Abae (Abai. Eth. Abaios: near Exarkho, Ru.), an ancient town of Phocis, near the frontiers of the Opuntian Locrians, said to have been built by the Argive Abas, son of Lynceus and. Hypermnestra, and grandson of Danaus. Near the town and on the road towards Hyampolis was an ancient temple and oracle of Apollo, who hence derived the surname of Abaeus. So celebrated was this oracle, that it was consulted both by Croesus and by Mardonius. Before the Persian invasion the temple was richly adorned with treasuries and votive offerings. It was twice destroyed by fire; the first time by the Persians in their march through Phocis (B.C. 480), and a second time by the Boeotians in the Sacred or Phocian war (B.C. 346). Hadrian caused a smaller temple to be built near the ruins of the former one. In the new temple there were three ancient statues in brass of Apollo, Leto, and Artemis, which had been dedicated by the Abaei, and had perhaps been saved from the former temple. The ancient agora and the ancient theatre still existed in the town in the time of Pausanias. According to the statement; of Aristotle, as preserved by Strabo, Thracians from the Phocian town of Abae emigrated to Euboea, and gave to the inhabitants the name of Abantes. The ruins of Abae are on a peaked hill to the W. of Exarkho. There are now no remains on the summit of the peak; but the walls and some of the gates may still be traced on the SW. side. There are also remains of the walls, which formed the inclosure of the temple. (Paus. x. 35; Herod. i. 46, viii. 134, 33; Diod. xvi. 530; Strab. pp. 423, 445; Steph. Byz. s. v.; Gell, Itinerary, p. 226; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 163, seq.)
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Important city near Exarcho village in the upper reaches of a tributary of the Kephisos. Abai and nearby Hyampolis were on the main Orchomenos-Opous road, and astride the main route from E Lokris into NE Phokis. The valley was the scene of two famous Phokian victories over the Thessalians, shortly before 480. Half of the spoils and several colossal figures were dedicated to Apollo at Abai; this oracular shrine was famous enough to be consulted by Croesus.
The hill of Abai is encircled by two well-preserved lines of wall; a considerable portion of these has been regarded as archaic. Some parts, and probably also the walls descending the E and NE slopes to the plain, can hardly be earlier than the mid 4th c. There are scattered remains inside these latter walls, and Pausanias saw an ancient theater and agora.
Some 600 m NW of the city a temenos was explored, probably that of Apollo. In addition to a classical stoa, it contained two buildings, identified as the old temple, burned by Xerxes and again in the Third Social War, and a small Hadrianic replacement. IG IX 1.78 is a letter from Philip V reconfirming the ancient tax-exemption of the sanctuary.
Cemeteries have been found W of the sanctuary, and also near Exarcho.
F. E. Winter, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Sep 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
A city of Phocis, near and to the right of Elatea, towards Opus. The inhabitants had a tradition that their city was founded by Abas, son of Lynceus and Hypermnestra, grandson of Danaus. It was most probably of Pelasgic origin. Abae was early celebrated for its oracle of Apollo, of greater antiquity than that at Delphi, and hence Apollo is called Abaeus. During the Persian invasion, the army of Xerxes set fire to the temple, and nearly destroyed it; soon after it again gave oracles, though in this dilapidated state, and was consulted for that purpose by an agent of Mardonius.
This text is cited Sep 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
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