See also: Apollo (homonymy), Phébus
Apollo (in Greek old Ἀπόλλων / Apóllôn , in Latin Apollo ) is the God Greek archer of solar clearness, the Raison, the Art S and more precisely of the Musique and the Poésie. He is also god of the purifications and the cure, but can bring the plague with his arc; finally, it one of the principal gods capable of divination, is consulted, inter alia, with Delphes, where it returned its oracles by the Pythea. He was also honoured by the Romains, which adopted it very quickly without changing its name. It is perhaps the god who was adored the most in all the mythology gréco - Roman and one of most complex to encircle. The fact that it is sometimes followed Muses explains its second name, the musagète (that which leads the Muses).
" One can say, without excess, that Apollon reflects for the Greeks the artistic genius of their country, the ideal of youth, of the beauty, and of the progrès." http://www.ai.univ-paris8.fr/corpus/lurcat/dara/apollon.htm
One of the Homeric Hymnes tells in details its history: Héra (Junon for the Romans), jealous of a new inaccuracy of her divine husband, had prohibited the Earth from receiving Léto, enclosure of Apollo and his sister. This one thus wandered in vain in the search of a place which would accommodate it. Only the island of Ortygie or Astérie, which was not fixed, could accept it, because its ground statute floating on water made neither an island with the clean direction of it nor a terrestrial zone. Léto promised to him to make a fixed and purified island of it; this one could not however put at the world its twins and suffered during nine days and nine nights from the pains from the childbirth; in vain: Héra subtly retained Ilithyie, which governs the childbirth. Other goddesses, however, sent Iris, the messenger of the gods, so that it released Ilithyie of the attention of Héra, which it did. Léto could finally be confined, initially of Artémis, which helped it to put at the Apollon world. THEMIS offered to the newborn the Nectar and the ambrosia and transmitted to him in fact the taste of equity; Ortygie, finally fixed, became a crowned ground, on which no one could not be born or die and took the name of Délos, i.e. “the visible one” (see with ancient Greek religion, section “the pure one and the impure one”).
Apollo, by his great beauty, did not fail to wake up passion in the hearts of young Greek, of the nymphs of Olympe, and the young shepherds of Arcadie. Thus, of the nymph Psamathée, one allots to him the paternity of Phocos, and the musician Linos. Nymph Cyrène, it had a son, Aristée. Besides it removed Cyrène and led it in Africa in the area which took the name of Cyrénaïque. He married the nymph Coronis, with which he had as wire the god Asclépios. Nevertheless, having learned that his wife had had a connection with a mortal, it made it burn on one to rough-hew. He married in second weddings the MUSE Calliope, however woman of the king de Thrace Œagre. He gave him three wire: Hymenoes, god of the marriages, Orphée, talented musician with the many exploits, and Ialenos. It had also connections extraconjugales with Créüse, princess Athenian, with whom she had Ion, with Idothée of which it had a son Eusinos and with the young boys Cyparisse and Hyacinthe.
An Asian divinity?
The thesis of an Asian origin of Apollo and Artémis was supported, rather at the beginning of the 20th century, by great names of the hellenism such as Martin Persson Nilsson in 1911 or Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff in 1903. For the Greeks “Asian Asia Mineure” meant “”. The name even of Léto could come from the Lycien , an Indo-European dialect formerly spoken in Anatolia, and would mean, in the form Lada , “woman”. One of the épiclèse S of Apollo, Apollo Lycien , consolidates this assumption. In the same way, the weapon of Apollo and his binocular, the arc, are not Greek but barbarian (with the Greek direction: all the people which do not speak the Greek ); it carries moreover, like his sister, not of the sandals, following the example other gods, but of the boots, type of shoe considered as Asian by the Old ones. Moreover, it is, in Iliade of Homère, on the side of the Troyens, people Asian, and the rejection that Léto undergoes, which null Greek ground does not accept, would consolidate the idea of a foreign god. It is paradoxically perhaps the Greek god of all, and its fast adoption by the people hellenes quickly dissimulated its remote origins.
It is as possible as its origins go up with the people dorien Peloponnese, which honoured a named god Ἀπέλλων / Apéllôn , guard of the herds and the human communities; it would seem that the term comes from a word dorien, ἀπέλλα / called , meaning “sheep-fold” or “assembly”. Apellon dorien would be a syncretic figure several pre-Greek local divinities, just as the Greek Apollo is the fusion of several models, of which Apollon; it is remarkable besides that its epithet of Lycien can be understood as “which comes from Lycie” or “which protects from the wolves”, i.e. the two origins, one Asian and the other dorienne, are confirmed in only one term.
When its worship is introduced in Greece, it is already honoured by other pre-hellènes people, which the Homeric Hymne which is intended to him indicates by announcing that the Crétois were its first priests. Its first place of worship is of course Délos, capital nun of the Ionie NS; it is under Périclès, with the O C, that the island passes to the hands Athéniens, which consolidate its character of inviolable sanctuary while making there prohibit any birth and any death. The worship of Apollo had been spread meanwhile everywhere in the Antique world, from Asia Mineure (the sanctuary of Didymes, close to Milet, carries the obvious trace from there: it is one of the largest temples ever built in the Mediterranean zone) with the Syria, without speaking about the innumerable temples which are dedicated to him in Greece even.
A gréco-Celtic divinity?
To the wrong way of the traditional thesis, Bernard Sergent, specialist in compared mythology, attempts to show in the book of the gods. Celts and Greeks, II (Payot, 2004) identity of Apollo and the Celtic god Lug. For him, the god is not Asian but gréco-Celtic, and beyond, Indo-European. He goes back at least to the separation of the ancestors of the Celtes and the Greek , with, and it arrived “very of a block” to Greece: it is not a composite divinity. It has counterparts in Germanic field (Wotan) or Indian (Varuna).
Apollo would be the divine version of the human king . The Homeric poems systematically give him the epithet anax , which goes back to designation mycénienne of the king, wanax . However the Indo-European king is attached to the three functions defined by Georges Dumézil, from where the complexity of Apollo: he fulfills all the functions which a god can have. The definition of Lug given by C. - J. Guyonvarc' H and F. the Russet-red one can as well apply to him: he is “all the gods summarized into only one théonyme”.
B. Sergeant compares with all known characteristics of Lug and Apollo and raises of many common points: they are gods luminous, young, beautiful, large, but sometimes polycéphales and hermaphrodites, practitioner of the Epiphanies, rapids having of a striking down power, very large “druids”, the warriors, the guards of the herds, the Masters of the harvests, associated with the trees, of the Masters of time, of the doctors, the Masters of the foundations, the persons in charge of the clearings and the ways, the guards of the assemblies, the Masters of initiations, malicious, the crafty ones, the Masters of the techniques, the Masters very short, the gods of the high places and the large stones.
Their common attributes are the weapon of jet, the string instrument, the corbel, the kinglet, “the eagle rotted”, the swan, the cock, the héron and the crane, the dog and the wolf, the stag, the wild boar, the snake and the tortoise, the bear, the dolphin, the seal, the fish, the horse, the apple and the feeder branch, the numbers three, seven and nine, the dance in round on a foot, the rot.
They are also attached to common myths, such as the birth, the murder of the one-eyed giants, the Ground succession (Gaia or THEMIS in Greece, Tailtiu in Ireland) or the foundation of plays.
In addition, according to B. Sergeant, the worship of Apollo fixed himself in Lycie only at fourth century BC. Previously, the Greeks could make “word games” between the name of Lycie ( Lukia in Greek) and the epithets Lukeios , Lukios , Lukêgenès of Apollo, which refer to the wolf ( lukos ), one of the attributes of Apollo, or with the light ( lukê ). He would be Lukê-constrained , like says it the Iliade , because he “would have been born from the light” and not “born in Lycie”.
It is especially with Delphes that the character complexes of the god appears, in its role of inspirer of the Pythie and the men, that it reveals with oneself.
In Apollo the Wolf-god , Daniel E. Gershenson sees as an Apollo a god of origin Indo-européenne, whose principal attributes would be gathered in the expression Apollon god-wolf . This author falls under the line of work of Louis Gernet Dolon the wolf and of Henri Jeanmaire Couroï and Courètes .
By there, it is necessary to not hear the worship of the animal in itself, but of its symbolism of mythical wolf, which is other than the wind considered so much by its beneficial virtues only destroying. The winds, like Zephyr the wind-wolf, can be favorable to the seeds, but are also held for resulting from the caves and this underground origin the mets in relation to the Hells. The wind is thus the passage between the Chaos and the Cosmos.
This explains the role of the divinity as tutor of the beautiful young man S, young warriors who achieve their initiation of adults, his function of guard of the sown grain and finally his quality of god of the prophecy which reveals the mysteries and initiates the musicians and the poets. The College ( Λύκειον / Lykeion ) made famous for Aristote is placed in a gymnasium being next to the temple of Apollo Lykeios . Apollo Lykeios , the god-wolf, would be the Master of the passages, god who transforms the chaotic forces of the brotherhoods of wolves-garous of adolescence towards the adulthood, which reveals by prophecy or the Pythie the world hidden towards the overdraft.
Gershenson present of many testimonys in the European world which could show that this god-wolf and god-wind go back to one period former to the separation of the European people which penetrated in Central and southernmost Europe. Its deductions were confirmed later by Bernard Sergent, an author who in particular underlined the bond of Apollo with the wolves and his part played in initiations, like his Indo-European origin. Apollo is particularly associated with Borée, the Wind of North. Lug, its Celtic equivalent, is a “chevauchor of storms”. Sergeant however showed Gershenson to give a too reducing vision of Apollo, this god having a personality much richer than that described in this thesis
The foundation of Delphes is undoubtedly most important of its important facts. After his birth, Apollon left Délos for the region of the Hyperboréens, people mythical of the North, close of which it remained one year (it returned there periodically after). On return, it decided to make of Delphes its next sanctuary. The place, indeed, was supposed being the center of the Universe (see the article devoted to with Delphes), but it was with the old hands powers chtoniennes: Gaïa (or THEMIS) there was honoured, and a fabulous snake, Δράκαινα / drákayna resided at it. According to another version, Apollon pursued the Python snake to be avenged, this last having tormented his Léto mother lasting his pregnancy. After having killed the snake and having supplanted Gaïa, it made of Delphes its territory. The skin of the snake became Πυθώ (ν) / Pythố (N) , perhaps “the pourrissante” (from where our python ) and Apollo took the title of Pythien , as did it the prophet Pythie (in this respect, it is important to notice that the oracle is, once again, related to the telluric forces; it is as notable as in other sanctuaries which are dedicated to him, as with Claros in Ionie (Turkey), Apollon replaced divinities chtoniennes who were adored there). At the conclusion of this murder, Apollon had to purify with the water of the Temple, in order to wash stain (see with ancient Greek religion, section “the pure one and the impure one”) and confirmed his role of god of the purifications.
Needing sectataires, it was metamorphosed out of dolphin and diverted a ship crétois which passed close from there to attract the passengers of them, the priests announced higher, in its sanctuary. Thus the city took really its name of Delphes ( Δελφοί / Delphoí ), derived from δελφίς / delphís , “dolphin” (which French term comes us from the Greek by Latin).
Apollo is also sometimes called Phébus (or Phœbus, Φοῖϐος /Phoĩbos, in Greek old). The Homeric poems often name it “Phébus Apollon”. In fact, certain books and handbooks conclude from it well quickly that Apollon and Phébus are the same people. It is only with half truth. Actually, Apollo child, very player, had subtilized the lightnings of Zeus and struck down the tank of the Sun. In punishment, it accepted the task to drive the tank and thus became Phébus, the “god sun”. Apollo and Phébus are thus the same person, but they have, as gods, neither the same attributes, nor the same field.
Épiclèses and attributes
- Épiclèses :
- ἑκηϐόλος / hekêbólos , “which aims far”,
- ὑπερϐόρεος / hyperbóreos , hyperborean ), “of the extreme North”,
- ἀργυρότοξος / argyrótoxos , “with the arc of money”,
- ἑκάεργος / hekáergos , “which pushes back with far”, with its arrows,
- μουσαγέτης / mousagétês , “driver of the Muses, musagète”,
- χρυσολύρης / khrusolúrês , “with the quadrant of gold”,
- ἀλεξίκακος / alexíkakos , “which moves away the evil”,
- λοξίας / loxías , “the oblique” (for Apollo like god of the oracle S);
- attributes: the arc, the Quadrant, the Flute, horns of Bovidae and the bay-tree (cf Daphne);
- animal favorites: the corbel, the swan, the Cock, the wolf and the Snake;
- sanctuaries: Delphes, Délos, Claros, Argos, Thasos;
- festivals which is devoted to him: the Karneia, the Actia.
Apollo in European art, of Antiquity at our days
Apollo in the Antique art
- Large gilded Apollo of Lillebonne, 2nd century a. J. - C. (Museum of Louvre).
Rebirth of Apollo at the 16th century
Apollo and the art of Louis XIV
- In the Castle of Versailles, the living room of Apollo, or room of throne, was reserved for the reception of the ambassadors. The god of arts also seemed to sponsor the spectacles of dance and music which proceeded there.
- the gardens of Versailles offer many representations of the solar god:
- the basin of Apollo is located from the great point of view, near the Large Channel. A monumental statue of Apollo was carried out by Tuby. Apollo leaves water driving a tank drawn by horses (see photo).
- the thicket of the baths of Apollo, carried out at the 18th century, take again the topic of the tired solar god, surrounded by nymphs (see photo).
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