Tempe, Vale of

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Vale of Tempe, Gr. Témbi, valley, c.5 mi (8 km) long, E central Greece, NE Thessaly, between Mt. Olympus and Mt. Óssa. Traversed by the Piniós River, the valley is famous for its rugged grandeur. Its beauty was celebrated by ancient poets, for example by Vergil in the Georgics. The Vale of Tempe was sacred to Apollo, and laurel for the wreaths of victors of the Pythian games was gathered there. Strategically important as a route into central Greece, the valley was fortified by the Romans and the Byzantines. Among the ruins is a temple of Apollo.