Apollo God Of The Sun

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It is only through this outer layer that light, heat, and other types of radiation can escape. The photosphere glows because it is heated to nearly 5,K Kelvin by the nuclear reactions in the core.

Above the photosphere is the chromosphere. This is about 3, miles 5, km thick and at its base has a temperature of approximately 4,K. In contrast to the often repeated warnings about tanning and skin cancer, some scientists have been exploring an almost heretical notion: sunlight may actually protect against other cancers.

The idea is not new; two epidemiologists proposed it twenty-two years ago. Their theory was that Vitamin D, which the skin produces when exposed to sunshine, somehow prevents the growth of malignant cells.

Sunlight supplies the body with about 90 percent of its Vitamin D. Ultraviolet rays prompt the skin to produce a biologically inert form of the substance, which is then converted into an active form, as a hormone called calcitriol.

For decades, experts believed that the vitamin primarily protected bones. Studies have since shown that people in relatively sun-deprived regions, or with low Vitamin D levels, appear at greater risk for a variety of cancers.

Researchers at the cancer institute have reported that the chances of dying of breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate cancer were reduced by about 10 to 27 percent for people in the sunniest areas, compared with those to the north, based on death certificates in twenty-four of the fifty United States.

Source of Summary Chen, Ingfei. The Sun Also Heals, Some Believe In contrast to the often repeated warnings about tanning and skin cancer, some scientists have been exploring an almost heretical notion: sunlight may actually protect against other cancers.

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Wyzant Resources features blogs, videos, lessons, and more about Greek gods and over other subjects.

The etymology of the name is uncertain. Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Like other Greek deities, he had a number of others applied to him, reflecting the variety of roles, duties, and aspects ascribed to the god.

However, while Apollo has a great number of appellations in Greek myth, only a few occur in Latin literature.

Apollo's birthplace was Mount Cynthus on the island of Delos. Delphi and Actium were his primary places of worship. Apollo was worshipped throughout the Roman Empire.

In the traditionally Celtic lands, he was most often seen as a healing and sun god. He was often equated with Celtic gods of similar character.

The Delos sanctuary was primarily dedicated to Artemis , Apollo's twin sister. At Delphi, Apollo was venerated as the slayer of Pytho.

For the Greeks, Apollo was all the gods in one and through the centuries he acquired different functions which could originate from different gods.

In archaic Greece he was the prophet , the oracular god who in older times was connected with "healing". In classical Greece he was the god of light and of music, but in popular religion he had a strong function to keep away evil.

The inspiration oracular-cult was probably introduced from Anatolia. The ritualism belonged to Apollo from the beginning.

The Greeks created the legalism , the supervision of the orders of the gods, and the demand for moderation and harmony. Apollo became the god of shining youth, ideal beauty, fine arts, philosophy, moderation, spiritual-life, the protector of music, divine law and perceptible order.

The improvement of the old Anatolian god, and his elevation to an intellectual sphere, may be considered an achievement of the Greek people.

He did not have a separate cult, but he was the personification of the holy magic-song sung by the magicians that was supposed to cure disease. In the Iliad , Apollo is the healer under the gods, but he is also the bringer of disease and death with his arrows, similar to the function of the Vedic god of disease Rudra.

The god who sends a disease can also prevent it; therefore, when it stops, they make a purifying ceremony and offer him a hecatomb to ward off evil.

When the oath of his priest appeases, they pray and with a song they call their own god, the Paean. Homer illustrated Paeon the god and the song both of apotropaic thanksgiving or triumph.

About the 4th century BCE, the paean became merely a formula of adulation; its object was either to implore protection against disease and misfortune or to offer thanks after such protection had been rendered.

It was in this way that Apollo had become recognized as the god of music. Apollo's role as the slayer of the Python led to his association with battle and victory; hence it became the Roman custom for a paean to be sung by an army on the march and before entering into battle, when a fleet left the harbour, and also after a victory had been won.

The connection with the Dorians and their initiation festival apellai is reinforced by the month Apellaios in northwest Greek calendars.

Stones played an important part in the cult of the god, especially in the oracular shrine of Delphi Omphalos.

The " Homeric hymn " represents Apollo as a Northern intruder. His arrival must have occurred during the " Dark Ages " that followed the destruction of the Mycenaean civilization and his conflict with Gaia Mother Earth was represented by the legend of his slaying her daughter the serpent Python.

The earth deity had power over the ghostly world and it is believed that she was the deity behind the oracle. Apollo and his sister Artemis can bring death with their arrows.

The conception that diseases and death come from invisible shots sent by supernatural beings, or magicians is common in Germanic and Norse mythology.

The Vedic Rudra has some similar functions with Apollo. The terrible god is called "the archer" and the bow is also an attribute of Shiva.

It seems an oracular cult existed in Delphi from the Mycenaean age. The double-axe, labrys , was the holy symbol of the Cretan labyrinth.

Apollo Delphinios or Delphidios was a sea-god especially worshiped in Crete and in the islands. In her earliest depictions she is accompanied by the "Master of the animals", a male god of hunting who had the bow as his attribute.

His original name is unknown, but it seems that he was absorbed by the more popular Apollo, who stood by the virgin "Mistress of the Animals", becoming her brother.

The old oracles in Delphi seem to be connected with a local tradition of the priesthood and there is not clear evidence that a kind of inspiration-prophecy existed in the temple.

This led some scholars to the conclusion that Pythia carried on the rituals in a consistent procedure through many centuries, according to the local tradition.

In that regard, the mythical seeress Sibyl of Anatolian origin, with her ecstatic art, looks unrelated to the oracle itself.

It is more probable that this art was introduced later from Anatolia and regenerated an existing oracular cult that was local to Delphi and dormant in several areas of Greece.

A non-Greek origin of Apollo has long been assumed in scholarship. The inspiration oracular cult was probably introduced into Greece from Anatolia , which is the origin of Sibyl , and where existed some of the oldest oracular shrines.

Omens, symbols, purifications, and exorcisms appear in old Assyro - Babylonian texts, and these rituals were spread into the empire of the Hittites.

In a Hittite text is mentioned that the king invited a Babylonian priestess for a certain "purification".

A similar story is mentioned by Plutarch. He writes that the Cretan seer Epimenides purified Athens after the pollution brought by the Alcmeonidae and that the seer's expertise in sacrifices and reform of funeral practices were of great help to Solon in his reform of the Athenian state.

It seems that these rituals were dormant in Greece and they were reinforced when the Greeks migrated to Anatolia.

Homer pictures Apollo on the side of the Trojans , fighting against the Achaeans , during the Trojan War. He is pictured as a terrible god, less trusted by the Greeks than other gods.

The god seems to be related to Appaliunas , a tutelary god of Wilusa Troy in Asia Minor, but the word is not complete.

Here we have an apotropaic situation, where a god originally bringing the plague was invoked to end it. Aplu, meaning the son of , was a title given to the god Nergal , who was linked to the Babylonian god of the sun Shamash.

Unusually among the Olympic deities, Apollo had two cult sites that had widespread influence: Delos and Delphi.

In cult practice, Delian Apollo and Pythian Apollo the Apollo of Delphi were so distinct that they might both have shrines in the same locality.

Apollo became extremely important to the Greek world as an oracular deity in the archaic period , and the frequency of theophoric names such as Apollodorus or Apollonios and cities named Apollonia testify to his popularity.

Oracular sanctuaries to Apollo were established in other sites. In the 2nd and 3rd century CE, those at Didyma and Claros pronounced the so-called "theological oracles", in which Apollo confirms that all deities are aspects or servants of an all-encompassing, highest deity.

Julian the Apostate — tried to revive the Delphic oracle, but failed. Apollo had a famous oracle in Delphi, and other notable ones in Claros and Didyma.

Many temples were dedicated to Apollo in Greece and the Greek colonies. They show the spread of the cult of Apollo and the evolution of the Greek architecture, which was mostly based on the rightness of form and on mathematical relations.

Some of the earliest temples, especially in Crete , do not belong to any Greek order. It seems that the first peripteral temples were rectangular wooden structures.

The different wooden elements were considered divine , and their forms were preserved in the marble or stone elements of the temples of Doric order.

The Greeks used standard types because they believed that the world of objects was a series of typical forms which could be represented in several instances.

The temples should be canonic, and the architects were trying to achieve this esthetic perfection. The first buildings were built narrowly in order to hold the roof, and when the dimensions changed some mathematical relations became necessary in order to keep the original forms.

This probably influenced the theory of numbers of Pythagoras , who believed that behind the appearance of things there was the permanent principle of mathematics.

The Doric order dominated during the 6th and the 5th century BC but there was a mathematical problem regarding the position of the triglyphs, which couldn't be solved without changing the original forms.

The order was almost abandoned for the Ionic order , but the Ionic capital also posed an insoluble problem at the corner of a temple. Both orders were abandoned for the Corinthian order gradually during the Hellenistic age and under Rome.

Apollo appears often in the myths, plays and hymns. As Zeus' favorite son, Apollo had direct access to the mind of Zeus and was willing to reveal this knowledge to humans.

A divinity beyond human comprehension, he appears both as a beneficial and a wrathful god. Apollo was the son of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Leto, his previous wife [] or one of his mistresses.

Growing up, Apollo was nursed by the nymphs Korythalia and Aletheia , the personification of truth. When Zeus' wife Hera discovered that Leto was pregnant, she banned Leto from giving birth on terra firma.

Leto sought shelter in many lands, only to be rejected by them. Finally, the voice of unborn Apollo informed his mother about a floating island named Delos which had once been Asteria , Leto's own sister.

All the goddesses except Hera were present to witness the event. It is also stated that Hera kidnapped Eileithyia , the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor.

The other gods tricked Hera into letting her go by offering her a necklace of amber 9 yards or 8. When Apollo was born, clutching a golden sword, [] everything on Delos turned into gold [] and the island was filled with ambrosial fragrance.

Since Leto was unable to feed the him, Themis , the goddess of divine law, fed him with nectar, or ambrosia.

Upon tasting the divine food, Apollo broke free of the bands fastened onto him and declared that he would be the master of lyre and archery, and interpret the will of Zeus to humankind.

Apollo's birth fixed the floating Delos to the earth. According to some, Apollo secured Delos to the bottom of the ocean after some time. The seventh and twentieth, the days of the new and full moon, were ever afterwards held sacred to him.

Hyperborea , the mystical land of eternal spring, venerated Apollo above all the gods. The Hyperboreans always sang and danced in his honor and hosted Pythian games.

Apollo spent the winter months among the Hyperboreans. No prophecies were issued during this time. The Theophania festival was held in Delphi to celebrate his return.

It is said that Leto came to Delos from Hyperborea accompanied by a pack of wolves. Henceforth, Hyperborea became Apollo's winter home and wolves became sacred to him.

His intimate connection to wolves is evident from his epithet Lyceus , meaning wolf-like. But Apollo was also the wolf-slayer in his role as the god who protected flocks from predators.

The Hyperborean worship of Apollo bears the strongest marks of Apollo being worshipped as the sun god. Shamanistic elements in Apollo's cult are often liked to his Hyperborean origin, and he is likewise speculated to have originated as a solar shaman.

In myths, the tears of amber Apollo shed when his son Asclepius died became the waters of the river Eridanos, which surrounded Hyperborea.

Apollo also buried in Hyperborea the arrow which he had used to kill the Cyclopes. He later gave this arrow to Abaris.

As a child, Apollo is said to have built a foundation and an altar on Delos using the horns of the goats that his sister Artemis hunted.

Since he learnt the art of building when young, he later came to be known as Archegetes , the founder of towns " and god who guided men to build new cities.

In his early years when Apollo spent his time herding cows, he was reared by Thriae , the bee nymphs, who trained him and enhanced his prophetic skills.

He then taught to the humans the art of healing and archery. Themis inspired him to be the oracular voice of Delphi thereon. Python , a chthonic serpent-dragon, was a child of Gaea and the guardian of the Delphic Oracle , whose death was foretold by Apollo when he was still in Leto's womb.

Python was sent by Hera to hunt the pregnant Leto to death, and had assaulted her. To avenge the trouble given to his mother, Apollo went in search of Python and killed it in the sacred cave at Delphi with the bow and arrows that he had received from Hephaestus.

The Delphian nymphs who were present encouraged Apollo during the battle with the cry "Hie Paean ". After Apollo was victorious, they also brought him gifts and gave the Corycian cave to him.

According to another version, when Leto was in Delphi, Python had attacked her. Apollo defended his mother and killed Python. You killed him, o Phoebus, while still a baby, still leaping in the arms of your dear mother, and you entered the holy shrine, and sat on the golden tripod, on your truthful throne distributing prophecies from the gods to mortals.

A detailed account of Apollo's conflict with Gaea and Zeus' intervention on behalf of his young son is also given. But when Apollo came and sent Themis, the child of Earth, away from the holy oracle of Pytho, Earth gave birth to dream visions of the night; and they told to the cities of men the present, and what will happen in the future, through dark beds of sleep on the ground; and so Earth took the office of prophecy away from Phoebus, in envy, because of her daughter.

The lord made his swift way to Olympus and wound his baby hands around Zeus, asking him to take the wrath of the earth goddess from the Pythian home.

Zeus smiled, that the child so quickly came to ask for worship that pays in gold. He shook his locks of hair, put an end to the night voices, and took away from mortals the truth that appears in darkness, and gave the privilege back again to Loxias.

Apollo also demanded that all other methods of divination be made inferior to his, a wish that Zeus granted him readily.

Because of this, Athena, who had been practicing divination by throwing pebbles, cast her pebbles away in displeasure.

However, Apollo had committed a blood murder and had to be purified. Apollo had to serve as a slave for nine years. Purified, Apollo was escorted by his half sister Athena to Delphi where the oracular shrine was finally handed over to him by Gaea.

Apollo later established the Pythian games to appropriate Gaea. Henceforth, Apollo became the god who cleansed himself from the sin of murder and, made men aware of their guilt and purified them.

Soon after, Zeus instructed Apollo to go to Delphi and establish his law. But Apollo, disobeying his father, went to the land of Hyperborea and stayed there for a year.

Zeus, pleased with his son's integrity, gave Apollo the seat next to him on his right side. He also gave to Apollo various gifts, like a golden tripod, a golden bow and arrows, a golden chariot and the city of Delphi.

Soon after his return, Apollo needed to recruit people to Delphi. So, when he spotted a ship sailing from Crete, he sprang aboard in the form of a dolphin.

The crew was awed into submission and followed a course that led the ship to Delphi. There Apollo revealed himself as a god.

Initiating them to his service, he instructed them to keep righteousness in their hearts. The Pythia was Apollo's high priestess and his mouthpiece through whom he gave prophecies.

Pythia is arguably the constant favorite of Apollo among the mortals. Hera once again sent another giant, Tityos to rape Leto. This time Apollo shot him with his arrows and attacked him with his golden sword.

According to other version, Artemis also aided him in protecting their mother by attacking Tityos with her arrows. Admetus was the king of Pherae , who was known for his hospitality.

When Apollo was exiled from Olympus for killing Python, he served as a herdsman under Admetus, who was then young and unmarried. Apollo is said to have shared a romantic relationship with Admetus during his stay.

Because Admetus had treated Apollo well, the god conferred great benefits on him in return. Apollo's mere presence is said to have made the cattle give birth to twins.

He was present during their wedding to give his blessings. When Admetus angered the goddess Artemis by forgetting to give her the due offerings, Apollo came to the rescue and calmed his sister.

According to another version, or perhaps some years later, when Zeus struck down Apollo's son Asclepius with a lightning bolt for resurrecting the dead, Apollo in revenge killed the Cyclopes , who had fashioned the bolt for Zeus.

Zeus obliged and sentenced Apollo to one year of hard labor once again under Admetus. The fate of Niobe was prophesied by Apollo while he was still in Leto's womb.

She displayed hubris when she boasted that she was superior to Leto because she had fourteen children Niobids , seven male and seven female, while Leto had only two.

She further mocked Apollo's effeminate appearance and Artemis' manly appearance. Leto, insulted by this, told her children to punish Niobe. Accordingly, Apollo killed Niobe's sons, and Artemis her daughters.

According to some versions of the myth, among the Niobids, Chloris and her brother Amyclas were not killed because they prayed to Leto.

Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, either killed himself or was killed by Apollo after swearing revenge. Her tears formed the river Achelous.

Zeus had turned all the people of Thebes to stone and so no one buried the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the gods themselves entombed them.

When Chloris married and had children, Apollo granted her son Nestor the years he had taken away from the Niobids. Hence, Nestor was able to live for 3 generations.

Apollodorus states that the gods willingly went to the king disguised as humans in order to check his hubris. In Ovid's account, Apollo completes his task by playing his tunes on his lyre.

In Pindar 's odes, the gods took a mortal named Aeacus as their assistant. Apollo immediately prophesied that Troy would fall at the hands of Aeacus's descendants, the Aeacidae i.

Later, his great grandson Neoptolemus was present in the wooden horse that lead to the downfall of Troy. However, the king not only refused to give the gods the wages he had promised, but also threatened to bind their feet and hands, and sell them as slaves.

Angered by the unpaid labour and the insults, Apollo infected the city with a pestilence and Posedion sent the sea monster Cetus. To deliver the city from it, Laomedon had to sacrifice his daughter Hesione who would later be saved by Heracles.

During his stay in Troy, Apollo had a lover named Ourea, who was a nymph and daughter of Poseidon. Together they had a son named Ileus, whom Apollo loved dearly.

During the war, the Greek king Agamemnon captured Chryseis , the daughter of Apollo's priest Chryses , and refused to return her. Angered by this, Apollo shot arrows infected with the plague into the Greek encampment.

He demanded that they return the girl, and the Achaeans Greeks complied, indirectly causing the anger of Achilles , which is the theme of the Iliad.

Receiving the aegis from Zeus, Apollo entered the battlefield as per his father's command, causing great terror to the enemy with his war cry. He pushed the Greeks back and destroyed many of the soldiers.

He is described as "the rouser of armies" because he rallied the Trojan army when they were falling apart. When Zeus allowed the other gods to get involved in the war, Apollo was provoked by Poseidon to a duel.

However, Apollo declined to fight him, saying that he wouldn't fight his uncle for the sake of mortals. When the Greek hero Diomedes injured the Trojan hero Aeneas , Aphrodite tried to rescue him, but Diomedes injured her as well.

Apollo then enveloped Aeneas in a cloud to protect him. He repelled the attacks Diomedes made on him and gave the hero a stern warning to abstain himself from attacking a god.

Aeneas was then taken to Pergamos, a sacred spot in Troy , where he was healed. After the death of Sarpedon , a son of Zeus, Apollo rescued the corpse from the battlefield as per his father's wish and cleaned it.

He then gave it to Sleep Hypnos and Death Thanatos. Apollo had also once convinced Athena to stop the war for that day, so that the warriors can relieve themselves for a while.

The Trojan hero Hector who, according to some, was the god's own son by Hecuba [] was favored by Apollo. When he got severely injured, Apollo healed him and encouraged him to take up his arms.

During a duel with Achilles, when Hector was about to lose, Apollo hid Hector in a cloud of mist to save him. When the Greek warrior Patroclus tried to get into the fort of Troy, he was stopped by Apollo.

Encouraging Hector to attack Patroclus, Apollo stripped the armour of the Greek warrior and broke his weapons.

Patroclus was eventually killed by Hector. At last, after Hector's fated death, Apollo protected his corpse from Achilles' attempt to mutilate it by creating a magical cloud over the corpse.

Apollo held a grudge against Achilles throughout the war because Achilles had murdered his son Tenes before the war began and brutally assassinated his son Troilus in his own temple.

Not only did Apollo save Hector from Achilles, he also tricked Achilles by disguising himself as a Trojan warrior and driving him away from the gates.

He foiled Achilles' attempt to mutilate Hector's dead body. Finally, Apollo caused Achilles' death by guiding an arrow shot by Paris into Achilles ' heel.

In some versions, Apollo himself killed Achilles by taking the disguise of Paris. Apollo helped many Trojan warriors, including Agenor , Polydamas , Glaucus in the battlefield.

Though he greatly favored the Trojans, Apollo was bound to follow the orders of Zeus and served his father loyally during the war. After Heracles then named Alcides was struck with madness and killed his family, he sought to purify himself and consulted the oracle of Apollo.

Apollo, through the Pythia, commanded him to serve king Eurystheus for twelve years and complete the ten tasks the king would give him.

Only then would Alcides be absolved of his sin. Apollo also renamed him as Heracles. To complete his third task, Heracles had to capture the Ceryneian Hind , a hind sacred to Artemis, and bring it alive.

He chased the hind for one year. When the animal eventually got tired and tried crossing the river Ladon, he captured it.

While he was taking it back, he was confronted by Apollo and Artemis, who were angered at Heracles for this act. However, Heracles soothed the goddess and explained his situation to her.

After much pleading, Artemis permitted him to take the hind and told him to return it later. After he was freed from his servitude to Eurystheus, Heracles fell in conflict with Iphytus, a prince of Oechalia, and murdered him.

Soon after, he contracted a terrible disease. He consulted the oracle of Apollo once again, in hope of ridding himself of the disease.

The Pythia, however, denied to give any prophesy. In anger, Heracles snatched the sacred tripod and started walking away, intending to start his own oracle.

However, Apollo did not tolerate this and stopped Heracles; a duel ensued between them. Artemis rushed to support Apollo, while Athena supported Heracles.

Soon, Zeus threw his thunderbolt between the fighting brothers and separated them. He reprimanded Heracles for this act of violation and asked Apollo to give a solution to Heracles.

Apollo then ordered the hero to serve under Omphale , queen of Lydia for one year in order to purify himself. Periphas was an Attican king and a priest of Apollo.

He was noble, just and rich. He did all his duties justly. Because of this people were very fond of him and started honouring him to the same extent as Zeus.

At one point, they worshipped Periphas in place of Zeus and set up shrines and temples for him. This annoyed Zeus, who decided to annihilate the entire family of Periphas.

But because he was a just king and a good devotee, Apollo intervened and requested his father to spare Periphas. Zeus considered Apollo's words and agreed to let him live.

But he metamorphosed Periphas into an eagle and made the eagle the king of birds. When Periphas' wife requested Zeus to let her stay with her husband, Zeus turned her into a vulture and fulfilled her wish.

A long time ago, there were three kinds of human beings: male, descended from the sun; female, descended from the earth; and androgynous, descended from the moon.

Each human being was completely round, with four arms and fours legs, two identical faces on opposite sides of a head with four ears, and all else to match.

They were powerful and unruly. Otis and Ephialtes even dared to scale Mount Olympus. To check their insolence, Zeus devised a plan to humble them and improve their manners instead of completely destroying them.

He cut them all in two and asked Apollo to make necessary repairs, giving humans the individual shape they still have now. Apollo turned their heads and necks around towards their wounds, he pulled together their skin at the abdomen , and sewed the skin together at the middle of it.

This is what we call navel today. He smoothened the wrinkles and shaped the chest. But he made sure to leave a few wrinkles on the abdomen and around the navel so that they might be reminded of their punishment.

Apollo was also bidden to heal their wounds and compose their forms. So Apollo gave a turn to the face and pulled the skin from the sides all over that which in our language is called the belly, like the purses which draw in, and he made one mouth at the centre [of the belly] which he fastened in a knot the same which is called the navel ; he also moulded the breast and took out most of the wrinkles, much as a shoemaker might smooth leather upon a last; he left a few wrinkles, however, in the region of the belly and navel, as a memorial of the primeval state.

Apollo Kourotrophos is the god who nurtures and protects children and the young, especially boys. He oversees their education and their passage into adulthood.

Education is said to have originated from Apollo and the Muses. Many myths have him train his children. It was a custom for boys to cut and dedicate their long hair to Apollo after reaching adulthood.

Chiron , the abandoned centaur , was fostered by Apollo, who instructed him in medicine, prophecy, archery and more. Chiron would later become a great teacher himself.

Asclepius in his childhood gained much knowledge pertaining to medicinal arts by his father. However, he was later entrusted to Chiron for further education.

Anius , Apollo's son by Rhoeo , was abandoned by his mother soon after his birth. Apollo brought him up and educated him in mantic arts.

Anius later became the priest of Apollo and the king of Delos. Iamus was the son of Apollo and Evadne. When Evadne went into labour, Apollo sent the Moirai to assist his lover.

After the child was born, Apollo sent snakes to feed the child some honey. When Iamus reached the age of education, Apollo took him to Olympia and taught him many arts, including the ability to understand and explain the languages of birds.

Idmon was educated by Apollo to be a seer. Even though he foresaw his death that would happen in his journey with the Argonauts , he embraced his destiny and died a brave death.

To commemorate his son's bravery, Apollo commanded Boetians to build a town around the tomb of the hero, and to honor him. Apollo adopted Carnus , the abandoned son of Zeus and Europa.

He reared the child with the help of his mother Leto and educated him to be a seer. When his son Melaneus reached the age of marriage, Apollo asked the princess Stratonice to be his son's bride and carried her away from her home when she agreed.

Apollo saved a shepherd boy name unknown from death in a large deep cave, by the means of vultures. To thank him, the shepherd built Apollo a temple under the name Vulturius.

Immediately after his birth, Apollo demanded a lyre and invented the paean , thus becoming the god of music. As the divine singer, he is the patron of poets, singers and musicians.

The invention of string music is attributed to him. Plato said that the innate ability of humans to take delight in music, rhythm and harmony is the gift of Apollo and the Muses.

For this reason, he was called Homopolon before the Homo was replaced by A. They are Apollo's sacred birds and acted as his vehicle during his travel to Hyperborea.

Among the Pythagoreans , the study of mathematics and music were connected to the worship of Apollo, their principal deity. They also believed that music was delegated to the same mathematical laws of harmony as the mechanics of the cosmos, evolving into an idea known as the music of the spheres.

Apollo appears as the companion of the Muses , and as Musagetes "leader of Muses" he leads them in dance.

They spend their time on Parnassus , which is one of their sacred places. Apollo is also the lover of the Muses and by them he became the father of famous musicians like Orpheus and Linus.

Apollo is often found delighting the immortal gods with his songs and music on the lyre. He is a frequent guest of the Bacchanalia , and many ancient ceramics depict him being at ease amidst the maenads and satyrs.

He was the victor in all those contests, but he tended to punish his opponents severely for their hubris. The invention of lyre is attributed either to Hermes or to Apollo himself.

Myths tell that the infant Hermes stole a number of Apollo's cows and took them to a cave in the woods near Pylos , covering their tracks. In the cave, he found a tortoise and killed it, then removed the insides.

He used one of the cow's intestines and the tortoise shell and made his lyre. Upon discovering the theft, Apollo confronted Hermes and asked him to return his cattle.

When Hermes acted innocent, Apollo took the matter to Zeus. Zeus, having seen the events, sided with Apollo, and ordered Hermes to return the cattle.

Hermes then began to play music on the lyre he had invented. Apollo fell in love with the instrument and offered to exchange the cattle for the lyre.

Hence, Apollo then became the master of the lyre. According to other versions, Apollo had invented the lyre himself, whose strings he tore in repenting of the excess punishment he had given to Marsyas.

Hermes' lyre, therefore, would be a reinvention. Once Pan had the audacity to compare his music with that of Apollo and to challenge the god of music to a contest.

The mountain-god Tmolus was chosen to umpire. Pan blew on his pipes, and with his rustic melody gave great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower, Midas , who happened to be present.

Then, Apollo struck the strings of his lyre. It was so beautiful that Tmolus at once awarded the victory to Apollo, and everyone was pleased with the judgement.

Only Midas dissented and questioned the justice of the award. Apollo did not want to suffer such a depraved pair of ears any longer, and caused them to become the ears of a donkey.

Marsyas was a satyr who was punished by Apollo for his hubris. He had found an aulos on the ground, tossed away after being invented by Athena because it made her cheeks puffy.

Athena had also placed a curse upon the instrument, that whoever would pick it up would be severely punished.

When Marsyas played the flute, everyone became frenzied with joy. This led Marsyas to think that he was better than Apollo, and he challenged the god to a musical contest.

The contest was judged by the Muses , or the nymphs of Nysa. Athena was also present to witness the contest. Marsyas taunted Apollo for "wearing his hair long, for having a fair face and smooth body, for his skill in so many arts".

His body is fair from head to foot, his limbs shine bright, his tongue gives oracles, and he is equally eloquent in prose or verse, propose which you will.

What of his robes so fine in texture, so soft to the touch, aglow with purple? What of his lyre that flashes gold, gleams white with ivory, and shimmers with rainbow gems?

What of his song, so cunning and so sweet? Nay, all these allurements suit with naught save luxury. To virtue they bring shame alone!

The Muses and Athena sniggered at this comment. The contestants agreed to take turns displaying their skills and the rule was that the victor could "do whatever he wanted" to the loser.

According to one account, after the first round, they both were deemed equal by the Nysiads. But in the next round, Apollo decided to play on his lyre and add his melodious voice to his performance.

Marsyas argued against this, saying that Apollo would have an advantage and accused Apollo of cheating. But Apollo replied that since Marsyas played the flute, which needed air blown from the throat, it was similar to singing, and that either they both should get an equal chance to combine their skills or none of them should use their mouths at all.

The nymphs decided that Apollo's argument was just. Apollo then played his lyre and sang at the same time, mesmerising the audience.

Marsyas could not do this. Apollo was declared the winner and, angered with Marsyas' haughtiness and his accusations, decided to flay the satyr.

According to another account, Marsyas played his flute out of tune at one point and accepted his defeat. Out of shame, he assigned to himself the punishment of being skinned for a wine sack.

Marsyas could not do this with his instrument. So the Muses who were the judges declared Apollo the winner. Apollo hung Marsyas from a tree to flay him.

Apollo flayed the limbs of Marsyas alive in a cave near Celaenae in Phrygia for his hubris to challenge a god. He then gave the rest of his body for proper burial [] and nailed Marsyas' flayed skin to a nearby pine-tree as a lesson to the others.

Marsyas' blood turned into the river Marsyas. But Apollo soon repented and being distressed at what he had done, he tore the strings of his lyre and threw it away.

The lyre was later discovered by the Muses and Apollo's sons Linus and Orpheus. The Muses fixed the middle string, Linus the string struck with the forefinger, and Orpheus the lowest string and the one next to it.

They took it back to Apollo, but the god, who had decided to stay away from music for a while, laid away both the lyre and the pipes at Delphi and joined Cybele in her wanderings to as far as Hyperborea.

Cinyras was a ruler of Cyprus , who was a friend of Agamemnon. Cinyras promised to assist Agamemnon in the Trojan war, but did not keep his promise.

Agamemnon cursed Cinyras. He invoked Apollo and asked the god to avenge the broken promise. Apollo then had a lyre -playing contest with Cinyras , and defeated him.

Either Cinyras committed suicide when he lost, or was killed by Apollo. Apollo functions as the patron and protector of sailors, one of the duties he shares with Poseidon.

In the myths, he is seen helping heroes who pray to him for safe journey. When Apollo spotted a ship of Cretan sailors that was caught in a storm, he quickly assumed the shape of a dolphin and guided their ship safely to Delphi.

When the Argonauts faced a terrible storm, Jason prayed to his patron, Apollo, to help them. Apollo used his bow and golden arrow to shed light upon an island, where the Argonauts soon took shelter.

This island was renamed " Anaphe ", which means "He revealed it". Apollo helped the Greek hero Diomedes , to escape from a great tempest during his journey homeward.

As a token of gratitude, Diomedes built a temple in honor of Apollo under the epithet Epibaterius "the embarker". During the Trojan War, Odysseus came to the Trojan camp to return Chriseis, the daughter of Apollo's priest Chryses , and brought many offerings to Apollo.

Pleased with this, Apollo sent gentle breezes that helped Odysseus return safely to the Greek camp. Arion was a poet who was kidnapped by some sailors for the rich prizes he possessed.

Arion requested them to let him sing for the last time, to which the sailors consented. Arion began singing a song in praise of Apollo, seeking the god's help.

Consequently, numerous dolphins surrounded the ship and when Arion jumped into the water, the dolphins carried him away safely. Once Hera , out of spite, aroused the Titans to war against Zeus and take away his throne.

Accordingly, when the Titans tried to climb Mount Olympus , Zeus with the help of Apollo, Artemis and Athena , defeated them and cast them into tartarus.

Apollo played a pivotal role in the entire Trojan War. He sided with the Trojans, and sent a terrible plague to the Greek camp, which indirectly led to the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon.

He killed the Greek heroes Patroclus , Achilles, and numerous Greek soldiers. He also helped many Trojan heroes, the most important one being Hector.

After the end of the war, Apollo and Poseidon together cleaned the remains of the city and the camps. A war broke out between the Brygoi and the Thesprotians, who had the support of Odysseus.

The gods Athena and Ares came to the battlefield and took sides. Athena helped the hero Odysseus while Ares fought alongside of the Brygoi.

When Odysseus lost, Athena and Ares came into a direct duel. To stop the battling gods and the terror created by their battle, Apollo intervened and stopped the duel between them.

When Zeus suggested that Dionysus defeat the Indians in order to earn a place among the gods, Dionysus declared war against the Indians and travelled to India along with his army of Bacchantes and satyrs.

Among the warriors was Aristaeus , Apollo's son. Apollo armed his son with his own hands and gave him a bow and arrows and fitted a strong shield to his arm.

During the war between the sons of Oedipus , Apollo favored Amphiaraus , a seer and one of the leaders in the war.

Though saddened that the seer was fated to be doomed in the war, Apollo made Amphiaraus' last hours glorious by "lighting his shield and his helm with starry gleam".

When Hypseus tried to kill the hero by a spear, Apollo directed the spear towards the charioteer of Amphiaraus instead. Then Apollo himself replaced the charioteer and took the reins in his hands.

He deflected many spears and arrows away them. At last when the moment of departure came, Apollo expressed his grief with tears in his eyes and bid farewell to Amphiaraus, who was soon engulfed by the Earth.

During the gigantomachy , Apollo killed the giant Ephialtes by shooting him in his eyes. He also killed Porphyrion , the king of giants, using his bow and arrows.

Otis and Ephialtes, the twin giants were together called the Aloadae. These giants are said to have grown every year by one cubit in breadth and three cubits in height.

Olympus by piling up mountains. They also threatened to change land into sea and sea into land. Some say they even dared to seek the hand of Hera and Artemis in marriage.

Angered by this, Apollo killed them by shooting arrows at them. He sent a deer between them. As they tried to kill it with their javelins, they accidentally stabbed each other and died.

Phorbas was a savage giant king of Phlegyas who was described as having swine like features. He wished to plunder Delphi for its wealth.

He seized the roads to Delphi and started harassing the pilgrims. He captured the old people and children and sent them to his army to hold them for ransom.

And he challenged the young and sturdy men to a match of boxing, only to cut their heads off when they would get defeated by him. He hung the chopped off heads to an oak tree.

Finally, Apollo came to put an end to this cruelty. He entered a boxing contest with Phorbas and killed him with a single blow. In the first Olympic games , Apollo defeated Ares and became the victor in wrestling.

He outran Hermes in the race and won first place. Apollo divides months into summer and winter. During his absence, Delphi was under the care of Dionysus , and no prophecies were given during winters.

Molpadia and Parthenos were the sisters of Rhoeo , a former lover of Apollo. One day, they were put in charge of watching their father's ancestral wine jar but they fell asleep while performing this duty.

While they were asleep, the wine jar was broken by the swines their family kept. When the sisters woke up and saw what had happened, they threw themselves off a cliff in fear of their father's wrath.

Apollo, who was passing by, caught them and carried them to two different cities in Chersonesus, Molpadia to Castabus and Parthenos to Bubastus.

He turned them into goddesses and they both received divine honors. Molpadia's name was changed to Hemithea upon her deification. Prometheus was the titan who was punished by Zeus for stealing fire.

He was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle was sent to eat Prometheus' liver, which would then grow back overnight to be eaten again the next day.

Seeing his plight, Apollo pleaded Zeus to release the kind Titan, while Artemis and Leto stood behind him with tears in their eyes.

Zeus, moved by Apollo's words and the tears of the goddesses, finally sent Heracles to free Prometheus. Leukatas was believed to be a white colored rock jutting out from the island of Leukas into the sea.

It was present in the sanctuary of Apollo Leukates. A leap from this rock was believed to have put an end to the longings of love. Once, Aphrodite fell deeply in love with Adonis , a young man of great beauty who was later accidentally killed by a boar.

Heartbroken, Aphrodite wandered looking for the rock of Leukas. When she reached the sanctuary of Apollo in Argos, she confided in him her love and sorrow.

Apollo then brought her to the rock of Leukas and asked her to throw herself from the top of the rock. She did so and was freed from her love.

When she sought for the reason behind this, Apollo told her that Zeus, before taking another lover, would sit on this rock to free himself from his love to Hera.

Another tale relates that a man named Nireus, who fell in love with the cult statue of Athena, came to the rock and jumped in order relieve himself.

After jumping, he fell into the net of a fisherman in which, when he was pulled out, he found a box filled with gold. He fought with the fisherman and took the gold, but Apollo appeared to him in the night in a dream and warned him not to appropriate gold which belonged to others.

It was an ancestral custom among the Leukadians to fling a criminal from this rock every year at the sacrifice performed in honor of Apollo for the sake of averting evil.

However, a number of men would be stationed all around below rock to catch the criminal and take him out of the borders in order to exile him from the island.

Love affairs ascribed to Apollo are a late development in Greek mythology. Daphne was a nymph whose parentage varies.

She scorned Apollo's advances and ran away from him. When Apollo chased her in order to persuade her, she changed herself into a laurel tree.

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