Roman name: Apollo
Parents: Zeus and Leto
Twin Sister: Artemis
Apollo was normally shown as a very strong, extremely handsome young man. He was well liked among the gods and humans alike. The town of Delphi became the center of Apollo’s worship. The temple at Delphi contained a prophet who predict the future.
Apollo was famous for his musical abilities. He was credited with inventing the lyre (while other stories have Hermes creating it and trading it with Apollo), and would often entertained the gods on Mount Olympus with it. Apollo was sometimes depicted as the sun god racing across the sky. Other myths connected the sun to the god Helios.
Apollo was the son of Zeus, but was not always on good terms with his father. Hera once tried to conspire against Zeus. Apollo and the other Olympians went along with the conspiracy. Zeus prevailed and punished both Apollo and Poseidon by forcing them to slave as mortals on Troy’s walls for a year. Another time, Apollo was forced to be a herdsman when he killed the Cyclopes in retaliation for Zeus killing his son Aselepius.
son: Ascelpius (becomes god of healing and medicine)
son: Philammon (becomes a great minstrel)
sons: Aristaeus (inventor of bookkeeping)
Idmon (becomes famous prophet)
Hecuba (Wife of King Priam)
son: Mopsus (becomes famous prophet)
Children: Dorus, Laodoeus, Polypoetus
son: Anius (becomes king of Delos)
son: Linus and Orpheus both become famous musicians
Apollo fell in love with Cassandra, the daughter of King Priam of Troy. Cassandra was not interested, but she made a bargain with him. She would agree to his advances, if he would teach her how to prophesy. Apollo held up his part of the deal, teaching her the art of prophecy, but she again refused him. In anger, he cursed her with the ability to prophesy, but no one would believe anything she said.
Apollo fell for a beautiful nymph named Daphane. The story was told that Apollo claimed his arrows were more powerful than those of Eros, the god of love. Eros shot Apollo with an arrow that caused him to fall in love with Daphane. Eros also shot Daphane with an arrow which caused Daphane to resist Apollo. Apollo chased after Daphane through the woods until they came to a river. She called on her father, a river god, who changed her into a laurel tree. Apollo made the laurel one of his sacred trees.
Another women Apollo chased to no avail was Marpessa, who was engaged to Idas, son of Poseidon. Apollo and Idas fought over Marpessa, so Zeus had to step in to put a stop to it. To settle the fight, Zeus allowed Marpessa to choose her mate. Marpessa chose Ida, figuring that since Apollo was a god, he would most likely tire of her. She reasoned that since Ida was a mortal he would be more likely to remain with her.
Finally, Apollo chased after Sinope, who was also being pursued by Zeus. She tricked both in the same way at different times. Sinope knew that she would not be able to run from the gods for long so she allowed Apollo to catch her. Apollo was so taken with Sinope, that when she requested a wish, he agreed to grant it. She requested to be granted virginity for eternity. Both Apollo and Zeus stepped into the same trap, at different times, and both had to grant the wish.
The Belvedere Apollo by Antico Stadtische Galerie Liebighaus, Franfurt
Apollo and Daphne, , Galleria Borghese, Rome
Major Gods and Goddesses
Introduction | Creation Story | Olympians VS. Titans | Creation of Man | Revolt of Giants
Abduction of Persephone | The Underworld | Visitors to Underworld | Amzon Warriors
Ares vs. Athena | Daedalus and Icarus | Echo and Narcissus | Judgement of Paris
Perseus and Andromeda | Trojan War
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