MYTHOLOGY SERIES: Apollo (Greek & Roman Myth):
APOLLO was the son of Zeus and the Titaness Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis. He was one of the most important deities of the Greek and Roman religions and was the god of prophecy, archery and music.
A fight with the earth serpent Python at Delphi gave Apollo the seat of his famous oracle. Apollo had to do penance in Thessaly for this killing, and Zeus twice forced Apollo to be the slave of a mortal man to pay for his crime.
Apollo shot arrows infected with the plague into the Greek encampment during the Trojan War in revenge for Agamemnon’s insult to Chryses, a priest of Apollo whose daughter had been captured. He demanded her return, and the Achaeans complied, indirectly causing the anger of Achilles. Apollo helped Paris kill Achilles by guiding the arrow of his bow into his heel.
Apollo was known to have many male and female lovers, including: Daphne, Cassandra, Hecuba, Hyacinth and Cyparissus.
INTERESTING FACTS: Apollo’s most common attributes were the bow and arrow. Other attributes of his included a lyre, the plectrum and the sword. The Pythian Games were held in Apollo’s honor every four years at Delphi.
The palm tree was also sacred to Apollo because he had been born under one in Delos. Animals sacred to Apollo included wolves, dolphins, deer, swans, hawks, and snakes (referencing Apollo’s function as the god of prophecy)
In literary contexts, Apollo represents harmony, order, and reason—characteristics contrasted with those of Dionysus, who represents ecstasy and disorder.