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Chronology of Delphi

4000 B.C.
First traces of a settlement in Delphi at the site where the shrine of Athena Pronaia was build later.

1500 B.C.
First provable worshipping of the earth goddess Gaia in Delphi. First prophecies are made by reading water currents and the rustling of leaves. The dragon Python is said to protect the oracle.

1200 B.C.
Apollo takes hold of the shrine. He drives out the earth goddess Gaia and kills Python.

800 B.C.
The Apollo oracle in Delphi reaches high significance in the life of the Greek “nation” and becomes the centre of “Pan-Hellenism”. The Greek tribes and cities consult the oracle before all important under-takings (i.e. war, founding of colonies)

600 B.C.
At the instigation of the Athenian family Alkmenoid, the burnt-down Temple of Apollo is rebuilt.

600 – 590 B.C.
First Holy War. The war results in the Delphic inhabitants’ rebellion against the predominance of the neighbouring city of Krisa, the main place of Phokis, which exerted a kind of protectorate over the shrine. With the Athenians’, Thessalians’ and others help; the Delphic residents win against Krisa. From that time on, Delphi is formally administered by an “Entire Greek Council”.

87 B.C.
Emperor Domitian restores the Apollonian Temple.

180
Pausanius, one of the first “travel authors”, describes the shrine’s magnificence in quite a detailed fashion.

200
The Delphic Shrine reaches a new heyday under Hadrian and his successors.

392
Theodosius, Emperor of Byzantium and Rome, declares Christianity state religion. Pagan cults are forbidden.

394
The Delphic Shrine is closed.

398
Demolition of Apollonian Oracle-Temple through Arkadios, son of Theodosius.

After the ban, forgotten for 1,600 years!

1676
The English explorer George Wheeler and the French scholar Jaques Spon become aware of Delphi.

1812
Lord Byron, the restless English philhellene, visits Delphi.

1834
The Greek King Otto I visits Delphi – accompanied by the archaeologist Ludwig Ross, representative of the scientific registration of all Greek antiquities.

1870
The German archaeologists Karl Otfried Müller and Ernst Curtius begin with excavations in Delphi, but are stopped from continuing by regional forces.

1892
Théophile Homolle, director of the French Institute in Athens, is granted the right for official excavations in Delphi and makes the shrine’s magnificence accessible for his contemporaries and future generations.

1894
1500 years after the ban – Founding of the International Olympic Commitee in Paris / France on the initiative of Pierre de Coubertin.

1927 / 1930
Two Delphic Festivals at the archeological site of Delphi, organised by the Greek poet Angelos Sikelianos and his American wife Eva Palmer-Sikelianos – against strong objections from the Greek government.

1960
On initiative of the Greek President Konstantinos Karamanlis the European Cultural Center of Delphi (ECCD) is launched and a Conference Centre is built.

1977
By act of Parliament, the European Cultural Centre of Delphi (ECCD) acquires its present legal status as non-profit cultural organisation in the form of a corporate body governed by private law, under the supervision of the Greek Ministry of Culture and the auspices of the Council of Europe.

1994
1600 years after the ban – Founding of the International Delphic Council in Berlin / Germany on the initiative of J. Christian B. Kirsch with participation of representatives from 18 nations / 5 continents.