A province of ancient Greece, west of Boeotia, and bounded south by the Gulf of Corinth. The greater part of the country is occupied by the mountain range of Parnassus. The state derives its chief historical importance from possession of the famous oracle of Delphi. During the Peloponnesian war the Phocians were close allies of the Athenians. In the time of Philip of Macedon they were involved in a ten years' war, on account of their opposition to a decree of the Amphictyonic Council, concerning the use of a piece of land belonging to the temple of Delphi. This war, commonly known as the Sacred or Phocian War, ended disastrously for the Phocians, the whole of whose cities (twenty-two in number) were destroyed, with one exception, and the inhabitants parceled out among the hamlets.
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