Apollo the god is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities, in classical Greek and Roman religion, also Greek and Roman mythology an ancient mystery. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth) Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god, the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the god’s custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called “paeans” In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon. In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE. Apollo’s chief epithet was literally “bright”. It was very commonly used by both the Greeks and Romans for Apollo’s role as the god of light. Like other Greek deities, he had a number of others applied to him, reflecting the variety of roles, duties, and aspects ascribed to the god. However, while Apollo has a great number of appellations in Greek myth, only a few occur in Latin literature.
Greek mythology has had an extensive influence on the culture, arts, and literature of Western civilization and remains part of Western heritage and language. Poets and artists from ancient times to the present have derived inspiration from Greek mythology and have discovered contemporary significance and relevance in the themes.
Achilles and Penthesileia by Exekias, c. 540 BC, British Museum, London. Greek mythology is explicitly embodied in a large collection of narratives, and implicitly in Greek representational arts, such as ancient vase-paintings and votive gifts. Greek myth attempts to explain the origins of the world, and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines and mythological creatures. These accounts initially were disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition; today the Greek myths are known primarily from ancient Greek literature. The oldest known Greek literary sources, Homer’s epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, focus on the Trojan War and its aftermath watch video for more Greek Mythology from ancient mystery on Youtube.
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