Apollo

Apollo

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Apollo'
Start a new discussion about 'Apollo'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities
Twelve Olympians
The Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon , in Greek mythology, were the principal deities of the Greek pantheon, residing atop Mount Olympus. Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, and Hades were siblings. Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Athena, Apollo, and Artemis were children of Zeus...

 in Greek
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 and Roman mythology
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

. The ideal of the kouros
Kouros
A kouros is the modern term given to those representations of male youths which first appear in the Archaic period in Greece. The term kouros, meaning youth, was first proposed for what were previously thought to be depictions of Apollo by V. I...

(a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 and Leto
Leto
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, the Letoides, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus...

, and has a twin
Twin
A twin is one of two offspring produced in the same pregnancy. Twins can either be monozygotic , meaning that they develop from one zygote that splits and forms two embryos, or dizygotic because they develop from two separate eggs that are fertilized by two separate sperm.In contrast, a fetus...

 sister, the chaste huntress Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology
Etruscan mythology
The Etruscans were a diachronically continuous population, with a distinct language and culture during the period of earliest European writing, in the Mediterranean Iron Age in the second half of the first millennium BC...

 as Apulu. Apollo was worshiped in both ancient Greek
Ancient Greek religion
Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs and rituals practiced in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and cult practices. These different groups varied enough for it to be possible to speak of Greek religions or "cults" in the plural, though most of them shared...

 and Roman religion, and in the modern Greco–Roman
Nova Roma
Nova Roma is an international Roman revivalist and reconstructionist organization created in 1998 by Joseph Bloch and William Bradford, later incorporated in Maine as a non-profit organization with an educational and religious mission...

 Neopaganism
Neopaganism
Neopaganism is an umbrella term used to identify a wide variety of modern religious movements, particularly those influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe...

.

As the patron of Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

 (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle
Pythia
The Pythia , commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, was the priestess at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. The Pythia was widely credited for her prophecies inspired by Apollo. The Delphic oracle was established in the 8th century BC...

. Medicine and healing were associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius
Asclepius
Asclepius is the God of Medicine and Healing in ancient Greek religion. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia , Iaso , Aceso , Aglæa/Ægle , and Panacea...

, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists
Colonies in antiquity
Colonies in antiquity were city-states founded from a mother-city—its "metropolis"—, not from a territory-at-large. Bonds between a colony and its metropolis remained often close, and took specific forms...

, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muse
Muse
The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths...

s (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

. Hermes
Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

 created the lyre
Lyre
The lyre is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later. The word comes from the Greek "λύρα" and the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning "lyrists", written in Linear B syllabic script...

 for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paean
Paean
A paean is a song or lyric poem expressing triumph or thanksgiving. In classical antiquity, it is usually performed by a chorus, but some examples seem intended for an individual voice...

s.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios
Helios
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

, Titan
Titan (mythology)
In Greek mythology, the Titans were a race of powerful deities, descendants of Gaia and Uranus, that ruled during the legendary Golden Age....

 god of the sun
Solar deity
A solar deity is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by its perceived power and strength. Solar deities and sun worship can be found throughout most of recorded history in various forms...

, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene
Selene
In Greek mythology, Selene was an archaic lunar deity and the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. In Roman mythology, the moon goddess is called Luna, Latin for "moon"....

, Titan goddess of the moon
Lunar deity
In mythology, a lunar deity is a god or goddess associated with or symbolizing the moon. These deities can have a variety of functions and traditions depending upon the culture, but they are often related to or an enemy of the solar deity. Even though they may be related, they are distinct from the...

. In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol
Sol (mythology)
Sol was the solar deity in Ancient Roman religion. It was long thought that Rome actually had two different, consecutive sun gods. The first, Sol Indiges, was thought to have been unimportant, disappearing altogether at an early period. Only in the late Roman Empire, scholars argued, did solar cult...

 among the Augustan poets
Classical Latin
Classical Latin in simplest terms is the socio-linguistic register of the Latin language regarded by the enfranchised and empowered populations of the late Roman republic and the Roman empire as good Latin. Most writers during this time made use of it...

 of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas
Aeneas
Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

 and Latinus
Latinus
Latinus was a figure in both Greek and Roman mythology.-Greek mythology:In Hesiod's Theogony, Latinus was the son of Odysseus and Circe who ruled the Tyrsenoi, presumably the Etruscans, with his brothers Ardeas and Telegonus...

 in Aeneid
Aeneid
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of roughly 10,000 lines in dactylic hexameter...

 XII (161–215). Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.

Etymology


The etymology of Apollo is uncertain.
The spelling Ἀπόλλων had almost superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era, but the Doric form Απέλλων is more archaic, derived from an earlier *Απέλjων. The name is certainly cognate with the Doric month name Απέλλαιος and the Doric festival απελλαι.

Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most often associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι (apollymi), "to destroy". Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 in Cratylus
Cratylus
Cratylus was an ancient Athenian philosopher from late 5th century BC, mostly known through his portrayal in Plato's dialogue Cratylus. Little is known of Cratylus or his mentor Heraclitus . According to Cratylus at 402a, Heraclitus proclaimed that one cannot step twice into the same stream...

connects the name with (apolysis), "redeem", with (apolousis), "purification", and with (aploun), "simple", in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, , and finally with (aeiballon), "ever-shooting". Hesychius
Hesychius of Alexandria
Hesychius of Alexandria , a grammarian who flourished probably in the 5th century CE, compiled the richest lexicon of unusual and obscure Greek words that has survived...

 connects the name Apollo with the Doric απέλλα (apella), which means "assembly", so that Apollo would be the god of political life, and he also gives the explanation σηκός (sekos), "fold", in which case Apollo would be the god of flocks and herds.

Following the tradition of these Ancient Greek folk etymologies, in the Doric dialect the word originally meant wall, fence from animals and later assembly within the agora
Agora
The Agora was an open "place of assembly" in ancient Greek city-states. Early in Greek history , free-born male land-owners who were citizens would gather in the Agora for military duty or to hear statements of the ruling king or council. Later, the Agora also served as a marketplace where...

. In the Ancient Macedonian language
Ancient Macedonian language
Ancient Macedonian was the language of the ancient Macedonians. It was spoken in the kingdom of Macedon during the 1st millennium BCE and it belongs to the Indo-European group of languages...

  (pella) means stone, and some toponyms are derived from this word: (Pella
Pella
Pella , an ancient Greek city located in Pella Prefecture of Macedonia in Greece, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.-Etymology:...

:capital of Ancient Macedonia), (Pellini-Pallini
Pallini
Pallini , ancient form and Latin: Pallene, is a suburb and a municipality in the northeastern part of Athens, Greece. The seat of the municipality is the town Gerakas. It is located east of Athens, midway between it and the Petalies Gulf. It is the seat of administration of the East Attica Prefecture...

).

A number of non-Greek etymologies have been suggested for the name, The form Apaliunas
Apaliunas
Apaliunas is a theonym, attested in a Hittite language treaty as a tutelary of Wilusa.Apaliunas is considered to be the Hittite reflex of *Apeljōn, an early form of the name Apollo....

(d) is attested as a god of Wilusa
Wilusa
Wilusa was a city of the late Bronze Age Assuwa confederation of western Anatolia.It is known from six references in 13th century BC Hittite sources, including...

 in a treaty between Alaksandu
Alaksandu
Alaksandu was a king of Wilusa who sealed a treaty with Muwatalli II ca. 1280 BC. This treaty implies that Alaksandu had previously secured a treaty with Muwatalli's father, Mursili II, as well....

 of Wilusa and the Hittite
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

 great king Muwatalli II
Muwatalli II
Muwatalli II was a king of the New kingdom of the Hittite empire .- Biography :He was the eldest son of Mursili II and Queen Gassulawiya, and he had several siblings....

 ca 1280 BCE.Alaksandu could be Paris-Alexander
Paris (mythology)
Paris , the son of Priam, king of Troy, appears in a number of Greek legends. Probably the best-known was his elopement with Helen, queen of Sparta, this being one of the immediate causes of the Trojan War...

 of Ilion
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

", whose name is Greek. The Hittite
Hittite language
Hittite is the extinct language once spoken by the Hittites, a people who created an empire centred on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia...

 testimony reflects an early form , which may also be surmised from comparison of Cypriot Απειλων with Doric Απελλων.
A Luwian
Luwian language
Luwian is an extinct language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. Luwian is closely related to Hittite, and was among the languages spoken during the second and first millennia BC by population groups in central and western Anatolia and northern Syria...

 etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo "The One of Entrapment", perhaps in the sense of "Hunter".

Among the proposed etymologies is the Hurrian and Hittite divinity, Aplu, who was widely invoked during the "plague years". Aplu, it is suggested, comes from the Akkadian Aplu Enlil, meaning "the son of Enlil", a title that was given to the god Nergal
Nergal
The name Nergal, Nirgal, or Nirgali refers to a deity in Babylon with the main seat of his cult at Cuthah represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim. Nergal is mentioned in the Hebrew bible as the deity of the city of Cuth : "And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal"...

, who was linked to Shamash
Shamash
Shamash was a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu...

, Babylonian god of the sun.

Greco-Roman epithets


Apollo, like other Greek deities, had a number of epithet
Epithet
An epithet or byname is a descriptive term accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It is also a descriptive title...

s applied to him, reflecting the variety of roles, duties, and aspects ascribed to the god. However, while Apollo has a great number of appellations in Greek myth, only a few occur in Latin literature
Latin literature
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

, chief among them Phoebus (icon ; Φοίβος, Phoibos, literally "radiant"), which was very commonly used by both the Greeks and Romans in Apollo's role as the god of light.

As sun-god and god of light, Apollo was also known by the epithets Aegletes (ə ; Αἰγλήτης, Aiglētēs, from αἴγλη, "light of the sun"), Helius (ˈ ; Ἥλιος, Helios
Helios
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

, literally "sun"), Phanaeus (f ; Φαναῖος, Phanaios, literally "giving or bringing light"), and Lyceus (l ; Λύκειος, Lukeios, from Proto-Greek
Proto-Greek language
The Proto-Greek language is the assumed last common ancestor of all known varieties of Greek, including Mycenaean, the classical Greek dialects , and ultimately Koine, Byzantine and modern Greek...

 *λύκη, "light"). The meaning of the epithet "Lyceus" later became associated Apollo's mother Leto
Leto
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, the Letoides, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus...

, who was the patron goddes of Lycia
Lycia
Lycia Lycian: Trm̃mis; ) was a region in Anatolia in what are now the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey. It was a federation of ancient cities in the region and later a province of the Roman Empire...

 (Λυκία) and who was identified with the wolf (λύκος), earning him the epithets Lycegenes (l ; Λυκηγενής, Lukēgenēs, literally "born of a wolf" or "born of Lycia") and Lycoctonus (l ; Λυκοκτόνος, Lukoktonos, from λύκος, "wolf", and κτείνειν, "to kill"). As god of the sun, the Romans referred to Apollo as Sol
Sol (mythology)
Sol was the solar deity in Ancient Roman religion. It was long thought that Rome actually had two different, consecutive sun gods. The first, Sol Indiges, was thought to have been unimportant, disappearing altogether at an early period. Only in the late Roman Empire, scholars argued, did solar cult...

 (ˈ ; literally "sun" in Latin).

In association with his birthplace, Mount Cynthus
Cynthus
Mount Cynthus is located on the isle of Delos, part of the Greek Cyclades.In Greek mythology, Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis on this island, having been shunned by Zeus' wife Hera who was extremely jealous of his liaison with Leto...

 on the island of Delos
Delos
The island of Delos , isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece...

, Apollo was called Cynthius (ˈ ; Κύνθιος, Kunthios, literally "Cynthian"), Cynthogenes (s ; Κύνθογενης, Kunthogenēs, literally "born of Cynthus"), and Delius (ˈ ; Δήλιος, Delios, literally "Delian"). As Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

's twin, Apollo had the epithet Didymaeus (d ; Διδυμαιος, Didumaios, from δίδυμος, "twin").


Apollo was worshipped as Actiacus (æ ; Ἄκτιακός, Aktiakos, literally "Actian"), Delphinius (d ; Δελφίνιος, Delphinios, literally "Delphic"), and Pythius (ˈ ; Πύθιος, Puthios, from Πυθώ, Pūthō, the area around Delphi), after Actium
Actium
Actium was the ancient name of a promontory of western Greece in northwestern Acarnania, at the mouth of the Sinus Ambracius opposite Nicopolis, built by Augustus on the north side of the strait....

 (Ἄκτιον) and Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

 (Δελφοί) respectively, two of his principal places of worship. An etiology
Etiology
Etiology is the study of causation, or origination. The word is derived from the Greek , aitiologia, "giving a reason for" ....

 in the Homeric hymns
Homeric Hymns
The Homeric Hymns are a collection of thirty-three anonymous Ancient Greek hymns celebrating individual gods. The hymns are "Homeric" in the sense that they employ the same epic meter—dactylic hexameter—as the Iliad and Odyssey, use many similar formulas and are couched in the same dialect...

 associated the epithet "Delphinius" with dolphin
Dolphin
Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from and , up to and . They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating...

s. He was worshipped as Acraephius (ə ; Ἀκραιφιος, Akraiphios, literally "Acraephian") or Acraephiaeus (ə ; Ἀκραιφιαίος, Akraiphiaios, literally "Acraephian") in the Boeotia
Boeotia
Boeotia, also spelled Beotia and Bœotia , is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece. It was also a region of ancient Greece. Its capital is Livadeia, the second largest city being Thebes.-Geography:...

n town of Acraephia (Ἀκραιφία), reputedly founded by his son Acraepheus
Acraepheus
Acraepheus was, in Greek mythology a son of Apollo to whom the foundation of the town of Acraephnium, a Boeotian town on the lake Copais, was ascribed. In Acraephnium, Apollo was thus attached with the epithet Acraephius or Acraephiaeus by worshipers....

; and as Smintheus (ˈ ; Σμινθεύς, Smintheus, "Sminthian"—that is, "of the town of Sminthos or Sminthe") near the Troad town of Hamaxitus
Hamaxitus
Hamaxitus was a Greek city in the south-west of the Troad region of Anatolia which was considered to mark the boundary between the Troad and Aeolis. Its surrounding territory was known in Greek as , and included the temple of Apollo Smintheus, the salt pans at Tragasai, and the Satnioeis river...

. The epithet "Smintheus" has historically been confused with σμίνθος, "mouse", in association with Apollo's role as a god of disease. For this he was also known as Parnopius (p ; Παρνόπιος, Parnopios, from πάρνοψ, "locust") and to the Romans as Culicarius (ˌ ; from Latin culicārius, "of midges").

In Apollo's role as a healer, his appellations included Acesius (ə ; Ἀκέσιος, Akesios, from ἄκεσις, "healing"), Acestor
Acestor
Acestor was the name of several figures in Classical mythology and history:*Apollo Acestor, an epithet of the god Apollo in his role as healer or averter of evil....

 (ə ; Ἀκέστωρ, Akestōr, literally "healer"), Paean (ˈ ; Παιάν, Paiān, from παίειν, "to touch"), and Iatrus (aɪ ; Ἰατρός, Iātros, literally "physician"). Acesius was the epithet of Apollo worshipped in Elis
Elis
Elis, or Eleia is an ancient district that corresponds with the modern Elis peripheral unit...

, where he had a temple in the agora
Agora
The Agora was an open "place of assembly" in ancient Greek city-states. Early in Greek history , free-born male land-owners who were citizens would gather in the Agora for military duty or to hear statements of the ruling king or council. Later, the Agora also served as a marketplace where...

. The Romans referred to Apollo as Medicus (ˈ ; literally "physician" in Latin) in this respect. A temple
Roman temple
Ancient Roman temples are among the most visible archaeological remains of Roman culture, and are a significant source for Roman architecture. Their construction and maintenance was a major part of ancient Roman religion. The main room housed the cult image of the deity to whom the temple was...

 was dedicated to Apollo Medicus at Rome, probably next to the temple of Bellona
Bellona (goddess)
Bellona was an Ancient Roman goddess of war, similar to the Ancient Greek Enyo. Bellona's attribute is a sword and she is depicted wearing a helmet and armed with a spear and a torch....

.

As a protector and founder, Apollo had the epithets Alexicacus
Alexicacus
Apollo Alexicacus , the "averter of evil", was an epithet given by the Ancient Greeks to several deities, such as Zeus, and Apollo, who was worshiped under this name by the Athenians, because he was believed to have stopped the plague which raged at Athens in the time of the Peloponnesian War...

 (ə ; Ἀλεξίκακος, Alexikakos, literally "warding off evil"), Apotropaeus (ə ; Ἀποτρόπαιος, Apotropaios, from ὰποτρέπειν, "to avert"), and Epicurius (ˌ ; Ἐπικούριος, Epikourios, from ἐπικουρέειν, "to aid"), and Archegetes (ɑr ; Ἀρχηγέτης, Arkhēgetēs, literally "founder"), Clarius (ˈ ; Κλάριος, Klārios, from Doric
Doric Greek
Doric or Dorian was a dialect of ancient Greek. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese, Crete, Rhodes, some islands in the southern Aegean Sea, some cities on the coasts of Asia Minor, Southern Italy, Sicily, Epirus and Macedon. Together with Northwest Greek, it forms the...

 κλάρος, "allotted lot"), and Genetor (ˈ ; Γενέτωρ, Genetōr, literally "ancestor"). To the Romans, he was known in this capacity as Averruncus (ˌ ; from Latin āverruncare, "to avert"). He was also called Agyieus
Agyieus
Apollo Agyieus was an epithet of the Greek god Apollo describing him as the protector of the streets, public places, and the entrances to homes.. As such he was worshiped at Acharnae, Mycenae, and at Tegea...

 (ə ; Ἀγυιεύς, Aguīeus, from ὰγυιά, "street") for his role in protecting roads and homes; and as Nomius (ˈ ; Νόμιος, Nomios, literally "pastoral") and Nymphegetes (n ; Νυμφηγέτης, Numphēgetēs, from Νύμφη, "Nymph", and ἡγέτης, "leader") in his role as a protector of shepherds and pastoral life.


In his role as god of prophecy and truth, Apollo had the epithets Manticus (ˈ ; Μαντικός, Mantikos, literally "prophetic"), Leschenorius (ˌ ; Λεσχηνόριος, Leskhēnorios, from λεσχήνωρ, "converser"), and Loxias (ˈ ; Λοξίας, Loxias, from λέγειν, "to say"). The epithet "Loxias" has historically been associated with λοξός, "ambiguous". In this respect, the Romans called him Coelispex (ˈ ; from Latin coelum, "sky", and specere, "to look at"). The epithet Iatromantis (aɪ ; Ἰατρομάντις, Iātromantis, from ὶατρός, "physician", and μάντις, "prophet") refers to both his role as a god of healing and of prophecy. As god of music and arts, Apollo had the epithet Musagetes (m ; Doric
Doric Greek
Doric or Dorian was a dialect of ancient Greek. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese, Crete, Rhodes, some islands in the southern Aegean Sea, some cities on the coasts of Asia Minor, Southern Italy, Sicily, Epirus and Macedon. Together with Northwest Greek, it forms the...

 Μουσαγέτας, Mousāgetās) or Musegetes (m ; Μουσηγέτης, Mousēgetēs, from Μούσα, "Muse
Muse
The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths...

", and ἡγέτης, "leader").

As a god of archery, Apollo was known as Aphetor (ə ; Ἀφήτωρ, Aphētōr, from ὰφίημι, "to let loose") or Aphetorus (ə ; Ἀφητόρος, Aphētoros, of the same origin), Argyrotoxus (ˌ ; Ἀργυρότοξος, Argurotoxos, literally "with silver bow"), Hecaërgus (ˌ ; Ἑκάεργος, Hekaergos, literally "far-shooting"), and Hecebolus (h ; Ἑκηβόλος, Hekēbolos, literally "far-shooting"). The Romans referred to Apollo as Articenens (ɑr ; "bow-carrying"). Apollo was called Ismenius (ɪ ; Ἰσμηνιός, Ismēnios, literally "of Ismenus") after Ismenus, the son of Amphion
Amphion
There are several characters named Amphion in Greek mythology:* Amphion, son of Zeus and Antiope, and twin brother of Zethus . Together they are famous for building Thebes. Amphion married Niobe, and killed himself after the loss of his wife and children at the hands of Apollo and Artemis...

 and Niobe
Niobe
Niobe was a daughter of Tantalus and of either Dione, the most frequently cited, or of Eurythemista or Euryanassa, and she was the sister of Pelops and Broteas, all of whom figure in Greek mythology....

, whom he struck with an arrow.

Celtic epithets and cult titles


Apollo was worshipped throughout the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. In the traditionally Celtic
Celtic nations
The Celtic nations are territories in North-West Europe in which that area's own Celtic languages and some cultural traits have survived.The term "nation" is used in its original sense to mean a people who share a common traditional identity and culture and are identified with a traditional...

 lands he was most often seen as a healing and sun god. He was often equated with Celtic gods of similar character.
  • Apollo Atepomarus ("the great horseman" or "possessing a great horse"). Apollo was worshipped at Mauvières
    Mauvières
    Mauvières is a commune in the Indre department in central France.-Geography:The commune is located in the parc naturel régional de la Brenne.The river Anglin forms most of the commune's western border....

     (Indre
    Indre
    Indre is a department in the center of France named after the river Indre. The inhabitants of the department are called Indriens.-History:Indre is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

    ). Horses were, in the Celtic world, closely linked to the sun.

  • Apollo Belenus ('bright' or 'brilliant'). This epithet was given to Apollo in parts of Gaul
    Gaul
    Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

    , Northern Italy and Noricum
    Noricum
    Noricum, in ancient geography, was a Celtic kingdom stretching over the area of today's Austria and a part of Slovenia. It became a province of the Roman Empire...

     (part of modern Austria). Apollo Belenus was a healing and sun god.

  • Apollo Cunomaglus ('hound lord'). A title given to Apollo at a shrine in Wiltshire
    Wiltshire
    Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

    . Apollo Cunomaglus may have been a god of healing. Cunomaglus himself may originally have been an independent healing god.

  • Apollo Grannus. Grannus was a healing spring god, later equated with Apollo.

  • Apollo Maponus. A god known from inscriptions in Britain. This may be a local fusion of Apollo and Maponus.

  • Apollo Moritasgus ('masses of sea water'). An epithet for Apollo at Alesia, where he was worshipped as god of healing and, possibly, of physicians.

  • Apollo Vindonnus ('clear light'). Apollo Vindonnus had a temple at Essarois
    Essarois
    Essarois is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.-Population:-References:*...

    , near Châtillon-sur-Seine
    Châtillon-sur-Seine
    Châtillon-sur-Seine is a commune of the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.-Population:-Personalities:Châtillon-sur-Seine was the birthplace of:* Auguste Marmont, duke of Ragusa , Marshal of France...

     in Burgundy
    Bourgogne
    Burgundy is one of the 27 regions of France.The name comes from the Burgundians, an ancient Germanic people who settled in the area in early Middle-age. The region of Burgundy is both larger than the old Duchy of Burgundy and smaller than the area ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy, from the modern...

    . He was a god of healing, especially of the eyes.

  • Apollo Virotutis ('benefactor of mankind?'). Apollo Virotutis was worshipped, among other places, at Fins d'Annecy (Haute-Savoie
    Haute-Savoie
    Haute-Savoie is a French department in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France. It borders both Switzerland and Italy. The capital is Annecy. To the north is Lake Geneva and Switzerland; to the south and southeast are the Mont Blanc and Aravis mountain ranges and the French entrance to the Mont...

    ) and at Jublains
    Jublains
    Jublains is a commune in the Mayenne department in north-western France.Jublains, formerly spelled Jubleins, is the site of ancient Noeodunum , the capital of the ancient Gallic tribe of the Diablintes, later occupied and settled by Romans and called Civitas Diablintum...

     (Maine-et-Loire
    Maine-et-Loire
    Maine-et-Loire is a department in west-central France, in the Pays de la Loire region.- History :Maine-et-Loire is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790. Originally it was called Mayenne-et-Loire, but its name was changed to Maine-et-Loire in 1791....

    ).

Origins



The cult centers of Apollo in Greece, Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

 and Delos
Delos
The island of Delos , isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece...

, date from the 8th century BCE. The Delos sanctuary was primarily dedicated to Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

, Apollo's twin sister. At Delphi, Apollo was venerated as the slayer of Pytho. For the Greeks, Apollo was all the Gods in one and through the centuries he acquired different functions which could originate from different gods. In archaic Greece
Archaic period in Greece
The Archaic period in Greece was a period of ancient Greek history that followed the Greek Dark Ages. This period saw the rise of the polis and the founding of colonies, as well as the first inklings of classical philosophy, theatre in the form of tragedies performed during Dionysia, and written...

 he was the prophet
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

, the oracular god who in older times was connected with "healing". In classical Greece he was the god of light and of music, but in popular religion he had a strong function to keep away evil. Walter Burkert
Walter Burkert
Walter Burkert is a German scholar of Greek mythology and cult.An emeritus professor of classics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, he also has taught in the United Kingdom and the United States...

 discerned three components in the prehistory of Apollo worship, which he termed "a Dorian-northwest Greek component, a Cretan-Minoan component, and a Syro-Hittite component."

From his eastern-origin Apollo brought the art of inspection from "symbols and omina
Omen
An omen is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change...

" ( σημεία και τέρατα : simia ke terata ), and of the observation of the omen
Omen
An omen is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change...

s of the days. The inspiration oracular-cult was probably introduced from Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

. The ritualism belonged to Apollo from the beginning. The Greeks created the legalism
Legalism (Western philosophy)
Legalism, in the Western sense, is an approach to the analysis of legal questions characterized by abstract logical reasoning focusing on the applicable legal text, such as a constitution, legislation, or case law, rather than on the social, economic, or political context...

, the supervision of the orders of the gods, and the demand for moderation and harmony. Apollo became the god of shining youth, the protector of music, spiritual-life, moderation and perceptible order. The improvement of the old Anatolian
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 god, and his elevation to an intellectual sphere, may be considered an achievement of the Greek people.

Healer god-Protector from evil


The function of Apollo as a "healer" is connected with Paean (Παιών-Παιήων), the physician of the Gods in the Iliad
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

, who seems to come from a more primitive religion. Paeοn is probably connected with the Mycenean Pa-ja-wo, but the etymology is the only evidence. He did not have a separate cult, but he was the personification of the holy magic-song sung by the magicians that was supposed to cure disease. Later the Greeks knew the original meaning of the relevant song "paeαn" (παιάν). The magicians were also called "seer-doctors" (ιατρομάντεις), and they used an ecstatic prophetic art which was used exactly by the god Apollo at the oracles.
In Ilias
ILIAS
ILIAS is an open source web-based learning management system . It supports learning content management and tools for collaboration, communication, evaluation and assessment...

, Apollo is the healer under the gods, but he is also the bringer of disease and death with his arrows, similar to the function of the terrible Vedic
Vedic
Vedic may refer to:* the Vedas, the oldest preserved Indic texts** Vedic Sanskrit, the language of these texts** Vedic period, during which these texts were produced** Vedic pantheon of gods mentioned in Vedas/vedic period...

 god of disease Rudra
Rudra
' is a Rigvedic God, associated with wind or storm, and the hunt. The name has been translated as "The Roarer", or "The Howler"....

. He sends a terrible plague (λοιμός) to the Achaeans. The god who sends a disease can also prevent from it, therefore when it stops they make a purifying ceremony and offer him an "hecatomb" to ward off evil. When the oath of his priest appeases, they pray and with a song they call their own god, the beautiful Paean. Some common epithets of Apollo as a healer are "paion" (παιών:touching), "epikourios" (επικουρώ:help), "oulios" (ουλή:cured wound), and "loimios" (λοiμός:plague). In classical times, his strong function in popular religion was to keep away evil, and was therefore called "apotropaios" (αποτρέπω:to divert) and "alexikakos" (αλέξω-κακό:defend, throw away the evil). In later writers, the word, usually spelled "Paean", becomes a mere epithet of Apollo in his capacity as a god of healing
Healing
Physiological healing is the restoration of damaged living tissue, organs and biological system to normal function. It is the process by which the cells in the body regenerate and repair to reduce the size of a damaged or necrotic area....

.

Homer illustrated Paeon the god, and the song both of apotropaic thanksgiving or triumph.
Such songs were originally addressed to Apollo, and afterwards to other gods: to Dionysus
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

, to Apollo Helios
Helios
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

, to Apollo's son Asclepius
Asclepius
Asclepius is the God of Medicine and Healing in ancient Greek religion. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia , Iaso , Aceso , Aglæa/Ægle , and Panacea...

 the healer. About the 4th century BCE, the paean became merely a formula of adulation; its object was either to implore protection against disease and misfortune, or to offer thanks after such protection had been rendered. It was in this way that Apollo had become recognised as the god of music. Apollo's role as the slayer of the Python
Python (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, always represented in Greek sculpture and vase-paintings as a serpent. He presided at the Delphic oracle, which existed in the cult center for his mother, Gaia, "Earth," Pytho being the place name that was substituted for the earlier Krisa...

 led to his association with battle and victory; hence it became the Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 custom for a paean to be sung by an army on the march and before entering into battle, when a fleet left the harbour, and also after a victory had been won.

Dorian origin


The connection with Dorians and their initiation festival apella
Apella
The Apella was the popular deliberative assembly in the Ancient Greek city-state of Sparta, corresponding to the ecclesia in most other Greek states...

i
is reinforced by the month Apellaios in northwest Greek calendars, but it can explain only the Doric type of the name, which is connected with the Ancient Macedonian
Ancient Macedonian language
Ancient Macedonian was the language of the ancient Macedonians. It was spoken in the kingdom of Macedon during the 1st millennium BCE and it belongs to the Indo-European group of languages...

 word "pella" (Pella
Pella
Pella , an ancient Greek city located in Pella Prefecture of Macedonia in Greece, was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.-Etymology:...

), stone. Stones played an important part in the cult of the god, especially in the oracular shrine of Delphi (Omphalos
Omphalos
An omphalos is an ancient religious stone artifact, or baetylus. In Greek, the word omphalos means "navel" . According to the ancient Greeks, Zeus sent out two eagles to fly across the world to meet at its center, the "navel" of the world...

). The "Homeric hymn" represents Apollo as a Northern intruder. His arrival must have occurred during the "dark ages" that followed the destruction of the Mycenaean civilization
Mycenaean Greece
Mycenaean Greece was a cultural period of Bronze Age Greece taking its name from the archaeological site of Mycenae in northeastern Argolis, in the Peloponnese of southern Greece. Athens, Pylos, Thebes, and Tiryns are also important Mycenaean sites...

, and his conflict with Gaia
Gaia (mythology)
Gaia was the primordial Earth-goddess in ancient Greek religion. Gaia was the great mother of all: the heavenly gods and Titans were descended from her union with Uranus , the sea-gods from her union with Pontus , the Giants from her mating with Tartarus and mortal creatures were sprung or born...

 (Mother Earth) was represented by the legend of his slaying her daughter the serpent Python
Python (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, always represented in Greek sculpture and vase-paintings as a serpent. He presided at the Delphic oracle, which existed in the cult center for his mother, Gaia, "Earth," Pytho being the place name that was substituted for the earlier Krisa...

.

The earth deity had power over the ghostly world, and it is believed that she was the deity behind the oracle. The older tales mentioned two dragons who were perhaps intentionally conflated. A female dragon named Delphyne
Delphyne
In Greek mythology, Delphyne is the name of the female dragon who was appointed by her mother, Gaea, to guard the oracle of Delphi. She is sometimes called Python and may, in the stories, be replaced with or accompanied by a male dragon...

 (δελφύς:womb), who is obviously connected with Delphi and Apollo Delphinios, and a male serpent Typhon
Typhon
Typhon , also Typhoeus , Typhaon or Typhos was the last son of Gaia, fathered by Tartarus, and the most deadly monster of Greek mythology. He was known as the "Father of all monsters"; his wife Echidna was likewise the "Mother of All Monsters."Typhon was described in pseudo-Apollodorus,...

 (τύφειν:smoke), the adversary of Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 in the Titanomachy
Titanomachy
In Greek mythology, the Titanomachy or War of the Titans , was the ten-year series of battles fought in Thessaly between the two camps of deities long before the existence of mankind: the Titans, based on Mount Othrys, and the Olympians, who would come to reign on Mount Olympus...

, who the narrators confused with Python
Python (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, always represented in Greek sculpture and vase-paintings as a serpent. He presided at the Delphic oracle, which existed in the cult center for his mother, Gaia, "Earth," Pytho being the place name that was substituted for the earlier Krisa...

. Python was the good daemon (αγαθός δαίμων) of the temple as it appears in Minoan
Minoan civilization
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans...

 religion, but she was represented as a dragon, as often happens in Northern European folklore as well as in the East.

Apollo and his sister Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

  can bring death with their arrows. The conception that diseases and death come from invisible shots sent by supernatural beings, or magicians is common in Germanic
Germanic mythology
Germanic mythology is a comprehensive term for myths associated with historical Germanic paganism, including Norse mythology, Anglo-Saxon mythology, Continental Germanic mythology, and other versions of the mythologies of the Germanic peoples...

 and Norse
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

 mythology. In Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 Artemis was the leader ( ηγεμόνη : hegemone) of the nymphs , who had similar functions with the Nordig
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

 Elves
Elf
An elf is a being of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine beings endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind...

. The "elf-shot" originally indicated disease or death attributed to the elves, but it was later attested denoting arrow-heads which were used by witches to harm people, and also for healing rituals. The Vedic
Vedic
Vedic may refer to:* the Vedas, the oldest preserved Indic texts** Vedic Sanskrit, the language of these texts** Vedic period, during which these texts were produced** Vedic pantheon of gods mentioned in Vedas/vedic period...

 Rudra has some similar functions with Apollo. The terrible god is called "The Archer" , and the arch is also an attribute of Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

. Rudra could bring diseases with his arrows, but he was able to free people of them, and his alternative Shiba, is a healer physician god. . However the Indo-European component of Apollo, does not explain his strong relation with omens, exorcisms , and with the oracular cult.

Minoan origin



It seems an oracular cult existed in Delphi from the Mycenaean
Mycenaean Greece
Mycenaean Greece was a cultural period of Bronze Age Greece taking its name from the archaeological site of Mycenae in northeastern Argolis, in the Peloponnese of southern Greece. Athens, Pylos, Thebes, and Tiryns are also important Mycenaean sites...

 ages. In historical times, the priests of Delphi were called Labryaden
Labrys
Labrys is the term for a symmetrical doubleheaded axe originally from Crete in Greece, one of the oldest symbols of Greek civilization; to the Romans, it was known as a bipennis....

, "the double-axe men", which indicates Minoan
Minoan civilization
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans...

 origin. The double-axe (λάβρυς:labrys
Labrys
Labrys is the term for a symmetrical doubleheaded axe originally from Crete in Greece, one of the oldest symbols of Greek civilization; to the Romans, it was known as a bipennis....

) was the holy symbol of the Cretan
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

  labyrinth
Labyrinth
In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos...

. The Homeric hymn adds that Apollo appeared as a dolphin
Dolphin
Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from and , up to and . They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating...

 and carried Cretan priests to Delphi, where they evidently transferred they religious practices. Apollo Delphinios was a sea-god especially worshiped in Crete and in the islands, and his name indicates his connection with Delphi and the holy serpent Delphyne
Delphyne
In Greek mythology, Delphyne is the name of the female dragon who was appointed by her mother, Gaea, to guard the oracle of Delphi. She is sometimes called Python and may, in the stories, be replaced with or accompanied by a male dragon...

 (womb). Apollo’s sister Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

, who was the Greek goddess of hunting, is identified with Britomartis
Britomartis
Britomartis , was the Minoan goddess of mountains and hunting. She is among the Minoan goddess figures that passed through the Mycenaeans' culture into classical Greek mythology, with transformations that are unclear in both transferrals...

 (Diktynna), the Minoan
Minoan civilization
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans...

 "Mistress of the animals". In his earliest depictions she is accompanied by the "Mister of the animals", a male god of hunting who had the bow as his attribute. We don’t know his original name, but it seems that he was absorbed by the more powerful Apollo, who stood by the "Mistress of the animals", becoming her brother. .

The old oracles in Delphi seem to be connected with a local tradition of the priesthood, and there is not clear evidence that a kind of inspiration-prophecy existed in the temple. This led some scholars to the conclusion that Pythia carried on the rituals in a consistent procedure through many centuries, according to the local tradition. In that regard, the mythical seeress Sibyl
Sibyl
The word Sibyl comes from the Greek word σίβυλλα sibylla, meaning prophetess. The earliest oracular seeresses known as the sibyls of antiquity, "who admittedly are known only through legend" prophesied at certain holy sites, under the divine influence of a deity, originally— at Delphi and...

 of Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

n origin, with her ecstatic art, looks unrelated to the oracle itself. However, the Greek tradition is referring to the existence of vapours and chewing of laurel-leaves, which seem to be confirmed by recent studies. Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 describes the priestesses of Delphi and Dodona
Dodona
Dodona in Epirus in northwestern Greece, was an oracle devoted to a Mother Goddess identified at other sites with Rhea or Gaia, but here called Dione, who was joined and partly supplanted in historical times by the Greek god Zeus.The shrine of Dodona was regarded as the oldest Hellenic oracle,...

 as frenzied women, obsessed by "mania" (μανία:frenzy), a Greek word connected with "mantis" (μάντις:prophet). Frenzied women like Sibyls from whose lips the god speaks are recorded in the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

 as Mari
Mari, Syria
Mari was an ancient Sumerian and Amorite city, located 11 kilometers north-west of the modern town of Abu Kamal on the western bank of Euphrates river, some 120 km southeast of Deir ez-Zor, Syria...

 in the second millennium BC. Although Crete had contacts with Mari from 2000 BC, there is no evidence that the ecstatic prophetic art existed during the Minoan and Mycenean ages. It is more probable that this art was introduced later from Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 and regenerated an existing oracular cult that was local to Delphi and dormant in several areas of Greece.

Anatolian origin



A non-Greek origin of Apollo has long been assumed in scholarship. The name of Apollo’s mother Leto
Leto
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, the Letoides, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus...

 has Lydian
Lydia
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian....

 origin, and she was worshipped on the coasts of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

. The inspiration oracular cult was probably introduced into Greece from Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, which is the origin of Sibyl
Sibyl
The word Sibyl comes from the Greek word σίβυλλα sibylla, meaning prophetess. The earliest oracular seeresses known as the sibyls of antiquity, "who admittedly are known only through legend" prophesied at certain holy sites, under the divine influence of a deity, originally— at Delphi and...

, and where existed some of the oldest oracular shrines. Omens, symbols, purifications, and exorcisms appear in old Assyro
Assyria
Assyria was a Semitic Akkadian kingdom, extant as a nation state from the mid–23rd century BC to 608 BC centred on the Upper Tigris river, in northern Mesopotamia , that came to rule regional empires a number of times through history. It was named for its original capital, the ancient city of Assur...

-Babylonian
Babylon
Babylon was an Akkadian city-state of ancient Mesopotamia, the remains of which are found in present-day Al Hillah, Babil Province, Iraq, about 85 kilometers south of Baghdad...

 texts, and these rituals were spread into the empire of the Hittites
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

. In a Hittite text is mentioned that the king invited a Babylonian priestess for a certain "purification". A similar story is mentioned by Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

. He writes that the Cretan- seer
Prophet
In religion, a prophet, from the Greek word προφήτης profitis meaning "foreteller", is an individual who is claimed to have been contacted by the supernatural or the divine, and serves as an intermediary with humanity, delivering this newfound knowledge from the supernatural entity to other people...

  Epimenides
Epimenides
Epimenides of Knossos was a semi-mythical 6th century BC Greek seer and philosopher-poet. While tending his father's sheep, he is said to have fallen asleep for fifty-seven years in a Cretan cave sacred to Zeus, after which he reportedly awoke with the gift of prophecy...

, purified Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 after the pollution brought by the Alcmeonidae, and that the seer's expertise in sacrifice
Sacrifice
Sacrifice is the offering of food, objects or the lives of animals or people to God or the gods as an act of propitiation or worship.While sacrifice often implies ritual killing, the term offering can be used for bloodless sacrifices of cereal food or artifacts...

s and reform of funeral practices were of great help to Solon
Solon
Solon was an Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic and moral decline in archaic Athens...

 in his reform of the Athenian state. The story indicates that Epimenides was probably heir to the shamanic religions of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, and proves together with the Homeric hymn, that Crete had a resisting religion up to the historical times. It seems that these rituals were dormant in Greece, and they were reinforced when the Greeks migrated to Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

.

Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

 pictures Apollo on the side of the Trojan
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

s, fighting against the Achaeans, during the Trojan War
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

. He is pictured as a terrible god, less trusted by the Greeks than other gods. The god seems to be related to Appaliunas, a tutelary god of Wilusa
Wilusa
Wilusa was a city of the late Bronze Age Assuwa confederation of western Anatolia.It is known from six references in 13th century BC Hittite sources, including...

 (Troy
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

) in Asia Minor, but the word is not complete. The stones found in front of the gates of Homer
Homer
In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

ic Troy were the symbols of Apollo. The Greeks gave to him the name αγυιεύς agyieus
Agyieus
Apollo Agyieus was an epithet of the Greek god Apollo describing him as the protector of the streets, public places, and the entrances to homes.. As such he was worshiped at Acharnae, Mycenae, and at Tegea...

 as the protector god of public places and houses who wards off evil, and his symbol was a tapered stone or column. However, while usually Greek festivals were celebrated at the full moon
Full moon
Full moon lunar phase that occurs when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. More precisely, a full moon occurs when the geocentric apparent longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180 degrees; the Moon is then in opposition with the Sun.Lunar eclipses can only occur at...

, all the feasts of Apollo were celebrated at the seventh day of the month, and the emphasis given to that day (sibutu) indicates a Babylonian origin.

The Late Bronze Age (from 1700 to 1200 BCE) Hittite
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

 and Hurrian Aplu was a god of plague, invoked during plague years. Here we have an apotropaic situation, where a god originally bringing the plague was invoked to end it. Aplu, meaning the son of, was a title given to the god Nergal
Nergal
The name Nergal, Nirgal, or Nirgali refers to a deity in Babylon with the main seat of his cult at Cuthah represented by the mound of Tell-Ibrahim. Nergal is mentioned in the Hebrew bible as the deity of the city of Cuth : "And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal"...

, who was linked to the Babylonian god of the sun Shamash
Shamash
Shamash was a native Mesopotamian deity and the sun god in the Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian pantheons. Shamash was the god of justice in Babylonia and Assyria, corresponding to Sumerian Utu...

. Homer interprets Apollo as a terrible god (δεινός θεός) who brings death and disease with his arrows, but who can also heal, possessing a magic art that separates him from the other Greek gods. In Ilias
ILIAS
ILIAS is an open source web-based learning management system . It supports learning content management and tools for collaboration, communication, evaluation and assessment...

, his priest prays to Apollo Smintheus, the mouse god who retains an older agricultural function as the protector from field rats. All these functions, including the function of the healer-god Paean, who seems to have Mycenean origin, are fused in the cult of Apollo.

Oracular cult



Unusually among the Olympic deities, Apollo had two cult sites that had widespread influence: Delos
Delos
The island of Delos , isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece...

 and Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

. In cult practice, Delian Apollo
Delos
The island of Delos , isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece...

 and Pythian Apollo (the Apollo of Delphi) were so distinct that they might both have shrines in the same locality.
Apollo's cult was already fully established when written sources commenced, about 650 BCE.
Apollo became extremely important to the Greek world as an oracular deity in the archaic period, and the frequency of theophoric names
Theophoric names
A theophoric name embeds the name of a god, both invoking and displaying the protection of that deity. Instances of theophoric names embedding Apollo, will be familiar among the many men named Apollonios or Apollodorus in Greek Antiquity.Theophoric names were also exceedingly common in the...

 such as Apollodorus or Apollonios and cities named Apollonia testify to his popularity.
Oracular sanctuaries to Apollo were established in other sites. In the 2nd and 3rd century CE, those at Didyma
Didyma
Didyma was an ancient Ionian sanctuary, the modern Didim, Turkey, containing a temple and oracle of Apollo, the Didymaion. In Greek didyma means "twin", but the Greeks who sought a "twin" at Didyma ignored the Carian origin of the name...

 and Clarus
Clarus
Clarus in the territory of Colophon in the Ionian coast of Asia Minor was a much-revered, much-famed cult center described by Pausanias ....

 pronounced the so-called "theological oracles", in which Apollo confirms that all deities are aspects or servants of an all-encompassing, highest deity. "In the 3rd century, Apollo fell silent. Julian the Apostate
Julian the Apostate
Julian "the Apostate" , commonly known as Julian, or also Julian the Philosopher, was Roman Emperor from 361 to 363 and a noted philosopher and Greek writer....

 (359 - 61) tried to revive the Delphic oracle, but failed."

Oracular shrines



Apollo had a famous oracle
Oracle
In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination....

 in Delphi, and other notable ones in Clarus
Clarus
Clarus in the territory of Colophon in the Ionian coast of Asia Minor was a much-revered, much-famed cult center described by Pausanias ....

 and Branchidae. His oracular shrine in Abae
Abae
Abae , is an ancient town in the northeastern corner of Phocis, in Greece. It was famous in antiquity for its oracle of Apollo Abaeus, one of those consulted by Croesus, king of Lydia, and Mardonius, among others....

 in Phocis
Phocis
Phocis is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Central Greece. It stretches from the western mountainsides of Parnassus on the east to the mountain range of Vardousia on the west, upon the Gulf of Corinth...

, where he bore the toponymic epithet Abaeus
Abaeus
Apollo Abaeus was a toponymic epithet of the Greek god Apollo, derived from the town of Abae in Phocis, where the god had a rich temple renowned for its oracles, which were said to have been consulted by Croesus and Mardonius, among others....

was important enough to be consulted by Croesus
Croesus
Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 to 547 BC until his defeat by the Persians. The fall of Croesus made a profound impact on the Hellenes, providing a fixed point in their calendar. "By the fifth century at least," J.A.S...

 (Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, 1.46).
His oracular shrines include:
  • Abae
    Abae
    Abae , is an ancient town in the northeastern corner of Phocis, in Greece. It was famous in antiquity for its oracle of Apollo Abaeus, one of those consulted by Croesus, king of Lydia, and Mardonius, among others....

     in Phocis
    Phocis
    Phocis is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Central Greece. It stretches from the western mountainsides of Parnassus on the east to the mountain range of Vardousia on the west, upon the Gulf of Corinth...

  • Bassae
    Bassae
    Bassae or Bassai, Vassai or Vasses , meaning "little vale in the rocks", is an archaeological site in the northeastern part of Messinia Prefecture that was a part of Arcadia in ancient times. Bassae lies near the village of Skliros, northeast of Figaleia, south of Andritsaina and west of Megalopolis...

     in the Peloponnese
    Peloponnese
    The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

  • At Clarus
    Clarus
    Clarus in the territory of Colophon in the Ionian coast of Asia Minor was a much-revered, much-famed cult center described by Pausanias ....

    , on the west coast of Asia Minor
    Asia Minor
    Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

    ; as at Delphi a holy spring which gave off a pneuma, from which the priests drank.
  • In Corinth
    Ancient Corinth
    Corinth, or Korinth was a city-state on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta. The modern town of Corinth is located approximately northeast of the ancient ruins...

    , the Oracle of Corinth came from the town of Tenea
    Tenea
    Tenea is an ancient city and a former municipality in Corinthia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Corinth, of which it is a municipal unit. The seat of the municipality was in Chiliomodi. Ancient Tenea was established approximately 15...

    , from prisoners supposedly taken in the Trojan War.
  • At Khyrse, in Troad, the temple was built for Apollon
    Apollon
    Apollon may refer to:* Apollo, ancient Greek god of light, healing and poetry* Apollon , Formula One constructor* Apollon Kalamarias, Greek football club* Apollon Athens, a Greek football club from Athens...

     Smintheus
  • In Delos
    Delos
    The island of Delos , isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece...

    , there was an oracle to the Delian Apollo, during summer. The Hieron (Sanctuary) of Apollo adjacent to the Sacred Lake, was the place where the god was said to have been born.
  • In Delphi
    Delphi
    Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

    , the Pythia
    Pythia
    The Pythia , commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, was the priestess at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. The Pythia was widely credited for her prophecies inspired by Apollo. The Delphic oracle was established in the 8th century BC...

     became filled with the pneuma
    Pneuma
    Pneuma is an ancient Greek word for "breath," and in a religious context for "spirit" or "soul." It has various technical meanings for medical writers and philosophers of classical antiquity, particularly in regard to physiology, and is also used in Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible and in...

    of Apollo, said to come from a spring inside the Adyton
    Adyton
    The adyton or adytum was a restricted area within the cella of a Greek or Roman temple. Its name meant "inaccessible" or "do not enter". The adyton was frequently a small area at the farthest end of the cella from the entrance: at Delphi it measured just nine by twelve feet. The adyton would...

    .
  • In Didyma
    Didyma
    Didyma was an ancient Ionian sanctuary, the modern Didim, Turkey, containing a temple and oracle of Apollo, the Didymaion. In Greek didyma means "twin", but the Greeks who sought a "twin" at Didyma ignored the Carian origin of the name...

    , an oracle on the coast of Anatolia
    Anatolia
    Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

    , south west of Lydia
    Lydia
    Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian....

    n (Luwian) Sardis
    Sardis
    Sardis or Sardes was an ancient city at the location of modern Sart in Turkey's Manisa Province...

    , in which priests from the lineage of the Branchidae received inspiration by drinking from a healing spring located in the temple. Was believed to have been founded by Branchus
    Branchus
    In Greek mythology, the name Branchus refers to the following characters, who may or may not be identical:1. Branchus, son of Apollo ; his mother was a woman from Miletus, who, while she was pregnant with him, had a vision of being pierced with a ray of light...

    , son or lover of Apollo.
  • In Hierapolis Bambyce, Syria (modern Manbij), according to the treatise De Dea Syria
    De Dea Syria
    De Dea Syria is the conventional Latin title of a work, written in a Herodotean-style of Ionic Greek, which has been traditionally ascribed to the Hellenized Syrian essayist Lucian of Samosata. It is a description of the various religious cults practiced at Hierapolis Bambyce, now Manbij, in Syria...

    , the sanctuary of the Syrian Goddess
    Atargatis
    Atargatis, in Aramaic ‘Atar‘atah, was a Syrian deity, " great goddess of northern Syria" ,"the great mistress of the North Syrian lands" Rostovtseff called her, commonly known to the ancient Greeks by a shortened form of the name, Aphrodite Derceto or Derketo and as Dea Syria, "Goddess of Syria"...

     contained a robed and bearded image of Apollo. Divination was based on spontaneous movements of this image.
  • At Patara, in Lycia
    Lycia
    Lycia Lycian: Trm̃mis; ) was a region in Anatolia in what are now the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey. It was a federation of ancient cities in the region and later a province of the Roman Empire...

    , there was a seasonal winter oracle of Apollo, said to have been the place where the god went from Delos. As at Delphi the oracle at Patara was a woman.
  • In Segesta
    Segesta
    Segesta was the political center of the Elymian people, located in the northwestern part of Sicily, in what are now the province of Trapani and the comune of Calatafimi-Segesta....

     in Sicily
    Sicily
    Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...



Oracles were also given by sons of Apollo.
  • In Oropus, north of Athens
    Athens
    Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

    , the oracle Amphiaraus
    Amphiaraus
    In Greek mythology, Amphiaraus was the son of Oecles and Hypermnestra, and husband of Eriphyle. Amphiaraus was the King of Argos along with Adrastus— the brother of Amphiaraus' wife, Eriphyle— and Iphis. Amphiaraus was a seer, and greatly honored in his time...

    , was said to be the son of Apollo; Oropus also had a sacred spring.
  • in Labadea, 20 miles (32.2 km) east of Delphi, Trophonius
    Trophonius
    Trophonius or Trophonios was a Greek hero or daimon or god - it was never certain which one - with a rich mythological tradition and an oracular cult at Lebadaea in Boeotia....

    , another son of Apollo, killed his brother and fled to the cave where he was also afterwards consulted as an oracle

Birth



When Zeus' wife Hera
Hera
Hera was the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon of Greek mythology and religion. Her chief function was as the goddess of women and marriage. Her counterpart in the religion of ancient Rome was Juno. The cow and the peacock were sacred to her...

 discovered that Leto was pregnant and that Zeus was the father, she banned Leto
Leto
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, the Letoides, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus...

 from giving birth on "terra firma". In her wanderings, Leto found the newly created floating island of Delos, which was neither mainland nor a real island, so she gave birth there, where she was accepted by the people, offering them her promise that her son will be always favourable toward the city. Afterwards, Zeus secured Delos to the bottom of the ocean. This island later became sacred to Apollo.

It is also stated that Hera kidnapped Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. The other gods tricked Hera into letting her go by offering her a necklace, nine yards (8 m) long, of amber. Mythographers agree that Artemis
Artemis
Artemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities. Her Roman equivalent is Diana. Some scholars believe that the name and indeed the goddess herself was originally pre-Greek. Homer refers to her as Artemis Agrotera, Potnia Theron: "Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"...

 was born first and then assisted with the birth of Apollo, or that Artemis was born one day before Apollo, on the island of Ortygia
Ortygia
Ortygia is a little island and it is the historical centre of the city of Syracuse, Sicily. The island, also known as Città Vecchia , contains many historical landmarks...

 and that she helped Leto cross the sea to Delos the next day to give birth to Apollo. Apollo was born on the seventh day of the month Thargelion —according to Delian tradition—or of the month Bysios—according to Delphian tradition. The seventh and twentieth, the days of the new and full moon, were ever afterwards held sacred to him.

Youth


Four days after his birth, Apollo killed the chthonic
Chthonic
Chthonic designates, or pertains to, deities or spirits of the underworld, especially in relation to Greek religion. The Greek word khthon is one of several for "earth"; it typically refers to the interior of the soil, rather than the living surface of the land or the land as territory...

 dragon Python
Python (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, always represented in Greek sculpture and vase-paintings as a serpent. He presided at the Delphic oracle, which existed in the cult center for his mother, Gaia, "Earth," Pytho being the place name that was substituted for the earlier Krisa...

, which lived in Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

 beside the Castalian Spring
Castalian Spring
The Castalian Spring, in the ravine between the Phaedriades at Delphi, is where all visitors to Delphi — the contestants in the Pythian Games, and especially suppliants who came to consult the Delphic Oracle — stopped to wash their hair; and where Roman poets came to receive poetic...

. This was the spring which emitted vapors that caused the oracle at Delphi to give her prophecies. Hera sent the serpent to hunt Leto to her death across the world. To protect his mother, Apollo begged Hephaestus
Hephaestus
Hephaestus was a Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan. He is the son of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Gods - or else, according to some accounts, of Hera alone. He was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes...

 for a bow and arrows. After receiving them, Apollo cornered Python in the sacred cave at Delphi. Apollo killed Python but had to be punished for it, since Python was a child of Gaia
Gaia (mythology)
Gaia was the primordial Earth-goddess in ancient Greek religion. Gaia was the great mother of all: the heavenly gods and Titans were descended from her union with Uranus , the sea-gods from her union with Pontus , the Giants from her mating with Tartarus and mortal creatures were sprung or born...

.

Hera then sent the giant Tityos
Tityos
Tityos was a giant from Greek mythology.-Story:Tityos was the son of Elara; his father was Zeus. Zeus hid Elara from his wife, Hera, by placing her deep beneath the earth. Tityos grew so large that he split his mother's womb, and was carried to term by Gaia, the Earth. Once grown, Tityos...

 to kill Leto. This time Apollo was aided by his sister Artemis in protecting their mother. During the battle Zeus finally relented his aid and hurled Tityos down to Tartarus
Tartarus
In classic mythology, below Uranus , Gaia , and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros . It is a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the underworld. In the Gorgias, Plato In classic mythology, below Uranus (sky), Gaia (earth), and Pontus...

. There he was pegged to the rock floor, covering an area of 9 acres (36,421.7 m²), where a pair of vulture
Vulture
Vulture is the name given to two groups of convergently evolved scavenging birds, the New World Vultures including the well-known Californian and Andean Condors, and the Old World Vultures including the birds which are seen scavenging on carcasses of dead animals on African plains...

s feasted daily on his liver.

Trojan War


Apollo shot arrows infected with the plague into the Greek encampment during the Trojan War
Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. The war is among the most important events in Greek mythology and was narrated in many works of Greek literature, including the Iliad...

 in retribution for Agamemnon
Agamemnon
In Greek mythology, Agamemnon was the son of King Atreus and Queen Aerope of Mycenae, the brother of Menelaus, the husband of Clytemnestra, and the father of Electra and Orestes. Mythical legends make him the king of Mycenae or Argos, thought to be different names for the same area...

's insult to Chryses
Chryses
In Greek mythology, Chryses was a priest of Apollo at Chryse, near the city of Troy.According to a tradition mentioned by Eustathius of Thessalonica, Chryses and Briseus were brothers, sons of a man named Ardys .During the Trojan War ,...

, a priest of Apollo whose daughter Chryseis
Chryseis
In Greek mythology, Chryseis was a Trojan woman, the daughter of Chryses. Chryseis, her apparent name in the Iliad, means simply "Chryses' daughter"; later writers give her real name as Astynome ....

 had been captured. He demanded her return, and the Achaeans complied, indirectly causing the anger of Achilles, which is the theme of the Iliad
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

.

In the Iliad
Iliad
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles...

, when Diomedes
Diomedes
Diomedes or Diomed is a hero in Greek mythology, known for his participation in the Trojan War.He was born to Tydeus and Deipyle and later became King of Argos, succeeding his maternal grandfather, Adrastus. In Homer's Iliad Diomedes is regarded alongside Ajax as one of the best warriors of all...

 injured Aeneas
Aeneas
Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

, Apollo rescued him. First, Aphrodite
Aphrodite
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.Her Roman equivalent is the goddess .Historically, her cult in Greece was imported from, or influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia....

 tried to rescue Aeneas but Diomedes injured her as well. Aeneas was then enveloped in a cloud by Apollo, who took him to Pergamos, a sacred spot in Troy
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

.

Apollo aided Paris
Paris (mythology)
Paris , the son of Priam, king of Troy, appears in a number of Greek legends. Probably the best-known was his elopement with Helen, queen of Sparta, this being one of the immediate causes of the Trojan War...

 in the killing of Achilles
Achilles
In Greek mythology, Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad.Plato named Achilles the handsomest of the heroes assembled against Troy....

 by guiding the arrow of his bow into Achilles
Achilles
In Greek mythology, Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad.Plato named Achilles the handsomest of the heroes assembled against Troy....

' heel. One interpretation of his motive is that it was in revenge for Achilles' sacrilege in murdering Troilus
Troilus
Troilus is a legendary character associated with the story of the Trojan War...

, the god's own son by Hecuba
Hecuba
Hecuba was a queen in Greek mythology, the wife of King Priam of Troy during the Trojan War, with whom she had 19 children. These children included several major characters of Homer's Iliad such as the warriors Hector and Paris, and the prophetess Cassandra...

, on the very altar of the god's own temple.

Admetus


When Zeus struck down Apollo's son Asclepius with a lightning bolt for resurrecting Hippolytus
Hippolytus (mythology)
thumb|260px|The Death of Hippolytus, by [[Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema]] .In Greek mythology, Hippolytus was a son of Theseus and either Antiope or Hippolyte...

 from the dead (transgressing Themis
Themis
Themis is an ancient Greek Titaness. She is described as "of good counsel", and is the embodiment of divine order, law, and custom. Themis means "divine law" rather than human ordinance, literally "that which is put in place", from the verb τίθημι, títhēmi, "to put"...

 by stealing Hades
Hades
Hades , Hadēs, originally , Haidēs or , Aidēs , meaning "the unseen") was the ancient Greek god of the underworld. The genitive , Haidou, was an elision to denote locality: "[the house/dominion] of Hades". Eventually, the nominative came to designate the abode of the dead.In Greek mythology, Hades...

's subjects), Apollo in revenge killed the Cyclopes
Cyclops
A cyclops , in Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, was a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of his forehead...

, who had fashioned the bolt for Zeus. Apollo would have been banished to Tartarus
Tartarus
In classic mythology, below Uranus , Gaia , and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros . It is a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the underworld. In the Gorgias, Plato In classic mythology, below Uranus (sky), Gaia (earth), and Pontus...

 forever, but was instead sentenced to one year of hard labor
Penal labour
Penal labour is a form of unfree labour in which prisoners perform work, typically manual labour. The work may be light or hard, depending on the context. Forms of sentence which involve penal labour include penal servitude and imprisonment with hard labour...

 as punishment, due to the intercession of his mother, Leto
Leto
In Greek mythology, Leto is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, the Letoides, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus...

. During this time he served as shepherd for King Admetus
Admetus
In Greek mythology, Admetus was a king of Pherae in Thessaly, succeeding his father Pheres after whom the city was named. Admetus was one of the Argonauts and took part in the Calydonian Boar hunt. His wife Alcestis offered to substitute her own death for his.-Mythology:Admetus was famed for his...

 of Pherae
Pherae
Pherae was an ancient Greek town in southeastern Thessaly. It bordered Lake Boebeïs. In mythology, it was the home of King Admetus, whose wife, Alcestis, Heracles went into Hades to rescue. In history, it was more famous as the home of the fourth-century B.C...

 in Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

. Admetus treated Apollo well, and, in return, the god conferred great benefits on Admetus.

Apollo helped Admetus win Alcestis
Alcestis
Alcestis is a princess in Greek mythology, known for her love of her husband. Her story was popularised in Euripides's tragedy Alcestis. She was the daughter of Pelias, king of Iolcus, and either Anaxibia or Phylomache....

, the daughter of King Pelias
Pelias
Pelias was king of Iolcus in Greek mythology, the son of Tyro and Poseidon. His wife is recorded as either Anaxibia, daughter of Bias, or Phylomache, daughter of Amphion. He was the father of Acastus, Pisidice, Alcestis, Pelopia, Hippothoe, Asteropia, and Antinoe.Tyro was married to Cretheus...

 and later convinced the Fates
Moirae
The Moirae, Moerae or Moirai , in Greek mythology, were the white-robed incarnations of destiny . Their number became fixed at three...

 to let Admetus live past his time, if another took his place. But when it came time for Admetus to die, his parents, whom he had assumed would gladly die for him, refused to cooperate. Instead, Alcestis took his place, but Heracles
Heracles
Heracles ,born Alcaeus or Alcides , was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson of Perseus...

 managed to "persuade
Coercion
Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to behave in an involuntary manner by use of threats or intimidation or some other form of pressure or force. In law, coercion is codified as the duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in the desired way...

" Thanatos
Thanatos
In Greek mythology, Thanatos was the daemon personification of death. He was a minor figure in Greek mythology, often referred to but rarely appearing in person...

, the god of death, to return her to the world of the living.

.

Niobe


Niobe
Niobe
Niobe was a daughter of Tantalus and of either Dione, the most frequently cited, or of Eurythemista or Euryanassa, and she was the sister of Pelops and Broteas, all of whom figure in Greek mythology....

, the queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion
Amphion
There are several characters named Amphion in Greek mythology:* Amphion, son of Zeus and Antiope, and twin brother of Zethus . Together they are famous for building Thebes. Amphion married Niobe, and killed himself after the loss of his wife and children at the hands of Apollo and Artemis...

, boasted of her superiority to Leto because she had fourteen children (Niobids
Niobids
In Greek mythology, the Niobids were the children of Amphion of Thebes and Niobe, slain by Apollo and Artemis because Niobe, born of the royal house of Phrygia, had boastfully compared the greater number of her own offspring with those of Leto, Apollo's and Artemis' mother: a classic example of...

), seven male and seven female, while Leto had only two. Apollo killed her sons as they practiced athletics, with the last begging for his life, and Artemis her daughters. Apollo and Artemis used poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions of the myth, a number of the Niobids were spared (Chloris
Chloris
thumb|250px|right| "As she talks, her lips breathe spring roses:I was Chloris, who am now called Flora." [[Ovid]]There are many stories in Greek mythology about figures named Chloris...

, usually). Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, either killed himself or was killed by Apollo after swearing revenge. A devastated Niobe fled to Mount Sipylos in Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 and turned into stone as she wept. Her tears formed the river Achelous
Achelous
In Greek mythology, Achelous was the patron deity of the "silver-swirling" Achelous River, which is the largest river of Greece, and thus the chief of all river deities, every river having its own river spirit. His name is pre-Greek, its meaning unknown...

. Zeus had turned all the people of Thebes to stone and so no one buried the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the gods themselves entombed them.

Consorts and children


Love affairs ascribed to Apollo are a late development in Greek mythology. Their vivid anecdotal qualities have made favorites some of them of painters since the Renaissance, so that they stand out more prominently in the modern imagination.

Female lovers



Daphne
Daphne
Daphne was a female minor nature deity. Pursued by Apollo, she fled and was chased. Daphne begged the gods for help, who then transformed her into Laurel.-Overview:...

, was a nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

, daughter of the river god Peneus
Peneus
In Greek mythology, Peneus was a Thessalian river god, one of the three thousand Rivers , a child of Oceanus and Tethys. The nymph Creusa bore him one son, Hypseus, who was King of the Lapiths, and three daughters, Menippe , Daphne, and Stilbe. He also had a son Atrax with Bura, and Andreus with...

, who had scorned Apollo. The myth explains the connection of Apollo with δάφνη (daphnē), the laurel
Bay Laurel
The bay laurel , also known as sweet bay, bay tree, true laurel, Grecian laurel, laurel tree, or simply laurel, is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green, glossy leaves, native to the Mediterranean region. It is the source of the bay leaf used in cooking...

 whose leaves his priestess employed at Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

. In Ovid
Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

's Metamorphoses , Phoebus Apollo chaffs Cupid for toying with a weapon more suited to a man, whereupon Cupid wounds him with a golden dart; simultaneously, however, Cupid shoots a leaden arrow into Daphne, causing her to be repulsed by Apollo. Following a spirited chase by Apollo, Daphne prays to her father, Peneus, for help, and he changes her into the laurel tree, sacred to Apollo. Artemis Daphnaia, who had her temple among the Lacedemonians, at a place called Hypsoi in Antiquity, on the slopes of Mount Cnacadion near the Spartan frontier, had her own sacred laurel trees. At Eretria
Eretria
Erétria was a polis in Ancient Greece, located on the western coast of the island of Euboea, south of Chalcis, facing the coast of Attica across the narrow Euboean Gulf. Eretria was an important Greek polis in the 6th/5th century BC. However, it lost its importance already in antiquity...

 the identity of an excavated 7th and 6th century temple to Apollo Daphnephoros, "Apollo, laurel-bearer", or "carrying off Daphne", a "place where the citizens are to take the oath", is identified in inscriptions.

Leucothea
Leucothea
In Greek mythology, Leucothea , "white goddess") was one of the aspects under which an ancient sea goddess was recognized, in this case as a transformed nymph....

 was daughter of Orchamus
Orchamus
Orchamus was a king in Greek mythology. He had two daughters: Leucothea and Clytia. Leucothea loved Apollo, the sun god. Apollo disguised himself as Leucothea's mother to gain entrance to her chambers. Clytia, jealous of her sister because she wanted Apollo for herself, told Orchamus the truth,...

 and sister of Clytia. She fell in love with Apollo who disguised himself as Leucothea's mother to gain entrance to her chambers. Clytia, jealous of her sister because she wanted Apollo for herself, told Orchamus the truth, betraying her sister's trust and confidence in her. Enraged, Orchamus ordered Leucothea to be buried alive. Apollo refused to forgive Clytia for betraying his beloved, and a grieving Clytia wilted and slowly died. Apollo changed her into an incense plant, either heliotrope or sunflower, which follows the sun every day.

Marpessa
Marpessa
In Greek mythology, Marpessa was an Aetolian princess, and a granddaughter of Ares. She was kidnapped by Idas but loved by Apollo as well. Zeus made her choose between them. According to another myth, she was the daughter of Evenus and Alcippe. She married Idas after he kidnapped her with a winged...

 was kidnapped by Idas
Idas
In Greek mythology, Idas was a son of Aphareus and Arene and brother of Lynceus. He and Lynceus loved Hilaeira and Phoebe and fought with their rival suitors, Castor and Polydeuces, killing the mortal brother Castor. He was also one of the Argonauts and a participant in the hunt for the Calydonian...

 but was loved by Apollo as well. Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 made her choose between them, and she chose Idas on the grounds that Apollo, being immortal, would tire of her when she grew old.

Castalia
Castalia
Castalia , in Greek mythology, was a nymph whom Apollo transformed into a fountain at Delphi, at the base of Mount Parnassos, or at Mount Helicon. Castalia could inspire the genius of poetry to those who drank her waters or listened to their quiet sound; the sacred water was also used to clean the...

 was a nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

 whom Apollo loved. She fled from him and dove into the spring
Castalian Spring
The Castalian Spring, in the ravine between the Phaedriades at Delphi, is where all visitors to Delphi — the contestants in the Pythian Games, and especially suppliants who came to consult the Delphic Oracle — stopped to wash their hair; and where Roman poets came to receive poetic...

 at Delphi, at the base of Mt. Parnassos, which was then named after her. Water from this spring was sacred; it was used to clean the Delphian temples and inspire the priestesses. In the last oracle
Oracle
In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination....

 is mentioned that the "water which could speak", has been lost for ever.

By Cyrene
Cyrene (mythology)
In Greek mythology, as recorded in Pindar's 9th Pythian ode, Cyrene was the daughter of Hypseus, King of the Lapiths. When a lion attacked her father's sheep, Cyrene wrestled with the lion. Apollo, who was present, immediately fell in love with her and kidnapped her. He took her to North...

, Apollo had a son named Aristaeus
Aristaeus
A minor god in Greek mythology, which we read largely through Athenian writers, Aristaeus or Aristaios , "ever close follower of the flocks", was the culture hero credited with the discovery of many useful arts, including bee-keeping; he was the son of Apollo and the huntress Cyrene...

, who became the patron god of cattle, fruit trees, hunting, husbandry and bee-keeping. He was also a culture-hero and taught humanity dairy skills, the use of nets and traps in hunting, and how to cultivate olives.

Hecuba
Hecuba
Hecuba was a queen in Greek mythology, the wife of King Priam of Troy during the Trojan War, with whom she had 19 children. These children included several major characters of Homer's Iliad such as the warriors Hector and Paris, and the prophetess Cassandra...

, was the wife of King Priam
Priam
Priam was the king of Troy during the Trojan War and youngest son of Laomedon. Modern scholars derive his name from the Luwian compound Priimuua, which means "exceptionally courageous".- Marriage and issue :...

 of Troy
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

, and Apollo had a son with her named Troilus
Troilus
Troilus is a legendary character associated with the story of the Trojan War...

. An oracle
Oracle
In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination....

 prophesied that Troy would not be defeated as long as Troilus reached the age of twenty alive. He was ambushed and killed by Achilleus.

Cassandra
Cassandra
In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. Her beauty caused Apollo to grant her the gift of prophecy...

, was daughter of Hecuba and Priam, and Troilus' half-sister. Apollo fell in love with Cassandra and promised her the gift of prophecy to seduce her, but she rejected him afterwards. Enraged, Apollo indeed gifted her with the ability to know the future, with a curse that she could only see the future tragedies and that no one would ever believe her.

Coronis
Coronis (Greek mythology)
There are several characters in Greek mythology by the name Coronis . These include:*Coronis , daughter of Phlegyas, King of the Lapiths, was one of Apollo's lovers. While Apollo was away, Coronis, already pregnant with Asclepius, fell in love with Ischys, son of Elatus...

, was daughter of Phlegyas
Phlegyas
Phlegyas , son of Ares and Chryse or Dotis, was king of the Lapiths in Greek mythology. He was the father of Ixion and Coronis, one of Apollo's lovers. While pregnant with Asclepius, Coronis fell in love with Ischys, son of Elatus. When a crow informed Apollo of the affair, he sent his sister...

, King of the Lapiths. Pregnant with Asclepius
Asclepius
Asclepius is the God of Medicine and Healing in ancient Greek religion. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia , Iaso , Aceso , Aglæa/Ægle , and Panacea...

, Coronis fell in love with Ischys
Ischys
In Greek mythology, Ischys was the son of Elatus and Hippea, and also the lover of Coronis. While Coronis was carrying Apollo's child, a crow told Apollo of the affair between Ischys and Coronis...

, son of Elatus
Elatus
There were eight figures named Elatus or Élatos in Greek mythology.* Elatus, a Lapith chieftain, was the father, by Hippeia, of:**Ischys who was beloved by Coronis...

. A crow informed Apollo of the affair. When first informed he disbelieved the crow and turned all crows black (where they were previously white) as a punishment for spreading untruths. When he found out the truth he sent his sister, Artemis, to kill Coronis (in other stories, Apollo himself had killed Coronis). As a result he also made the crow sacred and gave them the task of announcing important deaths. Apollo rescued the baby and gave it to the centaur
Centaur
In Greek mythology, a centaur or hippocentaur is a member of a composite race of creatures, part human and part horse...

 Chiron
Chiron
In Greek mythology, Chiron was held to be the superlative centaur among his brethren.-History:Like the satyrs, centaurs were notorious for being wild and lusty, overly indulgent drinkers and carousers, given to violence when intoxicated, and generally uncultured delinquents...

 to raise. Phlegyas was irate after the death of his daughter and burned the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Apollo then killed him for what he did.

In Euripides
Euripides
Euripides was one of the three great tragedians of classical Athens, the other two being Aeschylus and Sophocles. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him but according to the Suda it was ninety-two at most...

' play Ion
Ion (play)
Ion is an ancient Greek play by Euripides, thought to be written between 414 and 412 BC. It follows the orphan Ion in the discovery of his origins.-Background:...

, Apollo fathered Ion
Ion (mythology)
According to Greek mythology, Ion was the illegitimate child of Creüsa, daughter of Erechtheus and wife of Xuthus. Creusa conceived Ion with Apollo then she abandoned the child. Apollo asked Hermes to take Ion from his cradle. Ion was saved by a priestess of the Delphic Oracle...

 by Creusa
Creusa
In Greek mythology, four people had the name Creusa ; the name simply means "princess".-Naiad:According to Pindar's 9th Pythian Ode, Creusa was a naiad and daughter of Gaia who bore Hypseus, King of the Lapiths to the river god Peneus. Hypseus had one daughter, Cyrene. When a lion attacked her...

, wife of Xuthus
Xuthus
In Greek mythology, Xuthus was a son of Hellen and Orseis and founder of the Achaean and Ionian nations. He had two sons by Creusa: Ion and Achaeus and a daughter named Diomede.- Hesiod :...

. Creusa left Ion to die in the wild, but Apollo asked Hermes
Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

 to save the child and bring him to the oracle at Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

, where he was raised by a priestess.

Acantha
Acantha
Acantha was a minor character in Greek mythology. She was a nymph loved by Apollo, the sun god. In one version of the story, Acantha refused Apollo's advances and scratched his face when he tried to rape her. Apollo then turned her into an acanthus plant. Another version features Acantha as a...

, was the spirit of the acanthus
Acanthus (genus)
Acanthus is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Acanthaceae, native to tropical and warm temperate regions, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean Basin and Asia. Common names include Acanthus and Bear's breeches...

 tree, and Apollo had one of his other liaisons with her. Upon her death, Apollo transformed her into a sun-loving herb.

According to the Biblioteca
Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus)
The Bibliotheca , in three books, provides a comprehensive summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends, "the most valuable mythographical work that has come down from ancient times," Aubrey Diller observed, whose "stultifying purpose" was neatly expressed in the epigram noted by...

, the "library" of mythology mis-attributed to Apollodorus, he fathered the Corybantes on the Muse Thalia.

Male lovers


Hyacinth
Hyacinth (mythology)
Hyacinth or Hyacinthus is a divine hero from Greek mythology. His cult at Amyclae, southwest of Sparta, where his tumulus was located— in classical times at the feet of Apollo's statue in the sanctuary that had been built round the burial mound— dates from the Mycenaean era...

 or Hyacinthus was one of Apollo's male lovers. He was a Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

n prince, beautiful and athletic. The pair was practicing throwing the discus
Discus throw
The discus throw is an event in track and field athletics competition, in which an athlete throws a heavy disc—called a discus—in an attempt to mark a farther distance than his or her competitors. It is an ancient sport, as evidenced by the 5th century BC Myron statue, Discobolus...

 when a discus thrown by Apollo was blown off course by the jealous Zephyrus and struck Hyacinthus in the head, killing him instantly. Apollo is said to be filled with grief: out of Hyacinthus' blood, Apollo created a flower named after him as a memorial to his death, and his tears stained the flower petals with άί άί, meaning alas. The Festival of Hyacinthus was a celebration of Sparta.

Another male lover was Cyparissus
Cyparissus
In Greek mythology, Cyparissus or Kyparissos was a boy beloved by Apollo, or in some versions by other deities. In the best-known version of the story, the favorite companion of Cyparissus was a tamed stag, which he accidentally killed with his hunting javelin as it lay sleeping in the woods...

, a descendant of Heracles
Heracles
Heracles ,born Alcaeus or Alcides , was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson of Perseus...

. Apollo gave him a tame deer as a companion but Cyparissus accidentally killed it with a javelin
Pilum
The pilum was a javelin commonly used by the Roman army in ancient times. It was generally about two metres long overall, consisting of an iron shank about 7 mm in diameter and 60 cm long with pyramidal head...

 as it lay asleep in the undergrowth. Cyparissus asked Apollo to let his tears fall forever. Apollo granted the request by turning him into the Cypress
Cupressaceae
The Cupressaceae or cypress family is a conifer family with worldwide distribution. The family includes 27 to 30 genera , which include the junipers and redwoods, with about 130-140 species in total. They are monoecious, subdioecious or dioecious trees and shrubs from 1-116 m tall...

 named after him, which was said to be a sad tree because the sap forms droplets like tears on the trunk.

Apollo's lyre



Hermes
Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

 was born on Mount Cyllene
Mount Kyllini
Mount Kyllini or Mount Cyllene , is a mountain on the Peloponnesus peninsula in Greece, famous for its association with the god Hermes. It rises to above sea level, making it the second highest point on the peninsula. It is located near the border between the historic regions of Arcadia and...

 in Arcadia. The story is told in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes
Hermes
Hermes is the great messenger of the gods in Greek mythology and a guide to the Underworld. Hermes was born on Mount Kyllini in Arcadia. An Olympian god, he is also the patron of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of the cunning of thieves, of orators and...

. His mother, Maia
Maia (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Maia is one of the Pleiades and the mother of Hermes. The goddess known as Maia among the Romans may have originated independently, but attracted the myths of Greek Maia because the two figures shared the same name.-Birth:...

, had been secretly impregnated by Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

. Maia wrapped the infant in blankets but Hermes escaped while she was asleep. Hermes ran to Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

, where Apollo was grazing his cattle. The infant Hermes stole a number of his cows and took them to a cave in the woods near Pylos
Pylos
Pylos , historically known under its Italian name Navarino, is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It was the capital of the former...

, covering their tracks. In the cave, he found a tortoise
Tortoise
Tortoises are a family of land-dwelling reptiles of the order of turtles . Like their marine cousins, the sea turtles, tortoises are shielded from predators by a shell. The top part of the shell is the carapace, the underside is the plastron, and the two are connected by the bridge. The tortoise...

 and killed it, then removed the insides. He used one of the cow's intestines and the tortoise shell and made the first lyre
Lyre
The lyre is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later. The word comes from the Greek "λύρα" and the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning "lyrists", written in Linear B syllabic script...

. Apollo complained to Maia that her son had stolen his cattle, but Hermes had already replaced himself in the blankets she had wrapped him in, so Maia refused to believe Apollo's claim. Zeus intervened and, claiming to have seen the events, sided with Apollo. Hermes then began to play music on the lyre he had invented. Apollo, a god of music, fell in love with the instrument and offered to allow exchange of the cattle for the lyre. Hence, Apollo then became a master of the lyre.

Apollo in the Oresteia


In Aeschylus
Aeschylus
Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...

' Oresteia trilogy, Clytemnestra
Clytemnestra
Clytemnestra or Clytaemnestra , in ancient Greek legend, was the wife of Agamemnon, king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Mycenae or Argos. In the Oresteia by Aeschylus, she was a femme fatale who murdered her husband, Agamemnon – said by Euripides to be her second husband – and the Trojan princess...

 kills her husband, King Agamemnon because he had sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to proceed forward with the Trojan war, and Cassandra
Cassandra
In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. Her beauty caused Apollo to grant her the gift of prophecy...

, a prophetess of Apollo. Apollo gives an order through the Oracle at Delphi that Agamemnon's son, Orestes
Orestes
Orestes was the son of Agamemnon in Greek mythology; Orestes may also refer to:Drama*Orestes , by Euripides*Orestes, the character in Sophocles' tragedy Electra*Orestes, the character in Aeschylus' trilogy of tragedies, Oresteia...

, is to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus
Aegisthus
In Greek mythology, Aegisthus was the son of Thyestes and of Thyestes' daughter, Pelopia....

, her lover. Orestes and Pylades carry out the revenge, and consequently Orestes is pursued by the Erinyes
Erinyes
In Greek mythology the Erinyes from Greek ἐρίνειν " pursue, persecute"--sometimes referred to as "infernal goddesses" -- were female chthonic deities of vengeance. A formulaic oath in the Iliad invokes them as "those who beneath the earth punish whosoever has sworn a false oath"...

 (Furies, female personifications of vengeance
Revenge
Revenge is a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is also called payback, retribution, retaliation or vengeance; it may be characterized, justly or unjustly, as a form of justice.-Function in society:Some societies believe that the...

). Apollo and the Furies argue about whether the matricide
Matricide
Matricide is the act of killing one's mother. As for any type of killing, motives can vary significantly.- Known or suspected matricides :* Amastris, queen of Heraclea, was drowned by her two sons in 284 BC....

 was justified; Apollo holds that the bond of marriage is sacred and Orestes was avenging his father, whereas the Erinyes say that the bond of blood between mother and son is more meaningful than the bond of marriage. They invade his temple, and he says that the matter should be brought before Athena. Apollo promises to protect Orestes, as Orestes has become Apollo's supplicant. Apollo advocates Orestes at the trial, and ultimately Athena rules with Apollo.

Other stories


Apollo killed the Aloadae
Aloadae
In Greek mythology, the Aloadae were Otus and Ephialtes , sons of Iphimedia, queen of Aloeus, by Poseidon, whom she induced to make her pregnant by going to the seashore and disporting herself in the surf or scooping seawater into her bosom. From Aloeus they received their patronymic, the Aloadai...

 when they attempted to storm Mt. Olympus.

Callimachus
Callimachus
Callimachus was a native of the Greek colony of Cyrene, Libya. He was a noted poet, critic and scholar at the Library of Alexandria and enjoyed the patronage of the Egyptian–Greek Pharaohs Ptolemy II Philadelphus and Ptolemy III Euergetes...

 sang that Apollo rode on the back of a swan to the land of the Hyperboreans during the winter months.

Apollo turned Cephissus into a sea monster
Sea monster
Sea monsters are sea-dwelling mythical or legendary creatures, often believed to be of immense size.Marine monsters can take many forms, including sea dragons, sea serpents, or multi-armed beasts. They can be slimy or scaly and are often pictured threatening ships or spouting jets of water...

.

Another contender for the birthplace of Apollo is the Cretan islands of Paximadia.
Pan

Once Pan
Pan (mythology)
Pan , in Greek religion and mythology, is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature, of mountain wilds, hunting and rustic music, as well as the companion of the nymphs. His name originates within the Greek language, from the word paein , meaning "to pasture." He has the hindquarters, legs,...

 had the audacity to compare his music with that of Apollo, and to challenge Apollo, the god of the kithara
Kithara
The kithara or cithara was an ancient Greek musical instrument in the lyre or lyra family. In modern Greek the word kithara has come to mean "guitar" ....

, to a trial of skill. Tmolus
Tmolus
Tmolus was a King of Lydia and husband to Omphale. He is the eponymous namesake of Mount Tmolus , which lies in Lydia with the Lydian capital at its foot and Hypaepa on its southern slope...

, the mountain-god, was chosen to umpire. Pan blew on his pipes, and with his rustic melody gave great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower, Midas
Midas
For the legend of Gordias, a person who was taken by the people and made King, in obedience to the command of the oracle, see Gordias.Midas or King Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold. This was called the Golden touch, or the...

, who happened to be present. Then Apollo struck the strings of his lyre. Tmolus at once awarded the victory to Apollo, and all but Midas agreed with the judgment. He dissented, and questioned the justice of the award. Apollo would not suffer such a depraved pair of ears any longer, and caused them to become the ears of a donkey
Donkey
The donkey or ass, Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family. The wild ancestor of the donkey is the African Wild Ass, E...

.
Marsyas

Apollo has ominous aspects aside from his plague-bringing, death-dealing arrows: Marsyas
Marsyas
In Greek mythology, the satyr Marsyas is a central figure in two stories involving music: in one, he picked up the double flute that had been abandoned by Athena and played it; in the other, he challenged Apollo to a contest of music and lost his hide and life...

 was a satyr
Satyr
In Greek mythology, satyrs are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus — "satyresses" were a late invention of poets — that roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing....

 who challenged Apollo to a contest of music. He had found an aulos
Aulos
An aulos or tibia was an ancient Greek wind instrument, depicted often in art and also attested by archaeology.An aulete was the musician who performed on an aulos...

 on the ground, tossed away after being invented by Athena
Athena
In Greek mythology, Athena, Athenê, or Athene , also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, justice, and skill. Minerva, Athena's Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes. Athena is...

 because it made her cheeks puffy. The contest was judged by the Muse
Muse
The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths...

s. After they each performed, both were deemed equal until Apollo decreed they play and sing at the same time. As Apollo played the lyre
Lyre
The lyre is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later. The word comes from the Greek "λύρα" and the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning "lyrists", written in Linear B syllabic script...

, this was easy to do. Marsyas could not do this, as he only knew how to use the flute and could not sing at the same time. Apollo was declared the winner because of this. Apollo flayed
Flaying
Flaying is the removal of skin from the body. Generally, an attempt is made to keep the removed portion of skin intact.-Scope:An animal may be flayed in preparation for human consumption, or for its hide or fur; this is more commonly called skinning....

 Marsyas alive in a cave near Celaenae
Celaenae
Celaenae or Kelainai , was an ancient city of Phrygia and capital of the Persian satrapy of Greater Phrygia, near the source of the Maeander River in what is today west central Turkey , and was situated on the great trade route to the East.It is first mentioned by Herodotus, in Book VII of his...

 in Phrygia
Phrygia
In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges , changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the...

 for his hubris
Hubris
Hubris , also hybris, means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power....

 to challenge a god. He then nailed Marsyas' shaggy skin to a nearby pine-tree. Marsyas' blood turned into the river Marsyas.

Another variation is that Apollo played his instrument (the lyre) upside down. Marsyas could not do this with his instrument (the flute
Flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...

), and so Apollo hung him from a tree and flayed him alive.
Cinyras

Apollo also had a lyre
Lyre
The lyre is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later. The word comes from the Greek "λύρα" and the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning "lyrists", written in Linear B syllabic script...

-playing contest with Cinyras
Cinyras
In Greek mythology, Cinyras was a king of Cyprus. Accounts vary significantly as to his genealogy and provide a variety of stories concerning him; in many sources, however, he is associated with the cult of Aphrodite on Cyprus, and Adonis, a consort of Aphrodite, is mentioned as his son.In the...

, his son, who committed suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 when he lost.

Roman Apollo


The Roman worship of Apollo was adopted from the Greeks. As a quintessentially Greek god, Apollo had no direct Roman equivalent, although later Roman poets often referred to him as Phoebus. There was a tradition that the Delphic oracle was consulted as early as the period of the kings of Rome
Roman Kingdom
The Roman Kingdom was the period of the ancient Roman civilization characterized by a monarchical form of government of the city of Rome and its territories....

 during the reign of Tarquinius Superbus. On the occasion of a pestilence in the 430s BCE, Apollo's first temple
Temple of Apollo Sosianus
The Temple of Apollo Sosianus is a Roman temple dedicated to Apollo in the Campus Martius, next to the Theatre of Marcellus and the Porticus Octaviae, in Rome, Italy...

 at Rome was established in the Flaminian fields, replacing an older cult site there known as the "Apollinare". During the Second Punic War
Second Punic War
The Second Punic War, also referred to as The Hannibalic War and The War Against Hannibal, lasted from 218 to 201 BC and involved combatants in the western and eastern Mediterranean. This was the second major war between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of the Berbers on...

 in 212 BCE, the Ludi Apollinares
Ludi Apollinares
The Ludi Apollinares were solemn games held annually by the ancient Romans in honor of the god Apollo. The tradition goes that at the first celebration hereof, they were suddenly invaded by the enemy, and obliged to take to their arms...

("Apollonian Games") were instituted in his honor, on the instructions of a prophecy attributed to one Marcius. In the time of Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

, who considered himself under the special protection of Apollo and was even said to be his son, his worship developed and he became one of the chief gods of Rome. After the battle of Actium
Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. The battle took place on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the city of Actium, at the Roman...

, which was fought near a sanctuary of Apollo, Augustus enlarged Apollo's temple, dedicated a portion of the spoils to him, and instituted quinquennial games in his honour. He also erected a new temple to the god on the Palatine hill
Palatine Hill
The Palatine Hill is the centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city...

. Sacrifices and prayers on the Palatine to Apollo and Diana
Diana (mythology)
In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt and moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. She was equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy...

 formed the culmination of the Secular Games
Secular games
The Secular Games were a religious celebration, involving sacrifices and theatrical performances, held in ancient Rome for three days and nights to mark the end of a saeculum and the beginning of the next...

, held in 17 BCE to celebrate the dawn of a new era.

Festivals


The chief Apollonian festivals were the Boedromia
Boedromia
The Boedromia was an ancient Greek festival held at Athens on the 7th of Boedromion in the honor of Apollo Boedromios . The festival had a military connotation, and thanks the god for his assistance to the Athenians during wars. It could also commemorate a specific intervention at the origin of...

, Carneia, Carpiae, Daphnephoria
Daphnephoria
Daphnephoria, a festival held every ninth year at Thebes in Boeotia in honour of Apollo Ismenius or Galaxius.It consisted of a procession in which the chief figure was a boy of good family and noble appearance, whose father and mother must be alive...

, Delia
Delia (festival)
In classical antiquity, Delia were festivals and games celebrated at the great celebratory gathering, or panegyris in the island of Delos, the centre of an amphictyony to which the Cyclades and the neighboring Ionians on the coasts belonged...

, Hyacinthia
Hyacinthia
The death of Hyacinthus was celebrated at Amyclae by the second most important of Spartan festivals, the Hyacinthia in the Spartan month Hyacinthius in early summer.-Proceedings:...

, Metageitnia
Metageitnia
Metageitnia was an ancient Greek festival held at Athens during the month Metageitnion in the honor of Apollo....

, Pyanepsia, Pythia
Pythia
The Pythia , commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, was the priestess at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. The Pythia was widely credited for her prophecies inspired by Apollo. The Delphic oracle was established in the 8th century BC...

 and Thargelia
Thargelia
Thargelia was one of the chief Athenian festivals in honour of the Delian Apollo and Artemis, held on their birthdays, the 6th and 7th of the month Thargelion ....

.

Attributes and symbols



Apollo's most common attributes were the bow and arrow
Arrow
An arrow is a shafted projectile that is shot with a bow. It predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.An arrow usually consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the other.- History:...

. Other attributes of his included the kithara
Kithara
The kithara or cithara was an ancient Greek musical instrument in the lyre or lyra family. In modern Greek the word kithara has come to mean "guitar" ....

 (an advanced version of the common lyre
Lyre
The lyre is a stringed musical instrument known for its use in Greek classical antiquity and later. The word comes from the Greek "λύρα" and the earliest reference to the word is the Mycenaean Greek ru-ra-ta-e, meaning "lyrists", written in Linear B syllabic script...

), the plectrum
Plectrum
A plectrum is a small flat tool used to pluck or strum a stringed instrument. For hand-held instruments such as guitars and mandolins, the plectrum is often called a pick, and is a separate tool held in the player's hand...

 and the sword. Another common emblem was the sacrificial tripod
Sacrificial tripod
A sacrificial tripod was a type of altar used by the ancient Greeks. The most famous was the Delphic tripod, on which the Pythian priestess took her seat to deliver the oracles of the deity. The seat was formed by a circular slab on the top of the tripod, on which a branch of laurel was deposited...

, representing his prophetic powers. The Pythian Games
Pythian Games
The Pythian Games were one of the four Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, a forerunner of the modern Olympic Games, held every four years at the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi....

 were held in Apollo's honor every four years at Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

. The bay laurel
Bay Laurel
The bay laurel , also known as sweet bay, bay tree, true laurel, Grecian laurel, laurel tree, or simply laurel, is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green, glossy leaves, native to the Mediterranean region. It is the source of the bay leaf used in cooking...

 plant was used in expiatory sacrifices and in making the crown of victory
Laurel wreath
A laurel wreath is a circular wreath made of interlocking branches and leaves of the bay laurel , an aromatic broadleaf evergreen. In Greek mythology, Apollo is represented wearing a laurel wreath on his head...

 at these games. The palm  was also sacred to Apollo because he had been born under one in Delos
Delos
The island of Delos , isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece...

. Animals sacred to Apollo included wolves, dolphin
Dolphin
Dolphins are marine mammals that are closely related to whales and porpoises. There are almost forty species of dolphin in 17 genera. They vary in size from and , up to and . They are found worldwide, mostly in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are carnivores, mostly eating...

s, roe deer
Roe Deer
The European Roe Deer , also known as the Western Roe Deer, chevreuil or just Roe Deer, is a Eurasian species of deer. It is relatively small, reddish and grey-brown, and well-adapted to cold environments. Roe Deer are widespread in Western Europe, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia, and from...

, swan
Swan
Swans, genus Cygnus, are birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae...

s, cicada
Cicada
A cicada is an insect of the order Hemiptera, suborder Auchenorrhyncha , in the superfamily Cicadoidea, with large eyes wide apart on the head and usually transparent, well-veined wings. There are about 2,500 species of cicada around the world, and many of them remain unclassified...

s (symbolizing music and song), hawk
Hawk
The term hawk can be used in several ways:* In strict usage in Australia and Africa, to mean any of the species in the subfamily Accipitrinae, which comprises the genera Accipiter, Micronisus, Melierax, Urotriorchis and Megatriorchis. The large and widespread Accipiter genus includes goshawks,...

s, raven
Raven
Raven is the common name given to several larger-bodied members of the genus Corvus—but in Europe and North America the Common Raven is normally implied...

s, crow
Crow
Crows form the genus Corvus in the family Corvidae. Ranging in size from the relatively small pigeon-size jackdaws to the Common Raven of the Holarctic region and Thick-billed Raven of the highlands of Ethiopia, the 40 or so members of this genus occur on all temperate continents and several...

s, snake
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

s (referencing Apollo's function as the god of prophecy), mice
MICE
-Fiction:*Mice , alien species in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy*The Mice -Acronyms:* "Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions", facilities terminology for events...

 and griffin
Griffin
The griffin, griffon, or gryphon is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle...

s, mythical eagle–lion hybrids of Eastern origin.


As god of colonization, Apollo gave oracular guidance on colonies, especially during the height of colonization, 750–550 BCE. According to Greek tradition, he helped Cretan
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 or Arcadia
Arcadia
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan...

n colonists found the city of Troy
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

. However, this story may reflect a cultural influence which had the reverse direction: Hittite
Hittites
The Hittites were a Bronze Age people of Anatolia.They established a kingdom centered at Hattusa in north-central Anatolia c. the 18th century BC. The Hittite empire reached its height c...

 cuneiform
Cuneiform script
Cuneiform script )) is one of the earliest known forms of written expression. Emerging in Sumer around the 30th century BC, with predecessors reaching into the late 4th millennium , cuneiform writing began as a system of pictographs...

 texts mention a Minor Asian god called Appaliunas or Apalunas in connection with the city of Wilusa
Wilusa
Wilusa was a city of the late Bronze Age Assuwa confederation of western Anatolia.It is known from six references in 13th century BC Hittite sources, including...

 attested in Hittite inscriptions, which is now generally regarded as being identical with the Greek Ilion
Troy
Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida...

 by most scholars. In this interpretation, Apollo's title of Lykegenes can simply be read as "born in Lycia", which effectively severs the god's supposed link with wolves (possibly a folk etymology).

In literary contexts, Apollo represents harmony, order, and reason—characteristics contrasted with those of Dionysus
Dionysus
Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete...

, god of wine, who represents ecstasy and disorder. The contrast between the roles of these gods is reflected in the adjectives Apollonian and Dionysian
Apollonian and Dionysian
The Apollonian and Dionysian is a philosophical and literary concept, or dichotomy, based on certain features of ancient Greek mythology. Several Western philosophical and literary figures have invoked this dichotomy in critical and creative works....

. However, the Greeks thought of the two qualities as complementary: the two gods are brothers, and when Apollo at winter left for Hyperborea, he would leave the Delphic oracle to Dionysus. This contrast appears to be shown on the two sides of the Borghese Vase
Borghese Vase
The Borghese Vase is a monumental bell-shaped krater sculpted in Athens from Pentelic marble in the second half of the 1st century BC as a garden ornament for the Roman market; it is now in the Louvre Museum.-Iconography:...

.

Apollo is often associated with the Golden Mean
Golden mean (philosophy)
In philosophy, especially that of Aristotle, the golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice....

. This is the Greek ideal
Ideal (ethics)
An ideal is a principle or value that one actively pursues as a goal. Ideals are particularly important in ethics, as the order in which one places them tends to determine the degree to which one reveals them as real and sincere. It is the application, in ethics, of a universal...

 of moderation
Moderation
Moderation is the process of eliminating or lessening extremes. It is used to ensure normality throughout the medium on which it is being conducted...

 and a virtue
Virtue
Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being....

 that opposes gluttony
Gluttony
Gluttony, derived from the Latin gluttire meaning to gulp down or swallow, means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, intoxicants or wealth items to the point of extravagance or waste...

.

Apollo in the arts



Apollo is a common theme in Greek and Roman art and also in the art of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. The earliest Greek word for a statue is "delight" (άγαλμα: agalma), and the sculptors tried to create forms which would inspire such guiding vision. Greek art puts into Apollo the highest degree of power and beauty that can be imagined. The sculptors derived this from observations on human beings, but they also embodied in concrete form, issues beyond the reach of ordinary thought. The naked bodies of the statues are associated with the cult of the body that was essentially a religious activity. The muscular frames and limbs combined with slim waists indicate the Greek desire for health, and the physical capacity which was necessary in the hard Greek environment. The statues of Apollo embody beauty, balance and inspire awe before the beauty of the world.

The evolution of the Greek sculpture can be observed in his depictions from the almost static formal Kouros
Kouros
A kouros is the modern term given to those representations of male youths which first appear in the Archaic period in Greece. The term kouros, meaning youth, was first proposed for what were previously thought to be depictions of Apollo by V. I...

 type in early archaic period
Archaic period in Greece
The Archaic period in Greece was a period of ancient Greek history that followed the Greek Dark Ages. This period saw the rise of the polis and the founding of colonies, as well as the first inklings of classical philosophy, theatre in the form of tragedies performed during Dionysia, and written...

, to the representation of motion in a relative harmonious whole in late archaic period
Archaic period in Greece
The Archaic period in Greece was a period of ancient Greek history that followed the Greek Dark Ages. This period saw the rise of the polis and the founding of colonies, as well as the first inklings of classical philosophy, theatre in the form of tragedies performed during Dionysia, and written...

. In classical Greece
Classical Greece
Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. This classical period had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundation of Western civilizations. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, such as...

 the emphasis is not given to the illusive imaginative reality represented by the ideal forms, but to the analogies and the interaction of the members in the whole, a method created by Polykleitos
Polykleitos
Polykleitos ; called the Elder, was a Greek sculptor in bronze of the fifth and the early 4th century BCE...

. Finally Praxiteles
Praxiteles
Praxiteles of Athens, the son of Cephisodotus the Elder, was the most renowned of the Attic sculptors of the 4th century BC. He was the first to sculpt the nude female form in a life-size statue...

 seems to be released from any art and religious conformities, and his masterpieces are a mixture of naturalism with stylization.

Art and Greek philosophy


The evolution of the Greek art seems to go parallel with the Greek philosophical conceptions, which changed from the natural-philosophy of Thales
Thales
Thales of Miletus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Miletus in Asia Minor, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece. Many, most notably Aristotle, regard him as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition...

 to the metaphysical
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 theory of Pythagoras
Pythagoras
Pythagoras of Samos was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him...

. Thales searched for a simple material-form directly perceptible by the senses, behind the appearances of things, and his theory is also related to the older animism
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

. This was paralleled in sculpture by the absolute representation of vigorous life, through unnaturally simplified forms. Pythagoras believed that behind the appearance of things, there was the permanent principle of mathematics, and that the forms were based on a transcendental mathematical relation. The forms on earth, are imperfect imitations ( εικών, ikon :image) of the celestial world of numbers. His ideas had a great influence on post-Archaic art, and the Greek architects and sculptors were always trying to find the mathematical relation, that would lead to the esthetic perfection. (canon
Aesthetic canon
A canon in the sphere of visual arts and aesthetics, or an aesthetic canon, is a rule for proportions, so as to produce a harmoniously formed figure.-Evolution:...

). Finally in classical Greece Anaxagoras
Anaxagoras
Anaxagoras was a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. Born in Clazomenae in Asia Minor, Anaxagoras was the first philosopher to bring philosophy from Ionia to Athens. He attempted to give a scientific account of eclipses, meteors, rainbows, and the sun, which he described as a fiery mass larger than...

 asserted that a divine reason (mind) gave order to the seeds of the universe, and Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 extended the Greek belief of ideal forms to his metaphysical theory of forms (ideai: ideas). The Greek words "ida" ( οίδα:know) and "idos" (είδος:species) have the same root as the word "idea" (ιδέα), indicating how the Greek mind moved from the gift of the senses, to the principles beyond the senses. However the artists in Plato's time moved away from his theories and art tends to be a mixture of naturalism with stylization. The Greek sculptors considered the senses more important, and the proportions were used to unite the sensible with the intellectual.

Archaic sculpture


Kouros
Kouros
A kouros is the modern term given to those representations of male youths which first appear in the Archaic period in Greece. The term kouros, meaning youth, was first proposed for what were previously thought to be depictions of Apollo by V. I...

 (male youth) is the modern term given to those representations of standing male youths which first appear in the archaic period in Greece
Archaic period in Greece
The Archaic period in Greece was a period of ancient Greek history that followed the Greek Dark Ages. This period saw the rise of the polis and the founding of colonies, as well as the first inklings of classical philosophy, theatre in the form of tragedies performed during Dionysia, and written...

. This type served certain religious needs and was first proposed for what was previously thought to be depictions of Apollo. The first statues are certainly still and formal. The formality of their stance seems to be related with the Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian precedent, but it was accepted for a good reason. The sculptors had a clear idea of what a young man is, and embodied the archaic smile of good manners, the firm and springy step, the balance of the body, dignity, and youthful happiness. When they tried to depict the most abiding qualities of men, it was because men had common roots with the unchanging gods. . The adoption of a standard recognizable type for a long time, is probably because nature gives preference in survival of a type which has long be adopted by the climatic conditions, and also due to the general Greek belief that nature expresses itself in ideal forms that can be imagined and represented. These forms expressed immortality. Apollo was the immortal god of ideal balance and order; his shrine in Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

 has the inscription: "Nothing in excess".
In the first large-scale depictions during the early archaic period (640–580 BC), the artists tried to draw one's attention to look into the interior of the face and the body which were not represented as lifeless masses, but as being full of life. The Greeks maintained, until late in their civilization, an almost animistic
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

 idea that the statues are in some sense alive. This embodies the belief that the image was somehow the god or man himself. A fine example is the statue of the Sacred gate Kouros which was found at the cemetery of Dipylon in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 (Dipylon Kouros
Kouros
A kouros is the modern term given to those representations of male youths which first appear in the Archaic period in Greece. The term kouros, meaning youth, was first proposed for what were previously thought to be depictions of Apollo by V. I...

). The statue is the "thing in itself", and his slender face with the deep eyes express an intellectual eternity. According to the Greek tradition the Dipylon master was named Daedalus
Daedalus
In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a skillful craftsman and artisan.-Family:...

, and in his statues the limbs were freed from the body, giving the impression that the statues could move. It is considered that he created also the New York kouros, which is the oldest fully preserved statue of Kouros type, and seems to be the incarnation of the god himself. The animistic idea as the representation of the imaginative reality, is sanctified in the Homeric poems and in Greek myths, in stories of the god Hephaestus
Hephaestus
Hephaestus was a Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan. He is the son of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Gods - or else, according to some accounts, of Hera alone. He was the god of technology, blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes...

 (Phaistos
Phaistos
Phaistos , also transliterated as Phaestos, Festos and Phaestus is an ancient city on the island of Crete. Phaistos was located in the south-central portion of the island, about 5.6 kilometres from the Mediterranean Sea. It was inhabited from about 4000 BC. A palace, dating from the Middle Bronze...

) and the mythic Daedalus
Daedalus
In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a skillful craftsman and artisan.-Family:...

 (the builder of the labyrinth
Labyrinth
In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos...

) that made images which moved of their own accord. This kind of art goes back to the Minoan
Minoan civilization
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans...

 period, when its main theme was the representation of motion in a specific moment. These free-standing statues were usually marble, but also the form rendered in limestone, bronze, ivory and terracotta.

The earliest examples of life-sized statues of Apollo, may be two figures from the Ionic
Ionians
The Ionians were one of the four major tribes into which the Classical Greeks considered the population of Hellenes to have been divided...

 sanctuary on the island of Delos
Delos
The island of Delos , isolated in the centre of the roughly circular ring of islands called the Cyclades, near Mykonos, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece...

. Such statues were found across the Greek speaking world, the preponderance of these were found at the sanctuaries of Apollo with more than one hundred from the sanctuary of Apollo Ptoios, Boeotia
Boeotia
Boeotia, also spelled Beotia and Bœotia , is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece. It was also a region of ancient Greece. Its capital is Livadeia, the second largest city being Thebes.-Geography:...

 alone. The last stage in the development of the Kouros type is the late archaic period (520–485 BC), in which the Greek sculpture attained a full knowledge of human anatomy and used to create a relative harmonious whole. Ranking from the very few bronzes survived to us is the masterpiece bronze Piraeus Apollo
Piraeus Apollo
Piraeus Apollo is the name of an archaic-style bronze dating from the 6th century BC,possibly from the years 530-520 BC,exhibited now at the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus .Apollo was the god of the ideal order and balance and the depictions of naked young men in the Kouros type are believed to...

. It was found in Piraeus
Piraeus
Piraeus is a city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens Urban Area, 12 km southwest from its city center , and lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf....

, the harbour of Athens. The statue originally held the bow in its left hand, and a cup of pouring libation in its right hand. It probably comes from north-eastern Peloponesus. The emphasis is given in anatomy, and it is one of the first attempts to represent a kind of motion, and beauty relative to proportions, which appear mostly in post-Archaic art. The statue throws some light on an artistic centre which, with an independently developed harder, simpler, and heavier style, restricts Ionian
Ionia
Ionia is an ancient region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey, the region nearest İzmir, which was historically Smyrna. It consisted of the northernmost territories of the Ionian League of Greek settlements...

 influence in Athens. Finally, this is the germ from which the art of Polykleitos
Polykleitos
Polykleitos ; called the Elder, was a Greek sculptor in bronze of the fifth and the early 4th century BCE...

 was to grow two or three generations later.

Classical Sculpture



In the next century which is the beginning of the Classical period
Classical Greece
Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. This classical period had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundation of Western civilizations. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, such as...

, it was considered that beauty in visible things as in everything else, consisted of symmetry and proportions. The artists tried also to represent motion in a specific moment (Myron
Myron
Myron of Eleutherae working circa 480-440 BC, was an Athenian sculptor from the mid-5th century BC. He was born in Eleutherae on the borders of Boeotia and Attica. According to Pliny's Natural History, Ageladas of Argos was his teacher....

), which may be considered as the reappearance of the dormant Minoan
Minoan civilization
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans...

 element. Anatomy and geometry are fused in one, and each does something to the other. The Greek sculptors tried to clarify it by looking for mathematical proportions, just as they sought some reality behind appearances. Polykleitos
Polykleitos
Polykleitos ; called the Elder, was a Greek sculptor in bronze of the fifth and the early 4th century BCE...

 in his Canon wrote that beauty consists in the proportion not of the elements ( materials), but of the parts, that is the interrelation of parts with one another and with the whole. It seems that he was influenced by the theories of Pythagoras
Pythagoras
Pythagoras of Samos was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him...

.
The famous Apollo of Mantua and its variants are early forms of the Apollo Citharoedus
Apollo Citharoedus
An Apollo Citharoedus, or Apollo Citharede, designates a statue or other image of Apollo with cithara . Among the best-known realizations of this aspect of Apollo is the Apollo Citharoedus of the Vatican Museums, a 2nd century AD colossal marble statue of by an unknown Roman sculptor...

 statue type, in which the god holds the cithara in his left arm. The type is represented by neo-Attic
Neo-Attic
Neo-Attic or Atticizing is a sculptural style, beginning in Hellenistic sculpture and vase-painting of the 2nd century BCE and climaxing in Roman art of the 2nd century CE, copying, adapting or closely following the style shown in reliefs and statues of the Classical and Archaic periods...

 Imperial Roman copies of the late 1st or early 2nd century, modelled upon a supposed Greek bronze original made in the second quarter of the 5th century BCE, in a style similar to works of Polykleitos
Polykleitos
Polykleitos ; called the Elder, was a Greek sculptor in bronze of the fifth and the early 4th century BCE...

 but more archaic. The Apollo held the cythara against his extended left arm, of which in the Louvre example, a fragment of one twisting scrolling horn upright remains against his biceps.

Though the proportions were always important in Greek art, the appeal of the Greek sculptures eludes any explanation by proportion alone. The statues of Apollo were thought to incarnate his living presence, and these representations of illusive imaginative reality had deep roots in the Minoan
Minoan civilization
The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from approximately the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC. It was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century through the work of the British archaeologist Arthur Evans...

 period, and in the beliefs of the first Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 speaking people who entered the region during the bronze-age. Just as the Greeks saw the mountains, forests, sea and rivers as inhabited by concrete beings, so nature in all of its manifestations possesses clear form, and the form of a work of art. Spiritual life is incorporated in matter, when it is given artistic form. Just as in the arts the Greeks sought some reality behind appearances, so in mathematics they sought permanent principles which could be applied wherever the conditions were the same. Artists and sculptors tried to find this ideal order in relation with mathematics, but they believed that this ideal order revealed itself not so much to the dispassionate intellect, as to the whole sentient self. Things as we see them, and as they really are, are one, that each stresses the nature of the other in a single unity.

Pediments and Friezes



In the archaic pediments and friezes of the temples, the artists had a problem to fit a group of figures into an isosceles triangle with acute angles at the base. The Siphnian Treasury
Siphnian Treasury
The Siphnian Treasury was a dedicated building to the Greek polis, or city-state, of Delphi, by the Greek city-state of Siphnos. Such dedications were common among city-states in order to win the favor of the gods....

 in Delphi
Delphi
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.In Greek mythology, Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and a major site for the worship of the god...

 was one of the first Greek buildings utilizing the solution to put the dominating form in the middle, and to complete the descending scale of height with other figures sitting or kneeling. The pediment shows the story of Herakles stealing Apollo's tripod that was strongly associated with his oracular inspiration. Their two figures hold the centre. In the pediment of the temple of Zeus
Zeus
In the ancient Greek religion, Zeus was the "Father of Gods and men" who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family. He was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology. His Roman counterpart is Jupiter and his Etruscan counterpart is Tinia.Zeus was the child of Cronus...

 in Olympia
Olympia, Greece
Olympia , a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, comparable in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. Both games were held every Olympiad , the Olympic Games dating back possibly further than 776 BC...

, the single figure of Apollo is dominating the scene. These representations rely on presenting scenes directly to the eye for their own visible sake. They care for the schematic arrangements of bodies in space, but only as parts in a larger whole. While each scene has its own character and completeness it must fit into the general sequence to which it belongs. In these archaic pediments the sculptors use empty intervals, to suggest a passage to and fro a busy battlefield. The artists seem to have been dominated by geometrical pattern and order, and this was improved when classical art brought a greater freedom and economy.

Hellenistic Greece-Rome


Apollo as a handsome beardless young man, is often depicted with a kithara
Kithara
The kithara or cithara was an ancient Greek musical instrument in the lyre or lyra family. In modern Greek the word kithara has come to mean "guitar" ....

 (as Apollo Citharoedus
Apollo Citharoedus
An Apollo Citharoedus, or Apollo Citharede, designates a statue or other image of Apollo with cithara . Among the best-known realizations of this aspect of Apollo is the Apollo Citharoedus of the Vatican Museums, a 2nd century AD colossal marble statue of by an unknown Roman sculptor...

) or bow in his hand, or reclining on a tree (the Apollo Lykeios and Apollo Sauroctonos
Apollo Sauroctonos
The Apollo Sauroktonos is a 1.49m high ancient sculpture in the Louvre, as Inventaire MR 78 . It is a 1st - 2nd century AD Roman marble copy of an original by Praxiteles. It shows a nude adolescent male about to catch a lizard climbing up a tree...

 types). The Apollo Belvedere
Apollo Belvedere
The Apollo Belvedere or Apollo of the Belvedere—also called the Pythian Apollo— is a celebrated marble sculpture from Classical Antiquity. It was rediscovered in central Italy in the late 15th century, during the Renaissance...

 is a marble
Marble
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite.Geologists use the term "marble" to refer to metamorphosed limestone; however stonemasons use the term more broadly to encompass unmetamorphosed limestone.Marble is commonly used for...

 sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

 that was rediscovered in the late 15th century; for centuries it epitomized the ideals of Classical Antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 for Europeans, from the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 through the 19th century. The marble is a Hellenistic
Hellenistic Greece
In the context of Ancient Greek art, architecture, and culture, Hellenistic Greece corresponds to the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek heartlands by Rome in 146 BC...

 or Roman copy of a bronze original by the Greek sculptor Leochares
Leochares
Leochares was a Greek sculptor from Athens, who lived in the 4th century BC.-Works:Leochares worked at the construction of the Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World". The Diana of Versailles is a Roman copy of his original...

, made between 350 and 325 BCE.

The life-size so-called "Adonis
Adonis
Adonis , in Greek mythology, the god of beauty and desire, is a figure with Northwest Semitic antecedents, where he is a central figure in various mystery religions. The Greek , Adōnis is a variation of the Semitic word Adonai, "lord", which is also one of the names used to refer to God in the Old...

" found in 1780 on the site of a villa suburbana
Roman villa
A Roman villa is a villa that was built or lived in during the Roman republic and the Roman Empire. A villa was originally a Roman country house built for the upper class...

near the Via Labicana
Via Labicana
The Via Labicana was an ancient road of Italy, leading east southeast from Rome. It seems possible that the road at first led to Tusculum, that it was then extended to Labici, and later still became a road for through traffic; it may even have superseded the Via Latina as a route to the southeast,...

 in the Roman suburb of Centocelle is identified as an Apollo by modern scholars. In the late 2nd century CE floor mosaic from El Djem
El Djem
Drifting sand is preserving the market city of Thysdrus and the refined suburban villas that once surrounded it. The amphiteatre occupies archaeologists' attention: no digging required...

, Roman Thysdrus, he is identifiable as Apollo Helios
Helios
Helios was the personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Homer often calls him simply Titan or Hyperion, while Hesiod and the Homeric Hymn separate him as a son of the Titans Hyperion and Theia or Euryphaessa and brother of the goddesses Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn...

 by his effulgent halo
Halo (religious iconography)
A halo is a ring of light that surrounds a person in art. They have been used in the iconography of many religions to indicate holy or sacred figures, and have at various periods also been used in images of rulers or heroes...

, though now even a god's divine nakedness
Nudity
Nudity is the state of wearing no clothing. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. The amount of clothing worn depends on functional considerations and social considerations...

 is concealed by his cloak, a mark of increasing conventions of modesty in the later Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

.

Another haloed Apollo in mosaic, from Hadrumentum, is in the museum at Sousse
Sousse
Sousse is a city in Tunisia. Located 140 km south of the capital Tunis, the city has 173,047 inhabitants . Sousse is in the central-east of the country, on the Gulf of Hammamet, which is a part of the Mediterranean Sea. The name may be of Berber origin: similar names are found in Libya and in...

. The conventions of this representation, head tilted, lips slightly parted, large-eyed, curling hair cut
Hairstyle
A hairstyle, hairdo, or haircut refers to the styling of hair, usually on the human head. The fashioning of hair can be considered an aspect of personal grooming, fashion, and cosmetics, although practical, cultural, and popular considerations also influence some hairstyles.-History of...

 in locks grazing the neck, were developed in the 3rd century BCE to depict Alexander the Great (Bieber 1964, Yalouris 1980). Some time after this mosaic was executed, the earliest depictions of Christ would also be beardless and haloed.

Modern reception


Apollo has often featured in postclassical art and literature. Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley was one of the major English Romantic poets and is critically regarded as among the finest lyric poets in the English language. Shelley was famous for his association with John Keats and Lord Byron...

 composed a "Hymn of Apollo" (1820), and the god's instruction of the Muses formed the subject of Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

's Apollon musagète (1927–1928). The name Apollo was given to NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

's Apollo Lunar program in the 1960s.

The statue of Apollo from the west pediment of the Temple of Zeus
Temple of Zeus
The Temple of Zeus at Olympia was an ancient Greek temple in Olympia, Greece, dedicated to the chief of the gods, Zeus. It was the very model of the fully developed classical Greek temple of the Doric order...

 at Olympia
Olympia, Greece
Olympia , a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, comparable in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. Both games were held every Olympiad , the Olympic Games dating back possibly further than 776 BC...

 (currently in the Archaeological Museum of Olympia) was depicted on the obverse
Obverse and reverse
Obverse and its opposite, reverse, refer to the two flat faces of coins and some other two-sided objects, including paper money, flags , seals, medals, drawings, old master prints and other works of art, and printed fabrics. In this usage, obverse means the front face of the object and reverse...

 of the Greek 1000 drachmas
Greek drachma
Drachma, pl. drachmas or drachmae was the currency used in Greece during several periods in its history:...

 banknote of 1987–2001.

In Archetypal psychology
Archetypal psychology
Archetypal psychology is a vein of inquiry into the psyche inaugurated in the early 1900s by Carl Gustav Jung. Jung and his followers, as well as Mircea Eliade, imagined the psychology of the archetypes from studying anthropology and archeology reports of their times and weaving it into their...

, the Apollo archetype
Apollo archetype
The Apollo archetype personifies the aspect of the personality that wants clear definitions, is drawn to master a skill, values order and harmony, and prefers to look at the surface, as opposed to beneath appearances...

 is one of the Jungian archetypes
Jungian archetypes
Carl Jung created the archetypes which “are ancient or archaic images that derive from the collective unconscious” Also known as innate universal psychic dispositions that form the substrate from which the basic symbols or representations of unconscious experience emerge...

, which according to Swiss  psychiatrist
Psychiatrist
A psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. All psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation and in psychotherapy...

 Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

 are the innate universal psychic dispositions that form the substrate from which the basic symbols or representations of unconscious experience emerge.

Male lovers

  1. Admetus
    Admetus
    In Greek mythology, Admetus was a king of Pherae in Thessaly, succeeding his father Pheres after whom the city was named. Admetus was one of the Argonauts and took part in the Calydonian Boar hunt. His wife Alcestis offered to substitute her own death for his.-Mythology:Admetus was famed for his...

  2. Branchus
    Branchus
    In Greek mythology, the name Branchus refers to the following characters, who may or may not be identical:1. Branchus, son of Apollo ; his mother was a woman from Miletus, who, while she was pregnant with him, had a vision of being pierced with a ray of light...

     (alternately, a son of Apollo)
  3. Carnus
    Carnus
    In Greek mythology, Carnus was a seer from Acarnania. According to the poetess Praxilla, he was a son of Zeus and Europe. He was reared by Leto and Apollo, and is also known to have been a lover of Apollo....

  4. Cyparissus
    Cyparissus
    In Greek mythology, Cyparissus or Kyparissos was a boy beloved by Apollo, or in some versions by other deities. In the best-known version of the story, the favorite companion of Cyparissus was a tamed stag, which he accidentally killed with his hunting javelin as it lay sleeping in the woods...

  5. Hippolytus of Sicyon
    Sicyon
    Sikyon was an ancient Greek city situated in the northern Peloponnesus between Corinth and Achaea on the territory of the present-day prefecture of Corinthia...

     (not the same as Hippolytus
    Hippolytus (mythology)
    thumb|260px|The Death of Hippolytus, by [[Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema]] .In Greek mythology, Hippolytus was a son of Theseus and either Antiope or Hippolyte...

    )
  6. Hymenaios
    Hymenaios
    In Greek mythology, Hymen was a god of marriage ceremonies, inspiring feasts and song. Related to the god's name, a hymenaios is a genre of Greek lyric poetry sung during the procession of the bride to the groom's house in which the god is addressed, in contrast to the Epithalamium, which was sung...

  7. Hyacinthus
    Hyacinth (mythology)
    Hyacinth or Hyacinthus is a divine hero from Greek mythology. His cult at Amyclae, southwest of Sparta, where his tumulus was located— in classical times at the feet of Apollo's statue in the sanctuary that had been built round the burial mound— dates from the Mycenaean era...

  8. Iapis
  9. Leucates, who threw himself off a rock when Apollo attempted to carry him off

See also


  • Dryad
    Dryad
    Dryads are tree nymphs in Greek mythology. In Greek drys signifies 'oak,' from an Indo-European root *derew- 'tree' or 'wood'. Thus Dryads are specifically the nymphs of oak trees, though the term has come to be used for all tree nymphs in general...

  • Epirus
    Epirus
    The name Epirus, from the Greek "Ήπειρος" meaning continent may refer to:-Geographical:* Epirus - a historical and geographical region of the southwestern Balkans, straddling modern Greece and Albania...

  • Ethereal being
    Ethereal being
    Ethereal beings, according to some belief systems and occult theories, are mystic entities that usually are not made of ordinary matter. Despite the fact that they are believed to be essentially incorporeal, they do interact in physical shapes with the material universe and travel between the...

  • Pasiphaë
    Pasiphaë
    In Greek mythology, Pasiphaë , "wide-shining" was the daughter of Helios, the Sun, by the eldest of the Oceanids, Perse; Like her doublet Europa, her origins were in the East, in her case at Colchis, the palace of the Sun; she was given in marriage to King Minos of Crete. With Minos, she was the...

  • Sibylline oracles
    Sibylline oracles
    The Sibylline Oracles are a collection of oracular utterances written in Greek hexameters ascribed to the Sibyls, prophetesses who uttered divine revelations in a frenzied state. Fourteen books and eight fragments of Sibylline Oracles survive...

  • Tegyra
    Tegyra
    Tegyra was the site of an oracle of Apollo in ancient Greece, located north of Orchomenus in Boeotia, near to the shores of Lake Copais, but is best known as the site of the Battle of Tegyra in 375 BC....

  • Temple of Apollo
    Temple of Apollo
    Temple of Apollo can refer to:*Greece**Temple of Apollo, Corinth**Temple of Apollo **Temple of Apollo at Bassae**Temple of Apollo Patroos*Cyprus**Temple of Apollo Hylates, Limassol*Italy**Temple of Apollo Palatinus, in Rome...


Primary sources

  • Homer
    Homer
    In the Western classical tradition Homer , is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epic poet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.When he lived is...

    , Iliad ii.595–600 (c. 700 BCE)
  • Sophocles
    Sophocles
    Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written later than those of Aeschylus, and earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides...

    , Oedipus Rex
  • Palaephatus
    Palaephatus
    Palaephatus was the original author of a rationalizing text on Greek mythology, the work of paradoxography On Incredible Tales , which survives in a Byzantine edition....

    , On Unbelievable Tales 46. Hyacinthus (330 BCE)
  • Apollodorus
    Apollodorus
    Apollodorus of Athens son of Asclepiades, was a Greek scholar and grammarian. He was a pupil of Diogenes of Babylon, Panaetius the Stoic, and the grammarian Aristarchus of Samothrace...

    , Library 1.3.3 (140 BCE)
  • Ovid
    Ovid
    Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

    , Metamorphoses 10. 162–219 (1–8 CE)
  • Pausanias
    Pausanias (geographer)
    Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the 2nd century AD, who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece , a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from firsthand observations, and is a crucial link between classical...

    , Description of Greece 3.1.3, 3.19.4 (160–176 CE)
  • Philostratus the Elder, Images i.24 Hyacinthus (170–245 CE)
  • Philostratus the Younger
    Philostratus the Younger
    Philostratus the Younger , also known as Philostratus of Lemnos, was a Greek sophist of the Roman imperial period. He was author of the second series of Imagines, which does not survive completely; in the preface, he praises his mother's father, who wrote the first series of Imagines; this is...

    , Images 14. Hyacinthus (170–245 CE)
  • Lucian
    Lucian
    Lucian of Samosata was a rhetorician and satirist who wrote in the Greek language. He is noted for his witty and scoffing nature.His ethnicity is disputed and is attributed as Assyrian according to Frye and Parpola, and Syrian according to Joseph....

    , Dialogues of the Gods 14 (170 CE)
  • First Vatican Mythographer, 197. Thamyris et Musae

Secondary sources

  • M. Bieber, 1964. Alexander the Great in Greek and Roman Art (Chicago)
  • Walter Burkert
    Walter Burkert
    Walter Burkert is a German scholar of Greek mythology and cult.An emeritus professor of classics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, he also has taught in the United Kingdom and the United States...

    , 1985. Greek Religion (Harvard University Press) III.2.5 passim
  • Graf, Fritz, Apollo, Taylor & Francis, 2009, ISBN 9780415317115.
  • Robert Graves
    Robert Graves
    Robert von Ranke Graves 24 July 1895 – 7 December 1985 was an English poet, translator and novelist. During his long life he produced more than 140 works...

    , 1960. The Greek Myths, revised edition (Penguin)
  • Miranda J. Green, Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1997
  • Karl Kerenyi
    Karl Kerényi
    Károly Kerényi was a Hungarian scholar in classical philology, one of the founders of modern studies in Greek mythology.- Hungary 1897–1943 :...

    , Apollon: Studien über Antiken Religion und Humanität rev. ed. 1953.
  • Karl Kerenyi, 1951 The Gods of the Greeks
  • Pauly–Wissowa, Realencyclopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft: II, "Apollon". The best repertory of cult sites (Burkert).
  • Pfeiff, K.A., 1943. Apollon: Wandlung seines Bildes in der griechischen Kunst. Traces the changing iconography of Apollo.
  • Smith, William
    William Smith (lexicographer)
    Sir William Smith Kt. was a noted English lexicographer.-Early life:Born at Enfield in 1813 of Nonconformist parents, he was originally destined for a theological career, but instead was articled to a solicitor. In his spare time he taught himself classics, and when he entered University College...

    ; Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
    Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
    The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology is an encyclopedia/biographical dictionary.- Characteristic :...

    , London (1873). "Apollo"

External links


  • Apollo at the Greek Mythology Link, by Carlos Parada