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Listed 12 sub titles with search on: Mythology for destination: "DELFI Ancient sanctuary FOKIDA".

Mythology (12)

Gods & demigods


Apollo. Gives Poseidon Calauria in exchange for Delphic oracle, comes to Delphi, kills the Python, and takes over the oracle.
Editor's note: All information about Apollo at Delos Island


  Afterwards the dwellers around called the city Pytho, as well as Delphi, just as Homer so calls it in the list of the Phocians. Those who would find pedigrees for everything think that Pythes was a son of Delphus, and that because he was king the city was called Pytho. But the most widespread tradition has it that the victim of Apollo's arrows rotted here, and that this was the reason why the city received the name Pytho. For the men of those days used pythesthai for the verb "to rot," and hence Homer in his poem says that the island of the Sirens was full of bones, because the men who heard their singing rotted (epythonto ). The poets say that the victim of Apollo was a dragon posted by Earth to be a guard for the oracle. It is also said that he was a violent son of Crius, a man with authority around Euboea. He pillaged the sanctuary of the god, and he also pillaged the houses of rich men. But when he was making a second expedition, the Delphians besought Apollo to keep from them the danger that threatened them.


Eurynomus, (Eurunomos), a daemon of the lower world, concerning whom there was a tradition at Delphi, according to which, he devoured the flesh of dead human bodies, and left nothing but the bones. Polygnotus represented him in the Lesche at Delphi, of a dark-blue complexion, shewing his teeth, and sitting on the skin of a vulture. (Paus. x. 28.4.).


Celedones (Keledones), the soothing goddesses, were frequently represented by the ancients ill works of art, and were believed to be endowed, like the Sirens, with a magic power of song. For this reason, they are compared to the Iynges. Hephaestus was said to have made their golden images on the ceiling of the temple at Delphi. (Paus. ix. 5.5; Athen. vii.)

Gaia, Gaea, Terra (Earth)

Gaea. She was the wife of Uranus (Sky) and mother of the Titans, Cyclopes and Hecatonchires (= Hundredhanded) (Il. 3.104, 19.259). There was a sanctuary, an altar and an oracle dedicated to Gaea in Olympia (Paus. 5,14,10).

Gaia, Gaea, Terra (Earth). The Greek goddess of the earth. According to Hesiod she came into being after Chaos, and brought forth of herself the Sky (Ouranos), the mountains, and the Sea (Pontos). By Uranus she was mother of the Titans, Cyclopes, and Hecatoncheires. From the blood of her mutilated husband sprang the Erinyes, Giants, and Melian nymphs; to Pontus she bore Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto, and Eurybia. Other terrible beings, such as the giants Typhon, Antaeus, and Tityus, were her offspring, as also the autochthones or aborigines, such as Erechtheus and Cecrops. In Homer she is invoked with Zeus, the Sun, Heaven, and Hell as a witness to oaths, and was worshipped with the sacrifice of a black lamb; but she was especially honoured as the mother of all, who nourishes her creatures and pours rich blessings upon them. In Athens, in particular, she was worshipped as kourotrophos, or the nourisher of children, and at the same time as the goddess of death, who summons all her creatures back to her and hides them in her bosom. She was honoured also as the primeval prophetess, especially in Delphi, the oracle of which was at first in her possession as the power who sent forth the vapours which inspired the seer. The corresponding Roman goddess was Tellus.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Gaea or Ge (Gaia), the personification of the earth. She appears in the character of a divine being as early as the Homeric poems, for we read in the Hiad (iii. 104) that black sheep were sacrificed to her, and that she was invoked by persons taking oaths (iii. 278, xv. 36, xix. 259, Od. v. 124). She is further called, in the Homeric poems, the mother of Erechthens and Tithyus (Il. ii. 548, Od. vii. 324, xi. 576; comp. Apollon. Rhod. i. 762, iii. 716). According to the Theogony of Hesiod (117, 12,5, &c.), she was the first being that sprang front Chaos, sand gave birth to Uranus and Pontus. By Uranus she then became the mother of a series of beings: Oceanus, Coeus, Creius, Hyperion, Iapetus, Theia, Rheia, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Thetys, Cronos, the Cyclopes, Brontes, Steropes, Arges, Cottus, Briareus, and Gyges. These children of Ge and Uranus were hated by their father, and Ge therefore concealed. them in the bosom of the earth; but she made a large iron sickle, gave it to her sons, and requested them to take vengeance upon their father. Cronos undertook the task, and mutilated Uranus. The drops of blood which fell from him upon the earth (Ge), became the seeds of the Erinnyes, the Gigantes, and the Melian nymphs. Subsequently Ge became, by Pontus, the mother of Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto, and Eurybia (Hes. Theog. 232, &c.; Apollod. i. 1.1, &c.). Besides these, however, various other divinities and monsters sprang from her. As Ge was the source from which arose the vapours producing divine inspiration, she herself also was regarded as an oracular divinity, and it is well known that the oracle of Delphi was believed to have at first been in her possession (Aeschyl. Eum. 2; Paus. x. 5.3), and at Olympia, too, she had an oracle in early times (Paus. v. 14.8). That Ge belonged to the Deoi chthinioi, requires no explanation, and hence she is frequently mentioned where they are invoked (Philostr. Va. Apoll. vi. 39; Ov. Met. vii. 196). The surnames and epithets given to Ge have more or less reference to her character as the all-producing and all-nourishing mother (mater omniparens et alma), and hence Servius (ad Aen. iv. 166) classes her together with the divinities presiding over marriage. Her worship appears to have been universal among the Greeks, and she had temples or altars at Athens, Sparta, Delphi, Olympia, Bura, Tegea, Phlyus, and other places (Thuc. ii. 15; Paus. i. 22.3, 24.3, 31.2, iii. 11.8, 12.7, v. 14.8, vii. 25.8, viii. 48.6). We have express statements attesting the existence of statues of Ge in Greece, but none have come down to us. At Patrae she was represented in a sitting attitude, in the temple of Demeter (Paus. vii. 21.4), and at Athens, too, there was a statue of her (i. 24.3). Servius (ad Aen. x. 252) remarks that she was represented with a key.
  At Rome the earth was worshipped under the name of Tellus (which is only a variation of Terra). There, too, she was regarded as an infernal divinity (Dea chthonia) being mentioned in connection with Dis and the Manes, and when persons invoked them or Tellus they sank their arms downwards, while in invoking Jupiter they raised them to heaven (Varro, de Re Rust. i. 1. 15; Macrob. Sat. iii. 9; Liv. viii. 9, x. 29). The consul P. Sempronius Sophus, in B. C. 304, built a temple to Tellus in consequence of an earthquake which had occurred during the war with the Picentians. This temple stood on the spot which had formerly been occupied by the house of Sp. Cassius, in the street leading to the Carinae (Flor. i. 19. Β§ 2; Liv. ii. 41; Val. Max. vi. 3.1; Plin. H. N. xxxiv. 6, 14; Dionys. viii. 79). Her festival was celebrated on the 15th of April, immediately after that of Ceres, and was called Fordicidia or Hordicidia. The sacrifice, consisting of cows, was offered up in the Capitol inthe presence of the Vestals. A male divinity, to whom the pontiff prayed on that occasion, was called Tellumo.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Dec 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

  Mother Earth, daughter of Chaos and wife of Uranus (heaven). The couple were united in a constant caress until Gaea made one of her sons, Cronus (“time”, castrate Uranus, thus separating heaven from earth. Cronus became the ruler, and time began.
  Gaea gave birth to the sea. Then, she and Uranus had the Titans, Cronus was the youngest, and the Cyclops. They also had the Hecatoncheirs which were giants with a hundred hands and fifty heads. Because they were the strongest, Uranus feared them and kept them locked in the deepest of Earth. This caused Gaea pain, and so made Cronus cut off his fathers genitalia. From Uranus' blood the Erinyes, Giants and Nymphs of the Forest were born. Gaea's last son was the monster Typhon who had a hundred heads and produced the lava that came out of Mount Etna.
  This goddess has given us the words “geology” and “geography”.
  She also had the following epithets: Carpophorus, Curotropos and Eurysternos.

This text is cited Sept 2003 from the In2Greece URL below.



Castalia (Kastalia), the nymph of the Castalian spring at the foot of mount Parnassus. She was regarded as a daughter of Achelous (Paus. x. 8.5), and was believed to have thrown herself into the well when pursued by Apollo (Lutat. ad Stat. Theb. i. 697). Others derived the name of the well from one Castalius, who was either a simple mortal, or a son of Apollo and father of Delphis, who came from Crete to Crissa, and there founded the worship of the Delphinian Apollo. (Ilgen, ad Hom. hymn. in Apoll. p. 341.) A third account makes Castalius a son of Delphus and father of Thyia. (Paus. vii. 18.6, x. 6.2)

  Ascending from the gymnasium along the way to the sanctuary you reach, on the right of the way, the water of Castalia, which is sweet to drink and pleasant to bathe in. Some say that the spring was named after a native woman, others after a man called Castalius. But Panyassis, son of Polyarchus, who composed an epic poem on Heracles, says that Castalia was a daughter of Achelous. For about Heracles he says: "Crossing with swift feet snowy Parnassus He reached the immortal water of Castalia, daughter of Achelous".
  I have heard another account, that the water was a gift to Castalia from the river Cephisus. So Alcaeus has it in his prelude to Apollo. The strongest confirmation of this view is a custom of the Lilaeans, who on certain specified days throw into the spring of the Cephisus cakes of the district and other things ordained by use, and it is said that these reappear in Castalia.

This extract is from: Pausanias. Description of Greece (ed. W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., & H.A. Ormerod, 1918). Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

Mythical monsters


Python. A serpent sprung from the mud left by the deluge of Deucalion, guardian of the oracle at Delphi. He was slain by Apollo at Delphi

  Apollo learned the art of prophecy from Pan, the son of Zeus and Hybris, and came to Delphi, where Themis at that time used to deliver oracles; and when the snake Python, which guarded the oracle, would have hindered him from approaching the chasm, he killed it and took over the oracle.
  Pan, son of Zeus and Thymbreus (Thymbris? Hybris?), is mentioned by a Scholiast on Pindar, who distinguishes him from Pan, the son of Hermes and Penelope.
  From Plutarch and Aelian we learn that Apollo had to go to Tempe to be purified for the slaughter of the dragon, and that both the slaughter of the dragon and the purification of the god were represented every eighth year in a solemn festival at Delphi. The Pythian games at Delphi were instituted in honour of the dead dragon (Ovid and Hyginus, Fab. 140; compare Clement of Alexandria, Protrept. 2, p. 29, ed. Potter), probably to soothe his natural anger at being slain.

This extract is from: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome (ed. Sir James George Frazer, 1921). Cited Oct 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.

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