Pythian Games

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Pythian games

(pĭth`ēən), in ancient Greece, games held at Delphi every four years (the third of each Olympiad). They included musical, literary, and athletic contests. The games honored Apollo and took their name from Pythia, the priestess of the oracle at DelphiDelphi
, locality in Phocis, Greece, near the foot of the south slope of Mt. Parnassós, c.6 mi (10 km) northeast of the port of Cirrha. It was the seat of the Delphic oracle, the most famous and most powerful of ancient Greece.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pythian Games

 

in ancient Greece, pan-Greek celebrations and contests held at the temple of Pythian Apollo in Delphi. The Pythian games were second in importance to the Olympic games. According to tradition, they were instituted by Apollo after his victory over the serpent Python. Originally, the games took place once every eight years and consisted of musical contests. Hymns in honor of Apollo were performed to the accompaniment of a cithara. Beginning around 582 B.C., the games included athletic competitions and chariot races; the interval between games was shortened to four years. A wreath of laurel (considered to be the sacred tree of Apollo) was awarded to the victors. The Pythian games were last held in the late fourth century A.D.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Pythian Games

Every four years in August
The Pythian Games were ancient Greek games considered next in importance to the Olympic Games. From 586 b.c.e., they were held every four years on the plain near Delphi. Competitions in instrumental music, singing, drama, and recitations in verse and prose were primary, but there were also athletic and equestrian contests modeled on those at Olympia. The prize was a crown of bay leaves.
See also Isthmian Games, Nemean Games, Olympic Games
SOURCES:
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 67
NewCentClassHandbk-1962, p. 956
OxClassDict-1970, p. 904 (c)
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
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