Phokis was a region in the central part of ancient Greece which was home to the renowned Sanctuary of Delphi located on the slopes of Grand Mount Parnassos, a point once considered by the ancient Greeks to be the center of the world.
For centuries, Greeks journeyed to Phokis to visit the Temple of Apollo where they sought the advice and guidance of the Oracle of Delphi regarding their future. The prestige of the Oracle became the primary source of income for Phokis, which collected fees from visitors to the temple passing through the city of Kirrha, which served as the harbor of Delphi. While the region had few permanent residents, its population was always relatively sizable due to the constant influx of visitors. Those who worked in the Sanctuary, including the Pythia herself, lived in the nearby Chora of Delphi.
In 431 BCE, the Spartan misthios Kassandra came to Kirrha where she reported to Elpenor with Nikolaos' helmet and details regarding his fate. After being betrayed by Elpenor, Kassandra followed Barnabas and met him at Delphi to consult the Pythia.
The landscape of Phokis could be described as enchanting, especially in the autumn when the vibrant deciduous trees melted with the sea of sacred olive groves. This environment complemented the divine reputation of the site.
The region of Phokis was made up of six smaller regions, with the Isle of Thisvi also considered part of Phokis:
- Grand Mount Parnassos
- Hill of the Sacred War
- Pilgrim's Landing
- Valley of the Nymph
- Valley of the Snake
- The emblem of Phokis features two white dolphins flanking a golden sacrificial tripod. The dolphins reference the legend of how the god Apollo established the sanctuary of Delphi by appearing as a dolphin.