Where Was Phocis in Ancient Greece?

Where Was Phocis in Ancient Greece?

Phocis was an ancient region located in central Greece. It was bordered by Boeotia to the east, Opuntian Locris to the northeast, Doris to the northwest, and Mount Parnassus to the south.

Let’s delve into the details of this fascinating region.


Phocis was primarily a mountainous region with rugged terrain and deep valleys. Mount Parnassus, one of its prominent features, dominated the southern part of Phocis.

Its peak reached an impressive elevation of 2,457 meters (8,061 feet), making it a significant landmark in ancient Greece.

The region was also home to several rivers, including the Cephissus and its tributaries. These waterways played a crucial role in shaping the landscape and providing irrigation for agriculture.

Delphi – The Center of Phocis

One of the most famous sites in Phocis was Delphi, an important religious sanctuary dedicated to Apollo. Delphi held immense significance in ancient Greece as it was believed to be the center of the world.

Delphi housed the Oracle of Delphi, a priestess who served as a medium between humans and gods. People from all over Greece sought advice and predictions from the Oracle before making major decisions or embarking on important endeavors.

The Pythian Games

Every four years, Delphi hosted the Pythian Games in honor of Apollo. These games were one of the four Panhellenic Games held in ancient Greece and attracted athletes from various city-states.

The Pythian Games featured events such as chariot races, athletic competitions, and musical contests. Victors were rewarded with laurel wreaths and held in high esteem throughout Greece.

Phocis in Greek Mythology

Like many regions in ancient Greece, Phocis had its share of mythological tales. One famous legend involves the hero Oedipus, who famously solved the riddle of the Sphinx.

After his exile from Thebes, Oedipus sought refuge in Phocis until his death.

The Battle of Plataea

Phocis played a significant role in the Persian Wars. During the Battle of Plataea in 479 BCE, Phocians fought alongside other Greek city-states against the invading Persians.

Their bravery and contribution were crucial to the eventual victory of the Greeks.


Phocis, located in central Greece, was a region known for its rugged terrain and important religious center at Delphi. It held great historical and mythological significance throughout ancient times.

Exploring Phocis allows us to gain a deeper understanding of Greek history and culture.