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Delphi by Basil Petrakos


by Basil Petrakos

Other authors: M. Sciadaresis (Photographer)

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One of the most interesting of the surviving bronze sculptures from the Greek world is the charioteer found at Delphi and now housed in the museum there. Having read about the Oracle, I was also interested in seeing the ruins. Basil Petrakos (Director of Antiquities for Attica in the 1970s) has written a book which tells the story of Delphi and the art found on the site, now in the museum. After a brief history along with the myths of Apollo and Delphi, he takes the reader on a trip though the Sacred Way with a detailed plan of the main site. As you walk on the path, he describes how it must have looked to the traveler in ancient times. He also discusses other sites such as the Stadium (above the theater), the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, the gymnasium and other places as well as the types of games held at the site. The museum is described with the main treasures in each room and, of course, the charioteer.

There are numerous color illustrations of the various sites and art discussed in the text as well as drawings that reconstruct some of the buildings as they were in the past. In addition to photographs and illustrations throughout the text, there is a section of illustrations in the back of the book which can easily be matched with the relevant text. However, be aware that this is a translated text and the quality of the translation is poor with awkward phrasing and unusual choice of wording throughout.

The book does not replace a trip to Delphi. The photos of the setting just do not do justice to the actual setting; looking down from Delphi to the valley below is breathtaking. The ruins and partial reconstructions are more massive than pictured. However, if a trip is not a possibility, this book will give a good idea of Delphi. For those who have visited, this is a wonderful way to relive the experience. ( )
  fdholt | Aug 31, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Basil Petrakosprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sciadaresis, M.Photographersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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