Complied by Danielle Ritts

Apollo: the Greek God of the Sun

v uh-POL-oh
v God of the sun; truth and prophecy, archery; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts
v Son of Zeus and Leto
v Twin sister named Artemis
v One of his most important tasks was to drive the Sun across the sky in his Golden chariot to bring the morning
v He was the first God to love someone of the same sex, their names were Hyacinthus and the other one was Cyparissus


Background Information

Apollo was one of the most important Olympian deities. He was known as the god of the sun; truth and prophecy, archery; medicine and healing; music, poetry, and the arts. He was the son of Zeus and Leto. He also had a twin sister named Artemis. He was worshiped in both Greek and Roman religion. He was seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague as well as the ability to cure. His most common attributes were the bow and arrow. The Pythian Games were held every four years in honor of Apollo. There were a few animals that were sacred to Apollo including wolves, dolphins, roe deer, swans, cicadas, hawks, ravens, crows, snakes, mice, and griffons. He was the master magician of his golden lyre, and delighted the Gods of Olympus with his music. He was the God of light, which shows the continuous struggle between good and evil. Apollo had almost no darkness, his dark side only showed for a brief time and in few myths. Apollo is also the God of truth, and no false words have ever fell from his lips. One of Apollo’s most important tasks was to drive the Sun across the sky in his golden chariot. One of Apollo’s great deeds for mankind was killing the serpent Python. Apollo is usually portrayed as a manly, breadless youth of great beauty with a crown of laurel leaves. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Colossus of Rhodes, was a statue of Apollo. Apollo was also known to some as Phoebus.


Birth and Youth

When Hera, Zeus’s wife, had found out that Leto was pregnant and Zeus was the father Hera banned Leto from giving birth on the mainland. As Leto was walking around, she found the newly created island of Delos and gave birth there. They say that Artemis was born first. Four days after Apollo was born, he killed the chthonic dragon Python. Hera sent that serpent to hunt Leto until her death, Apollo was able to protect his mom by begging Hephaestus for a bow and arrows. Next, Hera sent the giant Tityos to kill Leto but this time Apollo was aided by his sister Artemis in protecting their mother

Apollo’s Children

Apollo had many children by many different women. There was Parthenos who was said to be Apollo’s only daughter. He has many sons including Philammon, Asklepios, Aristaios, Teneros, Iamos, Chairon, and Linos.


Apollo's Lovers

His first love was Daphne, who was turned into the Laurel tree. Apollo then had an affair with the princess Leucothea, she was ordered to be buried alive when Orchamus was told the truth. Marpessa was his next love, Zeus made her choose between him and Apollo. She chose neither of them. Apollo also loved Castalia, but she fled from him and dived into the spring at Delhpi. The next was Cyrene, they had a son together who became the patron god of cattle, fruit trees, hunting, and many more. Apollo then had a son with Hecuba. Apollo also fell in love with Cassandra, he gave her the curse that she could see the future tragedies after she refused him. Apollo also fell in love with Coronis. She fell in love with Ischys and when the crows told Apollo of the affair he did not believe them and turned all the crows black as a punishment for spreading untruths. Later, when he found out the truth he made the crows sacred. He also fell in love with Acantha, after her death Apollo transformed her into a sun-loving herb. Apollo was also the first god to love someone of the same gender. One of Apollo’s male lovers was Hyacinthus, the Spartan prince. When the two were playing discus, the discus was thrown off course and hit Hyacinthus in the head killing him. After he died, using Hyacintus’ blood, Apollo created a flower named after him. Another one of Apollo’s male lovers was Cyparissus. He was accidentally killed with a javelin as it was hidden in the undergrowth. Apollo then turned him into a tree named after him.