He’s the young god with a head full of golden curls. Apollo is known as the god of the Sun, and has a place in both ancient Greek and Roman mythology. As one of the most significant and varied god of Olympus, Apollo is often associated with light, the sun, truth, prophecy, medicine, healing, music, poetry, and the arts. In this article, you will learn more about the golden god, including his parentage and twin sibling.
Apollo was born to Zeus and Leto along with his twin sister, Artemis , known as the goddess of the hunt. Greek mythology places his birthplace as the Greek island of Delos. Other tales place him as arriving in the world on the islands of Laton, which are now known as Paximadia , off of the southern coast of Crete.
His Powers and Symbols
Apollo is known for driving a chariot across the sky on a daily basis, which has connections to an earlier pre-Greek Sun god called Helios. The Sun is one of his symbols, as is his bow and lyre , a musical instrument that was popular during ancient Greek days. The lyre was actually created just for him (by Hermes), and it soon became the instrument of choice for representing the god. Other symbols used to represent Apollo include the laurel wreath, ravens, and arrows with a bow.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Apollo was full of creativity and possessed handsome features, yet he was like his father Zeus, where he had a weakness for the ladies. Craving for the company of nymphs, he has a handful of myths that highlight some of his ‘conquests.’
Connection to Medicine
Apollo was often associated with medicine and healing, and had an ironic twist to his character. While he possessed the ability to care for the sick and injured, he also had the capacity to cause illness, poor health, and deadly plagues.
Apollo’s Love Connections and Children
While Apollo was a god of many physical encounters, he never took a woman or goddess as his wife. Some of the women that have caught his eye have included Cassandra (whom he gave the gift of prophecy), Daphne (who fled from him and was transformed into a laurel tree), and Calliope, who became the mother of his child, Orpheus (who was known for his singing). Another child who is depicted in myths is Asklepios , the god of healing.
Leader of the Muses
Apollo was known as the leader of the Muses , something that came with the territory of being heavily involved with the arts. He was the director of their choir and was seen as the patron god of music and poetry.
Still standing today, a visit to the mountain town of Delphi will place you in the midst of a handful of columns belonging to an early temple once devoted to Apollo. The island of Delos is also sacred to the god, yet no temple remains in his honor.