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Topographical indications for the site of the hippodrome of  Delphi

A preliminary presentation
Panos Valavanis
p. 623-644

Résumés

Indices topographiques pour l’identification du site de l’hippodrome de Delphes : rapport préliminaire.
La découverte de l’emplacement de l’hippodrome de Delphes constitue l’un des plus anciens problèmes de l’archéologie delphique. Les propositions qui ont été faites jusqu’à maintenant par les voyageurs et par les chercheurs contemporains n’ont pas été satisfaisantes : elles ont conduit à penser que la piste était enfouie sous les alluvions de l’oliveraie de Chrisso. La recherche des hippodromes grecs antiques a en général été vouée à l’échec en raison de leur absence d’équipement monumental et de leur implantation dans des lieux favorables, naturellement aménagés. Le site de Gônia, à 1 km au Nord d’Itéa, dans la partie sud‑ouest de la plaine de Kirrha, correspond aux informations données sur l’édifice par les sources antiques, de Pindare à Pausanias, et il présente toutes les caractéristiques requises pour un hippodrome antique. Une piste de dimensions comparables à celle de l’hippodrome d’Olympie peut facilement trouver place dans cette bande de terrain d’environ 1 km de long. Sur trois côtés le site est bordé de pentes naturelles, parfaites pour recevoir des spectateurs. On y relève même par endroit des sièges taillés dans la roche. À son extrémité nord, l’aspect théâtral du terrain fait songer à une sphendonè et tout près a été retrouvé un tambour grossièrement équarri, comparable à celui qui, à l’hippodrome du Mont Lycée, a été restitué à la base d’une borne de virage. Cette découverte renouvelle nos connaissances des anciens hippodromes grecs. Elle conduit à reposer la question de l’emplacement du stade archaïque de Delphes et du nombre de participants aux courses hippiques.

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Dédicace

To the memory of  Theocharis Melissaris

Notes de l’auteur

I would like to express my warmest thanks to Ted Worth, who translated my Greek text. Also to L. Mendoni, S. G. Miller, Ch. Kritzas, K. Kazamiakis, J.‑Ch. Moretti, D. Plantzos, St. Paraskevas, D. Paloukis, A. Chabrol, K. Stratis, N. Baka, D. Tsouklidou and E. Baziotopoulou for any kind of help and assistance. The director of the FSA and the colleagues of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Phokis facilitated our work in every possible way.

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 For the hippodrome of Olympia see Ebert 1989; W. Decker, “Zum Wagenrennen in Olympia. Probleme der (...)
  • 2 J.‑Ch. Moretti, “Les courses de chars dans l’Orient grec”, in Chr. Landes (ed.), Le cirque et les (...)

1The most ancient Greek hippodrome was created in Olympia in 680 BC, when equestrian contests were introduced into the Olympic Games.1 This innovation was adopted gradually by many cities and sanctuaries in all Greek world.2

  • 3 For the ancient Greek hippodromes in general, see Humphrey 1986; Chr. Höcker, DNP 5 (1998), 584, s (...)
  • 4 Humphrey 1986, p. 6.
  • 5 M. Scott, “The social life of Greek athletic facilities other than stadia”, in P. Christesen, D. K (...)

2However, despite the great number of equestrian events known from written sources, there has not been possible to point out with certainty an actual hippodrome, except for some minor ones, as for example that one at Mount Lykaion in Arcadia.3 Thus we could say that the ancient Greek hippodromes are ghost buildings. This was explained by the fact that “Very little permanent architecture existed in the Greek hippodrome” and as John Humphrey says: “Any reasonably level field with the right kind of sandy and not too stony soil would serve as the temporary hippodrome, for such an event held perhaps only once a year or once every four years […] And if the field designated for the race had banks or mounds close by, so much the better, since those could be used by spectators for a better view of the whole race”.4 And in the latest reference “…hippodromes seem to have remained simply sufficiently large areas of open ground, which were neither architecturally elaborated nor indeed permanently maintained as spaces for competition”.5

  • 6 Humphrey 1986, pp. 11‑12.
  • 7 Ebert 1989, pp. 96‑98; W. Petermandl, “Zur Länge der griechischen Pferderennbahn”, in J. Court, A. (...)

3With such scanty evidence, the study of ancient Greek hippodromes is limited to very subjective approaches. As for their shape and size there are two opinions: the first claims that the ancient Greek hippodromes did not have a standardized shape, and were idiosyncratic. As Humphrey again says: “They possessed so little in the way of permanent features and they varied so much in length and width that can hardly be considered a building type”.6 The other opinion, dependent on the uniformity of the ancient stadia and the standardization of the program of the equestrian contests at least in the biggest games, states that the ancient hippodromes must at least have had the same length.7

  • 8 Humphrey 1986, p. 12; J.‑Ch. Moretti (n. 2), pp. 21‑32, esp. p. 21; A. Schmölder-Veit, “Wagenrenne (...)

4All these opinions, of course, operated on the level of hypotheses and all entrusted their hopes in archaeology.8 And, indeed, a recent survey has revealed a place that covers a number of specifications for a hippodrome, in one of the Pan‑Hellenic sanctuaries, in Delphi itself.

Ancient Information on the hippodrome of Delphi

  • 9 For the introduction of the equestrian events in Pythia see O. Picard, “Δελφοί και Πυθικοί αγώνες” (...)
  • 10 Rousset 2002, p. 186 n. 701, p. 187 n. 704; W. Petermandl, Olympischer Pferdesport im Altertum. Di (...)
  • 11 L. D. Myrick, “The Way Up and Down: Trace Horse and Turning Imagery in the Orestes Play”, CJ 89 (1 (...)

5In Delphi a hippodrome had been in existence since the second decade of the 6th century, when equestrian contests were introduced in the celebration of the Pythia in 582 BC.9 Almost 100 years later we encounter the first written evidence in Pindar, who places the hippodrome in the plain of Kirrha or Krissa.10 From Sophocles’ Electra (701‑760), which was staged around 420, we learn that the chariot race, in which Orestes “was killed”, took place in the plain of Krissa.11

  • 12 About the possibility of Pausanias’ visit to the hippodrome of Delphi, see the thoughts of P. Aman (...)

6The most exact piece of information we receive from Pausanias, who visited Delphi around 160 AD and writes: “The length of the road from Delphi to Kirrha, the port of Delphi, is sixty stades. Descending to the plain you come to a race‑course, where at the Pythian Games the horses compete”.12

  • 13 G. Rougemont, CID I. Lois sacrées et règlements religieux (1977), pp. 115‑118, who prefers to conn (...)
  • 14 J. Pouilloux, “Travaux à Delphes à l’occasion des Pythia. Les comptes de Dion 247/6 ?”, in Études (...)

7Much of the information we have received from the Delphic inscriptions of the 4th and 3rd centuries, mostly sacred laws or detailed accounts of the treasurers, is unfortunately very fragmentary. In an inscription of 380 BC, a dromos, a racecourse or a hippo]dromos is associated with a fountain in the plain.13 In the well‑known inscription of archon Dion, from 247/6 BC, they are reported expenses for clearing and repair works in the hippodrome took place previous to the opening of the Pythian Games of that year.14

  • 15 On the issue of the relation of the two ancient place-names Kirrha and Krissa, see N. Robertson, “ (...)
  • 16 For the Sacred Land of Delphi see Rousset 2002, pp. 165‑177, 183‑211; D. Rousset, “Terres sacrées, (...)

8All of these direct testimonies from long ago have led to the placement of the Delphic hippodrome in the Krissaean or Kirrhean plain, that is, in the plain between modern Chrisso (probably ancient Krissa) and modern Kirrha (ancient Kirrha too, at the east of Itea).15 This region, today covered by olive groves, in antiquity and especially from the early 6th c. till the Roman Imperial period, was uncultivated as a part of the Sacred Land, devoted to Apollo.16

History of the research on the Delphic hippodrome

  • 17 Hellmann 1992, pp. 14‑54.
  • 18 P. Aupert, Le Stade, FD II (1979), p. 160; Hellmann 1992, p. 20. See the same confusion by W. Gell (...)
  • 19 J.‑J. Barthélémy, Voyage du jeune Anacharsis en Grèce, vers le milieu du quatrième siècle avant l’ (...)
  • 20 W. M. Leake, Travels in northern Greece II (1835), pp. 595‑596. Hellmann 1992, p. 28.

9The search for the hippodrome of Delphi has been a very old question, started many years before the great excavation of the sanctuary in 1892 by the French School of Athens.17 The monument is referred for the first time by Cyriacus Ankonites, who visited Delphi in 1436 but he recognizes the hippodrome in the ruins of the stadium.18 In his Travels of Anacharsis the Younger in Greece, Jean‑Jacques Barthélémy, apparently following the description of Pausanias, puts the hippodrome in the plain in the map with the Environs of Delphi.19 The first who dealt in detail with the issue was the English colonel, and father of historical topography, William M. Leake, who visited the region in 1806. He starts his essay with general remarks: “It is probable that the hippodromes of Greece, like our [english] race‑courses, were seldom much indebted to architecture and for this reason little or no remains of them are to be found”.20 He, then, placed the Delphic hippodrome in the spot named Kamara, directly below modern Chrisso.

  • 21 See for example a map of the French Army (1824) in Rousset 2002, fig. 24‑25. See also H. Pomtow, “ (...)
  • 22 H. Ulrichs, Reisen und Forschungen in Griechenland I. Reise über Delphi, durch Phokis und Boeotien (...)

10In a nearby spot, at the entrance of the valley of Pleistos, or generally somewhere in the plain, we see the hippodrome drawn in many maps made between 1824 and 1840, below Chrisso at the entrance of the Pleistos valley or in the middle of the plain, apparently following either the general information of Pausanias or the proposal of Leake.21 The only who places the hippodrome nearer to the sea is H. N. Ulrichs, who visited the region in 1838.22 The motive of his proposal was the location of the ruins of an ancient fountain near Itea, which according to the inscription of 380, is probably associated with the hippodrome itself.

  • 23 J.‑Fr. Bommelaer, Guide de Delphes. Le site (1991), p. 216. Cf. J.‑Fr. Bommelaer, D. Laroche, Guid (...)
  • 24 D. Rousset, “Territoire de Delphes et terre d’Apollon”, in L’espace grec. 150 ans de fouilles de l (...)
  • 25 Rousset 2002, pp. 58, 187; J.‑M. Luce (n. 24), p. 357.

11Subsequent travellers and archaeologists have simply repeated these proposals. French scholars don’t pay much attention to them and in the official guidebook of Delphi we see written: “[…] qui avaient lieu à l’hippodrome resté dans la plaine (emplacement non identifié)”.23 The most recent writings position the site of the hippodrome either in the lower part of the Pleistos valley, or in the plain just at the foot of the Chrisso heights, or along the western slope of the mount Kirphys.24 It is concluded that the hippodrome has left no remains either because of its humble structures or because they have been covered by the deposits of the torrential streams.25

The New Proposal

  • 26 Th. Melissaris, Η Ιστορία της Αµφίσσης και των πέριξ κωµοπόλεων και χωρίων (1923), pp. 43, 60‑61.

12The motive to start our research was the reference in a book about the history of Itea, published in 1923.26 The author, Theocharis Melissaris, a local history researcher, doubts Leake’s position of the hippodrome near Chrisso, and proposes the site of the equestrian games at the place named Gonia (means corner), north of Itea. He uses as evidence the natural form of the place and the “existence of natural and man‑made seats for spectators”, along with the “ruins of an ancient building” near its northeast side. Indeed, this specific region, which lies at the south‑west side of the ancient Kirrhean plain, about one kilometer north of Itea, is a long, completely level area, surrounded by gentle hills on three sides (fig. 1).

Fig. 1 – Map of the area of Delphi – Itea, with the indication of the site of the hippodrome of Delphi.

Fig. 1 – Map of the area of Delphi – Itea, with the indication of the site of the hippodrome of Delphi.

13When we first visited the region, in the Spring of 2012, the place was full of yellow flowers. As we were looking around, our glance stopped at the slope above the olive trees, where the yellow flowers were arranged in curves, one above the other. The slope almost has a theatrical appearance, corresponding to the sphendone of a hippodrome. Photos taken up close and a visit to these flower‑covered shapes confirmed our first assessment (fig. 2). From all points of the surrounding slopes the view to the oblong, level, region is excellent. On the other hand, a painful impression was made upon us by a modern quarry and a factory which destroy the landscape.

Fig. 2 – View of the curvy and gradient form of the northern slope, corresponding to the curvilinear north end of the hippodrome.

Fig. 2 – View of the curvy and gradient form of the northern slope, corresponding to the curvilinear north end of the hippodrome.
  • 27 Humphrey 1986, p. 6. Chr. Höcker (n. 3). The south point of the hill Glas, forming the NE part of (...)

14From all viewpoints we can see the special geomorphological characteristics that fully cover the specifications of an ancient hippodrome (fig. 3); that is, the vicinity of a level and oblong region for the arena, surrounded by a series of natural hilly slopes for the spectators.27

Fig. 3 – View of the site of the hippodrome from the N, indicating the ideal combination of a level and oblong region for the arena, surrounded by natural slopes for the spectators. Photo taken from the modern quarry.

Fig. 3 – View of the site of the hippodrome from the N, indicating the ideal combination of a level and oblong region for the arena, surrounded by natural slopes for the spectators. Photo taken from the modern quarry.

15Our proposal was very much supported by satellite images from Google Earth, which show, literally in relief, the geomorphology of the region (fig. 4). The most impressive element is the curve of the slope at the north side, which caught our attention from the first moment (fig. 5). From the air the curve of the modern dirt road can be distinguished, as well as the curved rows of the olive trees, and the curved retaining walls which follow the slope.

Fig. 4 – Satellite view of the site of the hippodrome.

Fig. 4 – Satellite view of the site of the hippodrome.

GoogleEarth.

Fig. 5 – View of the curvy north slope of the hippodrome from the E. To the right the modern quarry.

Fig. 5 – View of the curvy north slope of the hippodrome from the E. To the right the modern quarry.
  • 28 S. G. Miller, Excavations at Nemea II. The early Hellenistic stadium (2001), pp. 12‑14, 25‑28.
  • 29 Ebert 1989; W. Decker, J.‑P. Thuillier (n. 3), fig. 72; Decker 2012, p. 143, fig. 78.

16At the drawings of the site, we can easily discern the horizontal level of the area in connection with the slopes of the hills (fig. 7), which are very similar to those we have learned to expect from ancient Greek stadia. In fact, the slopes of the sides vary from 13 to 20 degrees (fig. 8), exactly the same to those of the stadium of Nemea, the best of excavated stadia at our disposal.28 The length of the oblong region is about 1 km, very near to the length of the 960 m of the hippodrome of Olympia, as J. Ebert has suggested.29

Fig. 6 – Photo of the site of the hippodrome used as a camp by a unit of the French Army during the 1st World War.

Fig. 6 – Photo of the site of the hippodrome used as a camp by a unit of the French Army during the 1st World War.

EFA.

Fig. 7 – Ground plan of the hippodrome in a map 1:25.000. In the flat area a sketch of the arena, with two different options of its length (see below p. 638).

Fig. 7 – Ground plan of the hippodrome in a map 1:25.000. In the flat area a sketch of the arena, with two different options of its length (see below p. 638).

K. Kazamiakis.

Fig. 8 – Cross section of the hippodrome near its northern end.

Fig. 8 – Cross section of the hippodrome near its northern end.

K. Kazamiakis.

  • 30 In a future paper I will present a different aspect on the exact borders of the sacred land to the (...)

17Hence, the combination of the geomorphological indications along with the information from ancient Greek sources, documents the placement of the Delphic hippodrome. The place belongs to the sacred land of Delphi, and from its higher points has a direct view up to the sanctuary and vice‑versa (fig. 9).30 This is a very important element for the symbolic connection between the distant racecourse installation and the center of worship.

Fig. 9 – View of the Kirrhaean or Krissaian plain from the Delphic Sanctuary, with the indication of the site of the hippodrome (arrow).

Fig. 9 – View of the Kirrhaean or Krissaian plain from the Delphic Sanctuary, with the indication of the site of the hippodrome (arrow).
  • 31 Luce (apud Rousset 2002, p. 58, n. 306) speaks for a depth of about 1 m between modern and ancient (...)
  • 32 For this research s. Chronique des fouilles en ligne no 5102/2015.
  • 33 D. G. Romano, M. Voyatzis (n. 3), p. 251.

18As it was to be expected, no archaeological evidence has survived, not even that referred to by the history researcher at the beginning of the 20th century. The area may have suffered a lot during the occupation of the site by a unit of the French army during the 1st World War (fig. 6). Geological studies indicate that the surface of the specific area in the ancient times is found about 4 meters deeper than the modern one.31 A short drill campaign done in August 2015 with the collaboration of A. Chabrol produced interesting results: in a depth of c. 4.00‑5.20 m a manmade layer was found, mainly composed of brown silty clay with inclusions of gravels and millimetric to centimetric stones, micro charcoals and small unidentified sherds.32 All these contents are very similar to those found in the excavation of the hippodrome on the Mount Lykaion.33

  • 34 Kourouniotis (n. 3), pp. 185‑190. For a restoration sketch of the turning posts in Mt. Lykaion see (...)

19Few relics survive on the slopes as well, due to centuries of vine and olive‑tree cultivation and the plundering of any useful building material. The only remains are the terraced layouts of some rocky ridges, which could have been used as seats for the spectators (fig. 10). It is also clear that an effort has been made to terrace the slopes, using retaining walls. Although these do resemble modern structures, they contain stones with ancient carving as well. On the northwestern slope survives a cylindrical limestone drum, roughly hewn, which very much resembles a similar one found in the hippodrome of Mount Lykaion, associated by the excavators with the turning posts (fig. 11).34

Fig. 10 – View of some rocky stairs in the SW slope of the hippodrome, probably used as seats for the spectators.

Fig. 10 – View of some rocky stairs in the SW slope of the hippodrome, probably used as seats for the spectators.

After K. Kourouniotis, PAE 1909, fig. 7.

Fig. 11 – a. Roughly hewn cylindrical drum lying on the NW slope of the hippodrome, probably used as a base for the turning post; b. Similar drum from the hippodrome of the Mt Lykaion.

Fig. 11 – a. Roughly hewn cylindrical drum lying on the NW slope of the hippodrome, probably used as a base for the turning post; b. Similar drum from the hippodrome of the Mt Lykaion.

After K. Kourouniotis, PAE 1909, fig. 7.

Thoughts and Suppositions Subsequent to the Discovery

  • 35 For the about 350 known winners of the Pythian Games see P. Amandry (n. 9), pp. 310‑314; J.‑Y. Str (...)
  • 36 Latest bibliography on the Delphic Charioteer, R. R. R. Smith, “Pindar athletes and the early Gree (...)

20If our proposal is convincing, then we have in front of us the second most significant hippodrome of ancient Greece, the hippodrome of Delphi. Here, chariots of famous ancient politicians and leaders raced and won, such as the tyrant Kleisthenes of Sikyon in the first games of 582, members of the Alkmaeonid family, three times between 482 and 470 the tyrant of Syracuse Hieron and in 462 the king of Kyrene Arkesilas.35 And, certainly, in the chariot races of 474 or 470 there the Delphic Charioteer himself raced and won.36

21As concluding remarks, let’s express some thoughts concerning the evidence for the new proposal:

22First, about its location. All ancient sources put the hippodrome in the plain, named either Kirrhaean or Krissean. Furthermore, Pausanias refers to the hippodrome not in his description of Delphi but in the end of his reference to Phokis (10.37.4‑6), when he speaks about Kirrha, the seaport of Delphi, and before he goes to Ozolean Lokris and their capital city Amphissa, located nearby to the NW. The proposed location is totally in accordance to this evidence, at the extreme west side of the plain.

  • 37 For the supposed starting mechanism of the Delphic hippodrome see Ch. Kritzas, “Nouvelles inscript (...)

23Concerning the chronology of the monument, three elements lead us to the conclusion that this is the very first construction: 1, the need for a hippodrome just at the introduction of the equestrian contests in 582 BC. 2, the fact that the place has been chosen due to its natural characteristics. And 3, that it was difficult to change the site of such venues through time. Thus, it seems that we have in front of us an archaic hippodrome, that could be dated within the second decade of the 6th c. The only possible developments over time were the ‘equipment’ of the hippodrome as, for example, the starting mechanism.37

  • 38 About the dimensions of the hippodrome in Olympia see above n. 7. A pythic stadion was a little sh (...)

24Dimensions. The length of the plain’s oblong surface, between the north and south slopes, is approximately 1.000 meters. If we accept the view that the length of the hippodromes of the Panhellenic sanctuaires was the same as that in Olympia, and the dimensions proposed by Ebert for the hippodrome of Olympia, then the length of the arena of the hippodrome of Delphi without the starting distance was 5 Pythic stadia, that is about 885 meters (fig. 7, continuous line).38

  • 39 W. Petermandl (n. 7), pp. 37‑50.
  • 40 Humphrey 1986, pp. 11‑12; D. G. Romano, Athletics and Mathematics in Archaic Corinth. The Origins (...)

25Very recently W. Petermandl has suggested that the length of the hippodrome at Olympia, and all other Greek hippodromes, was not 5, but rather 4 stadia.39 In such a case, the length of the arena of the Delphic hippodrome could have reached 710 meters, leaving enough free space to the south (fig. 7, dashed line). In the northern part we can also measure the width of the arena, which is about 100 meters, leaving more than enough space for the width of 64 m, as we know from the dimensions of the hippodrome at Olympia. The above mentioned ancient surface in a depth of 4 m, indicated by the drill campaign, shows that with the inclination of the slopes the width of the 100 m diminishes at such a depth, becoming shorter, more similar to the one of the Olympic hippodrome. If all these dimensions are near the reality, it will be very interesting to renew the issue on the relation between the ancient Greek hippodrome and the roman circus.40

  • 41 See a relevant situation in the stadia of Priene, Delos and in the initial phase of the stadium of (...)
  • 42 S. G. Miller (n. 28), pp. 25‑28.

26The Delphic hippodrome has natural slopes for the spectators, on all three sides and a small part of the fourth.41 At the long east side, where there is no natural boundary, we must suppose that there was a long, low embankment, such as the one described by Pausanias for Olympia (6.20.15) or some other kind of boundary. It seems that not much work for the formation of the hippodrome was needed, due to the natural form of the ground. The final shape of the spectator area must not have been very different from that of the stadium in Nemea, but with more high naturally shaped stairs in the higher levels.42

  • 43 Ebert 1989; Decker 2012, p. 145. For the number of contestants in the equestrian events see N. Cro (...)

27Concerning the number of participants in the chariot races of the Pythian games, we have two different pieces of ancient evidence. According to Sophocles there were 10, but according to Pindar 41. This difference in the number may have been resolved in 1989, when J. Ebert proposed a palaeographic-philological correction of the text of Pindar, reducing the forty opponents of the King of Kyrene, Arkesilas from 40 to 4.43 Now we can look at the issue practically, having at our disposal the dimensions of the hippodrome itself. Since the four horses of a chariot made up a width of approximately 3 meters, the 41 chariots, one beside the other, at least in the starting position, would have needed a width of more than 130 meters, which is wider than the arena itself. And so, even if Ebert’s correction is not valid, we have to accept Sophocles’ calculation and thus reject Pindar’s, as based on poetic license.

  • 44 See above p. 627 and n. 13.
  • 45 S. G. Miller, Νεµέα. Μουσείο και Αρχαιολογικός χώρος (2005), pp. 134‑136; S. G. Miller, “Excavatio (...)
  • 46 See above p. 628.

28French research has given special weight to the correlation of the Delphic hippodrome with a certain fountain referred to in the Delphic inscription from 380 BC, as we have already seen.44 This is why the search for the hippodrome has been connected with the existence of a spring. First of all, we are not sure that these two monuments were close to each other and that there was a connection between them. In any case, in the place where we have located the hippodrome there is no spring nearby. Nevertheless, water could have been transported near the hippodrome by means of a clay pipe, like to the reservoir for the putative hippodrome in Nemea,45 from a spring, today located about one kilometer to the northeast, at the entrance of the Pleistos Valley. Ulrichs’ fountain is to the south, nearer to the hippodrome but in a lower level.46

  • 47 For the relation between the hippodrome and the archaic stadium of Delphi see P. Aupert, Le Stade,(...)
  • 48 For the hippo‑stadia in the Antiquity see J. H. Humphrey, “ ‘Amphitheatrical’ Hippo-Stadia”, in A. (...)

29If the proposed location of the hippodrome of Delphi is correct, we may have also found the location of the archaic stadium of Delphi, being in the same place47. So, we have another case with a hippo-stadium, maybe the earliest one, a phenomenon well known from the Roman architecture.48

Epilogue

  • 49 R. Weir, Roman Delphi and its Pythian Games (= BAR Int. Series 1306) (2004), p. 15. Cf. J.‑M. Luce(...)
  • 50 There is a possibility that during the long history of the area the exact borders of the sacred la (...)

30There is no doubt that the ideal natural characteristics of the site were the basic criteria for the Amphictions to choose this certain place for the hippodrome. But this choice had also political reasons and results: “The coastal plain had originally belonged to Kirrha. After the end of the first sacred war in 590, the Amphictions gave it over to the sanctuary as a possession of Apollo, thereby demonstrating their own triumph over the vanquished polis that had dared to usurp Delphi. The first games of 586 were victory games to commemorate the taking of Kirrha and its booty did furnish their prizes.”49 By introducing athletic and equestrian events in 582 and choosing this venue for Pythian Games, the Amphictiony put a symbolic stamp on the text of the submission, and a physical stamp on the land they had won. And by holding the games every four years from then on, they reiterated their symbolic and physical control long after the original circumstances of the gesture.50

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Bibliographie

P. Amandry, “ Marmara”, in L’antre corycien II, BCH Suppl. 9 (1984), p. 451.

P. Amandry, “La fête des Pythia”, PAA 65 (1991), pp. 279‑317.

P. Aupert, Le Stade, FD II (1979).

P. Aupert, “Le cadre des Jeux Pythiques”, in W. Coulson, H. Kyrieleis (eds.), Proceedings of an International Symposium on the Olympic Games (1992), pp. 67‑71.

J.‑J. Barthélémy, Voyage du jeune Anacharsis en Grèce, vers le milieu du quatrième siècle avant l’ère vulgaire (1832).

J.‑Fr. Bommelaer, Guide de Delphes. Le site (1991).

J.‑Fr. Bommelaer, D. Laroche, Guide de Delphes. Le site (2015).

N. Crowther, “Number of Contestants in Greek athletic contests”, Nikephoros 6 (1993), pp. 39‑52.

J. Davis, “The Origins of the Festivals, especially Delphi and the Pythia”, in S. Hornblower, C. Morgan (eds.), Pindar’s Poetry Patron and Festivals: From Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire (2007), pp. 47‑69.

W. Decker, “Zum Wagenrennen in Olympia. Probleme der Forschung”, in W. Coulson, H. Kyrieleis (eds.), Proceedings of an International Symposium on the Olympic Games (1992), pp. 129‑139.

W. Decker, “Zur Vorbereitung und Organization griechischer Agone”, Nikephoros 10 (1997), pp. 77‑102.

W. Decker, J.‑P. Thuillier, Le sport dans L’Antiquité (2004).

W. Decker, “Wagenrennen in römischen Aegypten”, in J. Neils Clement, J.‑M. Roddaz (eds.), Le cirque romain et son image (2008), pp. 347‑358.

W. Decker, Sport in der griechischen Antike. Vom minoischen Wettkampf bis zu den Olympischen Spielen (2012) Hildesheim 2.

H. Dodge, “Venues for Spectacle and Sport (other than Amphitheaters) in the Roman World”, in P. Christesen, D. Kyle (eds.), A Companion to Sport and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity (2013), pp. 561‑577.

J. Ebert, “Neues zum Hippodrom und zu den hippischen Konkurenzen”, Nikephoros 2 (1989), pp. 89‑107.

Kl. Freitag, Der Golf von Korinth. Historisch-Topographische Untersuchungen von der Archaik bis in das 1. Jh. v. Chr (2001).

M. Golden, Sport in the ancient World from A to Z (2004), pp. 83‑84.

M.‑Chr. Hellmann, “Voyageurs et fouilleurs à Delphes”, in La redécouverte de Delphes (1992), pp. 14‑54.

M.‑Chr. Hellmann, “Charactères de l’épigraphie architecturale de Delphes”, in A. Jacquemin, Delphes, cent ans après la Grande Fouille, essai de bilan (2000), BCH Suppl. 36, pp. 167‑177.

Chr. Höcker, DNP 5 (1998), 584, s.v. “Hippodromos”.

J. H. Humphrey, Roman Circuses. Arenas for Chariot Racing (1986).

J. H. Humphrey,“ ‘Amphitheatrical’ Hippo-Stadia”, in A. Raban, K.G. Holum (eds.), Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after two Millennia (1996), pp. 121‑129.

K. Kourouniotis, PAE 1909, pp. 185‑200.

Ch. Kritzas, “Nouvelles inscriptions d’Argos : les archives des comptes du trésor sacré (ive siècle av. J.‑C.)”, CRAI 150 (2006), pp. 397‑434.

W. M. Leake, Travels in northern Greece II (1835).

J.‑M. Luce, “Le paysage delphique du xiie siècle à la fin du ve siècle av. J.‑C.”, CRAI 143 (1999), pp. 975‑995.

J.‑M. Luce, À la frontière du profane at du sacré. Fouilles de l’aire du pilier des Rhodiens (1990‑1992) (2008), FD II.

V. Mathé, “Coût et financement des stades et des hippodromes”, in Br. Le Guen (ed.), L’argent dans les concours du monde grec. Actes du colloque international, Saint Denis et Paris 5‑6 Déc. 2008 (2010), pp. 189‑223.

J. McInerney, The Folds of Parnassos. Land and Ethnicity in ancient Phokis (1999).

Th. Melissaris, Η Ιστορία της Αµφίσσης και των πέριξ κωµοπόλεων και χωρίων (1923).

S. G. Miller, Excavations at Nemea II. The early Hellenistic stadium (2001).

S. G. Miller, Νεµέα. Μουσείο και Αρχαιολογικός χώρος (2005).

S. G. Miller, “Excavations at Nemea, 1997‑2001”, Hesperia 84 (2015), pp. 277‑353.

J.‑Ch. Moretti, “Les courses de chars dans l’Orient grec”, in Chr. Landes (ed.), Le cirque et les courses de chars. Rome-Byzance, Catalogue de l’exposition Lattes (1990), pp. 21‑32.

D. Mulliez, “Οι Πυθικοί αγώνες. Η µαρτυρία των επιγραφών”, in R. Kolonia (ed.), Αρχαία θέατρα της Στερεάς Ελλάδας (2013), pp. 147‑154.

L. D. Myrick, “The Way Up and Down: Trace Horse and Turning Imagery in the Orestes Play”, CJ 89 (1994), pp. 131‑148.

V. Olivova, “Chariot Racing in the Ancient World”, Nikephoros 2 (1989), pp. 65‑88.

J. Oulhen, “Phokis”, in M. H. Hansen, T. H. Nielsen, An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis (2004), pp. 399‑430.

J. Patrich, “Roman hippo-stadia. The ‘hippodrome’ of Gerasa Reconsidered in Light of the Herodian hippo-stadium of Caesarea Maritima”, Aram Periodical 23 (2011), pp. 211‑251.

S. Perrot, “Les premiers concours des Pythia”, Nikephoros 22 (2009), pp. 7‑13.

W. Petermandl, “Zur Länge der griechischen Pferderennbahn”, in J. Court, A. Müller, Chr. Wacker (eds.), Jahrbuch 2009 der Deutschen Gesselschaft für Geschichte des Sportwissenschaft e.V. (2011), pp. 37‑50.

W. Petermandl, Olympischer Pferdesport im Altertum. Die schriftliche Quellen (2013).

O. Picard, “Δελφοί και Πυθικοί αγώνες”, in O. Alexandri (ed.), Το Πνεύµα και το Σώµα. Οι αθλητικοί αγώνες στην αρχαία ΕλλάδαI (1989), pp. 68‑79.

H. Pomtow, “Hippokrates und die Asklepiaden in Delphi”, Klio 15 (1917‑1918), pp. 303‑338.

J. Pouilloux, “Travaux à Delphes à l’occasion des Pythia. Les comptes de Dion 247/6 ?”, in Études delphiques (1977), BCH Suppl. IV, pp. 103‑123.

B. Rieger, Von der Linie (gramme) zur Hysplex (2004), Nikephoros Beiheft 9.

N. Robertson, “The myth of the First Sacred War”, The Classical Quarterly 28 (1978), pp. 38‑73.

D. G. Romano, Athletics and Mathematics in Archaic Corinth. The Origins of the Greek Stadion (1993).

D. G. Romano, “Λύκαιον Όρος”, in A. Vlachopoulos (ed.), Αρχαιολογία. Πελοπόννησος (2012), pp. 266‑269.

D. G. Romano, M. Voyatzis, “Mt Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project Part I. The Upper Sanctuary”, Hesperia 83 (2014), pp. 569‑652.

D. G. Romano, M. Voyatzis, “Mt Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project Part II”, Hesperia 84 (2015), pp. 207‑276.

G. Rougemont, CID I. Lois sacrées et règlements religieux (1977).

D. Rousset, “Territoire de Delphes et terre d’Apollon”, in L’espace grec. 150 ans de fouilles de l’École francaise d’Athènes (1996), pp. 44‑49.

D. Rousset, Le territoire de Delphes et la terre d’Apollon (2002).

D. Rousset, “Terres sacrées, terres publiques et terres privées à Delphes”, CRAI 146 (2002), pp. 215‑241.

P. Schollmayer, Handbuch der antiken Architektur (2013).

M. Scott, “The social life of Greek athletic facilities other than stadia”, in P. Christesen, D. Kyle (eds), A Companion to Sport and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity (2013), pp. 295‑308.

R. R. R. Smith, “Pindar athletes and the early Greek statue habit”, in S. Hornblower, C. Morgan (eds.), Pindar’s Poetry, Patron and Festivals: From Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire (2007), pp. 83‑139.

A. SchmölderVeit, “Wagenrennen”, in R. Wünsche, Fl. Knauss (eds.), Lockender Lorbeer. Sport und Spiele in der Antike (2004).

J.‑Y. Strasser, “Pythionikai”. Recherches sur les vainqueurs aux Pythia de Delphes (2001).

H. Ulrichs, Reisen und Forschungen in Griechenland I. Reise über Delphi, durch Phokis und Boeotien bis Theben (1840).

P. Valavanis, Hysplex. The Starting Mechanism in Ancient Stadia. A Contribution to Ancient Greek Technology (1999).

P. Valavanis, “Βαλβίδες και Ύσπληγες του σταδίου της Ρόδου”, in Ρόδος 2400 χρόνια. Η πόλη της Ρόδου από την ίδρυσή της µέχρι την κατάληψη από τους Τούρκους (1523) (1999), pp. 95‑108.

P. Valavanis « O ιππόδροµος και τα δυτικά όρια της ιεράς χώρας των Δελφών », in P. Valavanis, J.‑Ch. Moretti (eds), Les hippodromes et les concours hippiques en Grèce ancienne, BCH Suppl. (in press).

R. Weir, Roman Delphi and its Pythian Games (= BAR Int. Series 1306) (2004).

Bibliographical Abbreviations

Decker 2012 = W. Decker, Sport in der griechischen Antike. Vom minoischen Wettkampf bis zu den Olympischen Spielen.

Ebert 1989 = J. Ebert, “Neues zum Hippodrom und zu den hippischen Konkurenzen”, Nikephoros 2, pp. 89‑107.

Hellmann 1992 = M.‑Chr. Hellmann, “Voyageurs et fouilleurs à Delphes”, in La redécouverte de Delphes, pp. 14‑54.

Humphrey 1986 = J. H. Humphrey, Roman Circuses. Arenas for Chariot Racing.

Rousset 2002 = D. Rousset, Le territoire de Delphes et la terre d’Apollon.

Haut de page

Notes

1 For the hippodrome of Olympia see Ebert 1989; W. Decker, “Zum Wagenrennen in Olympia. Probleme der Forschung”, in W. Coulson, H. Kyrieleis (eds.), Proceedings of an International Symposium on the Olympic Games (1992), pp. 134‑135; Decker 2012, pp. 143‑145.

2 J.‑Ch. Moretti, “Les courses de chars dans l’Orient grec”, in Chr. Landes (ed.), Le cirque et les courses de chars. Rome-Byzance, Catalogue de l’exposition Lattes (1990), pp. 22‑23; V. Olivova, “Chariot Racing in the Ancient World”, Nikephoros 2 (1989), pp. 65‑88; Decker 2012, pp. 142‑143.

3 For the ancient Greek hippodromes in general, see Humphrey 1986; Chr. Höcker, DNP 5 (1998), 584, s.v. “Hippodromos; W. Decker, J.‑P. Thuillier, Le sport dans l’Antiquité (2004), pp. 103‑105; M. Golden, Sport in the ancient World from A to Z (2004), pp. 83‑84; Decker 2012, pp. 142‑145; P. Schollmayer, Handbuch der antiken Architektur (2013), pp. 138‑139. For the hippodrome of Mt. Lykaion see Paus. 8.38.5; K. Kourouniotis, PAE 1909, pp. 185‑190; D. G. Romano, “Λύκαιον Όρος”, in A. Vlachopoulos (ed.), Αρχαιολογία. Πελοπόννησος (2012), p. 269, fig. 518; D. G. Romano, M. Voyatzis, “Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project Part I. The Upper Sanctuary”, Hesperia 83 (2014), pp. 569‑652, fig. 2; id., “Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project Part II”, Hesperia 84 (2015), pp. 245‑258. For the supposed hippodrome of Nemea, see S. G. Miller, Νεµέα. Μουσείο και Αρχαιολογικός χώρος (2005), pp. 132‑134; id., “Excavations at Nemea, 1997‑2001”, Hesperia 84 (2015), pp. 277‑353, esp. pp. 344‑348.

4 Humphrey 1986, p. 6.

5 M. Scott, “The social life of Greek athletic facilities other than stadia”, in P. Christesen, D. Kyle, A Companion to Sport and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity (2013), pp. 295‑308, esp. p. 296.

6 Humphrey 1986, pp. 11‑12.

7 Ebert 1989, pp. 96‑98; W. Petermandl, “Zur Länge der griechischen Pferderennbahn”, in J. Court, A. Müller, Chr. Wacker (eds.), Jahrbuch 2009 der Deutschen Gesselschaft für Geschichte des Sportwissenschaft e.V. (2011), pp. 37‑50, esp. pp. 39‑42. See also the dimensions of the hippodrome on Mt. Lykaion (260 × 102 m): D. G. Romano, M. Voyatzis (n. 3, 2015), pp. 245‑246, though located on a very mountainous place.

8 Humphrey 1986, p. 12; J.‑Ch. Moretti (n. 2), pp. 21‑32, esp. p. 21; A. Schmölder-Veit, “Wagenrennen”, in R. Wünsche, Fl. Knauss (eds.), Lockender Lorbeer. Sport und Spiele in der Antike (2004), p. 183; W. Petermandl (n. 7), p. 49.

9 For the introduction of the equestrian events in Pythia see O. Picard, “Δελφοί και Πυθικοί αγώνες”, in O. Alexandri (ed.), Το Πνεύµα και το Σώµα. Οι αθλητικοί αγώνες στην αρχαία Ελλάδα (1989), esp. pp. 73‑74; P. Amandry, “La fête des Pythia”, PAA 65 (1990), pp. 279‑317, esp. pp. 308‑309; J. Davis, “The Origins of the Festivals, especially Delphi and the Pythia”, in S. Hornblower, C. Morgan (eds.), Pindar’s Poetry, Patron and Festivals: From Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire (2007), pp. 47‑69; S. Perrot, “Les premiers concours des Pythia”, Nikephoros 22 (2009), pp. 7‑13.

10 Rousset 2002, p. 186 n. 701, p. 187 n. 704; W. Petermandl, Olympischer Pferdesport im Altertum. Die schriftliche Quellen (2013), pp. 36, 98, 107. The 7 of the 12 Pythian Odes of Pindar referred to the winners of equestrian events. An indirect reference to the Delphic Hippodrome is found in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, verse 269. See N. Robertson (n. 15), p. 42, n. 1.

11 L. D. Myrick, “The Way Up and Down: Trace Horse and Turning Imagery in the Orestes Play”, CJ 89 (1994), pp. 131‑148.

12 About the possibility of Pausanias’ visit to the hippodrome of Delphi, see the thoughts of P. Amandry, “Marmara”, in L’antre corycien II, BCH Suppl. IX (1984), p. 451, n. 14.

13 G. Rougemont, CID I. Lois sacrées et règlements religieux (1977), pp. 115‑118, who prefers to connect the word δρόµος with the stadion and not with the hippodrome. For the meaning of the word δρόµος, see W. Decker, “Zur Vorbereitung und Organization griechischer Agone”, Nikephoros 10 (1997), pp. 77‑102, esp. p. 101.

14 J. Pouilloux, “Travaux à Delphes à l’occasion des Pythia. Les comptes de Dion 247/6 ?”, in Études delphiques, BCH Suppl. IV (1977), pp. 103‑123; W. Decker (n. 13), pp. 99‑101; M.‑Chr. Hellmann, “Charactères de l’épigraphie architecturale de Delphes”, in A. Jacquemin (ed.), Delphes, 110 ans après la Grande Fouille, essai de bilan, BCH Suppl. 36 (2000), pp. 167‑177, esp. p. 171.

15 On the issue of the relation of the two ancient place-names Kirrha and Krissa, see N. Robertson, “The myth of the First Sacred War”, The Classical Quarterly 28 (1978), pp. 38‑73; J. McInerney, The Folds of Parnassos. Land and Ethnicity in ancient Phokis (1999), pp. 309‑312; Kl. Freitag, Der Golf von Korinth. Historisch-Topographische Untersuchungen von der Archaik bis in das 1. Jh. v.Chr., (2001), pp. 114‑135; Rousset 2002, pp. 32‑33, 43‑44, 64‑65; J. Oulhen, “Phokis” in M. H. Hansen, T. H. Nielsen, An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis (2004), pp. 405, 419‑420.

16 For the Sacred Land of Delphi see Rousset 2002, pp. 165‑177, 183‑211; D. Rousset, “Terres sacrées, terres publiques et terres privées à Delphes”, CRAI 146 (2002), pp. 215‑241, esp. pp. 218‑228. For the ancient flora of the region see J. McInerney (n. 15), pp. 62‑65; J.‑M. Luce, “Le paysage delphique du xiie siècle à la fin du ve siècle av. J.‑C.”, CRAI 143 (1999), pp. 975‑995.

17 Hellmann 1992, pp. 14‑54.

18 P. Aupert, Le Stade, FD II (1979), p. 160; Hellmann 1992, p. 20. See the same confusion by W. Gell in 1801‑1802 in Hellmann 1992, p. 25.

19 J.‑J. Barthélémy, Voyage du jeune Anacharsis en Grèce, vers le milieu du quatrième siècle avant l’ère vulgaire (1832), pl. 23.

20 W. M. Leake, Travels in northern Greece II (1835), pp. 595‑596. Hellmann 1992, p. 28.

21 See for example a map of the French Army (1824) in Rousset 2002, fig. 24‑25. See also H. Pomtow, “Hippokrates und die Asklepiaden in Delphi”, Klio 15 (1917/8), pp. 303‑338.

22 H. Ulrichs, Reisen und Forschungen in Griechenland I. Reise über Delphi, durch Phokis und Boeotien bis Theben (1840), pp. 35‑112. Hellmann 1992, p. 39.

23 J.‑Fr. Bommelaer, Guide de Delphes. Le site (1991), p. 216. Cf. J.‑Fr. Bommelaer, D. Laroche, Guide de Delphes. Le site (2015), p. 33, 262; M.‑Chr. Hellmann, “Charactères de l’épigraphie architecturale de Delphes”, A. Jacquemin (ed.) (n. 14), pp. 167‑177, esp. p. 171.

24 D. Rousset, “Territoire de Delphes et terre d’Apollon”, in L’espace grec. 150 ans de fouilles de l’École française d’Athènes (1996), pp. 44‑49, esp. p. 49; D. Rousset (n. 16), p. 227; J.‑M. Luce, À la frontière du profane et du sacré. Fouilles de l’aire du pilier des Rhodiens (1990‑1992), FD II (2008), p. 357.

25 Rousset 2002, pp. 58, 187; J.‑M. Luce (n. 24), p. 357.

26 Th. Melissaris, Η Ιστορία της Αµφίσσης και των πέριξ κωµοπόλεων και χωρίων (1923), pp. 43, 60‑61.

27 Humphrey 1986, p. 6. Chr. Höcker (n. 3). The south point of the hill Glas, forming the NE part of the hippodrome is today totally destroyed by the modern quarry (fig. 3, 5). An idea of its form can be drawn from a photo by the French Army during the 1st World War (fig. 6).

28 S. G. Miller, Excavations at Nemea II. The early Hellenistic stadium (2001), pp. 12‑14, 25‑28.

29 Ebert 1989; W. Decker, J.‑P. Thuillier (n. 3), fig. 72; Decker 2012, p. 143, fig. 78.

30 In a future paper I will present a different aspect on the exact borders of the sacred land to the Locrian territory, contrary to the current belief. P. Valavanis « O ιππόδροµος και τα δυτικά όρια της ιεράς χώρας των Δελφών », in P. Valavanis, J.‑Ch. Moretti (eds), Les hippodromes et les concours hippiques en Grèce ancienne, BCH Suppl. (in press). For the current opinions on the border of the Sacred Land, see D. Rousset (n. 24, 1996); Rousset 2002, pp. 94‑98, 171‑175; D. Rousset (n. 16), passim; J.‑M. Luce (n. 24), p. 354.

31 Luce (apud Rousset 2002, p. 58, n. 306) speaks for a depth of about 1 m between modern and ancient surface in other places of the plain.

32 For this research s. Chronique des fouilles en ligne no 5102/2015.

33 D. G. Romano, M. Voyatzis (n. 3), p. 251.

34 Kourouniotis (n. 3), pp. 185‑190. For a restoration sketch of the turning posts in Mt. Lykaion see D. G. Romano, M. Voyatzis (n. 3), pp. 248‑250.

35 For the about 350 known winners of the Pythian Games see P. Amandry (n. 9), pp. 310‑314; J.‑Y. Strasser, ‘Pythionikai’. Recherches sur les vainqueurs aux Pythia de Delphes (2001); D. Mulliez, “Οι Πυθικοί αγώνες. Η µαρτυρία των επιγραφών”, in R. Kolonia (ed.), Αρχαία θέατρα της Στερεάς Ελλάδας (2013), pp. 147‑154, esp. pp. 150‑151.

36 Latest bibliography on the Delphic Charioteer, R. R. R. Smith, “Pindar athletes and the early Greek statue habit”, in S. Hornblower, C. Morgan (eds.), Pindar’s Poetry, Patron and Festivals: From Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire (2007), pp. 83‑139, esp. pp. 126‑130.

37 For the supposed starting mechanism of the Delphic hippodrome see Ch. Kritzas, “Nouvelles inscriptions d’Argos : les archives des comptes du trésor sacré (ive siècle av. J.‑C.)”, CRAI 150 (2006), pp. 397‑434, esp. p. 415, n. 53; V. Mathé, “Coût et financement des stades et des hippodromes”, in Br. Le Guen (ed.), L’argent dans les concours du monde grec. Actes du colloque international Saint Denis et Paris 5‑6 Déc. 2008 (2010), pp. 189‑223, esp. p. 196.

38 About the dimensions of the hippodrome in Olympia see above n. 7. A pythic stadion was a little shorter than the olympic.

39 W. Petermandl (n. 7), pp. 37‑50.

40 Humphrey 1986, pp. 11‑12; D. G. Romano, Athletics and Mathematics in Archaic Corinth. The Origins of the Greek Stadion (1993), pp. 95‑101; W. Decker, “Wagenrennen in römischen Aegypten”, in J. Neils Clement, J.‑M. Roddaz (eds.), Le cirque romain et son image (2008), pp. 347‑358, esp. p. 350; Decker 2012, pp. 143, 145.

41 See a relevant situation in the stadia of Priene, Delos and in the initial phase of the stadium of Delphi. P. Aupert, “Le cadre des Jeux Pythiques”, in W. Coulson, H. Kyrieleis (eds.), Proceedings of an International Symposium on the Olympic Games (1992), pp. 67‑71, esp. p. 67.

42 S. G. Miller (n. 28), pp. 25‑28.

43 Ebert 1989; Decker 2012, p. 145. For the number of contestants in the equestrian events see N. Crowther, “Number of Contestants in Greek athletic contests”, Nikephoros 6 (1993), pp. 39‑52.

44 See above p. 627 and n. 13.

45 S. G. Miller, Νεµέα. Μουσείο και Αρχαιολογικός χώρος (2005), pp. 134‑136; S. G. Miller, “Excavations at Nemea, 1997‑2001”, Hesperia 84 (2015), pp. 277‑353, esp. pp. 335‑344.

46 See above p. 628.

47 For the relation between the hippodrome and the archaic stadium of Delphi see P. Aupert, Le Stade, FD II (1979), pp. 54, 164‑165; B. Rieger, Von der Linie (gramme) zur Hysplex, Nikephoros Beiheft 9 (2004), p. 185‑186. More on the issue, P. Valavanis (n. 30).

48 For the hippo‑stadia in the Antiquity see J. H. Humphrey, “ ‘Amphitheatrical’ Hippo-Stadia”, in A. Raban, K. G. Holum (eds.), Caesarea Maritima: A Retrospective after two Millennia (1996), pp. 121‑129; P. Valavanis, Hysplex. The Starting Mechanism in Ancient Stadia. A Contribution to Ancient Greek Technology (1999), pp. 91‑95; P. Valavanis, “Βαλβίδες και Ύσπληγες του σταδίου της Ρόδου”, in Ρόδος 2400 χρόνια. Η πόλη της Ρόδου από την ίδρυσή της µέχρι την κατάληψη από τους Τούρκους (1523) (1999), pp. 95‑108, esp. pp. 106‑108; W. Decker, (n. 40), pp. 347‑358, esp. p. 350; J. Patrich, “Roman hippo-stadia. The ‘hippodrome’ of Gerasa Reconsidered in Light of the Herodian hippo-stadium of Caesarea Maritima”, Aram Periodical 23 (2011), pp. 211‑251; H. Dodge, “Venues for Spectacle and Sport (other than Amphitheaters) in the Roman World”, in P. Christesen, D. Kyle (eds.), A Companion to Sport and Spectacle in Greek and Roman Antiquity (2013), pp. 561‑577, esp. p. 562.

49 R. Weir, Roman Delphi and its Pythian Games (= BAR Int. Series 1306) (2004), p. 15. Cf. J.‑M. Luce (n. 24), p. 357.

50 There is a possibility that during the long history of the area the exact borders of the sacred land could have changed. But the hippodrome remained a permanent landmark strongly indicating the presence of the sanctuary in the plain. 

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Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 – Map of the area of Delphi – Itea, with the indication of the site of the hippodrome of Delphi.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 876k
Titre Fig. 2 – View of the curvy and gradient form of the northern slope, corresponding to the curvilinear north end of the hippodrome.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 927k
Titre Fig. 3 – View of the site of the hippodrome from the N, indicating the ideal combination of a level and oblong region for the arena, surrounded by natural slopes for the spectators. Photo taken from the modern quarry.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 868k
Titre Fig. 4 – Satellite view of the site of the hippodrome.
Crédits GoogleEarth.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,4M
Titre Fig. 5 – View of the curvy north slope of the hippodrome from the E. To the right the modern quarry.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 859k
Titre Fig. 6 – Photo of the site of the hippodrome used as a camp by a unit of the French Army during the 1st World War.
Crédits EFA.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 328k
Titre Fig. 7 – Ground plan of the hippodrome in a map 1:25.000. In the flat area a sketch of the arena, with two different options of its length (see below p. 638).
Crédits K. Kazamiakis.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 549k
Titre Fig. 8 – Cross section of the hippodrome near its northern end.
Crédits K. Kazamiakis.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 117k
Titre Fig. 9 – View of the Kirrhaean or Krissaian plain from the Delphic Sanctuary, with the indication of the site of the hippodrome (arrow).
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 956k
Titre Fig. 10 – View of some rocky stairs in the SW slope of the hippodrome, probably used as seats for the spectators.
Crédits After K. Kourouniotis, PAE 1909, fig. 7.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 935k
Titre Fig. 11 – a. Roughly hewn cylindrical drum lying on the NW slope of the hippodrome, probably used as a base for the turning post; b. Similar drum from the hippodrome of the Mt Lykaion.
Crédits After K. Kourouniotis, PAE 1909, fig. 7.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/bch/docannexe/image/565/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 996k
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Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Panos Valavanis, « Topographical indications for the site of the hippodrome of  Delphi »Bulletin de correspondance hellénique, 141.2 | 2017, 623-644.

Référence électronique

Panos Valavanis, « Topographical indications for the site of the hippodrome of  Delphi »Bulletin de correspondance hellénique [En ligne], 141.2 | 2017, mis en ligne le 01 juin 2019, consulté le 25 septembre 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bch/565 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bch.565

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Auteur

Panos Valavanis

Professor of Classical Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

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Bulletin de correspondance hellénique

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