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The original Tempe is in Greece (modern Greek Tembi). The Vale of Tempe in Thessaly was celebrated for its beauty, much eulogized by the poets; in its midst there was a temple to Apollo, to whom the vale was sacred; and here the laurel was gathered for the wreaths of victors in the Pythian Games.

A lot like the place in Arizona, I suppose.

It is a deep, rugged, narrow valley, ranged with cliffs, 10 km long and in some places only 25 m wide. A river (modern name Piniós) flows through it into the Aegean. Here Apollo purified himself after slaying the Python.

In post-classical times it has been an important fortified route, from Roman times to the Second World War. The Byzantine name for it was Likóstomo 'Wolf's Mouth', and the Turks called it Boghaz 'the Gorge'.

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