Pythian Games


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Pythian Games: Nemean Games, Isthmian Games

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.
..... Click the link for more information.
.

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.

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)
References in periodicals archive ?
Once water from the Castalian Spring provided cold baths for athletes training for the Pythian Games. Ruins of the original cold baths still can be seen in a square courtyard.
The reconstruction of the procession in honour of Neoptolemos preceding the Pythian Games in the Aithiopika, as given above, is unexpected, particularly because the extant sources on the death of Neoptolemos are almost entirely unanimous in describing his violent aggression rather than his genial benevolence towards Delphi.
However, Pausanias makes it clear that it was the people of Delphi, not the Thessalians, who were responsible for the cult, that it was celebrated on an annual basis as a ceremony of purification ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]), and that it was entirely separate from the Pythian Games (Paus.
In both odes Pindar associates Apollo with victory, which hardly surprises in poems celebrating success at the god's Pythian Games. Pythian 8 extends the concept by imagining Apollo welcoming the victorious athlete home from Delphi (18-20).
The inclusion of Actes 25 (Smyrna), among the recognition decrees of 246/5 allows very little time, perhaps a month or two, for Smyrna to be attacked, for Seleucus to grant Smyrna asylia in recognition of its loyalty, and for Delphi to acknowledge Smyrna's inviolability, all of which must precede the Pythian games of 246.
These were in addition to eight victories at the Isthmian Games, another Panhellenic (all-Greek) games festival which was held every two years; seven at the Nemean Games (also biennial); and one, by a walkover -- the Greek for which was `without dust' -- since no one would challenge him, at the Pythian Games, which were held every four years at Delphi.