On one occasion, for instance, Heraclea was afflicted with famine, and the Pythian priestess at Delphi, bribed by Heraclides, assured his inquiring townsmen that the dearth would be stayed if they granted a golden crown to that philosopher.
Two projecting cliffs, named the Phaedriadae, frame the gorge in which the Castalian spring flows out, and just to the west of this, on a shelf above the ravine of the Pleistus, is the site of the Pythian shrine of Apollo and the Delphic oracle.
Gelo's brother and successor, Hiero(478-467), kept up the power of the city; he won himself a name by his encouragement of poets, especially Aeschylus and Simonides, and philosophers; and his Pythian and Olympian victories made him the special subject of the songs of Pindar and Bacchylides; among the recently discovered works of the latter are three Odes (iii.
The most famous statue of him is the Apollo Belvidere in the Vatican (found at Frascati, 1455), an imitation belonging to the early imperial period of a bronze statue representing him, with aegis in his left hand, driving back the Gauls from his temple at Delphi (27 9 B.C.), or, according to another view, fighting with the Pythian dragon.
A further point of contact between Hermes and Apollo may here be noted: both had prophetic powers, although Hermes held a place far inferior to that of the Pythian god, and possessed no famous oracle.
Gildersleeve edited in 1885 The Olympian and Pythian Odes of Pindar, with a brilliant and valuable introduction.
The questions had to be given in writing, and the responses were uttered by the Pythian priestess, in early times a maiden, later a woman over fifty attired as a maiden.
Among plants, the bay, used in expiatory sacrifices and also for making the crown of victory at the Pythian games, and the palm-tree, under which he was born in Delos, were sacred to him; among animals and birds, the wolf, the roe, the swan, the hawk, the raven, the crow, the snake, the mouse, the grasshopper and the griffin, a mixture of the eagle and the lion evidently of Eastern origin.
West and beyond the suburb, Heraclea, lay the paradise of Daphne, a park of woods and waters, in the midst of which rose a great temple to the Pythian Apollo, founded by Seleucus I.
Statues are often equipped with the accoutrements of war.3 The fame of the Pythian oracle at Delphi, connected with the slaying of Python by the god immediately after his birth, gave especial prominence to the idea of Apollo as a god of prophecy.