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Greek God Apollo - Slaying of the Python

Greek god Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto. Apollo was four days old when he demanded a bow and arrows. Hephaestus created them for him.

He immediately went in pursuit of the serpent that Hera sent to torment his mother, Leto. The serpent, Python , sought refuge at Dephi. But Apollo followed it into the shrine of the Oracle of Mother Earth and killed him.

Gaia was of course furious with the defilement of her shrine. Yet after Apollo was purified for his crime in Crete, he learned the art of prophecy (perhaps from Pan, the goat-legged god of flock and herd).

In any case, he took over the Oracle at Dephi and became closely associated with the art of prophecy since. Almost all seers soon claimed to have been either taught of fathered by him.

Greek God Apollo - Tempremental Musician

Greek god Apollo was originally a herdsman, but he later returned these duties to Hermes in exchange for some musical instruments Hermes created. He was so good at it that he soon became god of music. Some even credit greek god Apollo with having invented the cithara .

Apollo was only challenged once for his musical talents. A satyr name Marsays once found a flute made from the bones of a stag. ( Athena had made this flute, but had angrily thrown it away when the other gods laughed at her when she puffed her cheeks to play it).

Still inspired by Athena, the flute play rapturous music. Listeners even compared the satyr's playing to Apollo's playing of the lyre.

This comparison enraged Apollo, who immediately challenged Marsyas to a contest. They agreed that the winner can choose any punishment for the loser. The jury of Muses found both players magnificient. So Apollo challenged Marsyas to turn his instrument upside-down and play it and sing while playing it. Marsyas, of course, could not do it since his was a flute.

The Muses judged Apollo as the winner. However, Apollo was quite brutal with the punishement, he skinned the satyr alive and nailed his skin to a pine tree.

Greek God Apollo and Daphne

Apollo never married but fathered more than a dozen children by at least nine partners. Apollo was most persistent in courting Daphne , a mountain nymph. He first eliminated his competition, Lecippus, son of King Oenomaus of Pisa. Lecippus disguised himself as a girl to be with Daphne when she was revelling with other nymphs in the mountains. Apollo quietly advised the nymphs to bathe naked. When Lecippus was exposed, the nymphs tore him to shreds.

Though Apollo alone now wooed her, Daphne still refused him. She ultimately change into a laurel tree to avoid him. Thereafter, Apollo made the laurel tree his scared plant.

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