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date: 31 January 2023

Pythian Gameslocked

Pythian Gameslocked

  • Nicholas J. Richardson


Originally the Pythian festival at *Delphi took place every eight years, and there was a single contest, the singing of a hymn to *Apollo accompanied by the cithara. After the First *Sacred War the festival was reorganized under the control of the *amphictiony, and further musical and athletic contests (see agōnes) were added. These games were next in importance to the *Olympian Games, and were held quadrennially in late August of the third year in each *Olympiad. The Pythiads were reckoned from 582 bce. The musical contests consisted in singing to the cithara, cithara-playing, and flute-playing, and the athletic contests resembled those at Olympia. The horse races were always held below Delphi in the plain of *Crisa. The stadium lies above the sanctuary under Mount *Parnassus, and the *gymnasium and *palaestra are near the temple of *Athena Pronaia.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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