Pythian Games one of the four great national festivals of the Greeks. They were celebrated on a plain in the neighborhood of Delphi in honor of Apollo, Artemis, and Leto, and on one occasion they were held at Athens. They are said to have originated in a musical contest, which consisted in singing a hymn in honor of Apollo, with an accompaniment on the cithara. The other exercises customary at the Grecian games were subsequently added. Originally they were celebrated at the end of every eighth year, but in the forty-eighth Olympiad they began to be held at the end of every fourth year, and were regularly observed down to the end of the fourth century. Lesser Pythian games were celebrated in many other places where Apollo was worshipped. SEE GAMES.