Saturday, November 21, 2015

Serpent Column, Hippodrome – Constantinople

One of the attractions at the location of the hippodrome in Constantinople, is the serpent columns. This is a bronze monument, surviving from the Byzantine epoch, and specifically from Constantine the Great's era (4th century AD). This column was placed in front of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi (Greece) and then moved to the Imperial City, when it moved from Rome to New Rome.

This column has an interesting story. After the victories of the Greek city states against the mighty Persian Empire in the battles of Salamis and Platea, the Greeks melted the spoils of war they seized and made a number of offerings to the Gods. This column is one of the results of this offering. This column is made up of three 8 metre height snakes, with their heads facing three different directions. On the bodies of the snakes we find the names of the Greek city states which took part in the battles against the Persians. Unfortunately, the column is missing parts of the bodies and heads of the snakes. 

1 comment:

  1. The female oracle (a shaman, not a priest) at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi was called the Pythia, related to the word python.