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Greek Gods and Goddesses



Apollo, god of the sun


The Story of Apollo

            Apollo was the most beautiful of the gods.  He had dark gold hair, stormy blue eyes, and always carried his golden bow and a quiver of golden arrows, made for him by Hephaestus, the ugliest of the gods.  He was god of the sun and rode in his chariot; He was also patron of music, poetry, mathematics, and medicine.  As he became older, he matured, but in his youth, he was known to do many cruel deeds and was almost expelled several times from the company of the gods that he had angered.  This is the story of some of his bad deeds.

            When Apollo was given his bow and arrows from his father, Zeus, he immediately went to search for the python that had hunted his mother.  He found it, and proceeded to shoot it with an arrow.  The serpent, with an arrow stuck in it, fled to a cave, to hide from Apollo.  Apollo, however, not to be discouraged, followed the serpent and shot as many arrows as he could, after breathing on each of them.  The arrows turned to fire and smoked the python out of the cave, where Apollo was waiting.  He shot the snake so many times, that it looked like a porcupine and later had it skinned.

            Mother Earth, however, complained to Zeus that Apollo had done this in a sacred place, where the oracles of Mother Earth lived.  Apollo, making amends, instituted the Pythian games, in celebration of his victory.


            Apollo heard of a satyr named Marsyas.  Marsyas was an excellent musician, a realm that Apollo considered to be his own.  He decided to invite him to a contest where the winner was to choose a penalty to which the loser would have to submit, and the muses were the judges.  Marsyas played his flute; Apollo played his lyre, both so beautifully that the muses could not choose between them.  Apollo then made up a new rule that the musician must turn their instrument upside down, and play and sing at the same time.  Apollo accomplished this feat easily, but it is not possible to play a flute upside down, and sing at the same time, so Marsyas was declared the loser.  This is how Apollo was able to flay Marsyas alive, so that he had no other musical rivals.


Apollo’s Genealogy

Son to Zeus

Son to Leto

Brother to Artemis

Half-brother to Hermes

Father to the Corybantes

Father to Aristeus

Father to Amphissus

Father to Asclepius

Father to Phaethon


Created by Angie Briese