He was revered for bringing the sun to bring crops, health and prosperity to mortals.Apollo is often referred to as the "god of the silver bow" in reference to the myths and legends about the god killing Python, a monstrous serpent, with his bow and arrows.
Apollo (Roman Counterpart was also called Apollo)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. He was the only Greek god who was not given a Latin name.
Facts about Apollo
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Apollo:
Appearance: Young, handsome, golden hair, tall and strong
Personality: Competitive, sociable, fun loving
Alternative Name: Phoebus Apollo
Role & Function: The function of Apollo is described as being the god of the sun, prophecy, medicine, crops and music. His task was to to harness his chariot with four horses and drive the Sun across the sky. He was also the god of plague
Status: Major God and one of the Twelve Olympians
Symbols: Bow and Arrows, Lyre, Raven, Wolf and Laurel Tree
Roman Counterpart: The Roman name for this god was also Apollo, although there were differences in their functions. He was also called Phoebus (meaning "bright, shining")
Name of Wife: Unmarried but had many lovers, many of them were doomed
Name of Father: Zeus
Name of Mother: Leto
Names of Children: Asclepius, Orpheus,Troilus and Aristaeus
The Family of Apollo
According to Greek legends and myths the family of Apollo were as follows:
- Father: Zeus
- Mother: Leto
- Sister: Artemis
- Wife: Unmarried
- Children: The names of his children by various lovers were Asclepius, the god of Healing, Orpheus and the heroes Troilus and Aristaeus
Apollo and Mount Olympus
In Greek Mythology the principle Greek gods, that included Apollo, were referred to as the Twelve Olympians and lived on the summit of Mount Olympus which was protected by a special layer of clouds. The gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus attended sumptuous banquets in the council-chamber of the gods and feasted on ambrosia (the food of the gods) and nectar (the drink of the gods). The names of the other Olympian gods were Zeus, Hera, Athena, Hestia or Dionysus, Ares, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Demeter, Artemis, Hephaestus and Hermes.
The Symbols of Apollo
In the sculptures, vases, mosaics and paintings of Greek Art the Olympian god Apollo was often illustrated with images representing his symbols. The symbols of Apollo were bows and arrows, the golden chariot, the lyre, crops and shepherds, the raven, various animals and birds and the laurel tree
- The Silver Bow and Arrows
- The symbol of the silver bows and arrows are associated with Apollo in relation to the myth in which he killed the monster Python
- The Lyre
- The lyre symbolizes his role as god of music and dance
- The lyre, which had been given to Apollo by Hermes (Mercury) in exchange for the Caduceus or rod of health, is said to have possessed such extraordinary powers, that it caused a stone, upon which it was laid, to become so melodious, that ever afterwards, on being touched, it emitted a musical sound which resembled that produced by the lyre itself.
- The Sun, Golden chariot, Crops and Shepherds
- These symbols relate to his ability to bring the sun and well-being to humans hence his association with healing. He rides his golden chariot pulling the sun across the sky
- The Laurel Tree
- Animals and Birds
- The symbols of music were wolves, deer, and swans. The symbols of birds such as the chicken and dove are connected with prophecy and were sacrificed in his name. The raven was once a white bird but Apollo turned the raven black for bringing him bad news
Apollo in Greek Mythology - the Lover
Apollo, the Greek god of sun, featured in the stories, myths and legends in Greek Mythology and is renown as a lover whose liaisons with mortals were often doomed. The names of the lovers of Apollo included Daphne who became a laurel tree, Coronis, who was unfaithful and shot by his sister Artemis, and Cassandra, who rejected him, and was doomed to utter true prophecies that no one would believe.
Eros, Apollo and Daphne in Greek Mythology
Daphne was the daughter of the river god Peneus. The legend and story of Apollo and Daphne involves Eros, god of love who was also famed as an archer. Apollo teased Eros about his ability as an archer and in revenge Eros shot two arrows, one with a gold tip other with a lead tip. The arrow with the gold tip hit Apollo instilling desire and lust. The arrow with the lead tip hit Daphne instilling a hatred of lust and desire. The god chased Daphne endlessly and eventually she appealed to her father to help. Peneus gave her the gift of transformation and she turned into a laurel tree. He often wore a crown of laurels in tribute to her.
Apollo and Coronis in Greek Mythology
Coronis was the lover of Apollo and mother of his son, Asclepius, the god of healing and medicine. The god sent a white raven (or crow) to watch over her and raven informed Apollo of her infidelity. His sister, the goddess Artemis shot Coronis and turned the raven black for being the bearer of bad news.
Facts about Apollo in Greek Mythology
Discover interesting information and facts about Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, medicine and music, featured in the stories, myths and legends in Greek Mythology. The facts about Apollo provides a list detailing fascinating additional info to increase your knowledge about Apollo in Greek Mythology.
Apollo was the patron of Delphi (Pytho) where the first oracle of Ancient Greece was located.
Apollo returned to Delphi in the form of a dolphin (hence, the name Delphi)
Apollo killed the monster Python that guarded the oracle at Delphi (Pytho), hence his patronage of the oracle. The Pythian Games were held in his honor every four years
In Greek mythology Orestes murdered his mother Clytemnestra and appealed to Apollo to cleanse him of his guilt. The ritual cleansing with the blood of a pig blood symbolically absolved him from his crime. Delphi became associated with ritualistic cleansing and became a place of exile for those who committed murder or terrible deeds.
Apollo was also the god of plague and during the Trojan war he shot arrows of plague into the camp of the Greeks
He was the god of music hence his association with the lyre. Apollo also directed the choir of the nine Muses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne
His gift of prophecy led to the legend and mythology in which Apollo granted Cassandra the gift of prophecy in return for sexual favors. Cassandra went back on her promise and Apollo cursed her so that no one would ever believe her prophecies
In the myth of Niobe she bragged that she was more important than Leto, the mother of Apollo and his sister Artemis, as she had 14 children and Leto only two. In revenge for the insult, the brother and sister killed all of Niobe's children, except two, with their bow and arrows. Niobe wept for her dead children so much that she turned into a pillar of stone.