Sanctuary of Amphiaraos
By adrbr @ 2010-04-24 07:49:20
At the Temple of Amphiaraos, the site is about 154 m in elevation, with a gentle slope to the northeast, as it fills the northwest bank of a small ravine between two hills. The sanctuary was located near the border of Attica and Boiotia, the respective spheres of control of Athens and Thebes; control over the site passed back and forth between the rival cities until Alexander the Great destroyed Thebes in 335 BCE. In the 2nd century CE, the Greek periegetic writer Pausanias stated:
I think that Amphiaraos most of all dedicated himself to interpreting dreams: it is clear that, when he was considered a god, he set up an oracle of dreams. And the first thing is to purify oneself, when someone comes to consult Amphiaraos, and the purification ritual is to sacrifice to the god, and people sacrifice to him and to all those whose names are on (the altar), and - when these things are finished – they sacrifice a ram and spread out its skin under themselves, lie down waiting for the revelation of a dream.
Description of Greece 1.34.5
An inscription from the site, however, states that each man may sacrifice what he wants. Some variation in practice during the nine centuries of cult activity at the sanctuary may be expected. The baths of the site were famous in antiquity. The locations of a stadion and a hippodrome are unknown.