Are you ready to embark on another Space adventure? This adventure will include some Greek legends and tales. It will consist of historical records of space stories and even songs. This journey is all about Apollo.
Apollo can be so many things. In this adventure, Apollo is one of our favourite songs, the famous Greek god Apollo, and NASA’s project, Apollo. Buckle up, my friend! Our adventure is about to begin.
Apollo, the Song
Apollo was written by Nicolas Gunthardt, Alessandra Helena Guenthardt, and Elias Karl Robert Naeslin. It is a song by Timebelle. Maybe it will become your next favourite song.
Now that you know about our favourite song, let us move on to some legendary Greek history, my friend. Apollo was a most loved Greek god. We are confident that when you know all about him, you will fall in love with him as well.
Apollo, the Greek God
Apollo is the name of a Greek god. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed in a religion that had many gods. Some of those are called the Olympian gods or deities, if you may. According to Greek and Roman mythology and folklore, Apollo was the god of archery.
He was also the god of music, dance, truth, prophecy, healing, diseases, the sun, light, poetry, and even more. According to the Greeks and Romans, a god can be the god of many different entities. It may seem like Apollo was almost the god of everything.
That is because of how famous he was. Still, the god that was always associated with the sun or the original sun-god, if you may, was titan Helios, but it seems like everyone always forgets about him. There are many different stories and legends about the Greek and Roman god Apollo out there.
It is said that Apollo is the son of Jupiter. Apollo was also the son of Zeus and Leto. His twin sister is Artemis. Apollo is often depicted playing a golden lyre. Some say that Apollo was quite hotheaded because he is the god of the sun.
That made him act foolishly and let his strong emotions and feelings drive him. That, in turn, made him look even more foolish. Apollo, despite his flaws, was a much-loved god indeed as people associated him with the god of many things.
Apollo and Daphne #1
Due to his rash behaviour and foolish acts of Apollo, he insulted Eros. Eros was the god of love. However, he was not all love and forgiveness. Eros decided to take his revenge by shooting Apollo with the magical golden arrow of love.
Which, in turn, caused Apollo to fall in love with a nymph named Daphne. Apollo was quite handsome, creative, and supportive of the arts. That is probably why he had many lovers, but he was not that lucky in love, as nymphs were his weakness.
Daphne is one of Apollo’s most famous love interests. Daphne promised Artemis to eternally be innocent and to never fall in love. However, Apollo was already in love since he was shot by the magical golden love arrow and could not control his feelings as he acted foolishly around Daphne.
No matter how many times she kept pushing him away, he kept coming back. He was under the love spell of Eros, who was probably enjoying Apollo’s misery as he watched Daphne reject Apollo again and again. She did not even want to be friends with him.
She did not want anything to do with Apollo. Not only was Apollo under Eros’ love spell, but also nymphs were his weakness. So, the more Daphne rejected Apollo, the more he kept coming back to ask her to love him. He was persistent.
He stalked her, and eventually, she got sick of it. So, Daphne decided to go to her father and seek his guidance. Daphne’s father was Peneus. Peneus was the river god. So, she asked Peneus, her father, to transform her into something else so that Apollo would not keep annoying her.
The Birth of Apollo
That was one version of the story. So, let us go back to Apollo. Apollo was indeed foolish, but he was influential and quite important to the Greeks and Romans. As we previously mentioned, Apollo was, in one version of the story, the son of Zeus and Leto.
Zeus was the king of gods, whereas Leto was a Titaness. Many tales and legends revolve around the name of and Greek-Roman god Apollo. We will try to explore as many of those as we can. So, try to keep up and don’t get lost.
One of those legends said that when Apollo was born, he was fed a magical immortality drink. That magical immortality drink was called ambrosia. That magical drink caused Apollo to grow up from a baby to a man instantly.
The legend doesn’t end here. After drinking the magical ambrosia immortality drink and becoming a man instantly, Apollo went to slay a serpent that troubled his mother, Leto, while she was pregnant. That serpent is known as Python. (Kind of sounds like a coding language! Maybe you should take this opportunity to learn more about the basics of coding with us on Learning Mole.)
Can you imagine a baby turning into a man after drinking a magical drink and going off to fight a serpent? Marvellous! The legends that revolve around Apollo are so many. They mostly either talk about how he is the god of so and so, or they are related to his lovers. Just like with Daphne, the nymph he magically and foolishly fell in love with.
We have been talking all about Apollo since he is the main topic of our adventure. Still, we should at least briefly mention his sister Artemis. Especially since some legends said she is the one who helped deliver him as a baby. (Doesn’t make sense, does it?)
Since Apollo and Artemis were twins, they were both born at the same time. Artemis is known as the goddess of the hunt. At the same time, Apollo was known as the god of music, dance, truth, prophecy, healing, diseases, the sun, light, poetry, and even more.
Greek and Roman stories and legends tend to point out that each god had many lovers. So was the case with Zeus, Apollo’s father, and Apollo himself. Leto, Apollo’s mother, was cursed by Hera. Hera was Zeus’ wife, and Leto was one of Zeus’ many lovers.
So, Hera made sure that Leto could not find land to give birth on. As Leto wandered helplessly, looking for land to deliver Apollo and Artemis, Zeus helped her out by emerging a floating island for her. That island was called Delos.
It is said that when Apollo was born clutching a golden sword as a baby, everything on Delos turned to gold. Apollo was known as the most beautiful Greek god. Now that we know how Apollo came to be, let us learn about his first opponent, Python and no, we don’t mean the coding language 😉
Apollo VS Python
Python was the big serpent that annoyed Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis. Before that, Python was known as the child of Gaea. Gaea is the personification of the Earth as a goddess. In some versions of the story, Python was represented as a dragon.
Remember the floating island that Zeus created to help Leto? Delphi! Delphi was known as the centre of the Earth, so Python, naturally, was the guardian of Delphi. Leto was known as the daughter of the titans Coeus and Phoebe.
Because Hera was so jealous of Leto, she sent Python after her. Hera ordered Python to kill Leto. You know the rest. Apollo and Artemis are born, the ambrosia drink, magically turn into a man, and go after Python to avenge the trouble his mother, Leto, went through because of Python.
Apollo went to kill Python with his silver bow and golden arrows. Fancy, right? Where did he get those? Well, he borrowed them from Hephaestus, the blacksmith, but that is not the main topic. Apollo, then, went to Python’s din. It was a cave.
Apollo went into the cave and killed Python. Apollo took the creature and buried it under the slopes of Mount Parnassus. That is actually where the oracle of Delphi was built by Apollo, or so it is said. The oracle of Delphi is one of the most famous oracles in ancient Greece.
Apollo came to be known as the slayer of Python. That is why people tended to associate Apollo later on with battle and victory. This may seem like a happy ending for you because Apollo killed Python, the annoying serpent. However, the story did not end here just yet.
You see, by killing Python, Apollo committed an unforgivable crime against the rules of Mount Olympus. That is why Zeus, his father and the king of Olympian gods, exiled him from Mount Olympus for some time. The story even goes on to tell the tale of Apollo’s exile.
During the period of his exile, Apollo found himself arriving at Thessaly. Apollo had to work as a herdsman as part of his punishment during his exile period. Apollo worked for Admetus. Admetus was the son of Pheres. Admetus was the king of Pherae in the region of Thessaly.
Admetus was very kind, good-hearted, and fair to those under his care, including Apollo at the time. Not only did he enjoy his time in servitude during his punishment as part of his exile, but Apollo even promised to be of great assistance whenever Admetus needed him.
That was because Admetus was such a kind employer. The story does not stop here. The tale goes on and tells us how legends carried on about Apollo afterwards. After Apollo finished his exile period, then went back to Mount Olympus.
Returning The Favor
Apollo came back as a full-fledged god. At the time Apollo was enjoying his life as a god, his dear old friend Admetus needed him as soon as he left. Admetus was falling in love! He fell in love with a princess. Her name was Alcestis.
She was the daughter of a king. The name of the king was Pelias. So, Admetus asked for her hand from her father, but apparently, Pelias did not want to marry off his daughter under any condition. Still, he could not outright reject another king.
So, Pelias told Admetus that he would marry off his daughter if Admetus was able to perform one simple task. Of course, it was no simple task. Keep in mind that Admetus was a mortal. So, he was no god whatsoever, even if he was Apollo’s employer for a while.
Pelias asked Admetus to ride into the city in a chariot pulled by a lion and a wild boar. However, this was quite an impossible task at the time. Especially since Admetus was a mortal. Of course, Apollo did not leave his friend in need and rushed in to help him by harnessing the two beasts.
Admetus was able to fulfil Pelias’ request, and by that, he had met the condition required for him to marry Alcestis, the princess. Pelias, as a king should, kept his word and agreed to the wedding. Not only did Pelias agree to the wedding, but he also gave his blessing to the couple.
The wedding was a success, and Apollo was there. Apollo attended his dear friend’s wedding. Of course, that wedding would not have taken place if it weren’t for Apollo. Not only did Apollo attend the wedding, but; he gave his blessings and bestowed some kind of magic on Admetus.
The magic Apollo applied to his friend was a kind of immortality. Now that was the end of one of Apollo’s legends. That was his birth legend. It ended with the wedding of his dear friend and employer, Admetus, who was kind to him during his exile as punishment for killing Python.
Apollo’s Love Life
Remember Eros? The god of love, Eros, was the one Apollo mocked, and because of his mockery, he was cursed to fall in love with a nymph named Daphne. That was Apollo’s first love! Let us tell you the legend in more detail.
As the legend goes, Eros was taking the form of a child and playing around with his bow and arrows. That was when Apollo came across him and burst into laughter because he found the sight quite humorous. So, Apollo couldn’t hold back his laughter.
In turn, Eros got furiously annoyed by Apollo’s mockery and decided to teach him a lesson. Eros could not leave the mockery of the god of love go unpunished. So, when Apollo was walking by the riverside in Thessaly, Eros let loose his arrow of love.
That arrow of love that was shot by Eros burst right into the heart of Apollo, who helplessly, madly, crazily fell in love with a beautiful maiden who later turned out to be a nymph named Daphne. Apollo instantly went running to her and asked for her hand in marriage!
Sadly, she refused as instantly. That was because Daphne had sworn to never fall in love because of the numerous countless tales that tell of the tragic endings that awaited those who were loved by the gods. So, she did not give the helplessly poor Apollo a chance.
Another record, written by Apollo probably, was found in the Hidden Oracle, stating that Daphne’s rejection was due to an arrow that was shot by Eros. That arrow went through her heart, and that stripped away any form of affection or love she may have ever had for Apollo. Poor Apollo!
Apollo endlessly chased Daphne begging her to marry him as he was deeply, foolishly, and helplessly in love with her. Of course, we know that he was going through this misery because of that stupid love arrow of revenge that Eros shot.
Apollo tried everything to please Daphne or earn her affection. Sadly, there was no shaking the fear Daphne had in her heart from the tragic ending that may have awaited her. So, she went crying and begged Gaea for help and guidance. Remember, Gaea was not a fan of Apollo.
Especially after Apollo killed Python, her son, so, Gaea found this the perfect chance to get back at Apollo. At the same time, Gaea would be lending a helping hand to Daphne. So, Gaea turned Daphne into a laurel tree. Apollo was devastated and broken as soon as he found out.
Apollo decided that even if Daphne was not his wife, he still loved her dearly. So, he honoured her in his way. Apollo decided that the laurel tree would be the symbol of victory and that he would always wear a crown made of laurel tree leaves in Daphne’s memory.
That was the tragic legend of Apollo’s first love. Pretty sad! Apollo never truly moved on from Daphne’s memory. It seems as if she will forever always be in his memory as the love of his life that he could not have.
Apollo never got married after. Some legends say it is because he never truly moved on from Daphne’s love. Other legends say that he was just too confused between which to choose from the nine muses.
Apollo is also known as Apollon. He was also known as Lester Papadopoulos. Together along with his twin sister Artemis, they were known as the twin archers. He is the main narrator of The Trials of Apollo and is a side character in the Percy Jackson series.
There is also The Heroes of Olympus series to mention and so many more, but we will keep it at that for now. The Greeks and Romans believed that Apollo was driving the sun endlessly around the Earth on his chariot. This was a huge task.
Apollo kept doing it ever since Helios, the original god in charge of the sun, vanished. You can read more about Helios alongside other Egyptian gods with us on Learning Mole. They have pretty interesting stories as well.
It is said that Helios was cast away by the Romans. That was his punishment because he encouraged his Octavian legacy to carry on with his conflict. You probably noticed by now that Apollo was the god of many things.
Would you believe that even the ancient Greeks got confused? Practically speaking, Apollo was indeed the god of everything. That includes, as we may have already mentioned, music, poetry, art, prophecy, truth, archery, plague, healing, sun, light, and many more.
Apollo just LOVED music. Don’t we all? Apollo had a special place in his heart for music. For Apollo, music was a gift. Therefore, Apollo was known to have participated in many musical contests. It is important to also mention that Apollo was quite stubborn.
He was pretty stubborn, especially in contests. To the point, he could never, under no circumstances, stand to lose a competition. In a competition against Pan, Apollo was not chosen as a winner. So, Apollo transformed King Midas’ ears into donkey ears.
As you may have guessed, King Midas favoured Pan as the winner. That is, of course, no excuse to turn someone’s ears into donkey ears. It did not even stop there. Apollo would do bad deeds to win a competition, even if it meant cheating.
Apollo would even cheat to win. Yes, cheat! Apollo once cheated in a contest to win, and he ended up an equal to the winner. So, it was a draw. You can imagine what happened next. No, seriously, we would leave what happened next to your imagination.
Every Greek god had a sacred animal. Apollo’s sacred animal was the wolf. So, yes, he did like wolves. Not only wolves but also ravens and dolphins. Apollo even loved cows. He loved them so much. To the point, he got bright red sacred cows.
For Apollo, they were the finest cattle in the world. Once, Hermes decided to steal fifty of the cowherds as a joke. Hermes was the god of thieves. You can only imagine what took place next. Apollo was furious. Apollo decided to kill Hermes.
However, something kept Apollo from doing so. It was an enchanting lyre. It was invented by Hermes. Apollo liked this lyre so much that he gave up his entire herd to get his hands on it. A lyre is a musical instrument.
Apollo just loved musical instruments, which is probably the reason behind that action. However, his love for music did not protect his son. Zeus, the mighty king of the Olympian gods, killed Asclepius, who was Apollo’s son.
Asclepius was a great healer, and he tried his best to save Hippolytus, a Greek hero. Asclepius ended up defying fate and bringing Hippolytus back to life. That is why Zeus killed Asclepius. Apollo was furious. He decided to take revenge.
So, Apollo killed the Cyclopes that created the weapons for Zeus. Of course, Zeus was very upset. So, Zeus, the mighty king of the Olympian gods, stripped away the godly powers of Apollo because of that. He even sent him to Earth as a mortal to serve the king of Pherae.
However, that was not the only time Apollo lost his godly powers. The second time was when Apollo and Poseidon, the god of oceans and Zeus’ brother, attempted to revolt against Zeus and overthrew him off the throne. You can only imagine what happened next.
Zeus was furious. He sentenced them both to labour as humans for years on. That is when they built the great walls of Troy. Those walls made the city invincible. At least it was not a waste of time for them.
Remember Hermes? After the cows-stealing incident and the lyre as an apology, Hermes and Apollo became best friends. They were super close that Apollo told Hermes; he was the most loved of all the gods to him.
Later, Hermes became an Olympian god. He crafted a new instrument that blew Apollo’s senses away. It was the reed pipes. However, Hermes did not give it up that easily. No matter how close of friends they were, the god of thieves just loved to make deals.
Hermes told Apollo that he would give him the reed pipes only if he gave him the caduceus. Apollo agreed right away, and the caduceus became known as the staff of Hermes, while Apollo became known as the god of music.
Apollo was not only the god of music. He was also well-known for his competitive nature. It is even believed that he had won the first Olympic Games ever! It was first held in honour of Zeus’ victory over Kronos as it was originally a game intended for the gods.
Apollo is believed to have beat Ares in boxing. He even defeated his best friend, Hermes, at racing. That is probably why the Ancient Greeks gave laurel branches to those who came out victorious in honour of Apollo’s supreme success, especially since the laurel tree was the holy tree of Apollo.
Now that we have a good reliable background about who Apollo was let us learn more about his legends and stories. Apollo has many legends told in his name. However, we will only be mentioning a few of those with Apollo’s lovers at the centre.
Apollo can be competitive, vengeful, and scary at times. However, he will always be the god of music. The god of music had many encounters and adventures. Some of which were remarkable. Others were heartbreaking, such as the story of his one-sided love for the nymph, Daphne.
Apollo and Daphne #2
Daphne was a female nymph, as we already told you. She was associated with fountains and wells. She hung around springs and streams. Brooks and other bodies of fresh water were her favourites. The tales of how Apollo fell for Daphne may vary. However, the fact that Eros is behind it all never changes.
Some other versions of the tale state that Apollo made fun of Eros. Not because of his child form but belittling him overall. Eros was also known as Cupid. Apollo told Cupid to leave war-like weapons to mighty gods like him and stick to his childish love games.
Eros, of course, being Cupid, couldn’t stand such an insult. Apollo was making fun of love! So, that’s why he decided to teach him a lesson. Eros created two arrows in this version of the tale. One arrow was for Apollo. To make him fall madly deeply in love and teach him how strong love can be.
The other arrow was for Daphne. To make her hate love altogether. So that Apollo wouldn’t stand a chance at love. The arrow for Apollo was made of gold. On the other hand, the arrow made for Daphne was from lead.
The golden arrow pierced Apollo’s heart, and so did the lead arrow to Daphne’s heart. She didn’t hate Apollo. She just couldn’t stand the idea of love. In this version, it is because of the lead arrow. She couldn’t stand how Apollo kept nagging her to love him back.
So, she begged her father, Peneus, to make Apollo stop pestering her. Peneus was the river god. In this version, it was her father who turned her into a laurel tree. Of course, Apollo was left all alone with his broken heart.
No one could hear his cries. So, he decided that he would remember Daphne forever and ever by making the laurel tree his symbol. The laurel tree became the symbol given to victorious champions, generals, or even athletes.
Especially musicians, since Apollo just adored music. The tale of Apollo and Daphne explains the relationship between Apollo and the laurel tree. Other tales talk about his punishments and revenge rather than his love stories. Apollo loved his mother, and that was evident in his birth tale, Just like what happened with Niobe.
The Vengeful and Competititve Apollo
Niobe was the daughter of Tantalus. Tantalus was the wicked king of Sipylus. Niope was the wife of Amphion. Amphion was the king of Thebes. Niobe and Amphion gave birth to fourteen children.
Niope was proud and always bragged about having seven sons and seven daughters. Even at the ceremony that was held in honour of Leto and her son Apollo, Niobe said that she was luckier than Leto. That was because she had more children than her.
When Artemis and Apollo heard about what Niobe had said to their mother, they considered it an insult. They got so angry that they decided at once to take revenge! They came down to Earth to kill all the fourteen children of Niobe.
Artemis killed all the seven daughters with her arrows. However, in some versions of the tale, it is said that she spared one. Apollo, on the other hand, killed all the sons with his unforgiving arrows. Niobe lost all her fourteen children in a matter of seconds.
She was devastated. She fled back to Mount Sipylus. That is where she was turned into stone. The Weeping Rock in Mount Sipylus is said to have a connection to the myth of Niobe from ancient times.
So, summarising what happened would be that when Niobe insulted Apollo’s mother, Leto, saying her children were more amazing and many not like her twins. Apollo shot arrows at Niobe’s seven sons. Artemis shot arrows at Niobe’s seven daughters. However, Artemis spared one of her daughters.
Apollo and Pan
Apollo was quite vengeful. His vengeful nature was especially proven through the story that took place between him and Pan. Pan is another Greek god. He is the Greek god of shepherds. He was a great musician as well.
Of course, Apollo did not like the competition. Pan was known for his great invention, the syrinx or, as people normally call it, the Greek Pan flute. Pan believed he was even better than Apollo.
Especially in music. He believed he was a better musician. That’s why he challenged the Greek god, who is known as the ultimate supreme musician, Apollo. Of course, the dual was naturally musical.
They chose Tmolus to be their judge since he was old and thus, considered wise. He was the god of the mountain. Followers of each god, Apollo and Pan, came from all over the world to watch the contest.
Among them, there was a follower named Midas. He was a fan of Pan. The first round started, and Pan blew on his Reed pipes. The sound that was played was a rustic melody that made birds fall off their nests.
Even squirrels left their homes. The trees swayed angrily as a reaction to the sound as well. In the same round, it was Apollo’s turn. He struck the strings of his lyre, and a spellbinding tune was produced.
Every wild creature in the woods approached and stopped moving. Everything was as still as stone. It’s like time stopped ticking for a moment when Apollo played his lyre. The trees prevented their leaves from rustling so that they wouldn’t interrupt the melody that Apollo was playing.
Even the gentle air was as silent as a dream. When it was time for the music to stop, everyone that had listened to the music had this feeling of grief and sadness. They were wondering why did it have to stop?
As if they were saying goodbye forever to their own family members and to their mothers and fathers. It was as if Apollo had struck a spell that befell all of the audience. Once Apollo’s spell was broken, everyone fell at his feet.
Immediately, Tmolus, the mountain god, proclaimed him the winner of the contest. Of course, everyone was pleased, but not Pan. He was disgraced and ashamed. However, Midas, Pan’s follower, was angry and against the results of the contest.
He questioned the justice of the award. He objected that Apollo was worthy of being the winner of the contest. Of course, Apollo was furious and as vengeful as Apollo can be. He touched the ears of Midas, and instantly, Midas’ ears turned into long, pointed, furry ears.
Midas’ ears turned into a donkey’s ears. There is also another story that tells of Apollo’s vengeful nature. Still, it concentrates more on his competitive side. That competitive spirit he always has. It was Apollo’s and Marsyas’ story.
Apollo and Marsyas
Marsyas was a satire. He was from Phrygia. Phrygia is today’s central Turkey. It is said that he had found the aulos. That aulos was a musical instrument which was a double Reed wind instrument in particular.
It was abandoned by a Greek goddess. Athena was the one who abandoned it. Marsyas practised day and night to become skilled in handling the instrument that he had found. He bragged about his musical skill.
Saying that he was far more superior in producing music than Apollo would ever be. He even went as far as to challenge Apollo to a musical duel. Just like Pan. Each contestant, Apollo and Marsyas, agreed that they would take turns in showing off their musical skill.
The only rule was that the winner got to do whatever he wanted with the loser. That was similar to a dare. Of course, Apollo was not backing down, and neither was Marsyas. The contest’s Judgers were the Muses.
They are known as the Greek goddesses of art and science. The first round started, and Marsyas played his flute. He produced wonderful melodies. That made people sway. Then came Apollo’s turn.
Apollo played a melody like no other. It was full of harmony. He played it with his Lear. He even sang. With his beautiful voice in the mixture, his performance was extraordinary. It mesmerised the audience.
Of course, Marsyas couldn’t sing and play the instrument at the same time as Apollo did. So, he was frustrated. At the end of the contest, Apollo proclaimed the winner again. According to the contest, Apollo may do whatever he wishes with Marsyas.
So, Apollo chose a very harsh punishment. However, Apollo felt guilty later about what he had done. That’s why he decided that he would destroy his lyre, even though the lyre was his favourite instrument.
He tore the strings of the lyre. He even left music for a while. Apollo doesn’t seem like a bad god. Sure, he is competitive and vengeful. However, he still has a kind heart that has been broken since Daphne.
Apollo and Cassandra
However, Daphne wasn’t his final love. Sure, she was the first, but later on, he fell for other women. However, he never proposed to any of them as he did to Daphne. Even though she always rejected him, thanks to Eros. One of his many love stories is the story of Cassandra.
Cassandra was the daughter of a king. The king was Priam and his queen Hecuba. Yes, Hecuba of Troy. Cassandra was lovely. Apollo admired her and loved her. All he wanted was for her to say that she loved him too. However, she refused to do so.
Then, later agreed to do it under one condition. Apollo told her that he would do anything for her. So, she asked him to let her see the future. Apollo was reluctant at first. However, he gave her the gift of seeing the future.
In turn, granting her wish. Cassandra, however, didn’t keep her promise, and she forgot about Apollo. She never told him that she loved him back. She even rejected him. So Apollo was so angry, and he couldn’t take back the divine power he had given her.
So, he decided to turn it into her curse. Apollo cursed Cassandra. No matter what she sees in the future, even if she told everyone. She was cursed to be always seen as a liar.
No matter how many times she told the truth, nobody believed her. In other words, no one will believe her prophecies. In another version of the story, it is said that Apollo gave the power to see the future to Cassandra without her asking.
He did so to make her happy, but she was angry at him. So, he turned it into a curse. Throughout time, this story was turned into an epic tragedy. The stories of Apollo’s lovers may go on and on, but Apollo has even more interesting stories than his love stories.
There are his war stories, and there is also his riot against Zeus, the king of gods. Apollo was mentioned in the Iliad. The Iliad is a poem written by Homer. Homer is a famous Greek poet. It is said that Apollo took part in the Trojan War.
There are many adaptations of Apollos’ presence all over Greek history. We can also see it in our modern-day Percy Jackson and the Olympians. We will tell you in brief about each of those depictions and adaptations.
After Homer’s Iliad, we will discuss the modern depiction of Apollo’s stories in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Make sure you watch the series because it is exciting, especially now that you know the story. So, you can compare the stories that are told in different versions.
First is Homer’s Iliad. The Iliad is an epic poem. It is a very long poem. It tells the story of Apollo during the Trojan War. The Trojan War was a war waged by the Greeks against the city of Troy. He played a very important role in winning the war.
During that war, Apollo chose to side with Troy, the city that the Greeks attacked. It is said that was because Agamemnon, who was the king of Mycenae, captured Chryseis. Chryseis was the daughter of Apollo’s priest. They captured her and refused to return her to her father. Her father was praying to Apollo.
That is why Apollo decided to help Troy and went against the Greeks. Apollo shot an arrow that was full of plague. So, again, that shows Apollo’s vengeful nature. The plague eradicated the Greeks. It spread diseases and exhaustion among them.
Leaving King Agamemnon with no other option but to return Chryseis. In order to avoid any further punishment from Apollo. It is even said that Achilleus, one of the warriors fighting in the war, was killed by Paris.
Paris was the Prince of Troy. It is said that Apollo helped Paris kill Achilles. By giving him guidance to strike an arrow in Achilles’ heel. That was the Trojan War, as depicted in Homer’s Iliad.
Another version of the Trojan War said that Apollo was the chief protector of the Trojans. Especially because he favoured Hector. Hector was one of the Trojan warriors. This version of the Trojan War also tells the story of how Apollo shot the arrow that carried a horrible plague.
That plague doomed the Greeks. To return the favour of insulting Chryses, the priest, who prayed for Apollo to help him because his daughter was captured and the Greeks refused to return her.
However, after the plague, in this version, the Greeks had to return her so that Apollo wouldn’t be angry anymore. This caused Achilles to get angry. Achilles was one of the Greek warriors.
Achilles was angry because Agamemnon, who had captured the priest’s daughter, took Achilleus’ rewards instead of the rewards that he had to return. In this version of the tale, Apollo was the one to guide Paris and tell him that Achilleus’ weakness was in his heel.
Apollo and Percy Jackson
We believe it’s time to discuss the adaptations of Apollo and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a series. It revolves around the Greek gods and their children.
The children of the Greek gods live on Earth. It is a fantasy, and it is worth reading. However, some incidents and versions of the tale may differ in the series. We will try to summarise the series as much as possible.
Percy Jackson depicted Apollo. It was even made into a movie called Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. That movie talks about the life of a teenage boy whose name was Percy Jackson.
His life gets a little bit more complicated when he discovers that he’s the son of the Greek god of the ocean, Poseidon. That’s when everything gets troublesome. It all takes place at the training grounds.
Those training grounds are for the children of the deities. That is where he learns how to use his divine powers. He prepares for an adventure that he will never forget. He has to prevent a war from erupting among the Olympians.
That was because someone stole the lightning bolt that belonged to the king of gods, Zeus. While doing so, he should also rescue his mother from the underworld, where Hades kept her. In summary, the movie talks about Percy Jackson trying to find the lightning thief to prevent a war from erupting.
The book series that is called Percy Jackson as well, it tells the story of when Apollo’s sister Artemis asked him to take the demigods and hunters that were under her care to a camp where half-bloods are trained.
She asked him to do so because she wanted to go on a mission to hunt a monster that had the power to bring down the whole Olympus along with the gods. Artemis feared that her adventure was too dangerous for the demigods and hunters under her care.
That’s why she asked Apollo to travel with them until they reached the camp where they could be safe. So, Apollo gives Percy Jackson, Thalia Graves, Nico, Bianca di Angelo and the hunters a ride.
He even allows Thalia, the daughter of the god of the sky, to drive the chariot. Since her father will not, he probably zap her. However, Apollo didn’t know that Thalia had a fear of heights. She was so terrified that even Apollo himself was terrified.
During the ride, she even accidentally scorched New England. After the amazingly dangerous ride experience, they arrived in one piece at the camp of the half-bloods. In fact, they crashed into the camp.
That is where Apollo saw them off and left. Meanwhile, Artemis was kidnapped. So Percy, Thalia, Zoe, Bianca, and Grover Underwood decide to rescue her by leaving on a quest. Meanwhile, Apollo was worried about his twin sister.
He even tries to use his superpowers as a god to try and locate her, but he discovers that he cannot do so as someone clouded his search. That’s when he decides to break the ancient laws of the gods and helps the five adventurers on their quest to rescue his sister.
Even though he is not permitted to do so, so, Apollo wears a disguise. As if he’s a homeless man named Fred. The five adventurers don’t recognise him at first. He guides them safely through their adventure. Without them knowing who he is.
That is until Percy recognises a statement that Apollo always says because there could be no one that can say that statement as Apollo always says it. So Fred or Apollo warned Percy, telling him not to tell anyone.
He advises Percy to go look for Nereus. Nereus is the old man of the sea. The old man of the sea is supposed to aid them on their quest. Now that his disguise was blown by one of the five adventurers, Apollo had to go back to the Olympus.
That is where they held a council. They wanted to vote to kill Percy because he was overstepping his boundaries. However, Apollo votes for Percy not to be killed and gives him a thumbs up.
As if Percy could see him. Meanwhile, Percy was listening to his iPod. So, he probably wasn’t even paying attention. Apollo doesn’t leave Percy until he actually lets him drive his chariot.
He even offers him archery lessons. However, Percy declines the offer because he believes he is bad with a bow. That was the first depiction of Apollo in Percy Jackson. Apollo also appeared during the battle of the Labyrinth.
That is where Apollo is mentioned when Percy is attempting to shoot Geryon, who has three hearts. That is when Percy prays for Artemis and Apollo to guide his arrow. There was also a depiction of Apollo as the last Olympian when Apollo joined forces with the other gods against Typhon.
Typhon is in his golden chariot. Poseidon defeats Typhon. Apollo joins the rest of the gods on Olympus. That is when Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are all thanked for their efforts. In The House of Hades section, Percy sees Apollo’s grandfather, the Titan Koios. He notes that he has Apollo’s bright smile.
Apollo’s First Riot
We will also talk about the Olympian riot that Apollo and Posideon, the god of the ocean, attempted. They tried to overthrow Zeus in his sleep, but they failed to do so. The Olympian riot was because of Hera. Hera is the wife of Zeus, the king of gods. She was angry at him because he had other lovers than her.
That made her jealous. So she decided she would talk to Poseidon, Athena, and Apollo to help her overthrow her husband. They wanted to overthrow the king of gods. They started the first riot and the last one, by the way. It was an Olympian riot against Zeus.
In the evening, Poseidon, Athena, and Apollo agreed to hide in the hall that is near Zeus’ chambers—waiting for Hera’s signal. When Zeus fell asleep, they quickly, along with Hera, tied him up with an unbreakable golden chain.
This was very scary for them because Zeus was angry. Poseidon tried to talk to his brother and reason with him. He told him he should be a better king, but Zeus refused to do as they asked. So Hera was very angry.
She decided to leave him chained up in his chambers. Deciding that they will not talk to him or let him out until he decides to be a better king. Hera, Apollo, Athena, and Poseidon the four of them, took off to the Olympian Council room.
It was the throne room. This is where they held a council with the other gods. Unfortunately, they didn’t have enough time because some of the other gods found Zeus and helped him escape. They let him loose.
They Unchained Zeus. Instantly, Zeus took his Thunderbolt, the master one, and broke into the throne room during the council. He immediately ended that meeting that they were holding. However, Zeus was merciful.
He decided not to harm them. Only to punish each one of them. Apollo and Poseidon were stripped away from their powers. They became mortals, not gods. In other words, humans. Not only did they become humans, but also they were sent to work on Earth as labourers for years.
As for Hera, Zeus tied her up, but Athena was lucky because she was the goddess of wisdom. She was able to talk her way out of the punishment and was left unharmed. However, that was not the only time Apollo was punished and sent to work on Earth as a mortal.
There was also a time when Apollo found Charon. Charon was a child he had adopted, and he decided to train him. He taught him medicine so that he could become the greatest of healers. After that, Apollo’s son, Asclepius, was born a demigod.
Chiron taught Asclepius medicine just as Apollo did with him. Asclepius became more skilled in medicine than Apollo could ever be. That’s because he studied so hard and devoted all his free time to studying medicine. Even Athena helped him.
Asclepius was able to cure every illness and heal injuries. Some even say that he could bring the dead back. He resurrected a Greek warrior who died because someone asked him to. Hades, the god of the underworld, was furious.
He told Zeos that this was unacceptable and that Asclepius was playing with fate. Saying he had to be punished. Zeus struck Asclepius with a lightning bolt as a punishment. Asclepius couldn’t take it and die. Apollo was angered because his son died, his favourite of them.
Apollo couldn’t get revenge on Zeus. As vengeful as he can be, he still decided that Zeus was too mighty for him. So, he will kill the Cyclops, that was in charge of making Zeus’ thunderbolts.
That Cyclops was in charge of making the weapons for Zeus. Zeus was angry at Apollo and punished him. He had to be suspended for a year. Then, Zeus resurrected the Cyclops that Apollo had killed and resurrected Asclepius as well.
Asclepius apologised to Hades. Hades asked Asclepius to never again resurrect the dead. Apollo’s murder of the Cyclops, who was later resurrected, was still unforgivable. That is why Zeus forced Apollo to work and live on Earth for another year as a human.
This time it wasn’t as a labourer. This time he had to serve a human king. That human king was admitted. Admit this was of Thessaly. Apollo had to work as a shepherd for a year under Admetus.
Even though it was a punishment, Apollo didn’t mind it. That was because Admetus was very kind. Admetus treated Apollo with great respect. So, Apollo decided to reward him as soon as he became a god again, and his punishment was over.
Apollo tried to talk with Fates. Fates were the ones who were in charge of the dying days of each human. Apollo wanted to convince them to skip Admetus’ day. The Fates agreed to do so under one condition.
Their condition was to find someone else that would take Admetus’ place. Apollo’s adventures never get old. It is the perfect example of old gold. Apollo was not only a song or the name of a Greek/Roman god. It was also one of the names chosen for NASA’s space missions!
Now that we know all there is to know about the Greek god, Apollo, let us move on to NASA and what it had to do with the name Apollo. Apollo was NASA’s program throughout the years.
Apollo was one of NASA’s many programs. It was mainly about sending the first humans to the moon. The Apollo program lasted from 1969 to 1972. That makes it a total of 3 years. The program sent out about six spacecraft to space.
Those six spacecraft were carrying twelve astronauts. They landed on the surface of the moon. They concluded that the rocks there are kind of chemically related to Earth. That supports one of the many theories out there.
It was the theory that the moon formed when a giant world made a massive impact on the early Earth. That was considered the only time humans have ever walked on another celestial body. None have left Earth orbit ever since.
The project of Apollo was not only sending landing Americans on the moon and returning them safely to Earth. It included many other aspects. First was establishing the required technology needed to meet other national interests in space.
The second was achieving preeminence in space, especially for the United States. The third is carrying out a program of scientific exploration. Particularly of the Moon. Fourth is developing the human ability to work in the lunar environment.
Stepping on the moon was no trivial matter. “That’s one small step for a man. One giant leap for mankind.”- Neil Armstrong. The national effort is what enabled the astronaut Neil Armstrong to speak those words as he stepped onto the lunar surface.
He fulfilled a dream as old as humanity. Project Apollo’s goals went beyond landing Americans on the moon and returning them safely to Earth. It was on 25 May 1961 that President John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of Congress.
He did so to ask for funding to start the ambitious program as he said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieve the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”
That was just 20 days after Alan Shepard became the first American to fly into space. NASA met the goal on 20 July 1969, when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface during Apollo 11.
The program reached its peak in 1972 with Apollo 17. The entire lunar effort will cost about $280 billion dollars in 2020. They even employed 400,000 Americans. In total, Apollo astronauts returned 382 kilograms of lunar rocks, core samples, and regolith from the lunar surface.
The samples entailed that the moon was a lifeless world. It also showed that it may have formed roughly 4.5 billion years ago and experienced catastrophic change 3.8 billion years ago and has been mostly inactive ever since.
Studies showed that its rocks are chemically related to Earth. That supported the theory that the moon was created when another large world impacted early Earth. Apollo 17 seems to have been the last of Apollo’s missions, as there are about a total of 17 Apollo missions.
The last time a person visited the moon was in December 1972, during NASA’s Apollo 17 mission. Over the decades, NASA has planned to send people back to the moon but has yet to succeed.
Neil Armstrong took humankind’s first steps on the lunar surface during NASA’s Apollo 11 mission. They comprise footage of the landing of the Apollo 11 spacecraft. It was recorded by a television camera whose signal was transmitted back to NASA Mission Control in Houston.
We have come to the end of our journey. Our Apollo journey was indeed fruitful. We learned all about the different three aspects of the word Apollo; the song by Timberland, the Greek god, and the NASA projects.
Each aspect had many sides to consider. Especially the Greek god’s aspect and NASA’s projects. If you are interested in historical gods, then you will most certainly love to check out our next article about the Great Egyptian gods.
As you do, make sure you drop by some more Greek stories as you learn all about the planets. If you are done with the Egyptian gods and the Greek stories, then why don’t you check some Celtic history and remember, the world is always full of wonders.
If you enjoyed this content why not dive into some more historical eras – check out these articles: Ancient Rome, Ancient Egyptians – The First Woman Pharaoh, Greek Mythology – Medusa, Native American History. Victorian Era, Ibn Khaldun or Celts.
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