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Apollo God The Olympian of Many Talents VideoGreek Mythology - The Olympian God Apollo
Apollo is the Olympian god of the sun and light, music and poetry, healing and plagues, prophecy and knowledge, order and beauty, archery and agriculture.
An embodiment of the Hellenic ideal of kalokagathia , he is harmony, reason and moderation personified, a perfect blend of physical superiority and moral virtue.
A complex deity who turns up in art and literature possibly as often as Zeus himself, Apollo is the only major god who appears with the same name in both Greek and Roman mythology.
The origin of the name Apollo is still not properly understood. However, in time, he evolved to become a multifaceted god adored all over Greece as the perfectly developed classical male nude, the kouros.
Beardless and athletically built, he is often depicted with a laurel crown on his head and either a bow and arrow or a lyre and plectrum in his hands.
The sacrificial tripod — representing his prophetic powers — was another common attribute of Apollo , just as few animals linked with the god in various myths : wolf, dolphin, python , mouse, deer, swan.
Apollo was in charge of so many things that, naturally, even his more famous epithets are numerous. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Use our interactive map to navigate our fascinating planet and discover many interesting and fun facts for every country…. The Temple of Apollo, Greece.
Like our content? The firm connection with the sun may be traceable to the "Metamorphoses" of the major Latin poet Ovid. He is unique among the major Roman gods in that he retained the name of his counterpart in the Greek pantheon.
The Oracle at Delphi, a renowned seat of prophecy in the classical world, was intimately connected with Apollo.
The Greeks believed that Delphi was the site of the omphalos, or navel, of Gaia, the Earth. Stories vary, but it was at Delphi that Apollo slew the serpent Python, or alternately, brought the gift of prophecy in the form of a dolphin.
Either way, the Oracle's guidance was sought by Greek rulers for every major decision and was respected in the lands of Asia Minor and by the Egyptians and Romans as well.
Apollo's priestess, or sybil, was known as Pythia. A gentler side of his nature, however, was shown in his other attribute, the lyre , which proclaimed the joy of communion with Olympus the home of the gods through music, poetry, and dance.
Though Apollo was the most Hellenic of all gods, he derived mostly from a type of god that originated in Anatolia and spread to Egypt by way of Syria and Palestine.
From there Apollo went to Pytho Delphi , where he slew Python , the dragon that guarded the area. He established his oracle by taking on the guise of a dolphin, leaping aboard a Cretan ship, and forcing the crew to serve him.
Thus, Pytho was renamed Delphi after the dolphin delphis , and the Cretan cult of Apollo Delphinius superseded that previously established there by Earth Gaea.
During the Archaic period 8th to 6th century bce , the fame of the Delphic oracle spread as far as Lydia in Anatolia and achieved Panhellenic status.
The oracles were subsequently interpreted and versified by priests. Other oracles of Apollo existed on the Greek mainland, on Delos , and in Anatolia , but none rivalled Delphi in importance.
Of the Greek festivals in honour of Apollo, the most curious was the octennial Delphic Stepterion, in which a boy reenacted the slaying of the Python and was temporarily banished to the Vale of Tempe.
He was also lethal, killing anyone who crossed him. Apollo had just been born but even at only four days old, he was strong and able.
He had been given a silver bow with golden arrows from the blacksmith Hephaestus. Apollo wanted to seek revenge on Python for everything he had done to the Greeks, including chasing his mother while she was pregnant.
As he entered it, he was greeted by the monster who was already furious that the young boy had come after him. He lunged at Apollo and attempted to snatch him but Apollo was faster.
He shot an arrow at the Python and it pierced him in the forehead. The Python screamed in pain so loudly that all of Greece heard it.
He did everything he could to save himself but he succumbed to his injury. Apollo was thrilled to have saved the Greeks from the Python.
He reached for his lyre and played a song of victory for everyone to hear. The song was so perfect that it earned him the title of god of music.
After the song was complete, the young boy took the body of his victim and buried it beneath the slopes of Mount Parnassus.
On top of it, he build the oracle of Delphi, which would became the most famous oracle in the land.