The Amphictyonies/Amfiktionies emerged in the 7th century BC as a result of the aggregation in the sanctuary of Demeter at Anthele near Thermopylae, of neighboring tribal groups in Central Greece and Thessaly. Delphi then joined in this institution as well.
Etymologically the term is composed of the prefix "amphi-" and the word "ktoina" which means settlement. The word "Amphictyon" therefore means "someone who lives around, a neighbor".
It should be noted that the term "Amphictyony" is an institution so old, that the founding of the first Amphictyony is confused with legend. The myth claims that it had been founded by "Amphictyon", son of Deucalion and Pyrrha and brother of Hellen, the common ancestor of all Greeks. "The legendary origin of the institution definitely has deeper significance because in this way the ancient Greeks obviously wanted to symbolize their national unity" (P. Aloupi).
The Delphic Amphictyony, which took place twice a year, was a conference event where the league of the then twelve tribes of Central Greece and Thessaly participated.
The conference, which had enormous political and religious power, was attended by the "Hieromnemones", i.e. the 24 permanent members, who were elected by lot from the 12 tribes of the Amphictyony (each tribe had two votes), the "Pylagores", a "Secretary" (elected) and a "Preacher".
The Aphictyones representatives, having both judiciary power and possibly following the ancient written laws of "Amphictyon" (based on "Dionysius of Halicarnassus"), solved disputes and regulated relations between the city-states of the then known world. This means that the Amphictyonies of ancient Greece, by establishing the first rules of International Law, may be soundly paralleled to the League of Nations and the UN.
Therefore, we hope that the messages of the amphictyonic conference through the Pythian utterances, being a beacon of spiritual guidance of mankind, will always show us the most suitable route to progress in our society.
(Konstantinos Paparrigopoulos "History of the Greek Nation -Second Book, Prehistoric Times." Vassilios Ch. Petrakos "Delphi". Peter Kalonaros "History of the City of Amfissa". http://history-pages.blogspot.gr/2012/04/blog-post_5489.html Takis Efthymiou "Voice of Phocis"). (AMPHICTYONIES OF ANTHELE AND DELPHI, P. Aloupi).