Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VftSW: Slugs Leave their Lair

The rain falls heavy and hard this time of year in Southeast Alaska. 

In my childhood, the sunbaked New Mexican soil couldn’t absorb a heavy rain.  The streets would flood.  The gutters would fill. And torrents gushed into all the underground burrows.  I remember earthworms squirming out of the drowning lawns onto the sidewalk, so they could breathe. 

Monday morning, here in Alaska, as I came out the back door with Derby, there were two slugs 5 feet up the wall.  What did they know that I didn’t?  Ends up what they knew was that it would rain even hard last night.  The storm grew so loud last night that I went out into the garage to comfort Derby.   

This morning Derby and I took her morning walk along a wet street in heavy fog.  From a distance we could hear either Rose or Flynn barking.  They are a pair of short-haired Yellow Labrador’s, healthy, friendly and almost white in color.  Oddly we only heard one dog sporadically barking.  Derby stopped at one point, held perfectly still, head high, looking in the direction of their yard from a spot where we had seen them before.  Nothing!  We moved on.  We stopped at the abandoned lots at the end of the street and spent some time there. 

When we headed home around the corner came their master’s pickup truck.  Apparently, the dogs knew or maybe they have really good ears and recognized the music that was booming from the cab.  I’ve seen my wife’s little Miniature Schnauzer jump up and run to the window five minutes before our truck (driven by her mistress) turned on to the street.  It’s amazing the many things us mortals miss and how often we ignore that “small still voice” that seems to come in loud and clear to all the other creatures around us.

Monday, August 27, 2012

TLtS: Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls

I’ve been reading “Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls edited by Hershel Shanks.  First, let me clarify that the Dead Sea Scrolls consist of six mostly intact scrolls and hundreds of manuscripts in two thousand year old, brittle, desert-seared fragile fragments.  You’d think a book about these literary shards would be dry.  No!  It’s an amazing anthology!  Parts read like an adventure novel; how the shepherds found the scrolls in a cave high up on a cliff, the “cloak and dagger” world of antiquities and the bombshells for a layman like me.

Various articles cover the standardization of the Pentateuch under Ezra and the Old Testament under Hillel.  I’ve learned a lot of interesting things about the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essene.  The latter occupied the monastery amidst the 11 caves used as libraries.  

Now for a few things that amazed me;

First, 1 Chronicles 28:19 “All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.”  King David is referring to the blue prints for the Temple.  So, where are they?  Why aren’t they part of the Old Testament?  How did the blueprints get lost?  They didn’t.  All this is covered in the Temple Scroll found amidst the Dead Sea Scrolls.  And there are several copies of it.  Who knew there was lost books of the Bible?   

Second, in the eleven “libraries” amongst the hundreds of books there are copies of ever book in the Old Testament except one.  There is not one copy of Esther.  Know why?  Because God is not mentioned in the Book of Esther.  I guess I knew that, but truth is fleeting. 

Third, in re-reading Esther this weekend I noticed something else.  There’s a scene missing between Esther 7-8. 
 7And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.                                          Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.”

So, what happen when the king went outside to cool off?  All of the sudden Haman was over powered by lust for Esther?  He tripped and just happen to be straddled on the queen when the king returned?  Esther tripped him and “rent her garments” when she saw her husband returning?  Whatever happen Esther’s servants were quick to cover Haman’s mouth so his side of the story couldn’t come out before he was promptly hung. 

What particularly confuses me is that Moses Maimonides comment on Esther.  Maimonides is  a philosopher and scholar whom I much admire.  To quote his commentary  on Laws of the Scroll (of Esther) 2:18, "When Messiah comes, the other books may pass away, but the Torah (Old Testament ) and Esther will abide forever."  Moses was much wiser and better educated in Biblical matters than I so I guess I’ll take his work for it.  Still I wonder.  I looked at some of the allegorical interpretation of the book and they reek of desperation.  So I guess I’ll accept the Esther at face value.  Maybe even follow Normandi Ellis advice in “Awakening Osiris” and contemplate a “bit of legend fallen from the lips of a slave girl”. 

All in all, I highly recommend “Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls”

PS: The Dead Sea Scrolls do not include any Christian writings.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

CofS; On the River Nass

The Crown of ShakesAs the white hot sun rose, a warm still day spread across the Inside Passage.  The Great hall along the Nass River stood almost empty.  Inside the Nass Hall on a masterfully carved cedar box lay a young woman of startling beauty.  She was the most beautiful, highest ranking woman in all the new-born world.  Her long black hair swept across her shoulder.  A finely woven new Raven’s Tail mantle half covered her.  The princess breathed shallowly, but slept soundly.  A small pet bird rested on her chest. She never heard the rustling of the great feather cape as sly Yetl entered, tossing his woven hat on the floor.

This Raven Spirit swept across the Great hall towards his uncles’ treasure chest.  From it he’d already taken; the Water of Life, the Sun, the Moon and the very Stars above.  Now, he returned for the thing he treasured most; the princess.  He stood a pace from the treasure chest and looked up at a high shelf.  He sighed to see it empty, but then his eyes fell back upon the princess.  Yelt however over her just a moment.  The bird flew from her breast chattering in alarm.  The princess awoke, gasped and stared into the eyes off her one true love.
Yetl wrapped her in the great black cape, whispered, “Yetlina.” And they flew away.
Nass, the River Spirit returned to the great hall shortly afterwards.  His slaves effortlessly paddled his enormous canoe up to the beach before the massive Nass Hall.  Warmed by the sun, Nass slumbered near the stern, until the slaves began to carry the canoe quietly up the beach.  With a smile upon his face, the River Spirit woke, hefted his heavy muscular frame from the canoe and strode into the great hall.  The squawking of the little bird made him stop just inside the door.  His eyes took on the look of obsidian and his mighty frame began to shake.

“My daughter! Yelt!”
His muscles began to tighten.  The blue vein in his forehead began to pulse .  His slaves scurried back to the canoe.  The River Spirit took a deep breathe.  Then his features and frame froze.  A sheepish expression spread across his face.  His glance rose slowly to that high shelf.  He smiled to see it empty.  His shoulder fell.  His facial tone returned to normal.  His slaves sighed in relief.

“Go and fetch my nephew; Gonaqadet, the Chief of the Sea Serpent Clan.  The one I just gave a potlatch for and gave the red crown in the shape of an orca decorated with seas lion bristles. “ he said pleasantly to his slave.  “I’ll have my revenge on Ytel yet.”

Saturday, August 18, 2012

TFBT: Peneus, Thy Favor Shall be Rewarded

The Titaness Leto, pregnant with Apollo and Artemis, wandered the wide-bosomed earth due to the jealousy of Hera.  The Queen of Heaven forbade her every land in Ancient Greece for the imminent birth.   And behind the Titaness followed the Python, born of the postdiluvian slime and intent on devouring her twins upon their birth.  Leto turned her feet northward toward Thessaly in search of a birthing place.  The small river Anauros fled back up Mount Pelion, as did deep-soiled Larisa, nymph of the place.  The cliffs of Mt Pelion holding the bridal chamber where the third-born Oceanid Philyra foaled the centaur Chiron,  fled too the approach of the desperate goddess.[i]  Also fled neighboring rivers, restless Enipeus, old Apidanus, Spercheus poplar-fringed, gentle Amphrysos, the lovely river Titaresios and Aeas. Solely remaining to receive her waited the mighty River Peneus; his face as white as the soil of his chalky banks, coiling through the Vale of Tempe.

Leto stretched forth both her arms and spoke in vain: `You nymphs of Thessaly, offspring of a river [Peneus], tell your sire to hush his great stream. Entwine your hands about his beard and entreat him that the children of Zeus be born in his waters.” …
Then shedding tears, Peneus answered her… “Hera hath largely threatened me. Behold what manner of watcher keeps vigil on the mountaintop … Let my destined day take its course. I will endure for thy sake… What needs more? Do thou but call upon Eileithyia (the goddess of birth).”
 He spoke and stayed his great stream. But Ares was about to lift the peaks of Pangaeus from their base and hurl them in his eddying waters and hide his streams.[ii] And from on high he made a din as of thunder and smote his shield with the point of his spear and it rang with a warlike noise and all Thessaly danced for fear: such echoing din rang from his shield . . . But Peneus retired not back, but abode his ground, steadfast even as before, and stayed his swift-eddying streams, until  Leto, the daughter of Coeus called to him.
“Save thyself, farewell! Save thyself; do not for my sake suffer evil for this thy compassion; thy favor shall be rewarded.'"
So promised the dark-veiled Titaness to the mighty Peneus and his companion the lovely river Titaresios.  The water of Titaresios do not mingle with the silver eddies of the Peneus, but flow on the top of them like oil; for the Titaresios is a branch of the sacred River Styx. [iii]

Far roamed Leto in travail with the god who shoots afar and his chase loving sister, to see if any land would be willing to make a dwelling for her twins. But they greatly trembled and feared, and none, not even the richest of them, dared receive Apollo and Artemis, until queenly Leto set foot on Delos. 

She begged the nymph: "Delos, if you would be willing to be the abode of my son Apollo and his rich temple; for no other will touch you, as you will find: and I think you will never be rich in oxen and sheep, nor bear vintage nor yet produce plants abundantly. But if you have the temple of far-shooting Apollo, all men will bring you hecatombs and gather here, and incessant savor of rich sacrifice will always arise, and you will feed those who dwell in you from the hand of strangers; for truly your own soil is not rich." So spoke Leto.
And Delos rejoicing answered: "Leto, most glorious daughter of great Coeus, joyfully would I receive your child the far-shooting lord; for it is all too true that I am ill-spoken of among men, whereas thus I should become very greatly honor. “

 And Leto swore the great oath of the gods: "Now hear this, Earth and wide Heaven above, and dropping water of Styx (this is the strongest and most awful oath for the blessed gods), surely Phoebus shall have here his fragrant altar and precinct, and you he shall honor above all." 

She cast her arms about a palm tree and knelt on the soft meadow aside the River Inopos from his source high on Mt. Cynthus.  The Inopos is not a large river, for the island herself is small. 

The earth laughed for joy beneath. Then the child leaped forth to the light, and all the goddesses washed him with water from the oval sacred lake, swathed him in a white garment of fine texture, new-woven, and fastened a golden band about.  Themis duly poured nectar and ambrosia with her divine hands.  His Aunt Asteria nursed him.[iv]  And Leto was glad because she bore a strong son and an archer. But as soon as he tasted that divine heavenly food, Apollo could no longer then be held by golden cords nor confined with bands, but all their ends fell away.
Apollo spoke to the deathless goddesses: "The lyre and the curved bow shall ever be dear to me, and I will declare to men the unfailing will of Zeus."   
So saying the longhaired god began to walk upon the wide-pathed earth; and all goddesses pretended amazement. He now walked on craggy Cynthus, and now kept wandering about the island.  Then, swift as thought, he sped from earth to Mt. Olympus and then sought a place of oracle for men.[v]  To Pieria first he went, the land of the Pieres beyond the Strymon River and Mount Pangaeus, passed by the sandy promontory of Lectus, Emathia and through the land of the Perrhaebi; their capital was Phalanna, and their most significant town was Oloosson. And passed over the newly born Vale of Tempe.
 The Thessalians in early times living within the embrace of the River Peneus had no arable land at all, since mountains encompassed the level spaces, which the mighty river continually flooded because no outlet existed so the mighty river might stretch himself and display his strength. In answer to their prayers Poseidon broke through the mountains with his trident and opened a gateway for the river, now called the Vale of Tempe.   The mighty Peneus rejoiced and  exulted; at once, rending the hills asunder, seeking for the rushing riverbed a headlong path, cleft by that mighty shock, opened wide this way and that the mountain yielded and through the broken mass the Thessalian torrent raced in his new bed. He took up the river Titaresios as being light water and promises Poseidon that he would flow out in the course the god made.

Speedily came Apollo to Iolcus near the River Anauros and then alighted on Mt. Cenaeum on the island of Euboea.  Here Heracles dedicated altars to Zeus, made sacrifices, and donned the Shirt of Nessus . There he gazed upon the fertile plain below watered by the Lelanta River, but it pleased him not there to establish a temple and a grove.   He crossed the Euripus Strait separating the island   from Boeotia in mainland Greece. Far-shooting Apollo went up the green, holy hills, going on to Mycalessus.  (So called, because the cow guiding Cadmus and his comrades to Thebes, “lowed” in this place.) and grassy-bedded Teumessus, an ancient city in Boeotia and so came to the wood-clad abode of the future Thebes.  And further still, he went, far-shooting Apollo, and came to Onchestus, northeast of Thebes next to Cephissus' sweet waters, which pours forth his sweet- flowing water from Lilaea, on the northwestern slope of Mount Parnassus. He flows east through the Boeotian plain and crossing over him, the worker from afar, passed a grassy Haliartus and reached many-towered Ocalea.  Then he came to the spring Telphusa, west of Haliartus. 

The place with her clear-flowing, ice-cold brook seemed fit for making a temple and wooded grove.  Apollo rather imperiously told the nymph of the place so, as he laid out the foundation for his temple.  The naiad of the place could not be too excited about this news.  Telphusa told him with winged words about Crissa below the glades of Parnassus and the spring of Castalia.  The nymph prophesized about all the honor he would find there. She failed to mention that it was the lair of the Python. Similarly, in years to come, the god Apollo in his oracle would one day send Cadmus son of Telephassa to found a city at Thebes where another gigantic serpent guarded the spring of Ismenos sacred to Ares. [vi] The gods punished Cadmus for slaying the dragon by making him serve for a certain period, some say one year, others eight years. [vii]

As prophesized, nearby Crissa held a sweet-tasting, flowing spring, and there with his strong bow the lord, the son of Zeus, killed the bloated, great serpent, a fierce monster wont to do great mischief to men upon earth, to men themselves and to their kine.   After slaying Python, Apollo saw that the icy naiad tricked him. He started out in anger towards Telphusa’s spring and soon came to her.
He stood close by and spoke: “Telphusa, you were not, after all, to keep to yourself this lovely place by deceiving my mind, and pour forth your clear flowing water: here my renown shall also be and not yours alone?”
Thus, spoke far-working Apollo and pushed over upon her a crag with a shower of rocks, hiding her waters.  Just as Ares threatened to do to the River Peneus not long before.

After Apollo and Artemis killed the Python they went to Aegialea to obtain purification. The place men and gods called Mecone before and would call Sicyon later.  Suddenly dread coming upon the murderous pair at the place named Fear, they turned aside to King Carmanor in Crete, and a plague struck the people of Aegialea. The seers ordered the people to honor Apollo and Artemis. They sent seven boys and seven maidens as suppliants to bathe in the river Sythas; the last river in Achaia. The Sythas is a splendid river. The valley of the Sythas, is a water-worn rift on a gigantic scale in a formation of silvery sandstone mortared with like clay. The bottom of the valley is fruitful; vineyards and fine groves of olives occupy the greater part of it, and tall cypresses rise here and there, like dark spires, above the greener foliage. Between the rugged broken hills with their long lines of white precipices, the massive Mt. Cyllene, blocking the southern end of the valley.[viii] They say that the deities, persuaded by these, came to the citadel and the place that they reached first is the sanctuary of Peitho. Confirming  this story is the ceremony once performed on the banks of the River Sythas.  (Just as her worshippers washed Hera Argeia’s statue in the Canathos river.[ix]) The children went to the Sythas on the feast of Apollo and carried the divine pair back to the sanctuary of Persuasion.  (They carried effigies of the divinities into the sanctuary according to Claude Calame.) [x] They took them back again to the temple of Apollo.[xi] The temple of Apollo stood on the banks of the Sythas. 

In Tarrha on the southwest coast of Crete Apollo possessed a priest and “close companion”[xii] Carmanor.  Carmanor by the goddess Demeter fathered Eubulus and Chrysothemis.  He received and purified polluted Apollo and Artemis, after they slew the monster Python. [xiii] (The Cretans possessed a high reputation as exorcists and cleansers of religious pollution.  Epimenides came from Crete to purge Athens from the plague”.  [xiv])  Eubulus fathered Carme, upon whom Zeus sired the nymph Britomartis.  The city sat at the entrance of the Samaria Gorge east of the Samaria River.  It was best known for its oracle and Sanctuary of Apollo Tarrhaios  [xv]  The bed and rocks on each side of the Samaria shut in like the lintel of a doorway.  No mere mortal could scale its slopes. The riverbed in one place was only ten feet wide, with the cliffs rose perpendicularly over a thousand feet.  The Samarian gorge lies beneath an azure sky standing above the rugged towering iron-colored gates. Boulders-white cobble the narrow naked canyon bottom. The blessed river runs beneath his bed, only to leap into the air and dive into azure pools.  The Samarian Gorge was the longest ravines in Ancient Greece. The protected environment, the abundances of water, the topography and the climate made Samaria a garden of Cretan maple, orchids, and dittany.  Eagles flew overhead and Cretan ibex lived here.  The ridgelines over head were rich  in  wood and great was the landscape, The Samaria was a rapid perennial brook; damp, chilly and feverish;[xvi] with a narrow valley full of cypress and other trees.[xvii]   Here the bloodstained hands of Apollo were cleansed. 
Also in Tarrha in the house of Carmanor that Apollo met the nymph Acacallis.  Acacallis became the mother of a dizzying array of demigods; Miletus, Cydon, Naxos, Amphithemis, Garamis, Phylacides, Philander, Oaxes, Ammon and possibly the brothers Nasman and Caphaurus.  Most of whom are eponymous founders of cities in Crete and elsewhere.  Some of whom were abandoned by their mother and suckled by goats or wolves.[xviii]
The number of sons begs the question of how long Apollo stayed in Tarrha.  Fontenrose, reports that in a Pindaric fragment it is said that Gaia, primordial goddess of the earth howled for Apollo to be cast into the pitch-black depths of Tartarus after he took possession of Delphi.[xix]  Tartarus is the abysmal prison of the defeated Titans, guarded by the River Styx.  Only the prayers of this mother Leto could modify the punishment to exile.  “The gods know the bitterness of a nine-year long exile...”  Ditienne says in Apollo’s Slaughterhouse, probably referring to those who swear falsely by the Styx, “for nine years he is cut off from all part of the everlasting gods, nor has anything to do with their counsels”[xx]
From Crete, the perfidious god returned to Crissa with a Cretan crew who became his priests.

The Valley of Nemea is a narrow dale.  Her northern end is contracted to a mere arroyo.  Through the flat bottom of the valley, meandered the brook Nemea, fed by the numerous seeps, which descended from the neighboring hills. These kept the bottom of the valley green, moist and marshy.  The dale was better adapted for pasturage than tillage, indeed from the rich pastures that clothe her bottom and the lower slopes of the hills she received is name of Nemea; “the pastoral vale”.  The valley itself, especially after rain is green and smiling.  The surround hills, scarred sandstone seamed with beds of torrents, are a dark and melancholy hue. These, combined with the absolute solitude, affects the mind and produces a sense of gloom and desolation.  The solitude is only broken by wandering herds of kine.  [xxi]
And yet another account of murderous Apollo’s purification before returning to Delphi.  Sung by minstrel men and the wandering of Crotopos[xxii]

“Seeking purification of the dead, Apollo came to the humble dwelling of our king Crotopos. Crotopos of Argos was the son of Agenor and father of Psamathe; a daughter, in the first years of tender maidenhood, and wondrous fair, kept this pious home, a virgin chaste. How happy, had she ne’er kept secret tryst with the Delian, or shared a stolen love with Apollo! For she suffered the violence of the god by Nemea’s stream, and when Cynthia had twice five times gathered her circle’s visage to the full, she brought forth a child, Leto’s grandson.” 
  Like most of the philandering god lovers; Psamathe abandoned Baby Linus whom the dogs devoured.[xxiii]

Finally, returning to Crissa, the god established Delphi and laid out the foundation of his temple near the Castalian Spring.   Visitors of the oracle went to her source first to ritually cleanse themselves. Washing one's hair was sufficient, but murderers washed themselves completely. [xxiv]. Her silver water came down from the two rocks known as the Pheriads, and plunged down as a little brook, the Papaddia, from the rocks, and joined the river Pleistos below Delphi. According to the Greek author Pausanias, the water tasted delicious. [xxv]
“He put Python’s bones in a cauldron, deposited them in his temple, and instituted funeral games for him which are called Pythian.”[xxvi]

Funeral games are common component in Greek myths, witness the Nemean Games in honor of Archemorus slain by the guardian spirit of a nearby spring when the Seven Against Thebes approached the water source.  Funeral games were general initiated to propagate the spirit of the deceased. The art and dance competitions pre-dated the athletic portion of the games.  A four-horse chariot race, held in a hippodrome in the plain, not far from the sea, gymnastic competitions and horse riding too.  Other events at times included flute, cithara and singing along with acting, dance and painting competitions[xxvii] The oldest contest at the Pythian Games (and the one for which they first offered prizes) was the singing of a hymn to the god. The man who sang and won the prize was Chrysothemis son of Carmanor.[xxviii]   

 But even then the purification of bloody Apollo did not seem complete.  

Apollo returned to the Vale of Tempe, where the level soil is widely covered with a crumbling chalk. The largest, grandest river of Thessaly, flows throughout the year.  Here clear tranquil green water flows beneath the white cliffs.  The dryads over shadow the depths of the mighty Peneus, with languid arms and trailing hands cooled in the flow.  The river god’s waters are the most beautiful of any that flow on earth; and the frolicking Thessalian nymphs haunt still the beguiling brooks and silver whirls of the mighty Peneus.  Within the vale, the rolling foothills and gentler slopes wear a thousand shades of green.    The Vale of Tempe is the deep canyon between the Mt. Olympus and Mt. Ossa, where the swift river Peneus breaks through the mountains, and flows from Thessaly to the Aegean Sea.   Tempe was the home of the Muses, and would become sacred to Apollo. As it lay near Mount Olympus, it became a place where the gods could relax and disport themselves in a "pleasant place"; the unspoiled, untended meadow of the classical times.  The vale is enclosed with hanging forests, steep on every side. 

Here mighty  Peneus rolls over the shoulders of towering Mt. Pindus; flooding his foaming course, and from this mighty fall the swirling clouds of mist drift down in rain upon the trees, and far the waters’ joyous roar resounds. The river god here forms clouds upon Mt. Pelion and generates Tempe’s famous glittering haze. Here is the home, the mansion, the retreat of that majestic River Peneus; seated here within a rock-hewn cavern he dispensed justice to all his waters, their associated nymphs and the tributary river-gods themselves.  First, Anauros made famous by swelling with rainstorm, and blotting out the grave and memorial of Cyknos.  Lord Peneus also receives the waters of the Europos River, which Homer called Titaresios. He marks the boundary between Macedonia on the north and Thessaly on the south. But the source-waters of the Europos rise in the Titarios Mountain, which is continuous with Mt. Olympus."  Here grow the sacred groves of health-giving laurels. These places of relaxation rich in texture and variety are not the work of mortal hands.  The lush ivy grows in abundance.  It flourishes and luxuriates while creeping up the cliffs and clinging to the soaring trees.  A forest of Holm oak grows up hard against the cliff itself and shades the rock.  The cliffs are completely concealed and only greenery can be seen.  Aside the smooth low-lying stretches of the mighty Peneus stand dappled groves and sweet bowers; pleasurable retreats for wayfarers to flee to in the summer heat.  Throughout the Tempe, numerous springs splash through it and rivulets of cool water flow into it, sweet to drink. These waters are said to be a boon to any who wash in them, restoring them to health.  Through the heart of Tempe flows the mighty Peneus; his movement is leisurely and gentle with the liquidity of olive oil.  Deep is the shade born of the trees by his banks and of the branches that hang from them.  The people gather here alongside the mighty Peneus, make sacrifice, hold gatherings and drink together, leaving the pleasantest of smells to waft from the burnt offerings.   
Lord Peneus finally purified Apollo in his waters after the killing  the serpent Python. [xxix]   The sons of the Thessalians say, Apollo the Pythian-Slayer was purified here according to the command of Zeus.[xxx]  A temple was built in a recess on the right bank and every eight years a procession came here from Delphi.

According to Fontenrose, a ritual called the Septerion commemorated Peneus’ purification of the fugitive god.  A boy acting Apollo’s part; flees Delphi with his close companions after setting the serpent’s lair on fire.  The boy then wanders and undergoes ritual servitude, finally receiving purification in Tempe.  He thus reenacted the divine fugitive’s flight and servitude of nine years. From Aelian we learn that the journey to Tempe was one of festal pomp carried out by the young nobility of Delphi.  With one of their number  as processional leader. On arrival in the Vale of the Tempe upon the shores of the Peneus,  they carried out a grand sacrifice.  They wove crowns from the health-giving laurels of the in remembrance of the occasion when the god himself wreathed his brow, after his own purification on the same spot.  A flute-player accompanied them. (Plutarch)  As the procession proceeded along the Pythian way, the people of Thessaly, Pelasgia, Oete, Aenianes, Melians, Dorians and the Western Locrians escorted the boys.  All these people escort the procession with much reverence and give honor to the Vale of Tempe and the shores of ever-cleansing Peneus. 

Image courtesy of the New York Public Library

[i] Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 104 ff
[ii] Interesting that blood-thirsty Ares, son of Hera adopted the same technique used in the Gigantomachy, "The baleful Giants are taking arm . . . (Mt.) Cithaeron is tottering, lofty Pellene quakes, and Tempe's beauty fades. Here one Giant has seized Pindus' peak, there one has seized Oete, while horribly the Giant Mimas rages." Seneca, Hercules Furens 976 ff :
[iii] Homer Iliad 2.720
[iv] Callimachus
[v] Homeric Hymn to Apollo, which is the source for most of this article
[vi] Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 1179.  
[vii] Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
[viii] –Frazier on Pausanias
[ix] The Transformation of Hera by Joan V. O’Brien
[x] Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece Their Morphology, Religious Role, and Social Function Claude Calame
[xi] Pausanias 2.7.7-8
[xii] Brill’s New Pauly
[xiii] William Smith. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. London. John Murray
[xiv] Frazier on Pausanius
[xv] The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
[xvi] The Cretan Insurrection of 1866-67, William James Stillman
[xvii] Intro to Scientific  System Mythology CO Mueller
[xviii] Encyclopedia Mythica Dr Alena Trckova-Flamee, Ph.D.
[xix] Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and Its Origins.
[xx] Hesiod, Theogony 775 ff
[xxi] Frazer on Paussanius
[xxii] Callimachus, Aetia Fragment 1. 2
[xxiii] Thebaid Book I 565
[xxiv] According to Euripides' play Ion (94ff)
[xxv] Guide to Greece, 10.8.5).
[xxvi] HYGINUS, FABULAE 100 - 149
[xxvii] Wikipedia
[xxviii] Paus. 10.7.2
[xxix] The Encyclopedia Britannica says of “the Vale of Tempe”
[xxx] Theopompus, The Historian by Gordon S Shrimpton.