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Reviewed September 16, Worth the walk. Thank Peter F. Travelers who viewed Apollo Taverna Alykes also viewed. Paulos Corner. To Paradosiako Taverna. Relax Restaurant. Porto Paradiso. Paporo Beach Restaurant - Bar. All restaurants in Alykes He terrifies them by appearing as a monstrous dolphin, then takes them on a whirlwind trip along the Archaic Peloponnese, finally stopping at the shores of Crisa. Apollo then takes the form of a local and asks the sailors whether they are pirates or merchants. Finally dropping all pretenses, he informs the sailors that they will not return to their wives and homes, but rather minister to the people who will visit his great sanctuary at Delphi.

Apollo rounds out his instructions at the close of the hymn with a warning: if the Cretans become arrogant and abuse their position, they will be subjugated by other men. The choice of the Cretan sailors for priests seems curious. In the ancient world, from the Odyssey onward, Cretans had a reputation for being liars, thieves, pirates, and wanderers.

Furthermore, these Cretans are traveling salesmen, sailors and peddlers. Why would Apollo choose such persons to minister to his worshippers? Despite the initial impression of unsuitability, however, the choice of the Cretan sailors may be an appropriate one, given the qualifications necessary for the priestly profession on Delphi, as stipulated by the god. Apollo needs a kind of business class to be administrators of his temple and worshippers — middlemen bridging the divide between humans and Apollo.

The Cretans need only change sectors, trade the secular for the sacred. But why should Cretans, Greek-like but non-Greek, be chosen to administer a Greek temple? The cosmopolitan nature of the Cretans, coupled with their convenient foreign-but- familiar status, makes them a suitable choice of administrators for a Panhellenic shrine, where it was necessary to transcend local squabbles and avoid political bias in order to be a trusted neutral zone.

In the scholarship on the Hymn, the specific choice of the Cretan sailors is largely unremarked upon. Rather, the issue of the First Sacred War has dominated much of the scholarship. Some scholars have focused on the sailors not as Cretans, but as men stripped of their secular affiliations forced into a sacred role, while others claim that the Cretans themselves are unremarkable, meant to symbolize the disparity between human ignorance and the divine.

Part I: Cretans as Merchants 1 Clay pp. Clay claims that their suitability is not mentioned in the hymn, that they are unheroic, unremarkable, and are in fact meant to be laughed at for their notable blindness to the god and inability to come to terms with his will.

Apollo's Choice

See also Miller pp. It was further believed that Minos himself had freed the sea of pirates to facilitate his imperial aspirations, making way for his legions of warships and merchant vessels. Archaeological evidence also exists in the form of pottery they traded with Egypt, Syria, the Aegean islands. One might suppose that sailors, merchant or otherwise, would be an unsuitable selection for mainland temple administration: what skills do merchants and sailors bring to the care of a sanctuary and the oracles of a god?

In fact, quite a few. Such business would involve the ability to manage goods, maintain accounts, and develop trusting relationships with the purchasers of their goods. The management of a temple and sanctuary would require similar skills. Furthermore, by removing the Cretans from their families back in Crete, Apollo 8 Starr p. The tribes that flock to Delphi will bring countless sacrificial animals with them, which Apollo challenges the Cretans to slaughter in lieu of doing their own farming see handout IIIe.

This payment is all the more suitable for the Cretans, who were not renowned in the ancient world for their agricultural acumen. Perlman pp. But if on your part anything wanton is said or done, any insolence, as is the manner of mortal folk, then you shall have other men as your masters, under whose compulsion you will be subjugated forever.

Part II. The Importance of Panhellenism When Apollo seeks a place for his main temple, he aims to establish a panhellenic shrine, a goal he stresses by mentioning the various tribes of men who will visit the place, clearly from further afield than the neighboring Crisa, whose population would not support the crowds Apollo envisions.

Panhellenic shrines also sponsored games that brought in peoples from all over the Greek world, and during game years, treaties were established months in advance, extending all along the roadways to the shrine to ensure the safety of all those participating. The large-scale games and treaties generally could not exist in locally run, politically affiliated sanctuaries Olympia and the Elians being the exception.


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Modern historians, with the aid of archaeological excavations, believe that the early Minoans traveled from Asia to settle the island of Crete and 13 Clay p. Delphi grew up out of an earlier settlement that had existed for 75 years before the first votives appear in the archaeological record. By BCE the panhel- lenic nature of the site was already evident, with local, Corinthian, Argive, and Attic votives and dedications pp.

On the games and the panhellenic circumstances necessary for their success, see Fontenrose ; Gebhard ; Mallwitz Their script, Linear A, is non-Greek and as yet undeciphered. Greek conceptions of Cretan identity are less concrete. In the Iliad, Cretans participated in the Trojan War virtually indistinguishable from the Greeks, but in the Odyssey, Cretans have become conflated with the Phoenicians. The ambivalent identity of the Cretans made them an ideal choice for priests in charge of a panhellenic sanctuary.

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Apollo also takes pains to eliminate any worldly ties the Cretans have, further making them a liminal group: they are not fully of the Greek world, nor are they allowed to be a part of the Cretan world any longer either. Stripped of their socio-cultural identity, the Cretans are forced to accept their new, sacred role by sacrificing their secular one. Disallowed attachments to any place, the Cretans transcend locality to become suitable Panhellenic ministers, and the distance between Delphi and Crete discourages any possibility of contact with their old lives.

When they have finished their preparations, Apollo leads them to their new home.


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Apollo then ensures that his foreign priests will minister fairly to the people by making their 16 Verrall p. They are fully Other, vessels for the will of Apollo and divorced from the mundanities of the secular world.