By Words of the Oracle
“I am the spirit of Delphi, speaker of the prophecies of Phoebus Apollo, slayer of the mighty Python. Approach speaker and ask.”
Delphi in ancient Greece was the home of the most famous oracle of ancient times, at the sanctuary of Pythian Apollo. The Oracle of Delphi is Pythia who was a powerful priestess at the Temple of Apollo. People would come from all over to ask the Oracle for her wisdom and the words of Apollo about important matters of public policy to personal affairs. The Oracle would also be consulted before any kind of important decision, including war or the founding of colonies. Priests and priestesses at an oracle spoke on behalf of the gods. The advice from the gods usually so vague that it always seemed to be right. The spirit of the Oracle of Delphi was passed on from maiden to maiden to continue to speak the prophecies of Apollo. People from all over Mediterranean World as far as Lydia, Caria, Rome, and even Egypt would send a representative to consult the Oracle. Eventually, the Oracle was placed under the protection of the Roman Empire for a short while to protect her from barbarians and thieves.
Delphi in ancient times was considered the center of the known world, the place where heaven and earth met. This was the place on earth where man was closest to god. In Mythology, Delphi was the meeting place of two eagles, released by Zeus and sent in opposite directions. Where they met indicated the center of the earth. Delphi is known as the center of worship for the god Apollo, son of Zeus who embodied moral discipline and spiritual clarity. But even before the area was associated with Apollo there were other deities worshipped here in order Earth Mother Gaia, Themis, and Phoebe. By the end of the Mycenaean period Apollo was given Delphi as a birthday by his grandmother, Phoebe and became the guardian of the Oracle.
Today, the oracle is a ruin but still no less appealing to visitors. Located on the side of Mount Parnassus, the oracle site is made up of many sets of ruins, such as the sanctuary of Apollo, the theatre, the Sacred Way, the Athenian Treasury and the temple of Pronaia Athena. The Castelian spring where visitors would wash themselves before consulting with the oracle is still there, and still running with clear water.
Though the site is only ruins, there are many columns still standing and enough has remained intact to engage the imagination to see what the complex must have been like so many hundreds of years ago. It is a site filled with too much history and myth to even describe.