name | Apollo
role | god of the arts, archery, and divination
symbols | bow, lyre, laurel
Apollo is in many respects the paradigm of a Greek god. He represents order, harmony, and civilization in a way that most other Olympian deities cannot quite equal. One only has to compare him with Dionysos to understand how Apollo is depicted as a bright, rational counterpart to the chaotic and frenzied god of wine and women. Indeed, Apollo is most often associated with the cultivated arts of music and medicine, and his role as the leader of the Muses establishes him as a patron of intellectual pursuits.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that in art, images of Apollo represented the height of male attractiveness - indeed, for years, Archaic statues of youths were commonly referred to as "Apollo", later to be replaced the more accurate term "kouros" (young man). However, as with most Greek deities, Apollo has characteristics that are myriad and diverse, so we should proceed to an exploration of this important god.
According to the Greek poet Hesiod (Theogony, 918-20), Apollo was the son of the Olympian Zeus and the Titan Leto, and the brother of the goddess Artemis. And the details of how Apollo and his sister were born make an intriguing story, so let us look at this legend more closely.
The myth of Apollo's birth includes another instance of the wrath of Hera. Again, the wife of the philandering Zeus discovered that her husband had impregnated yet another goddess, and this time it was the Titan Leto. In her anger, Hera would not allow Leto to bear her children (remember, she was pregnant with the twin gods Apollo and Artemis), and the land itself was afraid to provide a shelter for Leto because of the fear of Hera's notorious retribution. Finally, Leto found an island that was willing to allow her to give birth, and this island was named Delos (which means "brilliant", and, incidentally, inspired the epithet Delian) in honor of the divine site. Apollo was then cared for by Themis, who fed him nectar and ambrosia for a few days, after which time he was an adult capable of assuming the full responsibilities of a god. And this is the story of how Apollo was born in Greek mythology.Page 2 : Legends of Apollo
Your altars wear flowers in spring-all the pied blossoms that the Hours bring forth when the west wind breathes dew, and in winter the sweet crocus.