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


Delos, or Ortygia (mod. Dhilos, a name which includes the adjacent island of Rhenea), an island in the AEgean Sea, forming one of the group known as the Cyclades, and lying to the N. of Naxos. Poseidon, according to legendary tradition, caused it to rise from the waters as a refuge for Leto when pursued by the jealousy of Here. It was, therefore, held sacred to Phoebus (Apollo) and Artemis (Diana), the twin children of the fugitive, who were born there. So sacred was the spot that neither births nor deaths were permitted to take place in the island, and once in every four years a religious deputation was sent thither from Athens. The oracular shrine of Apollo on the western coast at the foot of Mount Cynthus was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Though Darius and Xerxes respected the sanctity of the spot, it was devastated by Mithridates and never recovered. In the 2nd century B.C. it was a great slave mart. It is now uninhabited, though shepherds from the adjacent islands now and then bring their flocks over.