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God Apollo at Delphi oracle temple, Ancient Greece
god Apollo kills serpent python and builds the first ancient delphi temple, oracle.
God Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian gods in classical Greek and Roman mythology and religion. The ideal of athletic youth, god of light, god of sun, god of helios, god Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, of truth and god of prophecy, god of healing, of the sun and of light, of plague,of poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis or Diana.
Delphi is a archeological site in Greece. The site of ancient Delphi was determined by Zeus when he sought to find the centre of his “Grandmother Earth” or Gaia. He sent two eagles flying from the east and the west, and the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the Omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found.
Ancient delphi became the site of a major temple to god Apollo, as well as the Pythian Games and the famous prehistoric oracle.
Even in Roman times, hundreds of votive statues remained, described by roman scholars and seen by Pausanias. According to the Homeric-hymn to the Pythian Apollo, Apollo shot his first arrow which effectively slew the serpent Pytho, the son of Gaia, who guarded the spot and the prehistoric oracle. The Pythian Games took place every four years to commemorate Apollo’s victory. The Pythian Games were one of the four games of ancient Greece, a forerunner of the modern Olympic games, held in honour of Apollo every four years at his sanctuary at Delphi. They were held two years after (and thus also two years before) each Olympic Games. The records of Aristotle present an overview about the festivities: the Games lasted for six to eight days and were started by a reenactment of the victory of Apollo over serpent Python. In the Roman period theatrical competitions were introduced, carried out in the theater of delphi. In Greek mythology, Python was the earth dragon of Delphi, always represented in classical sculpture and vase paintings as a serpent. The serpent, or snake, is one of the oldest and most widespread mythological symbols of humankind. Asclepius, the son of Apollo, learned the secrets of life and death, after observing one serpent-snake bringing another back to life with healing herbs or with a healing bite. To prevent the entire human race from becoming immortal under Asclepius’s medical care, Zeus killed him with a bolt of lightning.
source : wikipedia.
God Apollo, god of light, kills the serpent and builds the first temple oracle of Delphi.
Mythology icon.Gold art.
Apollo ( Latin: Apollō) is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. He is the only Olympian that does not have a Roman name. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the ancient Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the god’s custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon.In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215).Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.
Mythology: Apollo is the sun-god and god of light, god healer and god-protector from evil , god of music, god of healing Apollo was also considered as the god of healing and medicine, either through himself or through his son Asclepius. At the same time, he could also bring disease and plague with his arrows; it was considered that a god that can cause disease is also able to prevent it., He gave the science of medicine to man; Apollo also considered god of truth.God of prophecy,god of oracles, archery, god of arts. Apollo also became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. He was the leader of the Muses (also known as Apollon Musegetes) and was director of their choir – functioning as the patron god of music and poetry.When hymns were sung to Apollo they were called paeans. At the parties held on sacred mount Olympus, Apollo accompanied the Muses on his cithara or guitar, while the young goddesses or Muses led the holy dance of the gods. His forename, Phoebus, means “bright” or “pure” and connects him to his grandmother, the Titan Phoebe. Apollo served as an intermediary between the gods and men.
After his birth (mythology sais 4 days after), Apollo killed the chthonic dragon or serpent Python, which lived in ancient Delphi beside the Castalian Spring. This was the spring which emitted vapors that caused the oracle at ancient Delphi to give her prophecies. For more reading about see:
Hera sent that serpent to hunt Leto to her death across the world. To protect his mother, Apollo begged Hephaestus for a bow and arrows. After receiving them, Apollo cornered Python in the sacred cave at Delphi. Apollo killed Python but had to be punished for it, since Python was a child of Gaia. Hera then sent the giant Tityos to rape Leto. This time Apollo was aided by his sister Artemis in protecting their mother. During the battle Zeus finally relented his aid and hurled Tityos down to Tartarus. There, he was pegged to the rock floor, covering an area of 9 acres (36,000 m2), where a pair of vultures feasted daily on his liver.For titans liver see hepatology article below!:
Apollo kills serpent python at delphi oracle and builts the first temple.
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis, listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Site . In myths dating to the classical period of Ancient Greece (510-323 BCE), the site of ancient Delphi was believed to be determined by Zeus when he sought to find the centre of his “Grandmother Earth” (Ge, Gaea, or Gaia). He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, and the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found.
Earlier myths include traditions that Pythia, or the Delphic oracle, already was the site of an important oracle in the pre-classical Greek world (as early as 1400 BCE) and, rededicated from about 800 BCE, when it served as the major site during classical times for the worship of the god Apollo. Apollo was said to have slain Python, a “drako” a serpent or a dragon who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth. “Python” (derived from the verb “to rot“) is claimed by some to be the original name of the site in recognition of Python which Apollo defeated.The Homeric Hymn to Delphic Apollo recalled that the ancient name of this site had been Krisa.Others relate that it was named Pytho and that Pythia, the priestess serving as the oracle, was chosen from their ranks by a group of priestesses who officiated at the temple.Apollo’s sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years, starting in 586 BCE athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four panhellenic (or stephanitic) games, precursors of the Modern Olympics.
In classical mythology, Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, always represented in Greek sculpture and vase-paintings as a serpent. He presided at the Delphic oracle, which existed in the cult center for his mother, Gaia, “Earth,” Pytho being the place name that was substituted for the earlier Krisa. Hellenes considered the site to be the center of the earth, represented by a stone, the omphalos or navel, which Python guarded. Python became the chthonic enemy of the later Olympian deity Apollo, who slew him and remade Python’s former home and the oracle, the most famous in Classical Greece, as his own. Apollo defended the oracle at Delphi against Hercules, who was angry at the priestess for having denied him a prophecy. In the earliest account, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, the serpent is nameless and female, but later it is male, as in Euripides’ Iphigenia Among the Taurians, and named Python (found first in the account of the 4th-century-bc historian Ephorus; Pytho was the old name for Delphi). Python was traditionally the child of Gaea (Earth) who had an oracle at Delphi before Apollo came. The Pythian Games held at Delphi were supposed to have been instituted by Apollo to celebrate his victory over Python. http://www.britannica.com/topic/Python-Greek-mythology
The Roman worship of Apollo was adopted from the Greeks. As a quintessentially Greek god, Apollo had no direct Roman equivalent, although later Roman poets often referred to him as Phoebus. There was a tradition that the ancient Delphic oracle was consulted as early as the period of the kings of Rome during the reign of Tarquinius Superbus. On the occasion of a pestilence in the 430s BCE, Apollo’s first temple at Rome was established in the Flaminian fields, replacing an older cult site there known as the “Apollinare”.
During the Second Punic War in 212 BCE, the Ludi Apollinares (“Apollonian Games”) were instituted in his honor, on the instructions of a prophecy attributed to one Marcius. In the time of Augustus, who considered himself under the special protection of Apollo and was even said to be his son, his worship developed and he became one of the chief gods of Rome.After the battle of Actium, which was fought near a sanctuary of Apollo, Augustus enlarged Apollo’s temple, dedicated a portion of the spoils to him, and instituted quinquennial games in his honour.He also erected a new temple to the god on the Palatine hill. Sacrifices and prayers on the Palatine to Apollo and Diana formed the culmination of the Secular Games, held in 17 BCE to celebrate the dawn of a new era. http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100451656
The original art work represents god Apollo killing serpent python.God stands above omphalos. That is a religious stone artifact, or baetylus. In Greek, the word omphalos means “navel“. In Greek lore, Zeus sent two eagles across the world to meet at its center, the “navel” of the world. Omphalos stones marking the centre were erected in several places about the Mediterranean Sea; the most famous of those was at Delphi. Omphalos is also the name of the stone given to Cronus. In the ancient world of the Mediterranean, it was a powerful religious symbol. Omphalos Syndrome refers to the misguided belief that a place of geopolitical power and currency is the most important place in the world. Most accounts locate the Delphi omphalos in the adyton (sacred part of the temple) near the Pythia (oracle). The stone sculpture itself (which may be a copy), has a carving of a knotted net covering its surface, and a hollow center, widening towards the base. The omphalos represents the stone which Rhea wrapped in swaddling clothes, pretending it was Zeus, in order to deceive Cronus. (Cronus was the father who swallowed his children so as to prevent them from usurping him as he had deposed his own father, Uranus).Omphalos stones were believed to allow direct communication with the gods. Holland (1933) suggested that the stone was hollow to allow intoxicating vapours breathed by the Oracle to channel through it. Erwin Rohde wrote that the Python at Delphi was an earth spirit, who was conquered by Apollo and buried under the Omphalos. The omphalos at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre,( The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Latin: Ecclesia Sancti Sepulchri; Hebrew: כנסיית הקבר הקדוש, Knesiyyat HaKever HaKadosh), also called the Church of the Resurrection i.e. Church of the Anastasis by Orthodox Christians (Arabic: كنيسة القيامة, kanīssat al Qi’yāma; Armenian: Սուրբ Յարութեան տաճար, Surb Harut’ian tačar; Greek: Ναός της Αναστάσεως, Naós tēs Anastáseōs), is a church within the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem) Jerusalem, represents, in Christian mediaeval tradition, the navel of the world (the spiritual and cosmological centre of the world). Jewish tradition held that God revealed himself to His people through the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple in Jerusalem, which rested on the Foundation stone marking the centre of the world. This tradition may have stemmed from the similar one at Delphi. The omphalos has a collection box chained next to it.
Besides omphalos the work saws the inner hestia (“hearth“) of the Temple of Apollo, an eternal flame burned. After the battle of Plataea, the Greek cities extinguished their fires and brought new fire from the hearth of Greece, at Delphi; in the foundation stories of several Greek colonies, the founding colonists were first dedicated at Delphi.Also the art work has the first sacrificial tripod which was a three-legged piece of religious furniture used for offerings or other ritual procedures. As a seat or stand, the tripod is the most stable furniture construction for uneven ground, hence its use is universal and ancient. It is particularly associated with Apollo and the Delphic oracle in ancient Greece, and the word “tripod” comes from the Greek meaning “three-footed. The most famous tripod of ancient Greece was the Delphic tripod from which the Pythian priestess took her seat to deliver the oracles of the deity. The seat was formed by a circular slab on the top of the tripod, on which a branch of laurel was deposited when it was unoccupied by the priestess. In this sense, by Classical times the tripod was sacred to Apollo.Besides omphalos we can see cronus stone. Titanis Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in Crete or mount Lykaion ancient Arcadia Greece, and handed Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, also known as the Cronus Stone, which he promptly swallowed, thinking that it was his son. http://lykaionexcavation.org/about/excavating-at-the-birthplace-of-zeus by Dr. David Gilman Romano who is the Karabots Professor of Greek Archaeology, School of Anthropology, at University of Arizona http://archaeologicalmappinglab.org/
That stone was legendary inside the adyton, of Apollo’s temple at ancient Delphi.
Bellow Omphalos, god Apollo burried serpent Python ,legendary borned from the mud after the grear cataclysm of earth.
Under Omphalos according to another myth, god of light Apollo burried the pieces of god Dionysus after titans slaughter the baby god. A jealous goddess Hera again attempted to kill the child, by sending Titans to rip Dionysus to pieces after luring the baby with toys. It is said that he was mocked by the Titans who gave him a thyrsus (a fennel stalk) in place of his rightful sceptre. Zeus turned the Titans into dust with his thunderbolts, but only after the Titans ate everything but the heart, which was saved, variously, by Athena, Rhea, or Demeter. Zeus used the heart to recreate him in his thigh, hence he was again “the twice-born”. Other versions claim that Zeus recreated him in the womb of Semele, or gave Semele the heart to eat to impregnate her.
According to another myth, inside the adyton of the holy temple of Apollo at Delphi, and under Omphalos, was a gap from where tha last waters of the great cataclysm Zeus sent to eart, were absorbed.
artworks inspired by Apollo the serpent killer
The Apollo Sauroctonus (Lizard Slayer), dating from about 350-340 BC, was one of the finest works by the Athenian sculptor Praxiteles.The marble statue was acquired by the Louvre shortly after 1807, when Napoleon I purchased the collection of Prince Camillo Borghese. It is generally held to be the finest Roman copy of the Apollo Sauroctonus (“lizard slayer” in Greek), a bronze work which Pliny the Elder attributes to the Athenian sculptor Praxiteles in his Natural History (34.69-70). http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/apollo-sauroctonus
Excavations at ancient Delphi
Theories for the oracle.
Archaeological investigation in ancient Delphi started in the second half of the 19th century, but it was not until 1892 when a systematic excavation began under the direction of Th. Homolle and the French Archaeological School of Athens. The “Great Excavation” (La Grande Fouille) lasted form 10 years and was concluded by the creation of the first museum on-site.In 1870, Henr. Sclhieman spent two days explorin delphi and Castalia spring. In 1880 German Pormrtow and the future excavator of ancient Babylon, R.Coldewey studied inscriptions. (The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome).
The oracle of Apollo at ancient Delphi made pronouncements via a priestess who sat upon a tripod in a trance, the cause of which has been much debated.
The Plant theory:
One theory suggested that the Pythia, the priestess, chewed laurel leaves (Lauris nobilis) or inhaled fumes from burning them (Devereux, 1997). This plant was a symbol of Apollo, and wreaths of it were awarded to victors in athletic competitions. The lack of psychotropic alkaloids in laurel makes its use for entering trance unlikely, and other suggested plants include henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) and Datura sp. (Devereux, 1997), while recent research has turned towards noxious gases as the source of oracular inspiration (Spiller et al., 2002).
The Delphic oracle: a multidisciplinary defense of the gaseous vent theory. (The gass theory of delphi oracle and the articles to support it).
1.Plutarch describes the Adyton of Apollo temple (www.wikipedia and Illusions in the adyton of the temple).
“Not often nor regularly, but occasionally and fortuitously, the room in which they seat the god’s consultants is filled with a fragrance and breeze, as if the adyton were sending forth the essences of the sweetest and most expensive perfumes from a spring (Plutarch Moralia 437c)”.
Ethylene is a gas, known for a sweet odor. Inhalation of even a small amount of ethylene can cause both benign trances and euphoric psychedelic experiences. Other effects include physical detachment, loss of inhibitions, the relieving of pain, and rapidly changing moods without dulling consciousness.
de Boer, Jelle Zeilinga, John Rigby Hale & Henry A. Spiller, “The Delphic Oracle: A Multidisciplinary Defense of the Gaseous Vent Theory.”
Clinical Toxicology 40.2 189–196 (2000). Clinical Toxicology (until 2005, Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology) is a medical journal of clinical toxicology. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythia
“Ancient historical references consistently describe an intoxicating gas, produced by a cavern in the ground, as the source of the power at the oracle of Delphi. These ancient writings are supported by a series of associated geological findings. Chemical analysis of the spring waters and travertine deposits at the site show these gases to be the light hydrocarbon gases methane, ethane, and ethylene. The effects of inhaling ethylene, a major anesthetic gas in the mid-20th century, are similar to those described in the ancient writings. We believe the probable cause of the trancelike state of the Priestess (the Pythia) at the oracle of Delphi during her mantic sessions was produced by inhaling ethylene gas or a mixture of ethylene and ethane from a naturally occurring vent of geological origin”
J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2002;40(2):189-96
2.The hypothesis that ethylene gas was part of the oracle is supported again by the bellow authors:
“The Oracle may have inhaled naturally occurring ethylene (ethene) gas as part of the ceremony”. The research compiled is compelling, and received favorable coverage in the scientific and popular press.
Spiller HA, Hale JR, De Boer JZ. “The Delphic oracle: a multidisciplinary defense of the gaseous vent theory”. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2002;40(2):189-96.
Hale JR, de Boer JZ, Chanton JP, Spiller HA. “Questioning the Delphic oracle”. Sci Am. 2003;289(2):66-73
Broad W. “Fumes and visions were not a myth for Oracle at Delphi”. NYTimes.com. Mar 19, 2002.
Ball P. “Oracle’s secret fault found”. Nature.com. Jul 17, 2001.
3.”Ethylene, a sweet-smelling gas, stimulates the central nervous system – it was once used as an anaesthetic. Although fatal in large quantities, small doses produce a floating sensation and euphoria. In other words, just what an oracle needs to start having visions” by Philip Ball, Jul 17 2001
© 2001, Nature.com (article no longer publicly available at Nature.com)
4.BUT another opposite opinion suggests that:
“both the empirical evidence and the argument mustered by the de Boer team for the ethylene-intoxication hypothesis are inadequate for two reasons. The first reason is scientific: the concentrations of ethylene identified by de Boer, Hale, et al. would have been insufficient to cause a trance-like state. The second reason is historical and philosophical: the evidence and argument presented to link the mantic behavior of the Priestess to ethylene intoxication is dubious”.
Foster J, Lehoux D. “The delphic oracle and the ethylene-intoxication hypothesis”. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2007;45(1):85-9.
Lehoux D. “Drugs and the Delphic Oracle”. Classical World. 2007 Fall;101(1):41-56.
Ancient Delphi oracle and Plato, Socrates writen evidence.
In Plato’s Apology, Socrates and his friend Chaerephon visit the oracle at ancient Delphi. As the story goes, Chaerephon asks the oracle whether anyone is wiser than Socrates. The oracle’s answer is that Socrates is the wisest person. The story appear to deliver a clear theory of wisdom. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wisdom/
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/wisdom/
Clinical Toxicology (Phila). 2007;45(1):85-9.Foster J, Lehoux D.
J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2002;40(2):189-96 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12126193
Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ictx20#.V0_ZneTM-M8