What is Parnassus? Myths and interesting places of the sacred mountain in Greece

What is Parnassus? For many years (and even centuries), this word has been synonymous with art and cultural figures. In ancient times, it was the name of the mountain from which, in fact, everything started. Legendary and more prosaic details about it, we will present to you.

What is Parnassus?

The name Parnassus dates back to pre-Greek times and, apparently, refers to the Hetto-Luwian languages. It is assumed that their word parnassas comes from the word “house” or “temple” and is interpreted as “the mountain where God dwells”.

At the same time, there is another version, according to which, the name is Paleo-Balkan word “locust” - an epithet denoting Apollo. It was with this god - patron of the arts, the ancient Greeks and tied the mountain. In consequence, the term was transferred to the cultural workers themselves.

In the 19th century, the literary movement of the Parnassian school arose in France. It included Theophile Gautier, Leconte de Lille, Georges LeConte, Sully-Prudhomme.Their work was close to Verlaine, Baudelaire, Rambo, and in Russia their poems were translated by Bryusov, Voloshin, Bunin, Zhukovsky, etc.

Mountain in greece

Parnassos is one of the largest mountain ranges of mainland Greece and belongs to the large Pind array. It is located in the central part of the country, and stretches from the top of Eta to the Gulf of Corinth. Geographically, it belongs to Phocis nome (prefecture).

On the slopes of the mountain is the modern city of Delphi, as well as the ruins of the ancient village of the same name. Nearby are the villages of Itea and Arachova. The top of Mount Parnassus forked. The highest peak, Liakura has a height of 2547 meters, the second peak, Tiforei, reaches 2395 meters.

Parnassus what is

The foothills and mountain slopes are covered with Mediterranean vegetation, which with a height passes into coniferous forests and alpine meadows. Like most other massifs, this one is composed of limestone rocks and has bauxite deposits. Due to the climate and rather high altitude, rocky peaks are steadily covered with snow from December to April. In winter, the Parnas ski center opens here.

Mountain myths

What is Parnassus? Ancient Greek shrine, the shrine of Dionysus, Themis and Gays, the cloister of Apollo and the nine muses. There are many myths associated with this mountain.Hellenic pilgrims visited her to pray to the gods and learn about the future, and ritual celebrations were held near the Korikia Cave.

According to legend, Zeus - the head of the Olympian gods, decided to send a flood to sinful people. As in the biblical story, not all died. Devcalion and his wife managed to escape. On the advice of his father, he built an ark. On the ninth day of the voyage, the ship stopped at Mount Parnassus. Deucalion sacrificed Zeus to Zeus, and he allowed the human race to be revived.

Another story is related to Apollo - the god of arts and healing, the patron saint of the Muses. He killed the evil serpent Python, who wrapped Parnassus with nine rings and did not give him peace of mind. Apollo fired about a hundred arrows at him, after which Gaia sent him into exile for 8 years. An oracle was founded in honor of God in Delphi, where a priestess or Pythia predicted the future.

Mount Parnassus

Mountain and its surroundings

To see firsthand what Parnas is, you can go on one of the pedestrian routes. They start from Delphi and Arachova or from the south-eastern slopes of the mountain. Along the marked paths you can reach the Corytica Cave or Corkion of Andron, dedicated to Pan.It is located at an altitude of 1370 meters, and it takes about 4 hours to walk to it.

Continuing the path, you can walk to the top of Liakoura. At night, tourists often stop at the small farm Kalyvia, which is a forty-minute walk from the cave. Paths lead up from the village of Titorei, located on the other side of the mountain. Dazzling landscapes open from the top, in good weather the Peloponnese and Mount Olympus are perfectly visible.

holy mountain in greece

Much of the array is Parnas National Park. Kefalonian fir trees grow here, there are foxes, wild boars, wolves, badgers, vultures and golden eagles. On one of the mountain slopes is located the village of Arachova with interesting Greek architecture. Locals are famous for making handmade carpets.

Below, at the foot of the mountain is the settlement Itea. It is located on the shore of the bay, eight kilometers from Delphi. In the past it was a prosperous commercial port, now it is a typical tourist town. Nearby are the extensive olive groves that Iteia guests love to visit.

Delphi

The ancient city of Delphi, located on a sacred mountain in Greece, was considered not only the main place of divination, but also the "Navel of the Earth", which symbolized the omphal stone.The city was considered a common sanctuary, and the local oracle had an influence on political and religious life.

Parnassus Greece

The ruins of Delphi are located at an altitude of 700 meters, nine kilometers from the Gulf of Corinth. There are still remains of the temple of Apollo and Athena, the amphitheater, gymnasium and stadium. Around the 6th century BC, the Pythian Games were held in the city - the second major event after the Olympics.

Modern Delphi is located near archaeological sites. This is a very small town, which is quite possible to get around on foot. Of course, from a tourist point of view, it is of little interest, they stop in it in order to see the ancient village and the mountain itself.

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