I think it’s high time we return to our Greek god series here on Immortal Monday. Wouldn’t you agree?
When you think of the god Apollo, do visions of the sun god come to mind? Did you know Apollo wasn’t always known for the sun, but for prophecy, music and healing? That’s right, healing. A little something that got his descendants in trouble. But we’ll talk about that in a minute.
Son of Zeus, brother to Artemis, he proved his strength at a very young age when he fought valiantly to protect his mother, Leto, against Hera’s wrath. You may recall Hera’s vengeance streak when it came to Zeus’ indiscretions. Such was the case when Hera discovered Leto was carrying Zeus’ children.
Trying to prevent the birth of Apollo and Artemis, Hera banished Leto to wander during the late stages of her pregnancy. Thankfully, she found refuge on the newly created floating island of Delos, where she gave birth to Apollo’s sister, Artemis. Apollo was born a day later with Artemis’ help.
Where did the fight come in, you ask? Well, on day four of Apollo’s new life, Hera set forth the mighty Python to destroy Leto. Eager to protect his mother, Apollo took on the mighty beast and slew it. But the Python was a child of Gaia; therefore, Apollo would be punished for his actions.
Raised by their mother on the island of Delos, Artemis and Apollo grew to be smart and good gods, that were well adored by the people. The gods of Olympus, seeing this, eventually invited them to join them, and they accepted.
Like his father, he was a lover of women – and of men. He had loved a youth by the name of Cyparissus, a descendant of Heracles. As a show of his affection Apollo gifted the young lad with a sacred deer who would become tame in Cyparissus’ possession. But one day, Cyparissus accidentally killed the deer while practicing with his javelin. The boy was overcome with grief and asked Apollo to allow his tears to fall for all eternity. Touched and apprehensive of the boy’s wishes, Apollo transformed Cyparissus into a cypress tree. It became the symbol of sorrow and its sap, along the trunk, formed droplets in the shape of tears.
In his pursuit of women, there is no other more famous than his desire for Daphne. If only it had been the natural way of things. Apollo had been giving Eros, the god of Love, a hard time about his ability with the bow and arrow. As payback, Eros struck him with his own bow causing him to fall for Daphne. In the same like, Eros made sure Daphne would be repulsed by Apollo. When Apollo pursued Daphne, she prayed to her father for help who answered her prayer by turning her into a laurel tree, a tree sacred to Apollo.
He would become father to many sons, through many different women. But it is the son, Asclepius, drawing upon his pride and vanity that would pull in Zeus’ ultimate punishment. Gifted with his father’s ability to heal, Asclepius would take it upon himself to resurrect the dead, thus stealing Hades’ subjects. Zeus responded by striking him down with his lightening bolt.
Infuriated, Apollo responded in an act of revenge by killing the Cyclopes, the ones responsible for creating Zeus’ lightning bolt. Zeus would have banished Apollo for the act, but Leto stepped in and pleaded Apollo’s case. Apollo was indentured to King Ademtus of Pherae for a number of years. The number of years appears to vary depending on the source you subscribe to.
Interesting facts about Apollo:
- There is no real Latin variant for his name, so the Romans also called him Apollo.
- He is responsible for turning the crow black for suspecting it of spreading lies. Prior to that it was white.
- He is known as the beardless young man.
- As a sun god he is sometimes called Sol, the Latin word for sun.
- He is responsible for bringing down Achilles by guiding Paris’ arrow straight into Achilles’ heel.
Like most all of the gods we’ve explored, he exhibited very human emotions and flaws. It’s not easy being in such a highly respected position of responsibility. Would you want to be in a position such as his where you were held to greater accountability and obligation?
For a fun and fascinating look at Apollo’s sanctuary at Delphi, along with the a little history lesson on the side, hop on over here. The pictures are AMAZING!
*images via Wikipedia.org > click on image for credit
UPDATE : As of this morning, Thor has arrived safely in Canada.
Reminders: It’s never too late to jump on the Thor Tour. All you need to do is drop me a line. He seems to be taking the slow boat from the UK to Canada, but we hope to hear from him REAL soon!
Also, this blog will be relocating to a self-hosted site at some point at the end of October, beginning of November. I hope you’ll follow us to the new digs. My fabulous designer, Laird Sapir, and I have some pretty amazing ideas (I think) and I hope you’ll enjoy what we create there.
I love hearing from you! If you enjoyed this post or any of my previous posts, I’d be delighted to have you hit the follow button or add this blog to your RSS feed! You may also find me on twitter at @DebraKrist. Tootles! Thanks for stopping by!
33 thoughts on “The Greek God Apollo: Immortal Monday”
lovely lady, I have no idea how you keep all of these straight, but I’m glad you do and glad you’re back with the series
I’m glad you like this series Louise. I do intend to follow it through until we have covered all the Greek gods. Then we’ll move on to something else. We will sprinkle other things in from time to time for flavor, though. Thanks for stopping in. It’s always a pleasure to have you.
Love it, Debra. Big fan of Greek Myths so I enjoyed that. Love the fun fact about the crow!
Thanks, Derek. That’s one of my favorite facts as well. I had to share. Thanks for stopping by!
I’ve never been a fan of the Greek Mythos, so I didn’t know most of this tale. Awesome. I may to investigate deeper. Thanks for sharing a great story. 🙂
Oh yeah, I love the pink hair. Sexy! hehehe
Once you take a deeper look into their lives they’re actually rather fascinating. If they were around today they would have their own reality show. “Dysfunctional gods” or something like that. 😀 But I think that’s why I love them. Who wants perfect, right? Thanks for the compliment! I’m so glad you like the pink, because I”m keeping it. 🙂
Like Derek, big fan of learning about Greek myths, so thanks for this. I had never heard of the name Daphne associated with Greek mythology before. I’d like to know more about her, hint hint nudge nudge 🙂
Hmm. Would that be a not so subtle hint to cover Daphne next? Hehe. Alrighty then. Maybe we’ll be seeing an influx in Greek god oriented books in the coming year or so. LOL
I’ve loved Greek & Roman myths since childhood. Had never heard about Cyparissus and the Cypress tree – very cool. Thanks!
Isn’t that a wonderful story? I just loved it so much I had to include it when I got down to the edit stage. Thanks so much for stopping in Jennifer. We loved having you!
Thanks for another fascinating IM! I wasn’t very familiar with Apollo, so this was all new to me.
Wonderful! A learning experience. 😀 You’re most welcome. I enjoyed your post this morning as well.
Thanks, Debra! And btw, love the new headshot. 🙂
Aw, thanks so much, Jennette!
I am a self-proclaimed mythology nut, so this is like music to my ears. Thank you for writing about Apollo – one of my most favorite Greek Gods 🙂
New website? Awesome, can’t wait to see it. Are you throwing a house-warming party? I will bring chips and mango salsa.
I did not know that little bit about the crow–very cool!! 🙂 As always I’m impressed with the depth of information you put together for these posts Debra!
Thank you, Coleen. The crow thing is cool, isn’t it?
I just love how when one of the God’s was angry, jealous, offended, or whatever, they were able to kill, banish, or maim the offender. I wish I could do that. You piss me off, I banish you to Siberia. You’re after my job, I cut off your fingers. How cool would that be?
Those Greek’ – the passions run deep!
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Yes, they sure had it easy, didn’t they? But they were judged by the other gods, so it wasn’t like they could get away with anything they pleased. Although some of them tried. LOL!
Very fun, Patricia. Thanks for putting a great big smile on my face. 😀
How do you keep all of this straight? It is all “Greek to me!”
I hope you will cross post over here at .com….
😀 You always make me chuckle. Too funny, girl.
I need to figure out how all that works, but I do plan on running at least partial posts with links through this blog. Not that I want to create more work for myself. NOPE. But that WP comment feature sure is nice.
Yay Debra! One, Thor has arrived safely! Two, you are going to be self-hosted! Three, the fabulous Laird Sapir is designing your site. Love that girl! She’s a doll! So happy for you Debra! I’ll be looking for your new theme soon! 🙂
That’s right, three things to celebrate. Oh my. Poor Laird and all the work I’ll be putting her through. She’ll need a vacation before and after working on my site. 😀 I love chatting it up with her. She’s so much fun.
Love Apollo. How did I miss the myth of the cypress tree? And thanks for the link. I can’t get enough pics of Greece or the Greek ruins. Can’t wait to see your new website!
Weren’t those pictures fabulous? Glad you enjoyed the link. Pretty cool myth about the cypress as well. *shakes head* Thanks, Lynette. I’m pretty excited about the plans we have for my site. Now I have to live up to it. Eeek!
Yay, Greek Immortal Monday is back. Apollo is one the most complex and interesting gods, in my opinion. He had such a bad luck with love and a mean streak, proved by him cursing Cassandra for rejecting his love. Apollo was contiuing the behaviour in Gods Behaving Badly (by Marie Phillips). Can’t wait for the movie.
LOL. I should have had you write this post. I love that you know so much about this stuff. And it was said he was such a good boy before he started hanging out with the other gods. Hmmm.
Those Gods! They are a rowdy bunch, aren’t they? Never happy with what they have. I always learn something fun and new from your posts.
Thor’s in Canada? Whoohooo! I can’t wait to read about his next adventures. I’ve been planning what we’ll do when he comes here… whenever that may be. 🙂
They so are! That might be what makes them so interesting.
Oh my, you should see all the stops Thor has scheduled so far. I hope to have his page go live next week. Then people can track his progress. I can’t wait to see what you guys do during his visit. I know you’ll be getting him in trouble! :O
Apollo is my Patron God <3 I love him so much. Great little article on him 🙂
Thanks so much! That’s pretty cool that he’s your Patron God. 🙂 I have no idea what mine is. All those apps what to access my accounts and I never let them. It would be fun to know. I love that sort of stuff. Thanks for stopping in, Rebecca! It was a pleasure having you here.
This was a cool read for me. When I was younger, my family named our male Great Dane Apollo because my brother and I had a book about dog breeds that called Great Danes the “Apollo of the dog world.” I’m still not sure what the author meant by that, but it turned out to be a great name for him. His coat was golden, and he grew into a huge, muscular dog, topping out at 200 lbs.