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Delphi: A History of the Center of the Ancient World

Author/EditorScott M (Author)
ISBN: 9780691150819
Pub Date10/03/2014
BindingHardback
Pages440
Dimensions (mm)235(h) * 152(w)
The oracle and sanctuary of the Greek god Apollo at Delphi were known as the "omphalos" - the "center" or "navel" - of the ancient world for more than 1000 years. This book provides the comprehensive narrative history of this sanctuary and city, from its founding to its modern rediscovery.
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The oracle and sanctuary of the Greek god Apollo at Delphi were known as the "omphalos"--the "center" or "navel"--of the ancient world for more than 1000 years. Individuals, city leaders, and kings came from all over the Mediterranean and beyond to consult Delphi's oracular priestess; to set up monuments to the gods; and to take part in competitions. In this richly illustrated account, Michael Scott covers the history and nature of Delphi, from the literary and archaeological evidence surrounding the site, to its rise as a center of worship, to the constant appeal of the oracle despite her cryptic prophecies. He describes how Delphi became a contested sacred site for Greeks and Romans and a storehouse for the treasures of rival city-states and foreign kings. He also examines the eventual decline of the site and how its meaning and importance have continued to be reshaped. A unique window into the center of the ancient world, Delphi will appeal to general readers, tourists, students, and specialists.

The oracle and sanctuary of the Greek god Apollo at Delphi were known as the "omphalos"--the "center" or "navel"--of the ancient world for more than 1000 years. Individuals, city leaders, and kings came from all over the Mediterranean and beyond to consult Delphi's oracular priestess; to set up monuments to the gods; and to take part in competitions. In this richly illustrated account, Michael Scott covers the history and nature of Delphi, from the literary and archaeological evidence surrounding the site, to its rise as a center of worship, to the constant appeal of the oracle despite her cryptic prophecies. He describes how Delphi became a contested sacred site for Greeks and Romans and a storehouse for the treasures of rival city-states and foreign kings. He also examines the eventual decline of the site and how its meaning and importance have continued to be reshaped. A unique window into the center of the ancient world, Delphi will appeal to general readers, tourists, students, and specialists.

Michael Scott is associate professor of classics and ancient history at the University of Warwick. He has written and presented a number of ancient history documentaries for National Geographic, the History channel, Nova, and the BBC, including one on Delphi. For more information, go to .

Acknowledgments xi Maps xiii Prologue: Why Delphi? 1 Part I: Some are born great 1: Oracle 9 2: Beginnings 31 3: Transformation 51 4: Rebirth 71 Part II : Some achieve greatness 5: Fire 93 6: Domination 119 7: Renewal 139 8: Transition 163 Part III: Some have greatness thrust upon them 9: A New World 183 10: Renaissance 203 11: Final Glory? 223 12: The Journey Continues 245 Epilogue: Unearthing Delphi 269 Conclusion 285 Guide: A Brief Tour of the Delphi Site and Museum 291 Abbreviations 303 Notes 309 Bibliography 375 Index 401

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