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Apollo God Who Is Apollo? VideoApollo - The Greek God Of Arts And Music
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Orestes being purified by Apollo after his acquittal by the court of the Areopagus, detail of a 5th-century- bce Greek vase; in the Louvre.
Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today. Poseidon, Apollo, and Artemis, marble relief, portion of the east section of the Parthenon frieze, — bce ; in the New Acropolis Museum, Athens.
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. South Asian arts: Indian sculpture from the 1st to 4th centuries ce: Gandhara.
The definite volume and substance given to the pleated folds of the monastic robes make this image more naturalistic than anything found in Indian art.
At the same time, the iconographical features are of Indian origin. After Cyparissus accidentally killed his pet-deer — which was gifted to him by Apollo — he asked his divine lover to let him be sorrowful forever.
So, Apollo unwillingly transformed Cyparissus into a cypress tree. The story of Hyacinthus is even sadder. He was a favorite of Apollo and he dearly loved the god back.
Apollo appears throughout most of the Greek literature. An embodiment of the Hellenic ideal of kalokagathia, he is harmony, reason and moderation personified, a perfect blend of physical superiority and moral virtue.
The parents of Apollo were Zeus and Leto. When he got severely injured, Apollo healed him and encouraged him to take up his arms.
During a duel with Achilles, when Hector was about to lose, Apollo hid Hector in a cloud of mist to save him. When the Greek warrior Patroclus tried to get into the fort of Troy, he was stopped by Apollo.
Encouraging Hector to attack Patroclus, Apollo stripped the armour of the Greek warrior and broke his weapons.
Patroclus was eventually killed by Hector. At last, after Hector's fated death, Apollo protected his corpse from Achilles' attempt to mutilate it by creating a magical cloud over the corpse.
Apollo held a grudge against Achilles throughout the war because Achilles had murdered his son Tenes before the war began and brutally assassinated his son Troilus in his own temple.
Not only did Apollo save Hector from Achilles, he also tricked Achilles by disguising himself as a Trojan warrior and driving him away from the gates.
He foiled Achilles' attempt to mutilate Hector's dead body. Finally, Apollo caused Achilles' death by guiding an arrow shot by Paris into Achilles ' heel.
In some versions, Apollo himself killed Achilles by taking the disguise of Paris. Apollo helped many Trojan warriors, including Agenor , Polydamas , Glaucus in the battlefield.
Though he greatly favored the Trojans, Apollo was bound to follow the orders of Zeus and served his father loyally during the war. After Heracles then named Alcides was struck with madness and killed his family, he sought to purify himself and consulted the oracle of Apollo.
Apollo, through the Pythia, commanded him to serve king Eurystheus for twelve years and complete the ten tasks the king would give him.
Only then would Alcides be absolved of his sin. Apollo also renamed him as Heracles. To complete his third task, Heracles had to capture the Ceryneian Hind , a hind sacred to Artemis, and bring it alive.
He chased the hind for one year. When the animal eventually got tired and tried crossing the river Ladon, he captured it.
While he was taking it back, he was confronted by Apollo and Artemis, who were angered at Heracles for this act. However, Heracles soothed the goddess and explained his situation to her.
After much pleading, Artemis permitted him to take the hind and told him to return it later. After he was freed from his servitude to Eurystheus, Heracles fell in conflict with Iphytus, a prince of Oechalia, and murdered him.
Soon after, he contracted a terrible disease. He consulted the oracle of Apollo once again, in hope of ridding himself of the disease.
The Pythia, however, denied to give any prophesy. In anger, Heracles snatched the sacred tripod and started walking away, intending to start his own oracle.
However, Apollo did not tolerate this and stopped Heracles; a duel ensued between them. Artemis rushed to support Apollo, while Athena supported Heracles.
Soon, Zeus threw his thunderbolt between the fighting brothers and separated them. He reprimanded Heracles for this act of violation and asked Apollo to give a solution to Heracles.
Apollo then ordered the hero to serve under Omphale , queen of Lydia for one year in order to purify himself. Periphas was an Attican king and a priest of Apollo.
He was noble, just and rich. He did all his duties justly. Because of this people were very fond of him and started honouring him to the same extent as Zeus.
At one point, they worshipped Periphas in place of Zeus and set up shrines and temples for him. This annoyed Zeus, who decided to annihilate the entire family of Periphas.
But because he was a just king and a good devotee, Apollo intervened and requested his father to spare Periphas. Zeus considered Apollo's words and agreed to let him live.
But he metamorphosed Periphas into an eagle and made the eagle the king of birds. When Periphas' wife requested Zeus to let her stay with her husband, Zeus turned her into a vulture and fulfilled her wish.
A long time ago, there were three kinds of human beings: male, descended from the sun; female, descended from the earth; and androgynous, descended from the moon.
Each human being was completely round, with four arms and fours legs, two identical faces on opposite sides of a head with four ears, and all else to match.
They were powerful and unruly. Otis and Ephialtes even dared to scale Mount Olympus. To check their insolence, Zeus devised a plan to humble them and improve their manners instead of completely destroying them.
He cut them all in two and asked Apollo to make necessary repairs, giving humans the individual shape they still have now.
Apollo turned their heads and necks around towards their wounds, he pulled together their skin at the abdomen , and sewed the skin together at the middle of it.
This is what we call navel today. He smoothened the wrinkles and shaped the chest. But he made sure to leave a few wrinkles on the abdomen and around the navel so that they might be reminded of their punishment.
Apollo was also bidden to heal their wounds and compose their forms. So Apollo gave a turn to the face and pulled the skin from the sides all over that which in our language is called the belly, like the purses which draw in, and he made one mouth at the centre [of the belly] which he fastened in a knot the same which is called the navel ; he also moulded the breast and took out most of the wrinkles, much as a shoemaker might smooth leather upon a last; he left a few wrinkles, however, in the region of the belly and navel, as a memorial of the primeval state.
Apollo Kourotrophos is the god who nurtures and protects children and the young, especially boys. He oversees their education and their passage into adulthood.
Education is said to have originated from Apollo and the Muses. Many myths have him train his children. It was a custom for boys to cut and dedicate their long hair to Apollo after reaching adulthood.
Chiron , the abandoned centaur , was fostered by Apollo, who instructed him in medicine, prophecy, archery and more.
Chiron would later become a great teacher himself. Asclepius in his childhood gained much knowledge pertaining to medicinal arts by his father.
However, he was later entrusted to Chiron for further education. Anius , Apollo's son by Rhoeo , was abandoned by his mother soon after his birth.
Apollo brought him up and educated him in mantic arts. Anius later became the priest of Apollo and the king of Delos.
Iamus was the son of Apollo and Evadne. When Evadne went into labour, Apollo sent the Moirai to assist his lover.
After the child was born, Apollo sent snakes to feed the child some honey. When Iamus reached the age of education, Apollo took him to Olympia and taught him many arts, including the ability to understand and explain the languages of birds.
Idmon was educated by Apollo to be a seer. Even though he foresaw his death that would happen in his journey with the Argonauts , he embraced his destiny and died a brave death.
To commemorate his son's bravery, Apollo commanded Boetians to build a town around the tomb of the hero, and to honor him.
Apollo adopted Carnus , the abandoned son of Zeus and Europa. He reared the child with the help of his mother Leto and educated him to be a seer. When his son Melaneus reached the age of marriage, Apollo asked the princess Stratonice to be his son's bride and carried her away from her home when she agreed.
Apollo saved a shepherd boy name unknown from death in a large deep cave, by the means of vultures. To thank him, the shepherd built Apollo a temple under the name Vulturius.
Immediately after his birth, Apollo demanded a lyre and invented the paean , thus becoming the god of music. As the divine singer, he is the patron of poets, singers and musicians.
The invention of string music is attributed to him. Plato said that the innate ability of humans to take delight in music, rhythm and harmony is the gift of Apollo and the Muses.
For this reason, he was called Homopolon before the Homo was replaced by A. They are Apollo's sacred birds and acted as his vehicle during his travel to Hyperborea.
Among the Pythagoreans , the study of mathematics and music were connected to the worship of Apollo, their principal deity.
They also believed that music was delegated to the same mathematical laws of harmony as the mechanics of the cosmos, evolving into an idea known as the music of the spheres.
Apollo appears as the companion of the Muses , and as Musagetes "leader of Muses" he leads them in dance. They spend their time on Parnassus , which is one of their sacred places.
Apollo is also the lover of the Muses and by them he became the father of famous musicians like Orpheus and Linus.
Apollo is often found delighting the immortal gods with his songs and music on the lyre. He is a frequent guest of the Bacchanalia , and many ancient ceramics depict him being at ease amidst the maenads and satyrs.
He was the victor in all those contests, but he tended to punish his opponents severely for their hubris. The invention of lyre is attributed either to Hermes or to Apollo himself.
Myths tell that the infant Hermes stole a number of Apollo's cows and took them to a cave in the woods near Pylos , covering their tracks.
In the cave, he found a tortoise and killed it, then removed the insides. He used one of the cow's intestines and the tortoise shell and made his lyre.
Upon discovering the theft, Apollo confronted Hermes and asked him to return his cattle. When Hermes acted innocent, Apollo took the matter to Zeus.
Zeus, having seen the events, sided with Apollo, and ordered Hermes to return the cattle. Hermes then began to play music on the lyre he had invented.
Apollo fell in love with the instrument and offered to exchange the cattle for the lyre. Hence, Apollo then became the master of the lyre. According to other versions, Apollo had invented the lyre himself, whose strings he tore in repenting of the excess punishment he had given to Marsyas.
Hermes' lyre, therefore, would be a reinvention. Once Pan had the audacity to compare his music with that of Apollo and to challenge the god of music to a contest.
The mountain-god Tmolus was chosen to umpire. Pan blew on his pipes, and with his rustic melody gave great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower, Midas , who happened to be present.
Then, Apollo struck the strings of his lyre. It was so beautiful that Tmolus at once awarded the victory to Apollo, and everyone was pleased with the judgement.
Only Midas dissented and questioned the justice of the award. Apollo did not want to suffer such a depraved pair of ears any longer, and caused them to become the ears of a donkey.
Marsyas was a satyr who was punished by Apollo for his hubris. He had found an aulos on the ground, tossed away after being invented by Athena because it made her cheeks puffy.
Athena had also placed a curse upon the instrument, that whoever would pick it up would be severely punished. When Marsyas played the flute, everyone became frenzied with joy.
This led Marsyas to think that he was better than Apollo, and he challenged the god to a musical contest. The contest was judged by the Muses , or the nymphs of Nysa.
Athena was also present to witness the contest. Marsyas taunted Apollo for "wearing his hair long, for having a fair face and smooth body, for his skill in so many arts".
His body is fair from head to foot, his limbs shine bright, his tongue gives oracles, and he is equally eloquent in prose or verse, propose which you will.
What of his robes so fine in texture, so soft to the touch, aglow with purple? What of his lyre that flashes gold, gleams white with ivory, and shimmers with rainbow gems?
What of his song, so cunning and so sweet? Nay, all these allurements suit with naught save luxury. To virtue they bring shame alone! The Muses and Athena sniggered at this comment.
The contestants agreed to take turns displaying their skills and the rule was that the victor could "do whatever he wanted" to the loser.
According to one account, after the first round, they both were deemed equal by the Nysiads. But in the next round, Apollo decided to play on his lyre and add his melodious voice to his performance.
Marsyas argued against this, saying that Apollo would have an advantage and accused Apollo of cheating.
But Apollo replied that since Marsyas played the flute, which needed air blown from the throat, it was similar to singing, and that either they both should get an equal chance to combine their skills or none of them should use their mouths at all.
The nymphs decided that Apollo's argument was just. Apollo then played his lyre and sang at the same time, mesmerising the audience. Marsyas could not do this.
Apollo was declared the winner and, angered with Marsyas' haughtiness and his accusations, decided to flay the satyr. According to another account, Marsyas played his flute out of tune at one point and accepted his defeat.
Out of shame, he assigned to himself the punishment of being skinned for a wine sack. Marsyas could not do this with his instrument.
So the Muses who were the judges declared Apollo the winner. Apollo hung Marsyas from a tree to flay him. Apollo flayed the limbs of Marsyas alive in a cave near Celaenae in Phrygia for his hubris to challenge a god.
He then gave the rest of his body for proper burial  and nailed Marsyas' flayed skin to a nearby pine-tree as a lesson to the others.
Marsyas' blood turned into the river Marsyas. It wasn't safe to resist his advances. When the seer Cassandra rejected him, he punished her by making it impossible for people to believe her prophecies.
When Daphne sought to reject Apollo, her father "helped" her by turning her into a laurel tree. He is a healing god, a power he transmitted to his son Asclepius.
Asclepius exploited his ability to heal by raising men from the dead. Zeus punished him by striking him with a fatal thunderbolt.
He reached for his lyre and played a song of victory for everyone to hear. The song was so perfect that it earned him the title of god of music.
After the song was complete, the young boy took the body of his victim and buried it beneath the slopes of Mount Parnassus.
On top of it, he build the oracle of Delphi, which would became the most famous oracle in the land. Even though he had gotten rid of the dreaded Python, his actions were still considered a crime by the laws of Mount Olympus.
Zeus punished him by ordering him to institute the Pythian Games at Delphi. There were athletic and musical competitions and Apollo even took part in some of them.
The games were then held every four years as a tribute to Apollo. He never married but had many lovers. There are only a few descriptions of Apollo in literature but they were detailed enough to give us a good idea of what he looked like.
In artistic representations of the god, he is shown as a young and handsome man with golden hair. Unlike most other male gods, Apollo does not have a beard and is usually shown with a crown of laurel leaves on his head.
Here are 14 interesting facts about Apollo, the intriguing Greek god. The son of Leto and Zeus, Apollo was born on the island known as Delos.
Apollo has a twin sister named Artemis.