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Temple of Apollo (Delphi)

Temple of Apollo (Delphi) by Joy of Museums

Temple of Apollo (Delphi)

The Temple of Apollo housed the innermost sanctuary which was the centre of the Delphic oracle and seat of Pythia. The temple had the statement “Know thyself”, carved on the entrance. The temple ruins visible today, date from the 4th century BC, and are of a Doric temple of 6 by 15 columns. It was erected on the remains of numerous earlier temples, the earliest having been constructed before 7th-century BC.

The temple survived until AD 390 when the Roman emperor Theodosius I destroyed the temple and most of the statues and works of art in the name of Christianity. Zealous Christians destroyed the site in an attempt to remove all traces of Paganism. The ruins of this temple decay at a faster rate than some of the other ruins due to the use of limestone, a softer material such as porous stone.

Oracle of Delphi

Delphi is best known for its Oracle, the Pythia, a priestess at the sanctuary dedicated to Apollo. Apollo spoke through his Oracle of Delphi, who was a priestess in an inner sanctum where she sat on a tripod seat over an opening chasm in the earth. Sitting over a crack in the ground, she would become intoxicated by the vapours, and she would fall into a trance, allowing the gods to possess her spirit. In this trance maintained state, she prophesied.

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Reflections

  • Do we have an equivalent to the ‘Oracle of Delphi’ in our modern world? Is it Google and other search engines?

Temple of Apollo

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“Love of money and nothing else will ruin Sparta.”
– Oracle of Delphi

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Photo Credit: JOM