Altar of the Chians

Title

Altar of the Chians

Description

Called either the Temple of Apollo Pythios or the Altar of the Chians, this altar was erected by the people of the island of Chios during the 5th century. This was likely done in honor of their role in the Persian War and Ionian Revolt. It would have been used at Delphi to make large sacrificial offerings to the gods. The southern wall of the altar is made from rectangular cut black Eleusinsian stone that has been topped with a cornice of flat marble on which is another inscription that can be viewed here. A single white cornerstone has been placed in the lower right foundation on which has been inscribed the words "ΔΕΛΦΟΙ ΕΔΩΚΑΝ ΧΙΟΙΣ ΠΡΟΜΑΝΤΕΙΗΝ."

Using the scale in the photo we can see that the dimensions of the cornerstone is approximately 3.5 x 2 cats long. The use of black limestone rather than the typical white marble stone of the same period magnifies the grandeur of the altar, striking the viewer in its contrast. The altar was restored in the 1920's by the people of Chios.
ON STONE: ΔΕΛΦΟΙ ΕΔΩΚΑΝ / ΧΙΟΙΣ ΠΡΟΜΑΝΤ / ΕΙΗΝ

TRANSCRIBED: Δέλφοι ἔδωκαν Χιοις προμαντεῖην

TRANSLATION: "The Delphians gave to the Chians the right of first consul to the oracle."

Creator

[unknown]

Source

Lucy T. Shoe, "Dark Stone in Greek Architecture", Hesperia Supplements vol. 8, (1949) 341-482.

Date

500-450 BCE

Contributor

Pria Jackson, Tina Salowey (photo)

Rights

Images provided for non-commercial research and reference use only. No permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). Should you have use questions or any legal concerns about this image or collection, please contact the Wyndham Robertson Library.

Format

white marble
inscriptions

Language

Ancient Greek

Identifier

altar_chians_01

Coverage

Delphi, Phocis, Central Greece and Euboea, Greece (discovery)
Delphi, Phocis, Central Greece and Euboea, Greece

Citation

[unknown], “Altar of the Chians,” Hollins University Library Digital Exhibits, accessed July 21, 2019, http://digitalexhibits.hollins.edu/items/show/43.

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