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The Oracle at Delphi

GREECE | Wednesday, 28 September 2011 | Views [1630]

The Charioteer, Delphi Museum

The Charioteer, Delphi Museum

Zeus, the story goes, released two eagles from different compass points.  Their paths crossed over the center of the world, Delphi.  Apollo soon took up residence there and Greeks (and later Romans, too) would journey to Delphi to receive advice.  They would pay a fee, sacrifice an animal and ask a question to the Oracle of Delphi and a priest would relay the crone’s reply.  This went on until the oracle was discontinued for being pagan after Christianity became the official religion of the Holy Roman Empire.  We no longer need an oracle; today we have Opra and Dr. Phil and Suze to advise us.

We drove from Galaxidi to Delphi to see the Temple of Apollo, the first oracle.  Whatever tourists are still in Greece all seemed to descend on Delphi today as well.  Animal sacrifices are no longer required but there is still a hefty admission charge, which also includes the museum where the really good stuff is displayed.  Our favorite, which Jennifer Tobin raved about in “The Glory That Was Greece” lectures, is the bronze “Charioteer.”  Bronze sculptures were common in antiquity but few remain today since bronze was easy to recycle.  The Charioteer was buried in the earthquake that destroyed the first Delphi and wasn’t uncovered for another 2000 years.  His horses and chariot didn’t survive but he still holds the reins in his remaining hand.

At times every room in the museum contained a noisy tour group, then suddenly we would have a room entirely to ourselves.  Even at the site I was able to frame photos without a soul in them, although it took some silent cursing to move some of them out of the picture.



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