Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The python and Dionysos.

Here are some  notes about Delphi, Apollo and Dionysos.

The Earliest traces of occupation at Delphi date from the Neolithic Era.

Remains from the Early and Middle Bronze Ages have been found, as well as evidence of settlements from the Mycenaean period (1600-1100 BC).

Originally, Mother Earth (known as Ge) and Poseidon were worshiped here and the site was named Pytho, as mentioned by Homer.

There was an oracle at the cave of Python, son of Ge.

The dragon lived at Delphi before Apollo arrived.

The area was colonized by the inhabitants of Lykorea, but Pytho was in the territory of Krisa.

The island deity, Apollo Dolphinios, was worshiped in the form of a Dolphin. This worship was imported from Crete into Krisa and eventually replaced the worship of Ge at Pytho during the period between the 11th and 8th centuries BC.

Pytho's name was thus changed to Delphoi and the oracle now belonged to Apollo.

Dionysos and Athena Pronaia were also associated with site.

The name 'Pythia' derived from Pytho, which in myth was the original name of Delphi.

The Greeks derived this place name from the verb, pythein (πύθειν, "to rot"), which refers to the decomposition of the body of the Python after she was slain by Apollo.

The usual theory is that the Delphic oracles were given by a priestess 'in a frenzied state induced by vapors' that rose from a chasm in the rock, and the gibberish was translated by priests as prophecies.

According to Clement of Alexandria, Python received worship at Delphi before Apollo came, and the Pythion games were celebrated as a funeral rite.

Python's teeth and bones were said to be kept in the kettle that stood on the mantic tripod, or that his hide was wrapped around the tripod.

The omphalos was his tomb.

This is said by Varro and suported by Hesychios, and a Pompeian mural painting which shows Python coiled around the omphalos.

Now Dionysos also spoke oracles at Delphi.
Dionysos was there before Apollo...

It was also said that Dionysos had a tomb at Delphi. After the Titans had dismembered Dionysos, Zeus gave the remains to Apollo who took them to Delphi and set them beside the tripod.

The christian writer Tatian said that the omphalos is Dionysos' tomb.

The tomb is also said to be the center, or the belly-button, of the earth.

But it really does look like a Mycenaean (bee hive) tomb.

Acording to Plutarch, the Herois was one of three festivals that were held every eight years at Delphi.

Hera is another form of the word Herois and it means the Mistress.

In this case the Herois could relate to Delphyne- the Typhon-python's fostermother, or Semele, Dionysos' mother.

All Plutarch can tell us is that its secrets were known only to the Thyiads (women who celebrated in the rites of the god Dionysos). The purpose of the Herois ritual was to reinact Semele's return from the Underworld..

In the Homeric hymn it is said that Hera is the Python's mother. But in the light of this information it is more reasonable to think that Hera in this case is The Mistress, mother of the Dionysos-serpent.

Clement quotes a poets verse describing Dionysos:
"bull father of snake and snake father of bull". 
Zeus mates as a bull with Europa and Demeter was known as Europa in Lebadeia.

Dionysos was fathered by Zeus in the form of a great serpent and Persephone was his mother's name. When he was born he was the bull-child..

Dionysos is also the goat.

Aix, was the python's child
And Aix means goat....