Mythology

Apollo – Greek God of the Sun

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Apollo

Apollo is one of the Greek Gods who lives on Mount Olympus and is the god of the sun, light, truth, music, poetry, healing, and more. However, his two most well known epithets are being the god of the sun and of light. He is always depicted as being beardless, youthful, and physically handsome. He has a twin sister named Artemis, who is the goddess of the hunt.

Birth Story

Apollo and his twin sister, Artemis, are the children of Zeus, the King of the Gods, and Leto, who was a titan. Zeus actively seduced Leto and eventually got her pregnant. Though she is always portrayed in mythology in a positive light, Hera disliked her because she had an affair with her husband.

As part of Hera’s revenge, she tried to make it impossible for Leto to give birth to the twins. Leto wandered Greece and was unable to find a spot. Out of pity for Leto, Zeus turned her into a quail so she could safely give birth to their children. Finally, she found the island of Asteria in the Cyclades where, after a several day’s long labor, she gave birth to the twins.

Apollo’s Gifts and Roles

Besides being very handsome, Apollo had many gifts and roles in Greek Mythology. Here is a summary of them.

  • Music and Poetry. Since Apollo was musical and poetic, he was considered the God of Music and Poetry. These two gifts work together because poems are often set to music.
  • Bringing the Sun. Another role Apollo had was to bring the sun to the earth each day. He is considered the God of the Sun and of the Light for this reason.
  • Prophesy. One of his many gifts is that he had the gift of prophecy. He could see the future but it wasn’t always a guarantee.

When a temple was built in Apollo’s honor, it was often filled with people who were hoping to petition Apollo to use his gifts, particularly to help foretell their futures.

Oracle of Delphi

At one point, Apollo decided that he needed an assistant, particularly to help with the prophetic side of his nature. So, he decided to find an oracle that could foretell the future. The problem is he wanted an oracle that would give more than just vague answers.

Part of Apollo’s gift is that he could help others have insights into the future. He also wanted to have some fun with his gift. So, when he found an oracle that was willing to work with him, he set a rule that the oracle wouldn’t be too specific, which would make things a little more interesting.

One day, a king asked Apollo’s oracle if he would win a major battle. She told him that a great king would be the victor. Confident, he led his soldiers into battle where he ultimately lost and was also killed. If you think about it, the oracle didn’t lie. The king on the opposing side won. His victory made him great.

Apollo is one of the Olympian gods. He and his twin sister Artemis were born from Leto, one of Zeus’s mistresses. He served many roles in mythology such as bringing the sun to each new day, predicting the future, and he was also the god of music. Like all gods, he certainly led a colorful existence.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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