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•Pytliiau god with the accompaniment of the ci-thara. (Paus. x. 7. § 2 ; Strab. ix. p. 421.) Some of the poets, however, arid mythographers represent even the gods and the early heroes as engaged in gymnastic and equestrian contests at the Pythian games. But such statements, numerous as they are, can prove nothing ; they are anachronisms in which late writers were fond of indulging. The description of the Pythian games in which Sophocles, in the Electra, makes Orestes take part, belongs to this class. , The Pythian games must, on account of the celebrity of the Delphic oracle, have become a national festival for all the Greeks at a very early period ; and when Solon fixed pecuniary rewards for those Athenians who were victors in the great national festivals, the Pythian agon was undoubtedly included in the number, though it is not expressly mentioned. (Diog. Laert. i. 55.)
Whether gymnastic contests had been performed at the Pythian games previous to 01, 47, is uncertain. Bockh supposes that these two kinds of games had been connected at the Pythia from early times, but that afterwards the gymnastic games were neglected : but however this may be, it is certain that about 01.47 they did not exist at Delphi. Down to 01. 48 the Delphians themselves had been the agonothetae at the Pythian games, but in the third year of this Olympiad, when after the Crissaean war the Amphictyons took the management under their care, they naturally became the agonothetae. (Strab. ix. p. 421 ; Paus. x. 7. § 3.) Some of the ancients date the institution of the Pythian games from this time (Phot. Cod. p. 533, ed. Bekker), and others say that henceforth they were called Pythian'games. Owing to their being under the management of the Amphictyons they are sometimes called 'A/z-(piKTvoviKa aOka, (Heliod. Aekli. iv. 1.) ; From 01. 48. 3, the Pythiacls were occasionally used as an aera, and the first celebration under the Amphictyons was the first Pythiad. Pausanias (I. c.) expressly states .that in this year the original musical contest in iciOapySia was extended by the addition of auA<w§m, i.e. singing with the accompaniment of the flute, and by that .of flute-playing alone. Strabo (I. c.-) in speaking of these innovations does not mention, the au/XycJia, but states that the contest of cithara-players (KiQapia-tgu) was added, while Pausanias assigns the introduction of this contest to the eighth Pythiad. One of the musical contests at the Pythian games in which only flute and cithara-players took part, was the so-called vo/j-os TlvQiKos, which, at least in subsequent times, consisted of five parts, viz. avcLKpovcris, a/xTrezpa, /caraKeAey<r,uos, 'ia/j,€oi teal Sa/crvAoi, and avpiyyes. The whole of this v6[J.os was a musical description of the fight of Apollo with the dragon and of his victory over the monster. (Strabo, /. c.) A somewhat different account of the parts of this vopos is given by the Scholiast on Pindar (Argum. ad Pyih.} and by Pollux (iv. 79, 81, 84).
Besides these innovations in the musical contests which were made in the first Pythiad, such gymnastic and equestrian games as were then customary at Olympia, were either revived at Delphi or introduced for-, the first time. The chariot-race with four horses was not introduced till the second Pythiad. (Paus. x. 7. § 3.) Some games on the other hand were adopted, which had
not yet been practised at Olympia, viz. the SoAi%os and the 8tav\os for boys. In the first Pythiad the victors received xpV«T« as their prize, but in the second a chaplet was established as the reward for the victors. (Pans, and Schol. ad Pind. I. c.} The Scholiasts on Pindar reckon the first Pythiad from this introduction of the chaplet, and their system has been followed by most modern chronologers, though Pausanias expressly assigns this institution to the second Pythiad. (See Clinton, F. H. p. 195 ; Krause, Die Pyth. Nem., &c. p. 21, &c.) The au/^Sm, which was introduced in the first Pythiad, was omitted at the second and ever after, as only elegies and frprjvot had been sung to the flute, which were thought too melancholy for this solemnity. The TeOp'nnros or chariot-race with four horses however was added in the same Pythiad. In the eighth Pythiad (01. 55. 3) the contest in playing the cithara without singing was introduced ; in Pythiad 23 the foot-race in arms was added ; in Pythiad 48 the chariot-race with, two full-grown horses (ffvvupiSos Spo/jios) was performed for the first time ; in Pythiad 53 the chariot-race with four foals was introduced. In Pythiad: 61 the pancratium for boys, in Pythiad 63 the horse-race with foals, and in Pythiad 69 the chariot-race with two foals were introduced. (Paus. I. c.) Various musical contests were also added in the course of time, and contests in tragedy as well as in other kinds of poetry and in recitations of historical compositions are expressly mentioned. (Philostr. Vi£. Soph. ii. 27. .2; Plut. Sgmpos. ii. 4.) Works of art, as paintings and sculptures, were exhibited to the assembled Greeks, and prizes were awarded to those who had produced the finest works. (Plin. xxxv. 35.) The musical and artistic contests; were at all times the most prominent feature o&'the Pythian games, and in this respect they- even excelled the Olympic games.
Previous to OJ. 48 the Pythian games had been an ewaerrj/Ns1, that is, they had been celebrated at the end of every eighth year ; but in 01. 48. 3, they became like the Olympia a Treyraer^pis, i. e. tliey were held-at the end of every fourth year, and a Pythiad therefore ever since the time that it was used as an aera,; comprehended a space of four years, commencing with the third year of every Olympiad. (Paus. I.c.; Diod.»xv. 60; compare Clinton,F.H. p. 195.) Others have, in opposition to direct statements, inferred from Thucydides (iv. 117, v. 1) that the Pythian games were held towards the end of the second year of every Olympiad. Respecting this controversy, see Krause, I. c. p. 29, &c. As for the season sof the Pythian games, they were in all probability held in the spring, and most writers believe that it was in the month of Bysius, which is supposed to be the same as the Attic Mtmychion. Bockh (ad Corp. InscripL n. 16-88) however has shown that the games took place in the month of Bucatius, which followed after the month of Bysius-, and that this month must be considered as the same as the Attic Mu-. nychion. The games lasted for several da}^s, as is expressly mentioned by Sophocles (Elect. 690, &c.), but we do not know how many. When ancient writers speak of the day of the Pythian agon, they are probably thinking of the musical agon alone, which was the most important part of the games^ and probably took place on the 7th of Bucatius.