One of the most popular Greek gods.
He was the
epitome of masculine youth with vibrant hair haloed in a pale blue
His appearance captured the transition between adolescence and manhood
in Greek male society. His Myths are riddles with tales of his beauty
the hearts of many young women and nymphs. Many succeeded in wooing
if only briefly, though others failed miserably. He was deeply beloved
by the Greeks he remained a distant and unapproachable figure
his myths in many ways.
is distinctly Greek in nearly every way,
but, he may have ties to both the Hittites and the Minoans as well. His
origin is of a troubled sort, as is many of the Greek gods and
Apollo (Ap-ahl-low) is the son of Zeus (Zoos; Zyoos)
and Leto (Lee-toh;
Lay-toh), a Titaness or Latona (La-toh-nah), who suffered many trials
Hera (Hihr-ah; Heh-rah; Huhr-ah), wife and sister of Zeus, was
(as usual) by their infidelity and swore vengeance. Leto wandered the
fleeing the wrath of Hera until finally giving birth to the twins
and his sister Artemis (Ar-te-mihs) on Delos (Dee-lohs; Dehl-os). While
Artemis and Apollo are twins it is believed she is one day older than
is. Leto, Apollo and Artemis are often portrayed as a divine trinity.
references list Leto as a daughter of the Titans Coeus (See-uhs) and
(Fee-bee), both lunar. Other sources say Leto was mortal and later
It is of interest that both twins absorbed a vast majority of names
with both Titans and divinities associated with the sun and moon.
being associated with the sun and Artemis with the moon.
He thereby became a multifaceted
god and likely
absorbed the traits and qualities of lesser solar deities and spirits
He was initially a god of hunting and healing both cruel and kind. His
harshness in cruelty was often punished by temporary banishment for his
actions. These actions were often of both bravery and cold, heartless
He once was said to have killed the children of Niobe ( Ni-oh-bee) who
had boasted of them at the expense of Leto. He was also the slayer of
(Pie-thahn), the serpent that sprang from the stagnant waters of Zeus'
deluge sent in Deucalion's (Doo-kahl-ih-ahn; the Greek Noah) time.
slain the serpent and left it there, near Mount Parnassus, to rot and
Fame of the kill eventually erected a city at the site, Pythos, which
became the center of his cults and temples,
which were also vastly spread throughout ancient Greece. This city
gained famed for Apollo's oracles and one in particular, Pythia. The
earned Apollo the name, Pytheus or Pythius (Pihth-ee-uhs), meaning
of Python. The quality of his oracles eventually earned him the title
being the god of prophecy. He was also called Lycius (Lie-key-uhs;
after slaying the Lycean wolf; Asersecomes (A-suhr-seh-coh-meez), the
(he had loose, curly hair); Acesius (Ah-sehs-ih-us), Paean or Paeon
the healer; Cynthius (Sin-thee-uhs), from Mount Cynthus of Delos;
(Dee-lih-uhs), from Delos; Moeragetes (Mee-rahg-ih-teez), as leader and
guide of the fates; Colossus (Coh-lahs-uhs), from the famed bronze
of him at Rhodes; Musagetes (Myoo-zah-gih-teez), patron and conductor
the Muses; Sol, the Roman name for Apollo. Helios (Hee-lih-ohs), a
sun god whom he replaced, taking his name as well; Hyperion
a Titan often considered to be the sun, rather than the god of the sun
whose name he also absorbed; Apellon (Ap-ehl-lahn), a pre-Homeric name
and possibly a source for the demon, Apollyon; Atepomarus
the name he was called by the Celts (though the Celts had various local
synonyms for him as he was widely revered). These are but a few
of the numerous titles and names which he has held.
Hyakinthia (High-yah-kihn-thee-uh) of Amyklai
(Am-ih-klih; Sparta), was dedicated to Apollo. The Paean dance of
was especially common at this festival. It was named honoring,
(High-yah-sihn-thuhs), a beautiful young man which Apollo and Zephyrus
(Zehf-er-uhs; god of the West wind) both loved dearly. The two gods
grew jealous of the other and the affections that each spent on the boy
and those which he returned to them. However, the endearment between
Hyacinthus and Apollo quickly flourished and Zephyrus' jealousy turned
to rage with each passing moment until it could no longer be contained.
At last, while Apollo and Hyacinthus were throwing the discus Zephyrus
sought revenge. When the mighty Apollo threw the discus, Zephyrus
the West wind to blow it down. However, the discus struck Hyacinthus
the might of Apollo's strength and the mortal boy was slain. It is said
that Apollo's tears mixed with the blood of Hyacinthus and grew into
Hyacinth flower. Apollo took the body of Hyacinthus and placed it in
heavens as a constellation.
He was equated with many gods of
the ancient world
for a wide variety of reasons. The following table gives a reasonable
of those which you may find him associated with in one way or another
sometimes even possiblly an aspect of him as well:
| Mithras (Myth-rahs)
Baal (Bahl; Bayl)
Osiris (Oh-sigh-rihs; Oh-sear-ihs)
Resep (Rehs-ehp) of the arrows
is strongly associated with the number
seven. It is believed that this is due to Mesopotamian influences.
all his associations his attributes become a ponderous list. He was not
only a god of the sun, but, of light as well. He was the god of
both he and his sister Artemis had bow and arrows. Some accounts claim
both held bows and arrows of gold while others credit one with having a
bow and arrow of gold and the other silver. Which held the gold and
the silver seems to also be a matter of some discrepancy as well. He
also a god of agriculture. Crops, farmers, shepherds, cattle, sheep,
husbandry and, of course, the sun were all his domain also.
of the most well-known myths concerning him
is that of his cattle and the infant Hermes (Huhr-meez) who stole them
away shortly after his birth while Apollo was out driving his chariot.
Hermes felt so badly about upsetting Apollo that he invented the lyre
and gave it to the god in hopes of making up. Apollo forgave him and
instrument garnered him still something more to reign over. He thus
the god of music, poetry, arts and song. He was the father of the most
renowned musician of ancient times, Orpheus (Ore-fee-uhs; Ore-foos)
mother was Calliope (Kah-lie-oh-pee), muse of Epic or Heroic poetry. He
was the god of medicine, healing and physicians. He is the father of
most proficient physician (doctored the Argonauts) ever known,
or Aesculapius (Ass-klee-pee-uhs or Ess-que-lae-pee-uhs; Greek/Roman).
His mother was the mortal woman Coronis. Asclepius fathered two sons
Epione (Ee-pie-oh-nee), Machaon (Mah-kay-ahn) and Podalirius
both notorious physicians in their own right and a daughter, Hygeia
goddess of health. He was eventually killed by the gods for cheating Hades
too often and for striving to make man immortal. Apollo so grieved and
fumed over his sons murder that Asclepius was later deified.
Oddly enough, Apollo was also
considered to be
the god of ethics and morality; giver of laws; purifier of wrongdoers;
god of truth and justice; founder of cities and punisher of the wicked
and the overly proud. Reviewing his own history in his myths, these are
extremely odd qualities for him to govern over. Despite obvious
one thing is consistent, he was a fierce, passionate god of both
and negative qualities. The following list are items which are either
or otherwise associate with Apollo.
The Following tables
may prove beneficial but they are in no way considered to be compleat.
Apollo plays a key role in various
of ancient Greece. He is especially visible in Homer's Iliad and
Hesiod's Hymn to Apollo and Theogeny. There are a variety of art
depicting the young, beautiful god. The Colossus is perhaps the most
artwork made in his name. It was a bronze statue of Apollo and was one
of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Colossus of Rhodes is
to have stood as a gaurd tower straddling the entrance of the harbor
hollow. There is some speculation regarding this. For certain, we do
that a natural disaster (likely an earthquake) toppled the Colossus in
672 CE. The ruins were sold to a Jew by the Saracens and reportedly
nine hundred camels to carry the bronze away. It is believed the bronze
was used to manufacture weapons. The bronze was estimated to value
thousand pounds in English money.
is estimated that Apollo was worshipped from
approximately 1300 BCE until Christianization, roughly 400 CE, and