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The God of music, light, poetry, medicine, and prophecy

Now that I have told you about Hephaestus – God of blacksmiths and fire it is time to take a look at Apollo – The God of music, light, poetry, medicine, and prophecy

Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto. He has a twin sister, Artemis. 

Hera is very jealous of Zeus’ and Leto’s relationship and seeks to prevent Leto from giving birth to the children. She sends a snake or a dragon named Python to kill Leto. 

You can read more about Hera here and Zeus here  

When Apollo is only a few days old, he goes to his father Zeus and asks for a golden bow, which he then uses to kill Python. Gaia, the mother of Phyton, gets angry and demands Apollo punished, but Apollo manages to steer clear of punishment by naming the priestess of the holy temple in Delphi “Pythia,” which somewhat eases Gaia. The tree of Apollo is the bay tree and his bird is the crow. He is often depicted with a bay wreath on his head.

Apollo is the god of music, light, poetry, medicine, and prophecy as well as archery. He is also the protector of the oracle of Delphi, who is consulted for important decisions such as the founding of new colonies. The answers of the gods come through the priestess Pythia, who may have been in a kind of trance state do to chewing bay leaves. Unfortunately, her statements are often so incomprehensible that the asker must interpret them. In order to be granted a question, the asker would first have to perform a sacrifice both outside and inside the temple, as well as providing an appropriate payment for wanting to approach the gods.

Apollo plays the musical instrument the lyre, that he received from Hermes. He often competes on this instrument. Once, King Midas unwisely said that he prefers Pan’s music rather than Apollo’s, after which Apollo immediately gives him donkey ears as punishment.

Apollo is the most beautiful of the male gods. He has several lovers, however, he is never associated with one particular woman.

Apollo falls in love with the nymph Daphne, a love that has been cast upon him by the love god Eros. This happens because Apollo has made fun of him and stated that Eros was a bad archer. Daphne, who does not have similar feelings for Apollo, flees into the mountains, but the persistent Apollo pursues her. In her quarters, she asks the river god Peneus for help, and when Apollo tries to touch her, she transforms into a bay tree.

Apollo also falls in love with the beautiful Cassandra, who is the daughter of King Priam of Troy and Hekabe. She promises to give in to Apollo when he promises to teach her the ability to have prophecies, but when she learns it, she rejects him. The furious Apollo punishes her with the curse that no one will ever believe her prophecies. She predicts, among other things, The Trojan war and the murder of Agamemnon, but no one will believe her.

Like his father Zeus, Apollo also falls in love with one of his own sex, the Spartan prince Hyacinthus, who is beautiful and athletic. One day Apollo and Hyacinthus are practicing throwing a discus. Zephyr, the god of the west wind, is jealous of Apollo, and blows the disco out, of course, hitting Hyacinthus and killing him. To immortalize his lover, Apollo lets the beautiful flower, the hyacinth, grow, where the earth is stained with blood.

For the most part, Apollo is a kind god, but his anger is terrible if you cross him. Like many of the other high gods, Apollo mixes with human affairs. He indirectly brings down the mighty Achilles in Troy when he helps Prince Paris shoot him with an arrow. When a person suddenly dies, they are said to have been hit by one of the Apollo’s arrows. 

Niobe is married to King Amphion, with whom she has 6 sons and 6 daughters. Niobe is so proud of having 12 children that she boasts about being more fertile than Apollo’s mother Leto, who “only” has 2 children. For her arrogance (Hybris), Apollo and Artemis killed all her children with arrow shots. Niobe mourned her dead children and eventually turned into a stone column. Reportedly, her tears still flow from the rock.

If you want to read more about greek mythology, I highly recommend Mythos – by Stephen Fry

Thank you for reading this blog post. This a blog post in a series regarding greek mythology. If I have piqued your interest, and you want to read the next blog posts I do on the topic or on other subjects I write about; please remember to subscribe using the box on the right sidebar.

Next time I will tell the tale of Artemis – Goddess of the hunt, forest, and animals.

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Sincerely, Elena

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Artemis - Elena Kristensen
    May 7, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    […] that I have told you about Apollo – The God of music, light, poetry, medicine, and prophecy it is time to take a look at Artemis – The Goddess of the hunt, the wild animals, the […]

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