“Nothing in excess” Apollo
APOLLO, one of the twelve deities of Olympus is the favorite son of god Zeus and Leto – a Titan goddess who was impregnated by Zeus during one of his numerous love affairs. He is the twin brother of goddess Artemis.
He is known as the God of Light or the God of Sun- Helios, The Archer, the God of Prophecy, the Far-shooter, the Lawgiver or the God of Order, the God of Healing, the God of Music, the God of Plague, the Gold-bladed Apollo and the God of Arts and Muses.
His main iconic identifiers are the laurel wreath around his head, the lyre, the bow, the sun and the chariot (which as the sun god, drives across the sky daily-according to the myths). God Apollo is usually described as the “most Greek” of the Greek Gods because he is THE idealized form of KOUROS, a young man in perfected beauty and grace.
His story begins with his mother Leto and her attempt to give birth to him and Artemis. Hera ( the official wife of God Zeus), in her jealousy had pursued Leto relentlessly. Leto searched for a place where she could give birth to the children without Hera finding her. She convinced the island of Delos to be the home of Apollo, saying that a temple would be build there. Leto waited nine days and nights to give birth to Apollo, because due to Hera’s rage, Eilithyia, the goddess of childbirth, was not able to come to Leto’s aid. Finally Iris, the messenger goddess, was send to Hera, offering her a necklace fifteen feet long. Well, jewelrey always works (even back in the Ancient world of Greece ), Eilithya was able to come to Delos, and when she did, Leto gave birth to Apollo – full grown. Apollo immediately claimed, “The lyre and the curved bow are dear to me, and I shall prophesy to men the unerring will of Zeus” (according to Homeric Hymn to Apollo.
At the tender age of four days old, Apollo showed incredible talent in archery by killing the gigantic serpent named Python (at the city of Delphi) who had been harassing his mother during pregnancy (again, according to the myths and the legends.) When Goddess Hera found our that Zeus had had another affair, she send Python to follow Leto day and night so she could not have any peace to have her children. The monstrous Python who was said to measure several acres in length was terrorizing the city and the citizens of Delphi were glad to be rid of of her and were grateful to Apollo – later Delphi was established as the center of Apollo’s worship.
Image above, Temple of Apollo at Delphi
Delphi was the first oracle of Greece and the district where it was located was considered the navel of the world at the time.
“Know thyself.” Apollo (written at the entrance at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi).
Following his dramatic debut with the Python, Apollo went on to become not only an unerring archer, but the best musician, poet, philosopher, law-maker and creator of legal institutions, a masterful physician, the god of prophecy and a great scholar who always spoke the truth.
More about Apollo coming soon…there is so much more to tell…