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 > DELPHI'S HISTORY
DELPHI'S HISTORY - Fokida
 
  GENERAL INFORMATION
 

The area around Delphi was inhabited in Mycenean times, and by the eighth century BC had become a place of importance because of the reputation of the oracle. In the seventh century BC, the Delphic Amphictyony was formed: this was a religious federation whose purpose was to protect the interests of the sanctuary and the surrounding cities. In 600 BC, the Amphictyony declared the First Sacred War on the city of Crisa, which controlled access from the coast of the Corintian Gulf and had been taxing pilgrims. In 582 BC, to celebrate their victory in this war, the people of Delphi revived the Pythian Games, contests for athletes and musicians which were held every four years and were of Panhellenic nature. During the Persian Wars, the oracle was accused of discouraging the Greek side with its utterances, but afterwards the sanctuary received many rich offerings to commemorate the Greek victory. In 448-447 and 356-346 BC, in the Second and Third Sacred Wars, Delphi was victorius over Phocis, which had laid claim to ownership of the sanctuary. In the Third War- and also in the Fourth, against Amphissa in 339 BC – Philip II of Macedon intervened to settle the issue. After sacking Amphissa and defeating the Athenians and Thebans at Chaironeia in 338 BC, Philip was recognized as protector of the Delphic sanctuary, a title which passed to his son Alexander in 336. in 290 BC, ownership of Delphi came into the hands of the Aetolian League, which in 279 was able to successfully resist an incursion of Gauls. The Romans captured the area in 179 BC, and in 86 BC the shrine was looted by Sulla. In 67 BC, Nero carried many of the treasures of Delphi off Rome, and Constantine the great removed still more to Constantinople in the fourth century AD. The oracle itself was closed in 394 AD, by decree of the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I. In modern times, the village of Kastri grew up on the site, and had to be moved further to the west in 1891, when the French Archaeological School began to excavate the ancient site.

 
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