Apollo- The son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis. Apollo was the god of music and also of prophecy, colonization, medicine, archery (but not for war or hunting), poetry, dance, intellectual inquiry and the carer of herds and flocks. 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 traveled there to learn what the future held for them, through his priestess Pythia. The god was also worshiped 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 honor of Apollo. Apollo is a significant protagonist in Homer’s account of the Trojan War in the Iliad. On the side of the Trojans, he gives particular assistance to the Trojan heroes Hektor, Aeneas, and Glaukos, saving their lives on more than one occasion with his divine intervention. He brought plague to the Achaeans, led the entire Trojan army (holding Zeus’ fearsome aegis) in an attack which destroyed the Achaean defensive walls, and was also responsible for guiding Paris’ arrow to the heel of Achilles, killing the seemingly invincible Achaean hero. Apollo is most frequently described by Homer and Hesiod as the ‘far-shooter’, the ‘far-worker’, the ‘rouser of armies’, and ‘Phoebus Apollo’.
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