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Phocis (fōˈsĭs) [key], ancient region of central Greece. It included Delphi, Mt. Parnassus, and Elatea; Boeotia (now Voiotía) was on the east, and the Gulf of Corinth was on the south. After the First Sacred War of c.590 B.C. ("sacred" because it involved the oracle of Delphi), Phocis lost control of Delphi to a council of states. With Athenian help Phocis regained (457 B.C.) hold of Delphi, thus precipitating the Second Sacred War. Early in the next century Phocis passed under Theban control. The Third Sacred War (355–346 B.C.) began with Phocis trying to reestablish itself and ended with the victory of Philip II of Macedon, who thereby became arbiter of Greece.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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