The original Tempe is in Greece
(modern Greek Tembi
). The Vale
of Tempe in Thessaly
was celebrated for its beauty
, much eulogize
d by the poets; in its midst there was a temple to Apollo
, to whom the vale was sacred
; and here the laurel
was gathered for the wreath
s of victors in the Pythian
A lot like the place in Arizona, I suppose.
It is a deep, rugged, narrow valley, ranged with cliffs, 10 km long and in some places only 25 m wide. A river (modern name Piniós) flows through it into the Aegean. Here Apollo purified himself after slaying the Python.
In post-classical times it has been an important fortified route, from Roman times to the Second World War. The Byzantine name for it was Likóstomo 'Wolf's Mouth', and the Turks called it Boghaz 'the Gorge'.