National Geographic : 1922 Dec
608 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph from Alexander Wilbourne Weddell THE GYMNASIUM FROM THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO AT DELPIII Delphi was the center of the cult of Apollo. The grandeur of the scenery, the ice-cold springs, the mysterious air currents from the gorges, from earliest times filled the passer-by with awe. In ancient days the speech of the Oracle had far-reaching effects, and the cult of the god did not cease until the close of the fourth century of our era, when the Byzantine Emperor Theodoric put an end to it by the sword. We are looking down from the temple of the god to the Gymnasium, set in the midst of olive trees. The bathing pool is plainly visible. About 60,000 people can be accommo dated in entire comfort in the inclosure. However, there is but one exit-through the open portion of the ellipse-in which respect it differs from our "bowls" and stadia. But what is lost in the Athenian stadium from the practical standpoint is more than compensated for by the gain in beauty through the absence of the dis- figuring passages seen in the modern American structures. In the reign of Hadrian wild-beast hunts took place frequently in the sta dium, and it is thought that the rock-like tunnel on the left-hand side, opposite the entrance, was used to introduce the ani mals into the arena. In 1906 the athletes made use of this tunnel.