Originally the Pythian festival at Delphi took place every eight years, and there was a single contest, the singing of a hymn to Apollo accompanied by the cithara (see music. After the First Sacred War the festival was reorganized under the control of the amphictiony, and further musical and athletic contests (see agones) were added. These games were next in importance to the Olympic Games, and were held quadrennially in late August of the third year in each Olympiad. The Pythiads were reckoned from 582 bc. The musical contests consisted in singing to the cithara, cithara‐playing, and aulos‐playing, and the athletic contests resembled those at Olympia. The horse races were always held below Delphi in the plain of Crisa. The stadium lies above the sanctuary under Mt. Parnassus, and the gymnasium and palaestra are near the temple of Athena Pronaia. The prize was a crown of bay leaves cut in the vale of Tempēe.
Subjects: Classical Studies.