Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Amphictyon, a mythical Greek hero, to whom is assigned the establishment of the famous Amphictyonic Council that met twice a year at Thermopylae and Delphi alternately to settle matters in dispute between the different states. In early times only 12 delegates composed this body, but as many as 30 took part in the deliberations before the final extinction of Greek independence. The institution undoubtedly had its origin in a desire to preserve the peace during great religious festivals and to protect the common shrines of Hellas. Out of this beginning grew something like a system of international law. The decisions of the council were several times enforced by arms, and the wars that ensued are known as "Sacred Wars." Philip of Macedon made one of them a pretext for entering the assembly, and exercising a powerful influence over Greek affairs.