What Are the Main Similarities and Differences Between the Sanctuaries at Olympia and Delphi

Topics: Ancient Olympic Games, Olympia, Greece, Olympic Games Pages: 4 (1559 words) Published: May 6, 2013
What are the main similarities and differences between the sanctuaries of Olympia and Delphi? Reflecting upon Olympia and Delphi, it is possible to highlight both similarities and differences between the two sanctuaries. In examining the location and the main attributes of each sanctuary, it is clear how they differ and how they are comparable in various ways. Whilst they clearly differ in their geographical situation, they are similar in that they both host their own games. However it is what occurs in these games that distinguish between the two. Both sanctuaries have considerable religious elements to them; however it is arguable that Delphi has more religious significance to the rest of the world, its main attribute being the oracle, and Olympia seems to prize itself more on its games rather than its religious significance, as the games had such an effect on the Ancient Grecian world. Olympia site plan

Olympia is situated in the alluvial valley formed between the confluence of the two rivers, Kladeos and Alpheos, a huge positive in terms of transportation of goods for trade. In particular materials imported for statues and temple buildings such as marble and stone. Having these rivers so close to hand also aided Olympia when it hosted its Olympic games, competitors from all over Greece would be able to travel by water to get to the famous site. Delphi in contrast to Olympia is sited on multiple terraces along the slope of Mount Parnassus, and is enclosed by the Phadriades, ‘the shining ones’- sheer rock face twin peaks of Mount Parnassus, that were pathless and inaccessible. Based in a remote location ensued that Delphi was in neutral territory, away from any political powers. This was important as it meant that its famous oracle was protected from any outside forces. Easily reached from the sea, Delphi was just off one of the main routes through Greece, so it had many visitors, wanting to obtain their prophecy from its mysterious and very famous...
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