Castalian Spring

The Castalian Spring near Delphi, about which I just put online a short article, was a fountain east of the famous sanctuary of Apollo. Today, a basin and a reservoir from the Hellenistic age are still visible. In Antiquity, it was the place where one had to ritually cleanse oneself before entering the oracle, and the waters became so famous that the word “Castalia” could be used as a synonym for Delphi, for poetic inspiration (e.g., by Virgil), and for wisdom. It is therefore not very surprising to find a representation of the pagan fountain depicted in Christian churches, like the one at Qasr Libya in the Cyrenaica (photo).


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