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14/05/2008

Pausanias: Temple and oracle of Apollo Deiradiotis

Municipality of Argos

When someone goes up to the Acropolis of Larissa, they can see the sanctuary of Acraia Hera, as well as the temple of Apollo, which is said to be first built by Pythaeus, who came from Delphi. The worship statue, which exists today, represents the god, who took his name from the area of the temple (Deiras) and he is called Apollo, Deiradiotis (of the ridge), in an upright position. The prophecy, which goes on until nowadays, takes place as in the following description: a woman, who is not allowed to copulate with a man, gives the prophecy. A ewe is sacrificed once in a month during the night. When the woman tastes the ewes blood, she is possessed by the god. The sanctuary of Apollo Deiradiotis is together with the sanctuary of the so-called Athena Oxyderkis (Athena the clear sighted), which is an offering of Diomedes because once, when he was fighting at Ilion, the goddess took the fog from his eyes, clearing his sight. The stadium, where the athletic competitions in honor of Nemeios Zeus and Hera are held is coming afterwards. Coming up the Acropolis, one can also see, on the left of the street, a tomb made for Egypts sons: this means that their heads were buried here without the bodies, while their bodies were buried separately in Lerni. The murder of the two young men happened in Lerni. After their death, women cut their heads to prove their dareful action to the young mens father.
Pausanias II 24, 1-2




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