Serpent Column and Oracle of Delphi

The next time you go to Sultanahmet square, try to remember that you will be standing over an ancient hippodrome, and the famous Serpent Column that Pythia used to sit on it and communicate with Apollo is right next to you!..

  • 14.11.2016
  • Pelin Sürmeli
 

In the time of Ancient Greece, there was a world famous oracle in Delphi, her name was Pythia. She used to sit on his tripod placed on the top a chasm, so she can connect with the center of the earth. After smelling bay leaves, she used to get into a trance. Apollo, the God of knowledge, used to communicate with her, and answer her questions. Questions that tell the fate of big empires, questions that tell the fortune of civilizations; some fallen, some disappeared… Rumors has it, before the Battle of Plataea, Persian King went to the Oracle of Delphi. The Oracle said ‘The great empire will fall’, and Persian King was so confident that he will fall the Greeks. At the end, he lost the battle and the Great Empire of Persia was fallen. Emperors, commanders and governors used to go to the oracle with luxury gifts, each visitor used to leave their gift on their little city-state’s treasury buildings, so that the road to the Apollo Temple was like an open-air museum with many impressive treasuries. Centuries after, in the Hippodrome of Constantinople, there was an ancient tripod placed at the very center of spina. It is said that right after Roman Empire divided in two, Constantine the Great brought Serpent column from Delphi, which is the tripod that oracle used to use in her ritual. Today, all of the serpent heads are destroyed, except the one in the İstanbul Archeological Museum. And the next time you go to Sultanahmet square, try to remember that you will be standing over an ancient hippodrome, and the famous Serpent Column that Pythia used to sit on it and communicate with Apollo is right next to you.

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