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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Phocian Confederation

Ancient Phocis played a very important role in the history of ancient Greece, not only because of its vicinity to the famous sanctuary of Delphi, which it originally owned, but also because of its geographical position. In the begin¬ning of the sixth century B.C., after the first sacred war, Phocis lost the sanctuary of Delphi and was occupied by the Thessalians. Soon after their liberation in the end of the same century the Phocian cities allied in a confederation aiming at the recovery of the sanctuary of Delphi and at their independence. However, the efforts of the Phocians to regain the celebrated sanctuary caused two more sacred wars with unfortunate implications for them: they were submitted to Philippe of Macedonia, were excluded from the Deiphic amphictyony and were forced to pay each year a heavy indemnity for the precious offerings of the sanctuary they had plundered during the third war. The hostility between Phocians and Macedonians continued, and they had several fierce confrontations in the battlefield during the third and second century B.C. Until their final submission to the Romans, the Phocians managed to preserve somehow their independence by remaining united and by keeping their confederation quite powerful, whenever a political issue would arise.