God of music, poetry, arts, oracles, archery, herds and flocks, diseases, healing, light, sun, knowledge and protection of young
Apollo of the Belvedere.jpg
Apollo Belvedere, c. 120–140 CE
AbodeMount Olympus
SymbolLyre, laurel wreath, python, raven, swan, bow and arrows
Personal information
ChildrenAsclepius, Troilus, Aristaeus, Orpheus
ParentsZeus and Leto
SiblingsArtemis, Aeacus, Angelos, Aphrodite, Ares, Athena, Dionysus, Eileithyia, Enyo, Eris, Ersa, Hebe, Helen of Troy, Hephaestus, Heracles, Hermes, Minos, Pandia, Persephone, Perseus, Rhadamanthus, the Graces, the Horae, the Litae, the Muses, the Moirai
Roman equivalentApollo

Apollo (Attic, Ionic, and Homeric Greek: Ἀπόλλων, Apollōn (GEN Ἀπόλλωνος) is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Seen as the most beautiful god and the ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo is considered to be the most Greek of all gods. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.[1]

As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle.

Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague.

As an archer who never missed, Apollo carried a golden bow (silver bow, sometimes) and a quiver of golden arrows. As the inventor of archery and taught the same to the people. His arrows could inflict harm by causing sudden deaths or deadly plague.

As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functions as the patron god of music and poetry. He is the inventor of string-music. The Cithara and the lyre are also his inventions. The lyre is a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.

Apollo favors and delights in the foundation of towns and the establishment of civil constitution. Hence is associated with dominion over colonists. Additionally, he is the god of foreigners, the protector of fugitives and refugees.

Apollo is the giver and interpreter of laws. He presides over the divine law and custom along with Zeus, Demeter and Themis.

As the protector of young, Apollo (kourotrophos) is concerned with the health of children. He presides over their education and brings them out of their adolescence. Due to this belief, boys in Ancient Greece, upon reaching their adulthood, cut their hair and dedicated it to Apollo.

He is the patron of herdsmen and protector of herds and flocks. He is believed to cause abundance in the milk produced by cattle, and is also connected with their fertility.

Apollo is the god who affords help and wards off evil. He delivered men from the epidemics. Various epithets call him the "averter of evil".

As an agricultural deity, Apollo protects the crops from diseases, especially the rust in corns and grains. He is also the controller and destroyer of pests that infect plants and plant harvests.

In Hellenistic times, especially during the 5th century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun.[2] In Latin texts, however, there was no conflation of Apollo with Sol among the classical Latin poets until 1st century AD.[3] Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 5th century CE.


Apollo seated with lyre. Porphyry and marble, 2nd century AD. Farnese collection, Naples, Italy.

Apollo (Attic, Ionic, and Homeric Greek: Ἀπόλλων, Apollōn (GEN Ἀπόλλωνος); Doric: Ἀπέλλων, Apellōn; Arcadocypriot: Ἀπείλων, Apeilōn; Aeolic: Ἄπλουν, Aploun; Latin: Apollō)

The name Apollo—unlike the related older name Paean—is generally not found in the Linear B (Mycenean Greek) texts, although there is a possible attestation in the lacunose form ]pe-rjo-[ (Linear B: ]𐀟𐁊-[) on the KN E 842 tablet.[4][5][6]

The etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων (pronounced [a.pól.lɔːn] in Classical Attic) had almost superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era, but the Doric form, Apellon (Ἀπέλλων), is more archaic, as it is derived from an earlier *Ἀπέλjων. It probably is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios (Ἀπελλαῖος),[7] and the offerings apellaia (ἀπελλαῖα) at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai (ἀπέλλαι).[8][9] According to some scholars, the words are derived from the Doric word apella (ἀπέλλα), which originally meant "wall," "fence for animals" and later "assembly within the limits of the square."[10][11] Apella (Ἀπέλλα) is the name of the popular assembly in Sparta,[10] corresponding to the ecclesia (ἐκκλησία). R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai and suggested a Pre-Greek proto-form *Apalyun.[12]

Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most often associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι (apollymi), "to destroy".[13] Plato in Cratylus connects the name with ἀπόλυσις (apolysis), "redemption", with ἀπόλουσις (apolousis), "purification", and with ἁπλοῦν ([h]aploun), "simple",[14] in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, Ἄπλουν, and finally with Ἀειβάλλων (aeiballon), "ever-shooting". Hesychius connects the name Apollo with the Doric ἀπέλλα (apella), which means "assembly", so that Apollo would be the god of political life, and he also gives the explanation σηκός (sekos), "fold", in which case Apollo would be the god of flocks and herds.[15] In the ancient Macedonian language πέλλα (pella) means "stone,"[16] and some toponyms may be derived from this word: Πέλλα (Pella,[17] the capital of ancient Macedonia) and Πελλήνη (Pellēnē/Pallene).[18]

A number of non-Greek etymologies have been suggested for the name,[19] The Hittite form Apaliunas (dx-ap-pa-li-u-na-aš) is attested in the Manapa-Tarhunta letter,[20] perhaps related to Hurrian (and certainly the Etruscan) Aplu, a god of plague, in turn likely from Akkadian Aplu Enlil meaning simply "the son of Enlil", a title that was given to the god Nergal, who was linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the sun.[21] The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus ("mouse Apollo") by Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, with the purpose of sending a plague against the Greeks (the reasoning behind a god of the plague becoming a god of healing is apotropaic, meaning that the god responsible for bringing the plague must be appeased in order to remove the plague).

The Hittite testimony reflects an early form *Apeljōn, which may also be surmised from comparison of Cypriot Ἀπείλων with Doric Ἀπέλλων.[22] The name of the Lydian god Qλdãns /kʷʎðãns/ may reflect an earlier /kʷalyán-/ before palatalization, syncope, and the pre-Lydian sound change *y > d.[23] Note the labiovelar in place of the labial /p/ found in pre-Doric Ἀπέλjων and Hittite Apaliunas.

A Luwian etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo "The One of Entrapment", perhaps in the sense of "Hunter".[24]

Greco-Roman epithets

Apollo's chief epithet was Phoebus (s/ FEE-bəs; Φοῖβος, Phoibos Greek pronunciation: [pʰó͜i.bos]), literally "bright".[25] It was very commonly used by both the Greeks and Romans for Apollo's role as the god of light. Like other Greek deities, he had a number of others applied to him, reflecting the variety of roles, duties, and aspects ascribed to the god. However, while Apollo has a great number of appellations in Greek myth, only a few occur in Latin literature.


  • Aegletes (z/ GLEE-teez; Αἰγλήτης, Aiglētēs), from αἴγλη, "light of the sun"[26]
  • Helius (s/ HEE-lee-əs; Ἥλιος, Helios), literally "sun"[27]
  • Lyceus (s/ SEE-əs; Λύκειος, Lykeios, from Proto-Greek *λύκη) "light". The meaning of the epithet "Lyceus" later became associated with Apollo's mother Leto, who was the patron goddess of Lycia (Λυκία) and who was identified with the wolf (λύκος).[28]
  • Phanaeus (s/ NEE-əs; Φαναῖος, Phanaios), literally "giving or bringing light"
  • Phoebus (s/ FEE-bəs; Φοῖβος, Phoibos), literally "bright", his most commonly used epithet by both the Greeks and Romans
  • Sol (Roman) (l/), "sun" in Latin


  • Lycegenes (z/ SEJ-ən-eez; Λυκηγενής, Lukēgenēs), literally "born of a wolf" or "born of Lycia"
  • Lycoctonus (s/ KOK-tə-nəs; Λυκοκτόνος, Lykoktonos), from λύκος, "wolf", and κτείνειν, "to kill"

Origin and birth

Apollo's birthplace was Mount Cynthus on the island of Delos.

  • Cynthius (s/ SIN-thee-əs; Κύνθιος, Kunthios), literally "Cynthian"
  • Cynthogenes (z/ THOJ-i-neez; Κυνθογενής, Kynthogenēs), literally "born of Cynthus"
  • Delius (s/ DEE-lee-əs; Δήλιος, Delios), literally "Delian"
  • Didymaeus (s/ MEE-əs; Διδυμαῖος, Didymaios) from δίδυμος, "twin") as Artemis' twin
Partial view of the temple of Apollo Epikurios (healer) at Bassae in southern Greece

Place of worship

Delphi and Actium were his primary places of worship.[29][30]

Temple of the Delians at Delos, dedicated to Apollo (478 BC). 19th-century pen-and-wash restoration.
Temple of Apollo Smintheus at Çanakkale, Turkey

Healing and disease

  • Acesius (s/ SEE-zhəs; Ἀκέσιος, Akesios), from ἄκεσις, "healing". Acesius was the epithet of Apollo worshipped in Elis, where he had a temple in the agora.[35]
  • Acestor (ər/ SES-tər; Ἀκέστωρ, Akestōr), literally "healer"
  • Culicarius (Roman) (s/ KARR-ee-əs), from Latin culicārius, "of midges"
  • Iatrus (s/ AT-rəs; Ἰατρός, Iātros), literally "physician"[36]
  • Medicus (Roman) (s/ MED-i-kəs), "physician" in Latin. A temple was dedicated to Apollo Medicus at Rome, probably next to the temple of Bellona.
  • Paean (n/ PEE-ən; Παιάν, Paiān),physician, healer [37]
  • Parnopius (s/ NOH-pee-əs; Παρνόπιος, Parnopios), from πάρνοψ, "locust"

Founder and protector

  • Agyieus (s/ JY-i-yooss; Ἀγυιεύς, Aguīeus), from ἄγυια, "street", for his role in protecting roads and homes
  • Alexicacus (s/ KAY-kəs; Ἀλεξίκακος, Alexikakos), literally "warding off evil"
  • Apotropaeus (s/ PEE-əs; Ἀποτρόπαιος, Apotropaios), from ἀποτρέπειν, "to avert"
  • Archegetes (z/ KEJ-ə-teez; Ἀρχηγέτης, Arkhēgetēs), literally "founder"
  • Averruncus (Roman) (s/ RUNG-kəs; from Latin āverruncare), "to avert"
  • Clarius (s/ KLARR-ee-əs; Κλάριος, Klārios), from Doric κλάρος, "allotted lot"[38]
  • Epicurius (s/ KEWR-ee-əs; Ἐπικούριος, Epikourios), from ἐπικουρέειν, "to aid"[27]
  • Genetor (ər/ JEN-i-tər; Γενέτωρ, Genetōr), literally "ancestor"[27]
  • Nomius (s/ NOH-mee-əs; Νόμιος, Nomios), literally "pastoral"
  • Nymphegetes (z/ FEJ-i-teez; Νυμφηγέτης, Numphēgetēs), from Νύμφη, "Nymph", and ἡγέτης, "leader", for his role as a protector of shepherds and pastoral life

Prophecy and truth

  • Coelispex (Roman) (s/ SEL-i-speks), from Latin coelum, "sky", and specere "to look at"
  • Iatromantis (s/ MAN-tis; Ἰατρομάντις, Iātromantis,) from ἰατρός, "physician", and μάντις, "prophet", referring to his role as a god both of healing and of prophecy
  • Leschenorius (s/ NOR-ee-əs; Λεσχηνόριος, Leskhēnorios), from λεσχήνωρ, "converser"
  • Loxias (s/ LOK-see-əs; Λοξίας, Loxias), from λέγειν, "to say",[27] historically associated with λοξός, "ambiguous"
  • Manticus (s/ MAN-ti-kəs; Μαντικός, Mantikos), literally "prophetic"

Music and arts

  • Musagetes (z/ SAJ-i-teez; Doric Μουσαγέτας, Mousāgetās), from Μούσα, "Muse", and ἡγέτης "leader"[39]
  • Musegetes (z/ SEJ-i-teez; Μουσηγέτης, Mousēgetēs), as the preceding


  • Aphetor (ər/ FEE-tər; Ἀφήτωρ, Aphētōr), from ἀφίημι, "to let loose"
  • Aphetorus (s/ FET-ər-əs; Ἀφητόρος, Aphētoros), as the preceding
  • Arcitenens (Roman) (z/ TISS-i-nənz), literally "bow-carrying"
  • Argyrotoxus (s/ TOK-səs; Ἀργυρότοξος, Argyrotoxos), literally "with silver bow"
  • Hecaërgus (s/ UR-gəs; Ἑκάεργος, Hekaergos), literally "far-shooting"
  • Hecebolus (s/ SEB-əl-əs; Ἑκηβόλος, Hekēbolos), "far-shooting"
  • Ismenius (s/ MEE-nee-əs; Ἰσμηνιός, Ismēnios), literally "of Ismenus", after Ismenus, the son of Amphion and Niobe, whom he struck with an arrow

Celtic epithets and cult titles

Apollo was worshipped throughout the Roman Empire. In the traditionally Celtic lands he was most often seen as a healing and sun god. He was often equated with Celtic gods of similar character.[40]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Apollo
Alemannisch: Apollon
asturianu: Apolu
azərbaycanca: Apollon (mifologiya)
تۆرکجه: آپولون
বাংলা: অ্যাপোলো
Bân-lâm-gú: Apollo
беларуская: Апалон
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Апалён
български: Аполон
Boarisch: Apollon
བོད་ཡིག: ཨ་པོ་ལུའོ།
bosanski: Apolon
brezhoneg: Apollon
català: Apol·lo
čeština: Apollón
Cymraeg: Apollo
dansk: Apollon
Deutsch: Apollon
eesti: Apollon
Ελληνικά: Απόλλων
español: Apolo
Esperanto: Apolono
euskara: Apolo
فارسی: آپولون
français: Apollon
furlan: Apol
galego: Apolo
한국어: 아폴론
հայերեն: Ապոլլոն
हिन्दी: अपोलो
hrvatski: Apolon
Bahasa Hulontalo: Apollo
Ido: Apollon
Bahasa Indonesia: Apollo (mitologi)
interlingua: Apollon
íslenska: Apollon
italiano: Apollo
עברית: אפולו
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಅಪೊಲೊ
ქართული: აპოლონი
kernowek: Appolyn
Kiswahili: Apolo
Кыргызча: Аполлон
Latina: Apollo
latviešu: Apollons
Lëtzebuergesch: Apollo (Mythologie)
lietuvių: Apolonas
magyar: Apollón
македонски: Аполон
മലയാളം: അപ്പോളോ
मराठी: अपोलो
مصرى: ابولو
مازِرونی: آپولو
Bahasa Melayu: Apollo
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Ā-pŏ̤-lò̤
नेपाली: एपोलो
日本語: アポローン
norsk: Apollon
norsk nynorsk: Apollon
Nouormand: Apollon
occitan: Apollon
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Apollon
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਅਪੋਲੋ
Plattdüütsch: Apollon
português: Apolo
русиньскый: Аполлон
русский: Аполлон
Scots: Apollo
shqip: Apoloni
Simple English: Apollo
slovenčina: Apolón
slovenščina: Apolon
српски / srpski: Аполон
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Apolon
suomi: Apollon
svenska: Apollon
Tagalog: Apollo
தமிழ்: அப்பல்லோ
татарча/tatarça: Apollon
тоҷикӣ: Аполлон
Türkçe: Apollon
українська: Аполлон
اردو: اپالو
vepsän kel’: Apollon
Tiếng Việt: Apollo
Winaray: Apollo
吴语: 阿波罗
粵語: 阿波羅
中文: 阿波罗