APOLLO: GREEK GOD OF SUN

03/07/2020

     Apollo is the Greek God of the sun and truth ... A lifetime ago he was compared to the Titan Helio and an interesting fact about him is that his name is the same in both Greek and Roman Mythology.

GOD APOLLE IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY

     Apollo (in Greek: Ἀπόλλων; transl .: Apóllōn, or Ἀπέλλων, transl. Apellōn) is one of the main deities of Greco-Roman mythology, one of the Olympic gods. Son of Zeus and Leto, and twin brother of Artemis, he possessed many attributes and functions, and possibly after Zeus he was the most influential and revered god of all in classical antiquity. The origins of his myth are obscure, but in Homer's time it was already of great importance, being one of the most cited in the Iliad. He was described as the god of divine distance, who threatened or protected from the height of the heavens, being identified as the sun and the light of truth. He made men aware of their sins and was the agent of their ritual cleansing; he presided over the laws of Religion and the constitutions of cities, he was the symbol of prophetic and artistic inspiration, being the patron of the most famous oracle of antiquity, the Oracle of Delphi, and leader of the muses. He was feared by the other gods and only his father and mother could contain him. He was the god of sudden death, of plagues and diseases, but he was also the god of healing and protection against evil forces. In addition, he was the god of Beauty, Perfection, Harmony, Balance and Reason, the initiator of young people in the world of adults, was connected to Nature, herbs and herds, and was a protector of shepherds, sailors and archers. Although he had countless loves, he was unhappy in that area, but he had several children. He was represented numerous times from antiquity to the present, usually as a young man, naked and beardless, at the height of his vigor, sometimes with a cloak, a bow and a quiver of arrows, or a lyre, and with some of his symbolic animals, such as the snake, the crow or the griffin.

"Know yourself. Nothing in excess."


WHO WAS GOD APOLLO?

     Apollo: the Greek god of the sun was synchronously identified with a large number of major and minor deities in his various places of worship, and he survived veiled throughout the flourishing of early Christianity, which appropriated many of his attributes to adorn his own sacred characters , like Christ and the archangel Saint Michael. However, in the Middle Ages Apollo was identified by Christians many times with the Devil. But since the association of Apollo with profane power by the Roman emperor Augustus, a powerful symbolic imaginary originated from the ideological support of the imperialism of monarchies and the personal glory of kings and princes. His myth has been worked over the centuries by philosophers, artists and other intellectuals for the interpretation and illustration of a variety of aspects of human life, society and phenomena of Nature, and his image remains present in a wide variety of ways in nowadays. Even his cult, after an oblivion of centuries, has recently been revived by currents of neo-paganism.

Their children are: Aesculapius, Troilus, Aristeus, Orpheus, Amphiso, Cíniras


THE MYTH OF APOLLO

     The first literary references to Apollo are found in Homer, at the very foundation of Greek literature. And at this point the god was already so full of attributes that the poet found it difficult to choose where to begin his praise. As is evident, despite the uncertainties about the origin of the myth and the absence of previous documentation, in the 8th century BC it was already consolidated. Apollo is mentioned in the Odyssey, is the focus of one of the Homeric Hymns, and is one of the protagonist gods in the Iliad, and from these sources come the first descriptions of its history. In the Iliad, Apollo stands against the Greeks, and fights for the Trojans. He comes to avenge the outrage on his priest Crises, whose daughter Criseida had been captured by Agamemnon, and already appears showing some of the facets of his character, the bellicose and violence he was capable of, and his attributes as a cause and healer of diseases, sowing the plague among the Greek soldiers, and pouring out their rays of fire on them like a rain of sure arrows. To appease him, not only was Crisisida returned to his father, but the Greeks had to offer the god "a perfect hecatomb of bulls and lambs", in addition to singing and dancing. Satisfied, he suspended the plague. Apollo was also responsible for the antagonism between Agamemnon and Achilles, protected the Trojan heroes Pandaros, Paris and Aeneas, and also Hector while he could, frustrated the attacks of Patroclus, Diomedes and Achilles, and it was he who led the arrow of Paris that killed Achilles. When Glauco was wounded by an arrow from Teucros, he prayed to Apollo, who immediately closed the wound and restored his strength. Macaon and Podalírio, two sons of Aesculapius, one of Apollo's sons, were also present in the battle. It was who healed Sarpedon's wounds, it was Zeus' instrument to prevent the desecration of the warrior's body when he was killed, and he watched over Hector's body. In the Iliad Apollo also appears as the god of music, playing his lyre for the delight of immortals, and as the guardian of Eumelo's horses and Laomedonte's cattle.

     In the Hymn to the Greco-Roman God Apollo, Homer described from his birth in Delos to his apotheosis in Delphi. The hymn opens showing Apollo as an adult, like the sublime archer, entering the palace of the gods and inspiring fear in everyone. Leto, his mother, welcomes him and leads him to his seat among the immortals, while his father Zeus welcomes him, along with the other gods. Then the poet goes on to describe the circumstances of his birth. Leto, a nymph daughter of the Titan Céos, was loved by Zeus and became pregnant by Apollo and Artemis. Zeus' legitimate wife, Hera, discovered the novel and turned her anger on Leto, who found herself driven on a long pilgrimage to find a place where she could give birth, always chased by the Python snake, chasing after her. Stopping on the island of Ortígia, she gave birth to Artemis, but found only shelter at last on a floating island, Delos, since Hera had ordered Gaia, the land, to offer Leto no resting place. When stepping on the island, Leto spoke to him begging him to receive it, and taking the great oath in the name of the Styx, promised to build a temple and consecrate it to his son, with which the island acquiesced to his plea. However, even assisted by the goddesses Dione, Reia, Icneia, Themis and Amphitrite, for nine days and nine nights Leto suffered the birth pangs without Apollo being born, since Hera had prevented Ilícia, the goddess of childbirth, from helping her. . But the goddesses finally sent Iris, the messenger of the gods, to seduce Ilícia with the offer of a magnificent necklace of gold and amber nine cubits in length, and so, before Hera protested, carried by the fast Iris, she descended from Olympus to help Leto, and soon Apollo was born. The infant was then bathed by the goddesses, wrapped in bands and decorated with a golden crown. Before he suckled on his mother, Themis gave him to drink the nectar of the gods, and made him eat the divine ambrosia, giving him immortality. Immediately he became an adult, released himself from the banners, shouted claiming the lyre and the bow, and declared himself the spokesman of Zeus' will. Its light shone, and Delos flourished in gold.

     Then Homer shows him again on Olympus, playing his lyre and presiding over the choir of the Muses, and then he descends from heaven and travels the Earth, looking for where to found his cult. Arriving at the Telfusa fountain, he saw that it was a very pleasant place to build a temple and establish an oracle, but the fountain warned him that men would build a noisy city there and would not give it due attention, and suggested that he found his oracle on the silent slopes of Mount Parnassus, which he did, not without first killing the monster Typhon, parthenogenic son of Hera, who lived there devastating the region, and the Python snake, which had pursued his mother. Then he looked for his first priests. Disguised as a dauphin, he captured a Cretan ship and took his sailors to the place he had chosen, imposing obedience on them, giving them the direction of the temple and oracle and prescribing the rituals that were to be performed. Because he revealed himself to them in the form of a dauphin, he said that he should be invoked under the epithet of Apollo Delfinius, and the oracle would be called the Oracle of Delphi.

Apollo was one of the most relevant gods of antiquity !!

     In his Theogony, Hesiod, more or less contemporary with Homer, made only a brief allusion to Apollo, but other authors after them gave alternative versions of his story. Several locations have claimed the privilege of being their birthplace: Ephesus, Tegyra, Zoster and Crete. The Egyptians and Cicero said that he was the son of Isis and Dionysus, and was also identified with the solar gods Phoebus and Helios, the Egyptian Horus, the Etruscan Aplu and the eastern Mithra. It was said that he was born on a seven day, or that he was born on seven months, and so the number seven was sacred to him. The seven days of every month were dedicated to him with sacrifices, and his festivals usually fell on a seven day. He was a member of the council of the major gods on Olympus, he had the sun as his chariot and as ruler of the Muses he also resided on Mount Parnassus, on whose base was his main oracle. The animals associated with it were the snake, the wolf, the dolphin and the crow, some authors add the swan, the vulture and the griffin, and it was often represented with the bow and arrows, or the lyre. Its sacred plant was the laurel, with whose leaves the crowns of the winners of the athletic games were made.

APOLLO IN CHRISTIANITY

     With the rise of Christianity the pagan gods fell into progressive oblivion. The Church Fathers and Christian philosophers actively contributed to this process, denouncing them as false gods. Lactâncio, for example, ridiculed the myths of Apollo and the other gods as an obvious impossibility - they had been born of sexual unions, which he saw as irreconcilable with the divine nature, and said that they were simply magnified mortals. As for Apollo proper, Aristides analyzed his character and accused him of rapist, murderer and deceitful, envious and angry, saying that it was still absurd that someone who should not reign even among mortals was considered one of the celestial powers. However, before the final demise of paganism, authors like Celso attacked Christianity on bases similar to those that used Christians to destroy the pagan Pantheon, asking how a virgin could have conceived, and if she could have done it, why could the pagan gods not loving mortal women in the same way and generating offspring; moreover, the god who appeared in the Judeo-Christian Scriptures, often angry, murderous and vindictive, could not be considered an example of virtue either.

ANOTHER HISTORY OF APOLUS

     After the dismemberment of Orpheus, Apollo prevented a snake from eating its head, turning the reptile into stone. Apollo killed the children of Níobe, avenging the offense that she had made against her mother Leto, boasting that she had many children, while Leto had only two. He also killed the Aloidas, giant sons of Poseidon, who threatened Olympus. He sent two snakes to kill his priest Laocoon and his sons, as he had offended him by breaking his vow of chastity.

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