Apollo is one of the most important gods of Greek mythology, known for his youthful, beardless and athletic figure. 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. She is the goddess of hunting and animals (and therefore is often depicted with a bow and arrow). She was also one of the three virgin goddesses. A hunter named Iron became best friends with Artemis, and they would often hunt together. Apollo was worried she would not uphold her promise to remain pure and tricked Artemis into killing Orion.
Apollo was often referred to as ‘The Healer’ as he taught many men the art of medicine. Apollo is also alternatively referred to as the God of Truth and the God of Light.
The Temple of Apollo
He was known for serving as an intermediary between men and gods.
Apollo was a skillful magician and was known for playing tunes on his golden lyre for Olympus. Although Apollo is credited for the invention of his lyre, which is a stringed instrument that resembles a harp, it was made by Hermes.
Phoebus is Apollo’s forename, which means ‘pure’ or ‘bright’, connecting him to the Titan Phoebe, his grandmother.
He was granted the gift of prophecy and oracles due to his integrity and truthfulness.
An oracle named Delphi denied Hercules a prophecy, and he was furious. However, Apollo came in to defend the priestess.
He played a major part in the Trojan war and is one of the only Greek gods to help Trojans. Apollo helped Troy, while other deities helped the Greek soldiers. This was because a young Trojan woman was abducted by one of the Greek leaders and taken as his own. However, the father of this woman was a priest to Apollo. Apollo was furious at the Greeks for this and helped Hector and Trojans fight against the Greek armies.
Apollo had two sons that were well – known. Orpheus was his most notable son, and he was believed to be able to play the lyre better than his dad Apollo himself. While Orpheus was gifted with music by Apollo, his other son, Asclepius, was gifted with the power of healing and medicine.
Apollo is believed to have had many love affairs with both mortals and goddesses. One of the most famous mortals was a woman named Hecuba, who was married to the king of Troy. Troilus was the son born after the union between Apollo and Hecuba. Cassandra was another mortal whom Apollo had confessed to, but his affections were rejected. Apollo, therefore, punished her by arranging it so that her prophesies would not be believed.
In a discus throwing contest, Apollo almost killed his fellow companion Hyacinthus.
Animals that were sacred to him were the dolphin and swan. Apollo’s tree, the laurel, was used as a status symbol in Greece.
Apollo is believed to have killed Python, a serpent in a contest. It is said that it was conquered with a single arrow.
Do you know any interesting facts about the Greek God Apollo? Share them with us in the comments section below!