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Listed 100 (total found 1129) sub titles with search on: Monuments reported by ancient authors for wider area of: "GREECE Country EUROPE" .

Monuments reported by ancient authors (1129)

Editor's remarks

TEGEA (Ancient city) ARCADIA


Among the Greek sanctuaries which were really privileged and where the right of asylum was confirmed by law, we must distinguish between those of merely local sanctity and those to which fugitives might have recourse from a distance. To the latter, more famous, class belonged the temple of Athena Alea at Tegea

Ancient acropoles

FENEOS (Ancient city) FENEOS

The acropolis of Pheneos

Their acropolis is precipitous on all sides, mostly so naturally, but a few parts have been artificially strengthened, to make it more secure.

KORONI (Ancient city) PETALIDI

Acropolis of Corone

The statue of Athena also on the acropolis is of bronze, and stands in the open air, holding a crow in her hand (Paus. 4,34,6).

Ancient agoras

ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

The marketplace of Elis

The market-place of Elis is not after the fashion of the cities of Ionia and of the Greek cities near Ionia; it is built in the older manner, with porticoes separated from each other and with streets through them. The modern name of the market-place is Hippodromus, and the natives train their horses there.


Marketplace of Corinth

On the market-place, where most of the sanctuaries are, stand Artemis surnamed Ephesian and wooden images of Dionysus, which are covered with gold with the exception of their faces; these are ornamented with red paint.

KORONI (Ancient city) PETALIDI

Marketplace of Corone

The statues of Asclepius and Dionysus are of stone, but there is a statue of Zeus the Saviour in the market-place made of bronze (Paus. 4,34,6).

LILEA (Ancient city) PARNASSOS

In Lilaea are also a theater, a market-place and baths (Paus. 10,33,4).


Ancient marketplace

The river Helisson divides Megalopolis and in the north section, on the right as one looks down the river, the townsfolk have made their market-place.

SPARTI (Ancient city) LACONIA

The marketplace of Sparta

The Lacedaemonians who live in Sparta have a market-place worth seeing; the council-chamber of the senate, and the offices of the ephors, of the guardians of the laws, and of those called the Bidiaeans, are all in the market-place.

Ancient altars

Altars of Helius (the Sun)

After these (precincts) are altars to Helius.

ALIFIRA (Ancient city) ILIA

Altar of Zeus Lecheates

They also set up an altar of Zeus Lecheates (In child-bed), because here he gave birth to Athena.

AMYKLES (Ancient sanctuary) SPARTI

Altar of Hyacinthus

   On the altar are wrought in relief, here an image of Biris, there Amphitrite and Poseidon. Zeus and Hermes are conversing; near stand Dionysus and Semele, with Ino by her side. On the altar are also Demeter, the Maid, Pluto, next to them Fates and Seasons, and with them Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis. They are carrying to heaven Hyacinthus and Polyboea, the sister, they say, of Hyacinthus, who died a maid. Now this statue of Hyacinthus represents him as bearded, but Nicias, son of Nicomedes, has painted him in the very prime of youthful beauty, hinting at the love of Apollo for Hyacinthus of which legend tells. Wrought on the altar is also Heracles; he too is being led to heaven by Athena and the other gods. On the altar are also the daughters of Thestius, Muses and Seasons. As for the West Wind, how Apollo unintentionally killed Hyacinthus, and the story of the flower, we must be content with the legends, although perhaps they are not true history.


Altar of Radiant Apollo

Founded by the Agonauts

ARGOS (Ancient city) ARGOLIS

Altar of Zeus Phyxius (God of Fight)

  In front of it (sanctuary of Artemis) stands an altar of Zeus Phyxius (God of Fight). (Paus. 2.21.2)

Zeus Meilicius

Meilicius (Meilichios), i. e. the god that can be propitiated, or the gracious, is used as a surname of several divinities. 1. Of Zeus, as the protector of those who honoured him with propitiatory sacrifices. At Athens cakes were offered to him every year at the festival of the Diasia. (Thucyd. i. 126; Xenoph. Anab. vii. 7. § 4.) Altars were erected to Zeus Meilichius on the Cephissus (Paus. i. 37. § 3),at Sicyon (ii.9. § 6), and at Argos (ii. 20. § 1; Plut. De cohib. Ir. 9). 2. Of Dionysus in the island of Naxos. (Athen. iii. p. 78.) 3. Of Tyche or Fortune. (Orph. Hymn. 71. 2.) The plural theoi meilichioi is also applied to certain divinities whom mortals used to propitiate with sacrifices at night, that they might avert all evil, as e. g. at Myonia in the country of the Ozolian Locrians. (Pans. x. 38. § 4; comp. Orph. E. 30.)

ATHENS (Ancient city) GREECE

Altars of Shamefastness, Rumor and Effort

In the Athenian market-place among the objects not generally known is an altar to Mercy, of all divinities the most useful in the life of mortals and in the vicissitudes of fortune, but honored by the Athenians alone among the Greeks. And they are conspicuous not only for their humanity but also for their devotion to religion. They have an altar to Shamefastness, one to Rumour and one to Effort. It is quite obvious that those who excel in piety are correspondingly rewarded by good fortune.

Altar of Anteros (Love Avenged)

The altar within the city called the altar of Anteros (Love Avenged) they say was dedicated by resident aliens, because the Athenian Meles, spurning the love of Timagoras, a resident alien, bade him ascend to the highest point of the rock and cast himself down. Now Timagoras took no account of his life, and was ready to gratify the youth in any of his requests, so he went and cast himself down. When Meles saw that Timagoras was dead, he suffered such pangs of remorse that he threw himself from the same rock and so died. From this time the resident aliens worshipped as Anteros the avenging spirit of Timagoras.

Altar or Eurysaces

Even at the present day the Athenians pay honors to Ajax himself and to Eurysaces, for there is an altar of Eurysaces also at Athens.

Chian altar at Delphi

Altars of Asclepius

They also say that a snake, which they were bringing from their home in Epidaurus, escaped from the ship, and disappeared into the ground not far from the sea. As a result of the portent of the snake together with the vision in their dreams they resolved to remain and settle here. There are altars to Asclepius where the snake disappeared, with olive trees growing round them.

HERAION (Ancient sanctuary) SAMOS

Altar of Hera

There is an ashen altar of Samian Hera not a bit grander than what in Attica the Athenians call "improvised hearths".

ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA

Altar of Zeus Saviour

Cylon it was who with his own hand killed the despot when he had sought sanctuary at the altar of Zeus the Saviour.

Altar of Helius (the Sun)

There is on the left a place called Mysia and a sanctuary of Mysian Demeter. Farther on is a river called Inachus, and on the other side of it an altar of Helius (the Sun).


Altar of the Cyclopes

There is also an ancient sanctuary called the altar of the Cyclopes, and they sacrifice to the Cyclopes upon it.

KORONIA (Ancient city) VIOTIA

Altar of Hermes Epimelius

(Paus. 9,34,3).Epimelius (=keeper of flocks).

Altar of the winds

(Paus. 9,34,3).


Altar of Lycaean Zeus

On the highest point of the mountain is a mound of earth, forming an altar of Zeus Lycaeus, and from it most of the Peloponnesus can be seen. Before the altar on the east stand two pillars, on which there were of old gilded eagles. On this altar they sacrifice in secret to Lycaean Zeus. I was reluctant to pry into the details of the sacrifice; let them be as they are and were from the beginning. (Paus. 8,38,7). Many ancient writers mention that human sacrifices were offered to the Lycaean Zeus, even in Pausanias' time, but that the offer would not bring any result if details of the ritual were published.

Lycaean Zeus


Altars of Demeter, the Mistress, the Great Mother

From Acacesium it is four stades to the sanctuary of the Mistress. First in this place is a temple of Artemis Leader, with a bronze image, holding torches, which I conjecture to be about six feet high. As you go to the temple there is a portico on the right, with reliefs of white marble on the wall. On the first relief are wrought Fates and Zeus surnamed Guide of Fate, and on the second Heracles wresting a tripod from Apollo. In the portico by the Mistress there is, between the reliefs I have mentioned, a tablet with descriptions of the mysteries. On the third relief are nymphs and Pans; on the fourth is Polybius, the son of Lycortas. On the latter is also an inscription, declaring that Greece would never have fallen at all, if she had obeyed Polybius in everything, and when she met disaster her only help came from him.

The Megaron (Ritual Hall) of Despoina

  When you have gone up a little, beside the temple of Despoina (the Mistress), on the right is what is called Megaron, where the Arcadians celebrate mysteries and sacrifice to the Mistress many victims in generous fashion. Every man of them sacrifices what he possesses. This Mistress the Arcadians worship more than any other god, declaring that she is a daughter of Poseidon and Demeter. Mistress is her surname among the many, just as they surname Demeter's daughter by Zeus the Maid. But whereas the real name of the Maid is Persephone, as Homer and Pamphos before him say in their poems, the real name of the Mistress I am afraid to write to the uninitiated. Beyond what is called the Hall is a grove, sacred to the Mistress and surrounded by a wall of stones, and within it are trees, including an olive and an evergreen oak growing out of one root, and that not the result of a clever piece of gardening.

The Altar of Poseidon Hippios

Beyond the grove are altars of Poseidon Hippios, as being the father of the Mistress, and of other gods as well. On the last of them is an inscription saying that it is common to all the gods.


Altar of Ares

At no great distance is an altar of Ares, and it was said that originally a sanctuary too was built for the god.

PLATEES (Ancient city) VIOTIA

Altar of Zeus, God of Freedom

Not far from the common tomb of the Greeks is an altar of Zeus, God of Freedom.


Altar of Isthmian Poseidon

After the hero-shrine of Aratus is an altar to Isthmian Poseidon.

Altar of Pan

Behind the sanctuary of Hera he (Adrastus) built an altar to Pan.

Altar of Helius (the Sun)

Behind the sanctuary of Hera he (Adrastus) built an altar to Pan, and one to Helius (Sun) made of white marble.

Altar of the Fates

On one day in each year they celebrate a festival to them and offer sheep big with young as a burnt offering, and they are accustomed to use a libation of honey and water, and flowers instead of garlands. They practise similar rites at the altar of the Fates; it is in an open space in the grove.

SPARTI (Ancient city) LACONIA

Altar of Apollo Acritas

The name Acritas may refer to Apollo either as a god of the top (acra) or as coming from the town Acries (Ekd. Athinon, Pausaniou Periegissis, vol.2, p.344, note 4).

Altar of Zeus Counsellor

There is a place having its porticoes in the form of a square, where of old stuff used to be sold to the people. By this is an altar of Zeus Counsellor and of Athena Counsellor, also of the Dioscuri, likewise surnamed Counsellors. By "Councellor", we mean the god who either gives advice when needed or postpones a misfortune for later, so that it can be easily faced (Ekd. Athinon, Pausaniou Periegissis, vol.2, p. 352, note 2). See also (Paus. 3,13,6).

TEGEA (Ancient city) ARCADIA

Altar of Earth

Close to the sanctuary of Eileithyia is an altar of Earth.

Altar of the Maid

Not far from it are two sanctuaries of Dionysus, an altar of the Maid, and a temple of Apollo with a gilded image.

Altar of Athena Alea

The altar for the goddess was made, they say, by Melampus, the son of Amythaon. Represented on the altar are Rhea and the nymph Oenoe holding the baby Zeus. On either side are four figures: on one, Glauce, Neda, Theisoa and Anthracia; on the other Ide, Hagno, Alcinoe and Phrixa. There are also images of the Muses and of Memory.

Altar of Zeus Teleius (Full-grown)

There is also an altar of Zeus Teleius (Full-grown), with a square image, a shape of which the Arcadians seem to me to be exceedingly fond.

THIVES (Ancient city) VIOTIA

Altar of Apollo God of Ashes

Within the sanctuary of Heracles and beyond the Chastiser stone is an altar of Apollo surnamed God of Ashes; it is made out of the ashes of the victims. The customary mode of divination here is from voices.

Altar of Dionysus

The altar was built by the sons of Praxiteles.

TITANI (Ancient city) SIKYON

Altar of the winds

The sanctuary is built upon a hill, at the bottom of which is an Altar of the Winds, and on it the priest sacrifices to the winds one night in every year. He also performs other secret rites at four pits, taming the fierceness of the blasts, and he is said to chant as well charms of Medea.

Ancient gymnasium

ARGOS (Ancient city) ARGOLIS

Gymnasium of Cylarabes

  In the gymnasium of Cylarabes is an Athena called Pania; they show also the graves of Sthenelus and of Cylarabes himself. (Paus. 2.22.9)

Ancient oracles


Acraephnium Oracle

Before the expedition of the Macedonians under Alexander, in which Thebes was destroyed, there was here an oracle that never lied. Once too a mail of Europus, of the name of Mys, who was sent by Mardonius, inquired of the god in his own language, and the god too gave a response, not in Greek but in the Carian speech.

Oracle of Mount Ptoon, near Acraephia, in the territory of Thebes. Mythology affirmed that Tenerus, son of Apollo and Melia, was the first prophet here (Strabo, ix. p. 412). More interesting is it to know, on the same authority, that Pindar sang of this oracle. When Mys the Carian was sent by Mardonius to consult it, at the time of the Persian wars, the prophet answered him in the Carian language, so that the Thebans who accompanied him could not write down the reply, and Mys was obliged to do this himself (Herod. viii. 135). This oracle also was consulted by the Thebans before Leuctra (Pausan. iv. 32, § 5), but was destroyed in the general ruin of the Theban territory by Alexander (Pausan. ix. 23, § 3). In the time of Plutarch the whole district was desolate (Plut. Defect. Orac. 8).

AMFIARION (Ancient sanctuary) ATTICA, EAST

Oracles of Amphiaraus

Oracles of Amphiaraus. Thebes and Oropus (on the Euripus) contended for the honour of possessing the spot in which the hero Amphiaraus was swallowed up by the earth. Hence there were two oracles at which he was invoked: one between Thebes and Potniae, the other in a narrow valley close to the sea, between Oropus and Psaphis (Strabo, ix. 1, § 22). The first was the one consulted by Croesus; it was among the seven to which he proposed his test question, and it was even said to have given an answer not altogether wrong (Herod. i. 46, 49). Hence the Thebans possessed the golden shield and spear presented by Croesus (Herod. i. 52) to this oracle; they placed these gifts, however, not in the temple of Amphiaraus, but in the temple of Apollo Ismenius. Moreover, the Thebans would not themselves consult this oracle; they affirmed that the hero was their ally, and that they would not disturb his impartiality (Herod. viii. 134). This looks like a pretext to cover a feeling of hostility; Amphiaraus had fought against the Thebans. Pausanias (ix. 8, § 2) tells us that the grass round this temple, and the columns of it, were the scene of a perpetual miracle; cattle would not crop the one, nor birds settle upon the other: doubtless as a proof of the genuineness of the tradition attached to the spot. The oracles were given through dreams to persons sleeping in the temple (Herod. viii. 134): they had to prepare themselves for this incubutio by fasting one day, and by abstaining from wine for three days (Philostr. Vit. Apoll. ii. 37).
At the other oracle, that of Oropus, were two sacred wells and an altar of elaborate workmanship (Pausan. i. 34, § § 2 sqq.). It was especially consulted by the sick, who had to purify themselves and sacrifice a ram; on the skin of which they afterwards slept in the temple. The means of recovery was then supposed to be intimated to them in dreams. If they recovered, they had to throw some pieces of money into the well within the sanctuary. The sacred ground alleged to belong to this oracle was the subject of a curious controversy, which occasioned the speech of Hyperides pro Euxenippo.

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Oracle of Dionysus

An oracle of Dionysus existed at Amphicaea or Amphicleia, in Phocis, to the north of Parnassus. Like the oracle at Acharaca, its function was limited to the cure of the sick, and its mode of operation was by dreams interpreted by an inspired prophet (Pausan. x. 33, § 11).

ARGOS (Ancient city) ARGOLIS

Oracle of Apollo Deiradiotes

Oracle of Apollo Deiradiotes, at Argos. This is stated to have been an offshoot from Delphi (Pausan. ii. 24); but in one point the ceremonies differed remarkably from those of Delphi: the priestess once a month sacrificed a lamb during the night, and tasted the blood, in order to obtain the prophetic ecstasy. This appears to show that the oracle had a higher antiquity than belonged to its Delphic origin, and was in the first instance an oracle of the dead. It was kept alive by the patriotism of the Argives, always mindful of their primaeval renown, and was still active in the time of Pausanias.

Sanctuary of Apollo Lycius (Oracle)

  The most famous building in the city of Argos is the sanctuary of Apollo Lycius (Wolf-god). The modern image was made by the Athenian Attalus, but the original temple and wooden image were the offering of Danaus. I am of opinion that in those days all images, especially Egyptian images, were made of wood. The reason why Danaus founded a sanctuary of Apollo Lycius was this. On coming to Argos he claimed the kingdom against Gelanor, the son of Sthenelas. Many plausible arguments were brought forward by both parties, and those of Sthenelas were considered as fair as those of his opponent; so the people, who were sitting in judgment, put off, they say, the decision to the following day.
  At dawn a wolf fell upon a herd of oxen that was pasturing before the wall, and attacked and fought with the bull that was the leader of the herd. It occurred to the Argives that Gelanor was like the bull and Danaus like the wolf, for as the wolf will not live with men, so Danaus up to that time had not lived with them. It was because the wolf overcame the bull that Danaus won the kingdom. Accordingly, believing that Apollo had brought the wolf on the herd, he founded a sanctuary of Apollo Lycius.
  Here is dedicated the throne of Danaus, and here Is placed a statue of Biton, in the form of a man carrying a bull on his shoulders. According to the poet Lyceas, when the Argives were holding a sacrifice to Zeus at Nemea, Biton by sheer physical strength took up a bull and carried it there. Next to this statue is a fire which they keep burning, calling it the fire of Phoroneus. For they do not admit that fire was given to mankind by Prometheus, but insist in assigning the discovery of fire to Phoroneus.
  As to the wooden images of Aphrodite and Hermes, the one they say was made by Epeus, while the other is a votive offering of Hypermnestra. She was the only one of the daughters of Danaus who neglected his command, and was accordingly brought to justice by him, because be considered that his life was in danger so long as Lynceus was at large, and that the refusal to share in the crime of her sisters increased the disgrace of the contriver of the deed. On her trial she was acquitted by the Argives, and to commemorate her escape she dedicated an image of Aphrodite, the Bringer of Victory.
  Within the temple is a statue of Ladas, the swiftest runner of his time, and one of Hermes with a tortoise which he has caught to make a lyre. Before the temple is a pit with a relief representing a fight between a bull and a wolf, and with them a maiden throwing a rock at the bull. The maiden is thought to be Artemis. Danaus dedicated these, and some pillars hard by and wooden images of Zeus and Artemis.
  Here are graves; one is that of Linus, the son of Apollo by Psamathe, the daughter of Crotopus; the other, they say, is that of Linus the poet. The story of the latter Linus is more appropriate to another part of my narrative, and so I omit it here, while I have already given the history of the son of Psamathe in my account of Megara. After these is an image of Apollo, God of Streets, and an altar of Zeus, God of Rain, where those who were helping Polyneices in his efforts to be restored to Thebes swore an oath together that they would either capture Thebes or die. As to the tomb of Prometheus, their account seems to me to be less probable than that of the Opuntians, but they hold to it nevertheless

Oracle of Apollo Lycius, also at Argos. The prophetess is said to have warned Pyrrhus, just before his death (Plut. Pyrrh. 31). Pausanias, however, does not mention this oracle and some doubt consequently attaches to it. Except the two at Argos, there was no oracle of Apollo in Peloponnesus: the neighbourhood of Delphi overpowered minor establishments.

Sanctuary of Amphiaraus

   Very near to the temple of Dionysus you will see the house of Adrastus, farther on a sanctuary of Amphiaraus, and opposite the sanctuary the tomb of Eriphyle. (Paus. 2.23.2)


Oracle of Asclepius

Asclepius (Aesculapius) lies almost half-way between gods and heroes; still he may be more properly reckoned among the latter. And the oracular seats where he was believed to instruct men are of peculiar interest, because they furnish the meeting-point between religion and science, as those were conceived in the classical Greek world. For, on the one hand, he was thought of as the god of healing, the son of Apollo, begotten by Apollo that he might heal bodily sicknesses (Menand. Rhet. Epidict. p. 327 Olympiod. Vit. Plat. p. 4, 42); in whose temples the sick would spend a night in hope of being miraculously relieved by the morning (Pausan. ii. 27, § 2). This aspect of him had a tendency to gain ground; to Aeschylus (Agam. 1022) and Pindar (Pyth. iii. 96) he is a faulty man; Aristophanes (Plutus, 662 sqq.), with all his mockery, treats Asclepius as a god. But, on the other hand, Asclepius was the legendary father of a crowd of descendants, the Asclepiadae, who, in whatever degree they considered religious communications important for success in the healing art, had genuinely scientific qualities (Plato, Rep. iii.). These two phases of the doctrine and practice connected with the name of Asclepius were so intermingled, that they cannot now be separated. Epidaurus was the chief seat of the religious worship; there Asclepius had a temple and a grove, and a magnificent gold and ivory statue, and innumerable votive tablets on the walls attested the cures wrought on sick persons by the method of incubation (Pausan. ii. 26, 27), But at Cos the medical school culminated, and there Hippocrates, the first great light of medical science, lived and wrote. Yet Epidaurus and Cos were not hostile to one another, and we read of an embassy sent by the Epidaurians to the Asclepius of Cos (Pausan. iii. 23, § 6). We must assume that in the generality of the shrines of Asclepius (of which nearly a hundred are reckoned: cf. Th. Panofka, Asclepios und die Asclepiaden, pp. 271-361) the religious element, the prophecy by dreams and incubation, greatly outweighed the scientific. It is a question of much interest why, in view of the paucity of oracles of ordinary gods, other than Apollo, so remarkable an exception should be found in the case of Asclepius. The theory was (Menand. Rhet. and Olympiod. l. c.) that Apollo committed to Asclepius this part of his functions; but it is impossible to suppose that persons erecting a temple to Asclepius had any clear theory of delegation. No doubt the truth is, that the worship of Asclepius was antecedent to the worship of Apollo, and his emblem, the snake, had an origin quite distinct from the Apolline worship; and his affiliation to Apollo was a device of the worshippers of Apollo, in order that they might appropriate a power that they could not expel. At Pergamus, another great seat of Asclepius, the celebrated physician Galen, starting from pure faith in the oracular cures, taught himself principles of more exact medical science. In the year 293 B.C. the Sibylline books commanded the Romans to seek Asclepius at Epidaurus. They did so, and brought away a mysterious serpent; then, on the spot where this serpent disappeared, they built a temple to Asclepius (Aesculapius). Oracles were given there through dreams, and miracles performed (C. I. G. 5977, 5980). Serapis was joined with Aesculapius in the worship at this temple (Suet. Claud. 25). This also was the case at Pergamus. F. A. Wolf (Vermischte Schriften, pp. 382 sqq.) endeavours to show that mesmerism was used in the curative rites of Asclepius; but the experiences of Aelius Aristides hardly bear this out.

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

AVDIRA (Ancient city) XANTHI

Sanctuary of Apollo (Oracle)

(Pindar, ap. Tzetzes, Lycophr. 445.)

AVES (Ancient city) ATALANTI

Oracle of Apollo

Oracle at Abae, in the N.E. of Phocis. This oracle is first mentioned in the 6th century B.C., when Croesus included it among the seven oracles which he tested as a preliminary to his intended inquiry concerning the expediency of making war on Cyrus. It was therefore an oracle of distinction, though it proved unequal to satisfying the test imposed by Croesus (Herod. i. 46, 47). It pretended to great antiquity. Shortly before the Persian wars it received from the Phocians a great number of shields and other booty won in battle from the Thessalians, an equal number being sent to Delphi. After the battle of Thermopylae, the Thessalians determined to take their revenge; they led a Persian army into Phocis, and destroyed among other places the temple of Abae (Herod. viii. 33). Pausanias (x. 35, § 2) tells us that the Greeks passed a resolution to leave in their ruins all temples that had been destroyed in this invasion, as a memorial of undying hatred. But this cannot have been carried out here: it must be inferred from Sophocles (Oed. Tyr. 899) that the temple of Abae was fully existent in the latter half of the 5th century B.C. Moreover, we find it predicting victory to the Thebans before the battle of Leuctra (Pausan. iv. 32, § 5): in spite of which, those same Thebans burnt it, and 500 Phocians in it, in the Sacred or Phocian War (B.C. 346). And though the town of Abae, at the end of that war, was exempted from the ruin that fell on the rest of Phocis (Pausan. x. 3, § 2), the temple and oracle were irretrievably gone. Centuries afterwards, Hadrian built a smaller temple close by, and the Romans, from a feeling of piety towards Apollo, allowed the people of Abae to govern themselves. (Pausan. x. 35, § 2.)

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Oracle of Delos

Oracle of Delos. The singularity of this oracle is why it should not have existed in times when oracles were most important. It appeared to have every advantage; the Homeric hymn to the Delian Apollo (v. 81) shows that from the first it was designed to be an oracle; the island itself had the highest celebrity for its sacredness, and the religious ceremonials with which it was honoured were scarcely surpassed in Greece: yet an oracle it was not. When one asks why this was, the answer must be conjectural. Probably the reason was, that it lay out of the reach of those Greek races who had the disposition suitable for originating oracles (the Boeotians and Phocians), and was peculiarly under the thumb of that race (the Athenians) which was devoid of any such disposition. Under some circumstances, it might have been a religious centre for the Ionians and Aeolians of Asia Minor; but they probably found the seavoyage a deterrent, and they had their own highly celebrated oracles (see above) derived from Delphi. Not till the 2nd century B.C. is any reference made (outside the brief allusion in the Homeric hymn) to an oracle in the island, Then Zeno of Rhodes speaks of the Rhodians having inquired of this oracle (cf. Diod. v. 58). But Virgil (Aen. iii. 90-93) gave it a far higher reputation; though, considering the looseness of the Roman poets in such points, his reference has hardly any historical authority. The satirical allusion in Lucian (Bis accus. 1) is, however, real evidence; and in a still later age Julian consulted it (Theodoret. Hist. Eccles. iii. 16). When one asks whether the oracle, such as it was, was situated in the temple near the sea-shore or on the top of Mount Cynthus, in the really ancient shrine discovered by M. Lebegue (Recherches sur Delos), the testimony of Himerius (Orat. xviii. 1) seems to decide the point in favour of the latter. The story that Apollo spent the six summer months of the year at Delos, has already been referred to under the head of the Oracle of Patara.

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

EANI (Ancient city) KOZANI

Oracle of Pluto

There appears to have been an oracle of Pluto at Eana in Macedonia (cf. L. Henzey, Mission archeol. de Macedoine, Inscr. N, 120).


Eutrisian Apollo of Galaxion

Oracle of Eutresis, between Thespiae and Plataea, in the neighbourhood of Leuctra. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Eutresis: Schol. ad Il. ii. 502.)

FARES (Ancient city) PATRA

Oracle of Hermes at Pharae

Hermes, from his close connexion with Apollo, was a god that might be expected to give oracles: this power, however, in the Homeric hymn to Hermes, 552 sqq., is only accorded to him in a limited degree by the more exalted deity. He had an oracle at Pharae in Achaia, where his altar stood in the middle of the market-place. Incense was offered there, oil lamps were lighted before it, a copper coin was placed upon the altar, and after this the question was put to the god by a whisper in his ear. The person who consulted him immediately left the market-place. The first remark that he heard made by any one after leaving the marketplace was believed to imply the answer of Hermes (Pausan. vii. 22, § 2). This mode of oracular disclosure was so much associated with Hermes that he received the name of Kleedonios from it; as we learn from an inscription found at Pitane, near Smyrna (Le Bas et Waddington, Voyage archeol. v. 1724a). Hence it is probable that the Kledonon hieron at Smyrna, mentioned by Pausanias (ix. 11, § 7), was an oracle of Hermes.

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Oracle of Hera Acraea

An oracle of Hera Acraea (i. e. the goddess of the hill-tops) was between Lechaeon and Pagae, on the gulf of Corinth (Strabo, viii. p. 380).

IOULIS (Ancient city) KEA

Of Apollo Pythio

In the NW side of the city, between the churches of Agia Sofia and Agios Georgios.

KICHYROS (Ancient city) EPIRUS


At oracles of the dead (psuchomanteia) the souls of deceased persons were evoked in order to give the information desired. Thus, in Homer ( Od.xi), Odysseus betakes himself to the entrance of the lower world to question the spirit of the seer Tiresias. Oracles of this kind were especially common in places where it was supposed there was an entrance to the lower world; as at the city of Cichyrus in Epirus (where there was an Acherusian lake as well as the rivers of Acheron and Cocytus, bearing the same names as those of the world below),

This extract is cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Oracle of the Nymphs Sphragitides

(Plut. Aristid. 11; Pausan. ix. 3, § 9).

LEVADIA (Ancient city) VIOTIA

Oracle of Trophonius

Oracle of Trophonius at Lebadea. One of the most celebrated of the Greek oracles, and in a place of sombre and impressive aspect, in Boeotia. There were different versions of the legend of Trophonius: the most dignified (found in Plut. Consol. ad Apoll. 14) tells us that Trophonius and Agamedes built the temple of Delphi, and, upon desiring a reward of the god, he told them that he would give them one on the seventh day; on which day they were found dead. Apollo made Trophonius a prophet; and the Boeotians were bidden to consult him at Lebadea on the means to put an end to a drought that afflicted the land. A swarm of bees led them to the sacred cave, and the oracle was established (Pausan. ix. 40, 1, 2). The rites necessary before consulting it were complicated and terrifying. First, the consultants had to purify themselves by spending some days in the sanctuary of the good spirit and good luck (Agathou Daimonos kai agathes Tuches); to live soberly and purely; to abstain from warm baths, but to bathe in the river Hercyna; to offer sacrifices to Trophonius and his children, to Apollo, Cronos, king Zeus, to Herb who holds the reins (Heniocha), and to Demeter Europe, who was said to have nursed Trophonius; and during each of these sacrifices a soothsayer examined the entrails of the victim. On the last night, the consultant had to sacrifice a ram to Agamedes. Only in the event of all the signs being favourable was admission to the cave granted. If it were granted: two boys, 13 years old, led the consultant again to the river Hercyna, and bathed and anointed him. The priests then made him drink from the well of.Lethe, that he might forget all his former thoughts, and from the well of Mnemosyne, that he might remember the visions he was about to receive. They showed him an ancient statue of Trophonius, which he adored; led him to the sanctuary, dressed him in linen garments, with girdles and a peculiar kind of shoes (krepides); and bade him descend a ladder into the cave. Close to the bottom was an opening into which he put his foot; some invisible power then drew his whole body through the opening. In each hand he held a honeycake to appease the subterranean deities. The vision then seen by him was carefully remembered, and told to the priests on his remounting to the light; and when he had recovered from his fears, the priests informed him of the meaning of the oracle. (Pausan. ix. 39, § 3 sqq.: cf. Philostr. Vit. Apoll. viii. 19.) But the vision sometimes left men melancholy for a long time. Epaminondas consulted this oracle just before the battle of Leuctra, and received from it the shield of Aristomenes, the Messenian hero (Pausan. iv. 32, § § 5, 6). It preserved a certain reputation even down to the time of Plutarch (de Orac. Defect. 5), though Sulla had plundered it. It was much consulted by the Romans (Origen, c. Celsus, vii. p. 355). Lebadea is the origin of the modern Livadia.

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

MITHYMNA (Ancient city) LESVOS

Oracle of Apollo Napaeus

Oracle of Apollo Napaeus (Napaios), near Methymna in Lesbos. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Nape; Schol. Arist. Nub. 144; Macrob. i. 17, 45: cf. Strabo, ix. p. 426.)


Temple of Oghestius Poseidon (Oracle)

In my day there remained a temple and image of Onchestian Poseidon, and the grove which Homer too praised (Paus. 9,26,5).

A tradition of an oracle of Poseidon Hippios, at Onchestus in Boeotia, is preserved in the Homeric hymn to Apollo (230-238), with which compare Pausan. ix. 26, § 5, and, as emphasising the word Hippios, Hom. Il. xix. 405-417.

ORCHOMENOS (Archaeological site) VIOTIA

Oracle of Tiresias at Orchomenus

(Pint. de Orac. Defect. 44.)

OROVIES (Ancient city) EVIA

Apollo Selinuntius


Oracle of Dionysus

The Satrae, as far as we know, have never yet been subject to any man; they alone of the Thracians have continued living in freedom to this day; they dwell on high mountains covered with forests of all kinds and snow, and they are excellent warriors. It is they who possess the place of divination sacred to Dionysus. This place is in their highest mountains; the Bessi, a clan of the Satrae, are the prophets of the shrine; there is a priestess who utters the oracle, as at Delphi; it is no more complicated here than there.

PATRAI (Ancient city) ACHAIA

Oracle of Earth & Demeter

The Earth, as has appeared already, was to the primitive populations almost the chief discloser of the future (thus, originally, at Delphi). The oracle of Earth (gaia) at Aegira in Achaia, mentioned by Pliny (xxviii. § 147), may be a mistake of that writer (cf. Pausan. vii. 25, § 13); but at Patrae, not far from Aegira, Earth, associated with Demeter (i. e. Ge meter) and Persephone, gave oracles respecting the sick. A mirror was let down by a rope into a sacred well, so as to float upon the surface. Prayers were then performed and incense offered, whereupon the image of the sick person was seen in the mirror either as a corpse or in a state of recovery. (Pausan. ii. 24, § 1.)

Oracle of Apollo Ptoos

A temple of Apollo (hence Apollo Ptous), near Thebes in Boeotia, oracle there consulted by Mardonius.


Temenos of Pythian Apollo


Oracle of Apollo

Oracle of Tegyra. This lay not far from Abae, but just within the Boeotian frontier. Plutarch tells us that it flourished chiefly in the Persian wars, when it had a high priest Echecrates (Pelopid. 16), and promised the Greeks the victory over the Persians (Defect. Orac. 5). Tegyra was on one occasion declared by the Pythia herself to have been the birthplace of Apollo (Plutarch, Pelopid. 16; Defect. Orac. 5; Steph. Byz. s. v. Tegura).

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Sanctuary of Ino

From Oetylus to Thalamae the road is about eighty stades long. On it is a sanctuary of Ino and an oracle. They consult the oracle in sleep, and the goddess reveals whatever they wish to learn, in dreams. Bronze statues of Pasiphae and of Helios stand in the unroofed part of the sanctuary. It was not possible to see the one within the temple clearly, owing to the garlands, but they say this too is of bronze.
This extract is from: Pausanias, Description of Greece. Harvard University Press
Cited Aug 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains comments & interesting hyperlinks.


THIVES (Ancient city) VIOTIA

Bird-observatory of Teiresias

After the sanctuary of Ammon at Thebes comes what is called the bird-observatory of Teiresias, and near it is a sanctuary of Fortune, who carries the child Wealth.

Oracle of Apollo Ismenius, south of Thebes. This was the national sanctuary of the Thebans, and oracles were given here, as at Olympia, by inspection of the entrails of victims (Herod. viii. 134) and by the shape of altar-flames (Soph. Oed. Tyr. 21). A stone at the entrance of the temple was pointed out as the seat on [p. 287] which Manto, the daughter of Tiresias, had prophesied. In this oracle a boy of good family and handsome appearance was selected yearly as priest and termed daphnephoros (laurel-bearer); and if in more than usually good position, dedicated a tripod before his year of office was over. (Pausan. ix. 10, § § 2-4; and compare Pindar, Pyth. xi. 7-10.) Herodotus saw three such tripods, inscribed with ancient Cadmean characters (v. 58-61). One was inscribed with the name of Amphitryon, and Pausanias (l. c.) says that it was dedicated on behalf of Heracles, and was the most remarkable of all the tripods he had seen. Possibly it was from this collection that a yearly tripod was sent to Dodona (Strabo, ix. p. 402). Before the disastrous conflict with Alexander, the Thebans are said to have asked of this oracle the meaning of a certain cobweb in the temple of Demeter, and to have received an ambiguous answer (Diodor. xvii. 10).

This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited July 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Oracle of Apollo Spodios

Oracle of Apollo Spodios, also at Thebes. Here divination by voice-omens was practised, as at Smyrna. (Pausan. ix. 11, § 5.) This oracle, like the last, was of course destroyed by Alexander.

VOURA (Ancient city) DIAKOPTO

Oracle of Heracles

   On descending from Bura towards the sea you come to a river called Buraicus, and to a small Heracles in a cave. He too is surnamed Buraicus, and here one can divine by means of a tablet and dice. He who inquires of the god offers up a prayer in front of the image, and after the prayer he takes four dice, a plentiful supply of which are placed by Heracles, and throws them upon the table. For every figure made by the dice there is an explanation expressly written on the tablet.


Oracle of Heracles

One was at Hyettus in Boeotia (Pausan. ix. 36, § 6); another at Bura, in Achaia. Those who consulted it prayed and put their questions, and then cast four dice painted with figures, and the answer was given according to the position of these figures (Pausan. vii. 25, § 6). Another oracle of Heracles was at Gades (Dio Cass. lxxvii. 20). Like Asclepius, Heracles was almost to be reckoned as a god; had he been merely the Greek son of Zeus and Alcmena, this would not have been so: but he was identified with foreign deities, such as Melkart.

Ancient sacred caves

KYFAS (Ancient city) ZARAKAS

Cave sacred to Asclepius

After an ascent of ten stades inland are the ruins of the so-called Cyphanta, among which is a cave sacred to Asclepius; the image is of stone.


Rhea's cave

On the summit of the mountain is Rhea's Cave, into which no human beings may enter save only the women who are sacred to the goddess.


The grottos of Pan and of Apollo

The grottos of Pan and of Apollo have been excavated by M. Cavvadias (1897). There are two caves with narrow entrances, partly blocked by natural pillars of rock, so that they offer complete seclusion, though but narrow space within. These would be suitable for the secret meetings of Apollo and Creusa (Ion 10 f., 492 f., 936 f.), which Pausanias (i. 28. 4) places in the cave of Apollo, but Euripides in that of Pan, as does Aristophanes that of Cinesias and Myrrhina (Lys. 911 f.). Subsequently the worship of Apollo seems to have been transferred to the more open cave where votive tablets were found (Gardner, Athens, p. 93 f.; for a full discussion with plan cf. D'Ooge, Acropolis, pp. 6-9), the more secret caves being now the shrine of Pan. In the grotto was a statue of Pan (Anthol. Plan. 232; cf. 259) with an inscription ascribed to Simonides, fr. 136 ton tragopoun eme Pana, ton Arkada, ton kata Medon, | ton met' Athenaion stesato Miltiades. Such a statue, now at Cambridge, was discovered in a garden at the foot of the Acropolis, but it appears to have decorated a column or balustrade like the similar statue found in Peiraeus (Michaelis, Ancient Marbles in Great Britain, p. 248). The representations of the cave of Pan on Attic coins of Antonine date, giving views of the Acropolis, appear to be too inaccurate to be of service (J. H. S. viii, pp. 24-5). His worship may have been established or revived by Cimon (katastanton sphi eu ede ton pregmaton). (Cf. Macan, ii. 153, 181.)

SAMIKON (Ancient city) ILIA

Cave of the Anigrid Nymphs

There is in Samicum a cave not far from the river, and called the Cave of the Anigrid Nymphs. Whoever enters it suffering from alphos or leuke first has to pray to the nymphs and to promise some sacrifice or other, after which he wipes the unhealthy parts of his body. Then, swimming through the river, he leaves his old uncleanness in its water, coming up sound and of one color.

At the base of these mountains, on the seaboard, are two caves. One is the cave of the nymphs called Anigriades; the other is the scene of the stories of the daughters of Atlas and of the birth of Dardanus. And here, too, are the sacred precincts called the Ionaeum and the Eurycydeium.


Cave sacred to Black Demeter

Mount Elaius has a cave sacred to Demeter surnamed Black. The Phigalians accept the account of the people of Thelpusa about the mating of Poseidon and Demeter. Afterwards, they say, angry with Poseidon and grieved at the rape of Persephone, she put on black apparel and shut herself up in this cavern for a long time. But when all the fruits of the earth were perishing, and the human race dying yet more through famine, no god, it seemed, knew where Demeter was in hiding, until Pan, they say, visited Arcadia. Roaming from mountain to mountain as he hunted, he came at last to Mount Elaius and spied Demeter, the state she was in and the clothes she wore. So Zeus learnt this from Pan, and sent the Fates to Demeter, who listened to the Fates and laid aside her wrath, moderating her grief as well. For these reasons, the Phigalians say, they concluded that this cavern was sacred to Demeter and set up in it a wooden image.

Ancient sacred springs

AMFIARION (Ancient sanctuary) ATTICA, EAST

Amphiaraus spring

The Oropians have near the temple a spring, which they call the Spring of Amphiaraus; they neither sacrifice into it nor are wont to use it for purifications or for lustral water. But when a man has been cured of a disease through a response the custom is to throw silver and coined gold into the spring, for by this way they say that Amphiaraus rose up after he had become a god.

FARES (Ancient city) PATRA

Hermes' stream

At Pharae there is also a water sacred to Hermes. The name of the spring is Hermes' stream, and the fish in it are not caught, being considered sacred to the god.


Dioysias spring

When Cyparissiae is reached from Pylos, there is a spring below the city near the sea, the water of which they say gushed forth for Dionysus when he struck he ground with a thyrsus. For this reason they call the spring Dionysias.

Ancient sanctuaries


Precinct of Artemis

As you go down to it you come to a precinct of Artemis, and wooden images of Ariste (Best) and Calliste (Fairest). In my opinion, which is supported by the poems of Pamphos, these are surnames of Artemis. There is another account of them, which I know but shall omit.

Temple of Dionysus Eleuthereus

Then there is a small temple, into which every year on fixed days they carry the image of Dionysus Eleuthereus.

Altar of Eros

Before the entrance to the Academy is an altar to Eros, with an inscription that Charmus was the first Athenian to dedicate an altar to that god.

Altar of Prometheus

In the Academy is an altar to Prometheus, and from it they run to the city carrying burning torches. The contest is while running to keep the torch still alight; if the torch of the first runner goes out, he has no longer any claim to victory, but the second runner has. If his torch also goes out, then the third man is the victor. If all the torches go out, no one is left to be winner.

Altars of the Muses, of Athena and of Heracles

There is an altar to the Muses, and another to Hermes, and one within to Athena, and they have built one to Heracles. There is also an olive tree, accounted to be the second that appeared.


Sanctuary of Ptoan Apollo

It was located at a distance of fifteen stades away from the city (Paus. 9,23,5).

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