on a tripod over the opening and inhale the fumes. This would send her into an inspired trance.
Questions put to her were written down, put into verse form and communicated to the enquirer as the revelations of Apollo. It would appear as though these oracles were expressed in such a manner that they could be interpreted in various ways.
The oracle at Delphi was always consulted before an important decision was made and exerted a powerful influence on Greek history.
People who sought the advice of the oracle were also the bearer of gifts, in payment of services rendered. All accounts are that very large treasuries were built to house the gold, silver, artifacts and works of art so received.
The Pythian games, the forerunner of Olympic games were held here every four years.

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