Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The island of Delos (Greek: Δήλος, Dhilos), isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, had a position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made it the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. As a cult centre Delos had an importance that its natural resources could never have offered. As Leto, searching for a birthing-place for Apollo, addressed the island:
- "`Delos, if you would be willing to be the abode of my son Phoebus Apollo and make him a rich temple --; for no other will touch you, as you will find: and I think you will never be rich in oxen and sheep, nor bear vintage nor yet produce plants abundantly. But if you have the temple of far-shooting Apollo, all men will bring you hecatombs and gather here, and incessant savour of rich sacrifice will always arise, and you will feed those who dwell in you from the hand of strangers; for truly your own soil is not rich."
- —Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo
Inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC, between 900 BC and AD 100, sacred Delos was a major cult centre, and a natural meeting-ground for the Delian League, which was first founded in 478 BC. In 166 BC Delos was given by the Romans to the Athenian city-state, but in modern times it has become uninhabited. It is currently only used for archeology and tourism— "you will feed those who dwell in you from the hand of strangers".
Landmarks on the island include:
- The Agora of the Competaliasts
- The Temple of the Delians, a classic example of the Doric order, where a pen-and-wash reconstruction of the temple is illustrated.
- The Minoan Fountain
- Terrace of the Lions
- The Stoivadeion
- Temple of Isis
- The Temple of Hera
- The House of Dionysos
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