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Roman God Apollo

Tales beyond belief

Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Apollo, the Roman god of the sun, music, healing, archery and prophecy. Apollo was worshipped by many Romans for his ability to cure diseases. His association with healing and medicine relates to the control he was believed to have over the plague. The Ancient Romans believed that he could bring both good health or bad health including the deadly plague. The Greek counterpart of this ancient Roman deity was Phoebus Apollo. Apollo was the twin brother of the Roman goddess Diana.

Facts about Apollo
As the god of the sun it was believed that as the warmth of the sun was greatly conducive to good health Apollo also had the power of healing and medicine. The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Apollo:

Roman Name: Apollo
Role & Function: The function of Apollo is described as being the god of the sun, music, archery, eloquence, healing and prophecy
Status: Major God and one of the 'Dei Consentes', the Council of Gods.
Symbols: The golden lyre, the snake, laurel and hyacinth
Gender: Male
Greek Counterpart: The Greek name for this god was Phoebus Apollo
Name of Wife: Unmarried but had many lovers, most of whom were doomed
Name of Father: Jupiter
Name of Mother: Latona
Names of Children: Asclepius, Orpheus, Troilus and Aristaeus

Facts about Apollo in Roman Mythology
Discover interesting information and facts about Apollo, the Roman god of the sun, music, archery and prophecy.

  • Fact 1: He was the son of Jupiter and Latona. His twin sister was Diana.

  • Fact 2: The Ludi Apollinares were games held July 6 to 13 for the Roman people in honour of Apollo

  • Fact 3: His son Asclepius was the Roman god of Healing

  • Fact 4: His son by Calliope, was Orpheus the great musician and a demigod. Read the mythical love story of Orpheus and Eurydice in the Underworld

  • Fact 5: He was the patron of the Oracle of Delphi (aka Pytho). A terrible serpent called Python guarded the oracle at Delphi and Apollo bravely killed the monster.

  • Fact 6: His son Aristaeus was the god of bee-keeping, cheese-making, herding, olive-growing and hunting

  • Fact 7: He quarrelled with Jupiter, on account of the death of his son Asclepius who was killed by Jupiter because of the complaint of Pluto, that he decreased the number of the dead by his cures.

  • Fact 8: He fell in love with Daphne but she fled from him to preserve her chastity. Daphne was changed into a laurel, whose leaves Apollo immediately consecrated to bind his temples, and the laurel become the reward of poetry.

  • Fact 9: His temple at Delphi became so frequented, that it was called the 'oracle of the earth'

  • Fact 10: The seven strings of his lyre was said to represent the seven planets

  • Fact 11: As the the source of harmony he was called Liber Pater and carried a shield to show he was the protector of mankind, and their preserver in health and safety

  • Fact 12: The Emperor Augustus built a temple in honor of Apollo, on the Palatine Hill. At the foot of his statue, were deposited two gilt chests, containing the Sibylline oracles.

  • Fact 13: Cassandra the daughter of Priam of Troy, was seduced by Apollo who gave her the gift of prophecy, but when she betrayed him he amended it so that, though she spoke truth, none would believe her.

  • Fact 14: The gigantic statue called the Colossus of Rhodes was believed to be the bronze likeness of Apollo that stood at the entrance to the harbor of Rhodes.

Apollo (Greek Counterpart was Phoebus Apollo)
The Romans habitually assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Greeks and other nations. When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC many of the Greek gods and goddesses were adopted by the Romans.  The Romans simply changed the Greek gods names to Latin equivalents. The Greek counterpart of Apollo was Phoebus Apollo. The Roman religion significantly differed from the Greeks in that it was officially endorsed by the state and exerted influence over the government of Rome. Politicians took the offices of influential priests, called pontiffs, to gain control of the popular worship, Roman gods and goddesses like Apollo were worshipped at every public event, including the gladiatorial games, where blood sacrifices were made to the gods. In ancient Rome, the pantheon of 12 major gods, including Apollo, were called the 'Dei Consentes' meaning the Council of Gods.

Gods and Deities
Roman Gods and Goddesses

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