Apollo is one of the most complex and important gods, and is the god of many things, including: music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, plague, medicine, sun, light and knowledge. He is the son of Zeus and the Titan Leto, and was born in the Greek island of Delos, along with his older twin sister Artemis – goddess of the hunt.
He is the ideal of the kouros, which means he has a beardless, athletic and youthful appearance. He is also an oracular god as a patron of Delphi and could predict prophecy through the Delphic Oracle Pythia.
Both medicine and healing are associated with Apollo and were thought to sometimes be mediated through his son, Asclepius. However, Apollo could also bring ill-health and deadly plague.
Apollo also became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. He was the leader of the Muses and was director of their choir – functioning as the patron god of music and poetry.
He was one of the few gods that the Romans kept se same name for a god as the Greeks. In Greek mythology, he was most widely known as the god of light. Within Roman mythology, he wasn’t known as much as the god of light and was focused mainly as the god of healing and prophecy.
Facts about Apollo
- His forename, Phoebus, means “bright” or “pure” and connects him to his grandmother, the Titan Phoebe.
- Apollo, a masterful magician, was known for delighting Olympus with tunes played on his golden lyre. His lyre, a stringed instrument that resembles a small harp, was made by Hermes.
- The nine Muses were companions of his; they were goddesses known for inspiring art and music.
- He taught men the art of medicine, so he is often referred to as “The Healer.”
- He is alternately referred to as the God of Light and the God of Truth.
- Apollo served as an intermediary between the gods and men.
- Because of his truthfulness and integrity, he was granted the gift of prophecy and oracles.
- The dolphin and swan were the animals sacred to him.
- He had many love affairs with both mortals and goddesses. Perhaps the most famous of these women was a mortal named Hecuba, who was married to the King of Troy. The union between Apollo and Hecuba produced a son named Troilus.
- Asclepius is probably Apollo’s most well-known son, although he had many offspring.
Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. His mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun, Indra and Thor.
He is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus’s stomach. In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is usually said to have fathered Ares, Hebe, and Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was also infamous for his erotic escapades.
He was respected as an allfather who was chief of the gods and assigned the others to their roles: “Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence.” He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe “That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men”. Zeus’ symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak. Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty.
The island of Kos is claimed as her birthplace. In the Olympian scheme, Zeus is the father of her twins, Apollo and Artemis, which Leto conceived after her hidden beauty accidentally caught the eyes of Zeus. Classical Greek myths record little about Leto other than her pregnancy and her search for a place where she could give birth to Apollo and Artemis, since Hera in her jealousy caused all lands to shun her. Finally, she found an island that was not attached to the ocean floor so it was not considered land and she could give birth. This is her only active mythic role: once Apollo and Artemis are grown, Leto withdraws, to remain a dim and benevolent matronly figure upon Olympus, her part already played.
She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the patron and protector of young girls, and was believed to bring disease upon women and relieve them of it. Artemis was worshipped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery along with Eileithyia. Much like Athena and Hestia, Artemis preferred to remain a maiden and is sworn never to marry.
She was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities and her temple at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Artemis’ symbols included a bow and arrow, a quiver and hunting knives and the deer and the cypress were sacred to her. The goddess Diana is her Roman equivalent.
In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Muses are the inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. They are considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, lyric songs, and myths that were related orally for centuries in these ancient cultures.
Hecuba was a queen in Greek mythology, the wife of King Priam of Troy during the Trojan War, with whom she had 19 children. These children included several major characters of Homer‘s Iliad such as the warriors Hector and Paris and the prophetess Cassandra.
Cassandra or Kassandra, also known as Alexandra, was a daughter of King Priam and of Queen Hecuba of Troy in Greek mythology.
Cassandra was cursed to utter prophecies that were true but that no one believed. The older and most common versions state that she was admired by the god Apollo, and he offered her the gift to see the future in order to win her heart. She agreed to be his lover in return for his gift, but after receiving the gift, she went back on her word and refused him. Apollo was angered that she lied and deceived him, but since he couldn’t take back a gift already given, he cursed her that though she would see the future accurately, nobody would ever believe her prophecies.
Some of the later versions have her falling asleep in a temple, where snakes licked (or whispered in) her ears so that she could hear the future.[a]
Cassandra became a figure of epic tradition and of tragedy.
Asclepius or Hepius is a hero and god of medicine in ancient Greek religion and mythology. He is the son of Apollo. Asclepius represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia (“Hygiene”, the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness, and sanitation), Iaso (the goddess of recuperation from illness), Aceso (the goddess of the healing process), Aegle (the goddess of the glow of good health), and Panacea (the goddess of universal remedy).