Exploring Delphi, Greece

October 8, 2020

Delphi, located on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassos, was the site of the sanctuary of Apollo, dating back to about 800 BC. As the sanctuary developed, the Pythia were instituted there. The oracle of Delphi was widely sought by Greeks, foreigners, individuals and statesmen, including King Croesus of Lydia and King Midas of Phrygia.

Delphi was situated at was thought to be the center of the earth, and was thus designated the omphalos, or “navel” of the earth.

Omphalos, navel of the earth, symbolized by this stone. Designated Delphi as the center of the world. Photo ©Leon Mauldin

The Temple of Apollo was an elongated Doric peripteral temple, 4th century BC.

Author’s wife, Linda Mauldin, at the Temple of Apollo, in Delphi. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Among the artifacts displayed inside the Delphi Museum is the Sphinx of the Naxians (dating to ca. 560 BC). It stands over two meters tall. The marble sphinx was an offering from the inhabitants of Naxos. This mythical creature with the head of a woman, the chest and wings of a bird, and the body of a lioness, symbolized earthly divinity and heavenly power. The Sphinx stood on a 12.1 meters column that featured one of the first Ionic capitals, and was erected next to the Temple of Apollo in Delphi.

The Naxian Sphinx, Delphi Museum. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Click images for larger view.


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