Top 10 Things Apollo is the God ofYou have likely heard of Apollo before as he is one of the most prominent mythological figures from Greek and Roman mythology and one of the 12 Olympians, but chances are you don't know everything that he is the god of. While some of the main Greek gods only have a few things under their name, such as Zeus, who is generally just the god of the sky and weather, others, such as Apollo or Hermes, are in charge of very many important things. So, here are the top 10 things that Apollo is the god of!
According to myth, the moment that Apollo was born, he asked for a lyre, which is a small type of harp, and upon inventing the paean, which is a type of song expressing triumph, he officially became the god of music. His incredible singing voice and amazing skills with musical instruments were unrivaled, and in the few stories of times he was challenged in a music contest, it didn't end well for his opponent. Apollo serves as the patron of all aspiring singers and musicians, and often entertains the other Greek gods with his music. Due to him being the God of music, Apollo is often depicted with his lyre, and also with swans, who were considered his sacred animal due to their musical way of communicating.
The deity in charge of the sun has always been a complicated subject for Greeks, because, while many stories depict Apollo riding the sun chariot throughout the sky every day and bringing light to the world, others also depict another deity, Helios, the son of the titan Hyperion, doing the same thing. However, most of the time it is agreed that Apollo is the god of the sun, which makes a lot of sense as Apollo's golden, bright hair and chariot greatly resemble the sun. In the Greek myths, the explanation for the Sun and how it worked was that Apollo would mount his chariot and ride it across the sky every day, and it was so bright that it would light up the entire world.
The item that Apollo is most portrayed with in statues, even more so than his lyre, is his magnificent bow and arrow for a reason. Although Apollo and his twin sister Artemis are both gods of archery, Artemis generally covers the hunting side of Archery, while Apollo is more often prayed to for archery success in battle or in competitions. Apollo has done many notable things with his arrows such as slaying the enormous and powerful monster python, but he also uses his arrows for punishment, and he has killed many unworthy mortals, and event sent arrows with plague in them to decimate entire cities. Other than perhaps his music, archery is Apollo's greatest skill.
One of Apollo's most important traits as a god was to oversee and control disease, and, more importantly, healing. Ancient Greek doctors would always pray to Apollo and his favorite son, Asclepius, the god of medicine, before trying to help people with their problems, and when in battle, soldiers would always burn offerings to Apollo in the hopes that their wounded would heal. Apollo's powers of healing came in handy to the other gods of Olympus many times, and he was one of the most beloved gods by the Greeks mainly due to his healing powers.
Ancient Greece had some of the most creative people from ancient times, with lots of advancements in music, and certainly the best storytellers and poets of the time. Another thing that they were unrivaled in was their art, which went to Apollo alongside music and poetry. Art was such an important part of the Greek culture, and since even today we have so many sculptures from their times, we can only imagine how many other masterpieces were lost to time, proving yet again how important of a god Apollo was to the Greeks.
In Ancient Greece, many of the most important myths and tales directly involved prophecy, which was entirely controlled by Apollo. In their myths, Apollo would choose certain prophetic women to become "Oracles" or "Sibyls", and upon being asked certain questions, these women would channel Apollo's godly, prophetic power and give divine advice straight to whoever asked the question. Kings, noblemen, and all sorts of people throughout Greece seeking advice would journey very far to one of these Oracles or Sibyls in order to get Apollo's advice, although there are many stories with people who didn't like what they heard and died trying to prevent it, or those who went mad with confusion over what the Oracles said.
In Ancient Greek times, poetry was just as big of a deal as music, and as Apollo is the god of music, he also got to be the god of poetry. There's a reason that poet laureates are called what they are, laureate comes from laurels, which are one of Apollo's biggest symbols. Apollo's poetry was said to be perfect, and all aspiring poets from Greece would pray to him, or even write poems about him, you can find quite a few poems from Ancient Greek times about the sun god.
Apollo is such a perfect, beautiful being that he actually radiates a lot of light, so much that from the moment he was brought into existence, he became the god of light. He had such a powerful, bright aura that in many tales, even the other Greek gods had trouble with being in his presence. In fact, his brightness was likely what led to him becoming the god of the sun and taking over from Helios, as to the Greeks it made perfect sense that the god of light would be the god of sun as well.
As Apollo is also the god of healing, it makes sense that he oversees disease as well, and although this is a pretty terrible thing, to the Greeks, you needed to appease Apollo in order to not get plagues sent to your cities, resulting in a lot of praying for him. Apollo was said to use special arrows carrying new diseases and plagues inside them, and it was told that he would send them into unworthy cities, causing nearly the entire population to be wiped out. You definitely don't want to make this god angry!
Apollo is modelled after pretty much the perfect possible human, and out of all the gods, he always speaks truthfully and with integrity, making him the god of truth. Apollo also upholds all mortals and humans to be truthful, and will grant prosperity to truthful people, while on the other hand, he will dole out punishment to untruthful people without honor. His truthfulness helped him also become the god of prophecies, where he tells mortals the truth about important moments in their future.