Delphi, a town on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in Greece, was the site of the main temple of Apollo and of the Delphic oracle, the most famous oracle of ancient times. Before making important decisions, Greeks and other peoples traveled to this sacred place to consult the oracle and learn the gods’ wishes.
Delphi was inhabited since Mycenaean times (14th – 11th c. B.C.) by small settlements who were dedicated to the Mother Earth deity. The worship of Apollo as the god of light, harmony, and order was established between the 11th and 9th centuries. Slowly over the next five centuries the sanctuary grew in size and importance. During the 8th c. B.C. Delphi became internationally known for the Oracular powers of Pythia–the priestess who sat on a tripod, inhaled ethylene gasses, and muttered incomprehensible words that foretold the future.