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n. pl.1.(Grecian Hist.) Deputies from the confederated states of ancient Greece to a congress or council. They considered both political and religious matters.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
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The Amphictyons were the guardians of religion, and of the immense riches belonging to the temple of Delphos, where they had the right of jurisdiction in controversies between the inhabitants and those who came to consult the oracle.
The Amphictyons had in their hands the superstition of the times, one of the principal engines by which government was then maintained; they had a declared authority to use coercion against refractory cities, and were bound by oath to exert this authority on the necessary occasions.
The Thebans, with others of the cities, undertook to maintain the authority of the Amphictyons, and to avenge the violated god.
"No," replied Grandfather; "the different colonies did not compose one nation together; it was merely a confederacy among the governments: It somewhat resembled the league of the Amphictyons, which you remember in Grecian history.
Amphictyon, we are told, was the author of that which bore his name.
Indeed, rather than the invention of Cruce or Sully, the idea of an assembly belongs to the amphictyons, who either considered the election of delegates through popular vote or limited themselves to bringing together properly credentialed ambassadors.
In Pausanias' own day there were thirty Amphictyons and the Ainians are not specifically mentioned as separate from the Thessalians.