By Fritz Graf
Publish yr note: First released in 2000
Fritz Graf right here offers a survey of a god as soon as considered the main strong of gods, and able to nice wrath may still he be crossed: Apollo the solar god.
From his first attestations in Homer, in the course of the complicated query of pre-Homeric Apollo, to the competition among Apollo and Dionysos in 19th and twentieth-century considering, Graf examines Greek faith and fable to supply an entire account of Apollo within the old world.
For scholars of Greek faith and tradition, of fable and legend, and within the fields of paintings and literature, Apollo will supply an informative and enlightening creation to this robust determine from the earlier.
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Extra info for Apollo (Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World)
Apollo’s foundation of his oracle follows the same pattern: it is a mythical feat that has cosmic dimensions, marking the beginning of the world as we know it. No wonder that neither Apollo nor his Delphic temple could have predecessors, and that Thebes, next to Troy the most powerful and marvelous city in the Greek mythical tradition, did not yet exist; the only human city we hear of belongs to the lawless Phlegyans (278). After shooting the snake, Apollo leaves her body unburied, to rot in the heat of the sun.
And when lamenting her dead son Hector, the Trojan queen Hecabe is struck that he does not look like someone killed in war, although his body has been cruelly maltreated by Achilles: rather, he looks “like one whom Apollo killed softly with his silver arrows” (Il. 578). It seems double-edged for a young warrior to be under the sign of Apollo; Athena’s protection is more robust. In this light, Apollo is the fitting god Apolla in homer 13 for the side that eventually will lose the war and whose main defender, Hector, dies in the course of the poem when Apollo has to leave his side.
Maron, after all, is said to be the grandson of Dionysus (Hesiod, Fragment 238), and wine is indispensable for any Greek sacrifice. Theano, the wife of a leading Trojan nobleman, Antenor, is a typical city priestess, a member of the local aristocracy whom the citizens elected to her office; the office needs as much social consensus and dignity as special knowledge. Seen in the light of later Greek civic religion, Theano represents the type of priestess or priest that will be common all over the Greek world.