Dionysius condemned Pythias to death. He allowed Pythias to leave to settle his affairs first, as long as Damon, Pythias' friend, agreed to stay as hostage. Damon did so. When Pythias returned as promised, Dionysius let them both go.
The Pythia sat on a bronze tripod in the adytum, or inner chamber of Apollo's temple.
Dempsey states that the office of the Pythia was always held by a female (originally a virgin, but later at least fifty years old and married) and he points out the connection between the Pythia's gender and the cult of Mother Earth (53-55).
The Pythia was widely credited with giving prophecies inspired by Apollo, amking her the most powerful woman of antiquity.
The Pythia was probably selected, at the death of her predeccessor, from amongst a guild of priestesses of the Temple of Apollo, and was required to be a woman of good character.
Most commonly, these refer to Plutarch's observation that the her oracular powers appeared to be linked to vapors from the Castalian Spring that surrounded her, together with the observation that sessions of prophesy would either take place in, or be preceded by a visit to, an enclosed chamber at the base of the temple.
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