Saturday, September 15, 2012

The treasury of the Athenians in Delphi

The best preserved monument of the Apollonian Sanctuary, built of white marble from the island of Paros, was dedicated to Apollo Pythios by the Athenian citizens; it commemorated either the establishment of Democracy in the city -state of Athens following the collapse of the Peisistratid tyranny (510 BC) or the Athenian victory against the Persians at the Battle of Marathon (490 BC). It is believed that the edifice served as a treasury for the Athenian offerings to Apollo including trophies seized after the great military victories of Athens. 

The small structure, which looks like a mini temple, is of Doric order, with two columns between the facade pilasters. The walls of the Treasury were converted with numerous inscriptions, including two paeans to Apollo supplemented with the musical notation of the ancient melody. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD the monument was used as the Delphi pawnbrokers' office, according to epigraphical sources.

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