APOLLO

Apollo was
the son of Zeus and Leto,
twin brother of Artemis.
He was the god of music, and he is often depicted playing a golden lyre. He was
also known as the Archer, far shooting with a silver bow; the god of healing,
giving the science of medicine to man; the god of light; and the god of truth.
One of Apollo’s
most important daily tasks was to harness his four-horse chariot, in order to
move the Sun across
the sky.

Apollo was
an oracular god, as he was the prophetic deity in the Oracle in Delphi.
People from all over the known world travelled there to learn what the future
held for them, through his priestess Pythia. The god was also worshipped in the
island of Delos, which was initially dedicated to his twin sister Artemis.
In relation to the rituals and practices that took place in Delos and Delphi,
it could be said that there were two completely distinct cults in honour
of Apollo.
As
already mentioned, Apollo was
also considered as the god of healing and medicine, either through himself or
through his son Asclepius.
At the same time, he could also bring forth disease and plague with his arrows;
it was considered that a god that can cause disease is also able to prevent it.
He was
born on Delos, where his mother Leto sought
refuge; Hera,
having realised that Leto was
impregnated by her husband Zeus,
banned Letofrom
giving birth on land. So, Leto managed
to go to Delos, which had recently been formed, and therefore, was not
considered a real island yet. The inhabitants of the island, along with Artemis who
had been born a day earlier, helped Leto give
birth to Apollo. Leto then
promised the Delians that Apollo would
always favour them for having helped her.
His holy
tree was the laurel, and his holy animal was the dolphin.

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