APOLLO Biography - Religious Figures & Icons


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In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo, is one of the most important and many-sided of the Olympian deities. 
The ideal of the kouros (a beardless youth), Apollo has been variously                                     
recognized as a god of light and the sun; truth and prophecy; archery; medicine                             
and healing; music, poetry, and the arts; and more. Apollo is son of Zeus and                               
Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in                               
Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu. In Roman mythology he is known as                             
As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god — the                               
prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing were associated with                           
Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius.                             
Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague as                               
well as one who had the ability to cure. 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 Musagetes) 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 third century BCE, as Apollo Helios                             
he became identified among Greeks with Helios, god of the sun, and his sister                               
Artemis similarly equated with Selene, goddess of the moon. In Latin texts,                                 
however, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of                               
Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the first century, not even in the                             
conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161-215). Apollo and Helios/Sol                           
remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the third                                 
century CE.