Elder Blood (The Epimetheus Trial Book 1)
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 7. Rouse Greek epic C5th A. Instead of fire which is the beginning of all evil he ought rather to have stolen sweet nectar, which rejoices the heart of the gods, and given that to men, that he might have scattered the sorrows of the world with your own drink. That bird Herakles Heracles , the valiant son of shapely-ankled Alkmene Alcmena , slew; and delivered the son of Iapetos from the cruel plague, and released him from his affliction--not without the will of Olympian Zeus who reigns on high, that the glory of Herakles the Theban-born might be yet greater than it was before over the plenteous earth.
This, then, he regarded, and honoured his famous son; though he was angry, he ceased from the wrath which he had before because Prometheus matched himself in wit with the almighty son of Kronos Cronus. For when the gods and mortal men had a dispute at Mekone Mecone , even then Prometheus was forward to cut up a great ox and set portions before them, trying to befool the mind of Zeus.
Before the rest he set flesh and inner parts thick with fat upon the hide, covering them with an ox paunch; but for Zeus he put the white bones dressed up with cunning art and covered with shining fat. But Zeus, whose wisdom is everlasting, saw and failed not to perceive the trick, and in his heart he thought mischief against mortal men which also was to be fulfilled.
With both hands he took up the white fat and was angry at heart, and wrath came to his spirit when he saw the white ox-bones craftily tricked out: and because of this the tribes of men upon earth burn white bones to the deathless gods upon fragrant altars. So, sir, you have not yet forgotten your cunning arts!
But the noble son of Iapetos outwitted him and stole the far-seen gleam of unwearying fire in a hollow fennel stalk. And Zeus who thunders on high was stung in spirit, and his dear heart was angered when he saw amongst men the far-seen ray of fire. Forthwith he made an evil thing for men as the price of fire; for the very famous Limping God [Hephaistos Hephaestus ] formed of earth the likeness of a shy maiden as the son of Kronos willed.
So it is not possible to deceive or go beyond the will of Zeus; for not even the son of Iapetos, kindly Prometheus, escaped his heavy anger, but of necessity strong bands confined him, although he knew many a wile. The smoothness of their [the sacrificial animal's] entrails, and what color the gall must have to please the gods, also the speckled symmetry of the liver-lobe; and the thigh-bones, wrapped in fat, and the long chine I burned and initiated mankind into an occult art.
Also I cleared their vision to discern signs from flames, which were obscure before this. Jupiter, although he didn't act with divine forethought, nor as a god who ought to foresee everything, was deceived by Prometheus--since we have started to believe the tale! So it is not possible to deceive or go beyond the will of Zeus; for not even the son of Iapetos Iapetus , kindly Prometheus, escaped his heavy anger, but of necessity strong bands confined him, although he knew many a wile. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 1 - trans. And now, Hephaistos, yours is the charge to observe the mandates laid upon you by the Father [Zeus]--to clamp this miscreant [the Titan Prometheus] upon the high craggy rocks in shackles of binding adamant that cannot be broken.
For your own flower, flashing fire, source of all arts, he has purloined and bestowed upon mortal creatures. Such is his offence; for this he is bound to make requital to the gods, so that he may learn to bear with the sovereignty of Zeus and cease his man-loving ways. Hephaistos Hephaestus : Kratos and Bia, for you indeed the behest of Zeus is now fulfilled, and nothing remains to stop you. But for me--I do not have the nerve myself to bind with force a kindred god upon this rocky cleft assailed by cruel winter.
Yet, come what may, I am constrained to summon courage to this deed; for it is perilous to disregard the commandments of the Father. And glad you shall be when spangled-robed night shall veil his brightness and when the sun shall scatter again the frost of morning. Evermore the burden of your present ill shall wear you out; for your deliverer is not yet born. Kratos : Well, why delay and excite pity in vain? Why do you not detest a god most hateful to the gods, since he has betrayed your prerogative to mortals?
Hephaistos : A strangely potent tie is kinship, and companionship as well. Kratos : Hurry then to cast the fetters about him, so that the Father [Zeus] does not see you loitering. Hephaistos : Well, there then! The bands are ready, as you may see. Kratos : Cast them about his wrists and with might strike with your hammer; rivet him to the rocks. Hephaistos : There! The work is getting done and not improperly. Kratos: Strike harder, clamp him tight, leave nothing loose; for he is wondrously clever at finding a way even out of desperate straits.
Hephaistos : This arm, at least, is fixed permanently. Kratos : Now rivet this one too and securely, so that he may learn, for all his cleverness, that he is a fool compared to Zeus. Hephaistos : None but he could justly blame my work. Kratos : Now drive the adamantine wedge's stubborn edge straight through his chest with your full force. Hephaistos : Alas, Prometheus, I groan for your sufferings. Kratos : What! Shrinking again and groaning over the enemies of Zeus? Take care, so that the day does not come when you shall grieve for yourself. Hephaistos: You see a spectacle grievous for eyes to behold.
Kratos: I see this man getting his deserts. Come, cast the girths about his sides. Hephaistos : I must do this; spare me your needless ordering. Kratos : Indeed, I'll order you, yes and more--I'll hound you on. Get down below, and ring his legs by force. Hephaistos : There now! The work's done and without much labor. Kratos : Now hammer the piercing fetters with your full force; for the appraiser of our work is severe.
Hephaistos : The utterance of your tongue matches your looks. Kratos : Be softhearted then, but do not attack my stubborn will and my harsh mood. Hephaistos: Let us be gone, since he has got the fetters on his limbs. Are mortals able to lighten your load of sorrow? Falsely the gods call you Prometheus, for you yourself need forethought to free yourself from this handiwork. See what I, a god, endure from the gods. Look, with what shameful torture I am racked and must wrestle throughout the countless years of time apportioned me. Such is the ignominious bondage the new commander of the blessed [Zeus] has devised against me.
For present misery and misery to come I groan, not knowing where it is fated that deliverance from these sorrows shall arise. And yet, what am I saying? All that is to be I know full well and in advance, nor shall any affliction come upon me unforeseen. Yet I am not able to speak nor be silent about my fate. For it is because I bestowed good gifts on mortals that this miserable yoke of constraint has been bound upon me. Such is the offence for which I pay the penalty, riveted in fetters beneath the open sky. Behold me, an ill-fated god, chained, the foe of Zeus, hated of all who enter the court of Zeus, because of my very great love for mankind.
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound ff : "Prometheus [after being chained to the mountain] : Ha! What murmur, what scent wings to me, its source invisible, heavenly or human, or both? Has someone come to this crag at the edge of the world to stare at my sufferings--or with what motive? What's this? What may be this rustling stir of birds I hear again nearby? The air whirs with the light rush of wings. Whatever approaches causes me alarm [i.
For our group has come in swift rivalry of wings to this crag as friend to you, having won our father's [Okeanos' Oceanus' ] consent as best we might. The swift-coursing breezes bore me on; for the reverberation of the clang of iron pierced the depths of our caves and drove my grave modesty away in fright; unsandalled I have hastened in a winged car. Prometheus : Alas! Offspring of fruitful Tethys and of him who with his sleepless current encircles the whole earth, children of your father Okeanos, behold, see with what fetters, upon the summit crag of this ravine, I am to hold my unenviable watch.
Chorus : I see, Prometheus; and over my eyes a mist of tears and fear spread as I saw your body withering ignominiously upon this rock in these bonds of adamant. For there are new rulers in heaven, and Zeus governs with lawless customs; that which was mighty before he now brings to nothing. Prometheus : Oh if only he had hurled me below the earth, yes beneath Haides, the entertainer of the dead, into impassable Tartaros Tartarus [like the other Titanes], and had ruthlessly fastened me in fetters no hand can loose, so that neither god nor any other might have gloated over this agony I feel!
But, now, a miserable plaything of the winds, I suffer pains to delight my enemies. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound ff : "[The chained Prometheus predicts his release :] Truly the day shall come when, although I am tortured in stubborn fetters, the prince of the blessed [Zeus] will need me to reveal the new design whereby he shall be stripped of his sceptre and his dignities [i. One day his [Zeus'] judgement will soften, when he has been crushed in the way that I know.
Then, calming down his stubborn wrath, he shall at last [release the Titan and] bond with me in union and friendship, as eager as I am to welcome him. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound ff : "Chorus [of Okeanides Oceanids ] : Then it was on a charge like this [the theft of fire] that Zeus-- Prometheus : Torments me and in no way gives me respite from pain. Chorus : And is there no end assigned to your ordeal? Prometheus : No, none except when it seems good to him. Chorus : But how will it seem good to him? What hope is there?
Prometheus :. Of my own will, yes, of my own will I erred--I will not deny it. By helping mortals I found suffering for myself; nevertheless I did not think I would be punished in this way--wasting away upon cliffs in mid-air, my portion this desolate and dreary crag. And now, bewail no more my present woes; alight on the ground and listen to my oncoming fortunes so that you may be told them from end to end. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound ff : "[The Titan Okeanos Oceanus visits Prometheus bound to express his sympathy:] Okeanos Oceanus : I see, Prometheus; and I want to give you the best advice, although you yourself are wily.
Learn to know yourself and adapt yourself to new ways; for new also is the ruler among the gods. If you hurl forth words so harsh and of such whetted edge, perhaps Zeus may hear you, though throned far off, high in the heavens, and then your present multitude of sorrows shall seem but childish sport. Oh wretched sufferer! Put away your wrathful mood and try to find release from these miseries. Perhaps this advice may seem to you old and dull; but your plight, Prometheus, is only the wages of too boastful speech. You still have not learned humility, nor do you bend before misfortune, but would rather add even more miseries to those you have.
Therefore take me as your teacher and do not add insult to injury, seeing that a harsh monarch now rules who is accountable to no one. So now I will depart and see whether I can release you from these sufferings. And may you hold your peace and be not too blustering of speech. Or, can it be that for all your exceeding wisdom, you do not know that chastisement is inflicted on a wagging tongue?
Prometheus : I envy you because you have escaped blame for having dared to share with me in my troubles. So now leave me alone and let it not concern you. Do what you want, you cannot persuade him [Zeus]; for he is not easy to persuade. Beware that you do not do yourself harm by the mission you take. Shedding from my eyes a coursing flood of tears I wet my tender cheeks with their moist streams. For Zeus, holding this unenviable power by self-appointed laws, displays towards the gods of old an overweening spirit.
Now the whole earth cries aloud in lamentation [missing text]. The waves of the sea pontos utter a cry as they fall, the deep laments, the black abyss of Aides [Haides] rumbles in response, and the streams of pure-flowing rivers lament your piteous pain. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound ff : "Prometheus : Not in this way is Moira Fate , who brings all to fulfillment, destined to complete this course [i. Zeus will not relent and release Prometheus prematurely]. Only when I have been bent by pangs and tortures infinite am I to escape my bondage. Chorus : Why, what is fated for Zeus except to hold eternal sway?
Prometheus : Think of some other subject, for it is not the proper time to speak of this. No matter what, this must be kept concealed; for it is by safeguarding it that I am to escape my dishonorable bonds and outrage. Zeus will be forced to release Prometheus in return for knowledge of a secret prophesy revealing which the goddess destined to bear a son greater than his father--a child which, if sired by Zeus, would threaten his throne. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound ff : "[Chorus to Prometheus :] Come, my friend, how mutual was your reciprocity?
Prometheus suffers for his gifts mankind, but mankind can do nothing to help him in his plight.
- Snatched from the Jaws of the Lion.
- The Parts Of The Whole.
- Prelude and Fugue in F Minor, BWV534?
What aid? Did you not see the helpless infirmity, no better than a dream, in which the blind generation of men is shackled? Never shall the counsels of mortal men transgress the ordering of Zeus. Io : Tell me who has bound you fast in this ravine. Prometheus : Zeus by his will, Hephaistos Hephaestus by his hand. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound ff : "Prometheus : Ah, you would hardly bear my agonies to whom it is not foredoomed to die; for death would have freed me from my sufferings.
But now no limit to my tribulations has been appointed until Zeus is hurled from his sovereignty. Io : What! Shall Zeus one day be hurled from his dominion? Io : By whom shall he [Zeus] be despoiled of the sceptre of his sovereignty? Prometheus : By himself and his own empty-headed purposes. Io : In what way? Oh tell me, if there be no harm in telling. Prometheus : He shall make a marriage that shall one day cause him distress. Io : With a divinity or with a mortal? If it may be told, speak out. Prometheus : Why ask with whom?
I may not speak of this. Io : Is it by his consort that he shall be dethroned? Prometheus : Yes, since she shall bear a son mightier than his father. Io : And has he no means to avert this doom? Prometheus : No, none--except me, if I were released from bondage. Io : Who then is to release you against the will of Zeus? Prometheus : It is to be one of your own grandchildren [i. Io : What did you say? A child of mine will release you from your misery?
Prometheus : The third in descent after ten generations. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound ff : "Of her [Io's] seed, however, shall be born a man of daring [Herakles Heracles ], renowned with the bow, who shall deliver me [Prometheus] from these toils. Such is the oracle recounted to me by my mother, Titan Themis, born long ago.
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound ff : "Prometheus : Yes, truly, the day will come when Zeus, although stubborn of soul, shall be humbled, seeing that he plans a marriage [i. Deliverance from such ruin no one of the gods can show him clearly except me. I know the fact and the means. So let him sit there in his assurance, putting his trust in the crash reverberating on high and brandishing his fire-breathing bolt in his hands. For these shall not protect him from falling in ignominious and unendurable ruin. Such an adversary is he now preparing despite himself, a prodigy irresistible, even one who shall discover a flame mightier than the lightning and a deafening crash to outroar the thunder; a prodigy who shall shiver the trident, Poseidon's spear, that scourge of the sea and shaker of the land.
Then, wrecked upon this evil, Zeus shall learn how different it is to be a sovereign and a slave. Chorus [of Okeanides Oceanids ] : Surely, it is only your own desire that you utter as a curse against Zeus. Prometheus : I speak what shall be brought to pass and, moreover, my own desire. Chorus : Must we really look for one to gain mastery over Zeus? Prometheus : Yes, and he shall bear upon his neck pangs more galling than these of mine.
Chorus : How is it that you are not afraid to utter such taunts? Prometheus : Why should I fear since I am fated not to die? Chorus : But he might inflict on you an ordeal even more bitter than this. Prometheus : Let him, for all I care! I am prepared for anything. Chorus : Wise are they who do homage to Adrasteia the inescapable. Prometheus : Worship, adore, and fawn upon whoever is your lord. But for Zeus I care less than nothing. Let him do his will, let him hold his power for his little day — since he will not bear sway over the gods for long.
I speak. The Father [Zeus] commands that you [Prometheus] tell what marriage you boast of, whereby he is to be hurled from power--and this, mark well, set forth in no riddling fashion, but point by point, as the case exactly stands; and do not impose upon me a double journey, Prometheus--you see Zeus is not appeased by dealings such as yours. You shall learn nothing about which you question me. There is no torment or device by which Zeus shall induce me to utter thisuntil these injurious fetters are loosed.
So then, let his blazing lightning be hurled, and with the white wings of the snow and thunders of earthquake let him confound the reeling world. For nothing of this shall bend my will even to tell at whose hands he is fated to be hurled from his sovereignty. Hermes : Look now whether this course seems to profit you. Prometheus : Long ago has this my course been foreseen and resolved.
Hermes : Bend your will, perverse fool, oh bend your will at last to wisdom in face of your present sufferings. Prometheus : In vain you trouble me, as though it were a wave you try to persuade. Never think that, through terror at the will of Zeus, I shall become womanish and, with hands upturned, aping woman's ways, shall importune my greatly hated enemy to release me from these bonds. I am far, far from that.
Hermes : I think that by speaking much I will only speak in vain; for you are not soothed nor are you softened by my entreaties. But if you will not be won to belief by my words, think of what a tempest and a towering wave of woe shall break upon you past escape. First, the Father will shatter this jagged cliff with thunder and lightning-flame, and will entomb your frame, while the rock shall still hold you clasped in its embrace.
But when you have completed a long stretch of time, you shall come back again to the light. Then indeed the winged hound of Zeus, the ravening eagle, coming an unbidden banqueter the whole day long, with savage appetite shall tear your body piecemeal into great rents and feast his fill upon your liver until it is black with gnawing. Look for no term of this your agony until some god shall appear to take upon himself your woes and of his own free will descend into the sunless realm of Haides and the dark deeps of Tartaros.
Therefore be advised, since this is no counterfeited vaunting but utter truth; for the mouth of Zeus does not know how to utter falsehood, but will bring to pass every word. May you consider warily and reflect, and never deem stubbornness better than wise counsel. Chorus [of Okeanides Oceanids ] : To us, at least, Hermes seems not to speak untimely; for he bids you to lay aside your stubbornness and seek the good counsel of wisdom. Be advised! It is shameful for the wise to persist in error. Prometheus : No news to me, in truth, is the message this fellow has proclaimed so noisily.
Yet for enemy to suffer ill from enemy is no disgrace. Therefore let the lightning's forked curl be cast upon my head and let the sky be convulsed with thunder and the wrack of savage winds; let the hurricane shake the earth from its rooted base, and let the waves of the sea mingle with their savage surge the courses of the stars in heaven; and let him lift me on high and hurl me down to black Tartaros with the swirling floods of stern Necessity: do what he will, me he shall never bring to death.
Hermes: Such indeed are the thoughts and the words one hears from men deranged. Where does his prayer fall short of raving? Where does he abate his frenzy? Chorus : Use some other strain and urge me to some other course in which you are likely to convince me. This utterance in your flood of speech is, I think, past all endurance.
How do you charge me to practise baseness? With him I am content to suffer any fate; for I have learned to detest traitors, and there is no pest I abhor more than this. Hermes : Well then, bear my warning in memory and do not blame your fortune when you are caught in the toils of calamity; nor ever say that it was Zeus who cast you into suffering unforeseen.
Not so, but blame yourselves. For well forewarned, and not suddenly or secretly shall you be entangled in the inextricable net of calamity by reason of your folly. Behold, this stormy turmoil advances against me visibly, sent by Zeus to frighten me. O holy mother mine, O you firmament that revolves the common light of all, you see the wrongs I suffer! To them Prometheus describes his tortures and his benefits to man. In his search for the golden apples of the Hesperides, Herakles Heracles , having come to the Kaukasos Caucasus , where Prometheus is confined, receives from him directions concerning his course through the land of the peoples in the farthest north and the perils to be encountered on his homeward march after slaying Geryon in the farthest west.
Herakles' shooting of the eagle that fed on the vitals of the Titan [is then described]. Behold me fettered, clamped to these rough rocks, even as a ship is moored fast by timid sailors, fearful of night because of the roaring sea. Thus hath Zeus, the son of Kronos Cronus , fastened me, and to the will of Zeus hath Hephaistos Hephaestus lent his hand. With cruel art hath he riven my limbs by driving in these bolts.
Ah, unhappy that I am! By his skill transfixed, I tenant this stronghold of the Erinyes Furies. And now, each third woeful day, with dreadful swoop, the minister of Zeus with his hooked talons rends me asunder by his cruel repast. Then, crammed and glutted to the full on my fat liver, the utters a prodigious scream and, soaring aloft, with winged tail fawns upon my gore. But when my gnawed liver swells, renewed in growth, greedily doth he return anew to his fell repast. Thus do I feed this guardian of my awful torture, who mutilates me living with never-ending pain.
For fettered, as ye see, by the bonds of Zeus, I have no power to drive from my vitals the accursed bird. Thus, robbed of self-defence, I endure woes fraught with torment: longing for death, I look around for an ending of my misery; but by the doom of Zeus I am thrust far from death.
And this my ancient dolorous agony, intensified by the dreadful centuries, is fastened upon my body, from which there fall, melted by the blazing sun, drops that unceasingly pour upon the rocks of Kaukasos Caucasus. Aeschylus, Fragment Sphinx from Athenaeus, Deipnosophists Athenaeus Athenaeus himself Melanippides, Fragment from Scholiast on Homer's Iliad trans. When Zeus found out, he ordered Hephaistos Hephaestus to rivet the body of Prometheus to Mount Kaukasos Caucasus , a Skythian Scythian mountain, where he was kept fastened and bound for many years.
Each day an eagle would fly to him and munch on the lobes of his liver, which would then grow back at night. That was the price that Prometheus paid for stealing fire, until Herakles set him free later on. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 2. Then he selected for himself a restraining bond of olive, and released Prometheus; and he offered Zeus Kheiron Chiron , who was willing to die in Herakles' place.
Prometheus advised Herakles not to go after the apples himself, but rather to relive Atlas of the celestial sphere and dispatch him. So when Herakles reached Atlas among the Hyperboreans, he remembered Prometheus' advise and took over the sphere. Herakles Heracles let loose an arrow at the Kentaroi as they huddled round Kheiron, which penetrated the arm of Elatos Elatus and landed in Kheiron's knee.
In horror Herakles ran to him, pulled out the arrow and dressed the wound with a salve that Kheiron handed him. The festering wound was incurable, however, and Kheiron moved into his cave, where he yearned for death, but could not die because he was immortal.
Prometheus thereupon proposed Herakles to Zeus, to become immortal in place of Kheiron: and so Kheiron died. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. The bird kept eagerly returning to its feed. They saw it in the afternoon flying high above the ship with a strident whirr.
It was near the clouds, yet it made all their canvas quiver to its wings as it beat by. For its form was not that of an ordinary bird: the long quill-feathers of each wing rose and fell like a bank of polished oars. Soon after the eagle had passed, they heard Prometheus shriek in agony as it pecked at his liver. The air rang with his screams till at length they saw the flesh-devouring bird fly back from the mountain by the same way as it came.
Callimachus, Fragment trans. But when Herakles saw him suffering such punishment because of the benefit which he had conferred upon men, he killed the eagle with an arrow, and then persuading Zeus to cease from his anger he rescued him who had been the benefactor of all. Strabo, Geography 4. Jones Greek geographer C1st B. Strabo, Geography And the expedition of Dionysos and Herakles Heracles to the country of the Indians looks like a mythical story of later date, because Herakles is said to have released Prometheus one thousand years later. Pausanias, Description of Greece 5.
Of these screens. Among them is Atlas, supporting heaven and earth, by whose side stands Herakles ready to receive the load of Atlas. For among the stories told about Herakles is one that he killed the eagle which tormented Prometheus in the Kaukasos Caucasus , and set free Prometheus himself from his chains. Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 5. Way Greek epic C4th A. Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 6. Arrow-smitten lay the Eagle of the Torment there beside. Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 2.
Fairbanks Greek rhetorician C3rd A. Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 2. Conybeare Greek biography C1st to C2nd A. And some say that he was bound in a cave, which as a matter of fact is shown in a foot-hill of the mountain; and Damis [companion of Philostratus C1st A. But he inhabitants of the Kaukasos Caucasus regard the eagle as a hostile bird, and burn out the nests which they build among the rocks by hurling into them fiery darts, and they also set snares for them, declaring that they are avenging Prometheus; to such an extant are their imaginations dominated by the fable.
Because of this, Mercurius [Hermes], at Jove's [Zeus'] command, bound him with iron spikes to a cliff on Mount Caucasus, and set an eagle to eat out his heart; as much as it devoured in the day, so much grew again at night. After 30, years Hercules killed this eagle and freed Prometheus. Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 31 : "The shining eagle which was eating out the heart of Prometheus he [Herakles] killed with his arrows.
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 54 : "A prediction about Thetis, the Nereid, was that her son would be greater than his father. Since no one but Prometheus knew this, and Jove wished to lie with her, Prometheus promised Jove [Zeus] that he would give him timely warning if he would free him from his chains. And so when the promise was given he advised Jove not to lie with Thetis, for if one greater than he were born he might drive Jove from his kingdom, as he himself had done to Saturnus [Kronos].
And so Thetis was given in marriage to Peleus, son of Aeacus, and Hercules was sent to kill the eagle which was eating out Prometheus' heart. When it was killed, Prometheus after thirty thousand years was freed from Mount Caucasus. This arrow, they say, is one of the weapons of Hercules, with which he is said to have killed the eagle which ate the liver of Prometheus.
Prometheus [for stealing fire] he [Zeus] bound with an iron chain to a mountain in Scythia named Caucasus for thirty thousand years, as Aeschylus, writer of tragedies, says. Some have said that this eagle was born from Typhon and Echidna, other from Terra [Gaia the Earth] and Tartarus, but many point out it was made by the hands of Vulcanus [Hephaistos] and given life by Jove [Zeus].
Propertius, Elegies 2. Seneca, Hercules Furens trans. Why, the bare, steep side of Caucasus which, on its lofty summit, feeds beasts and birds of prey?
FAMILY OF PROMETHEUS
Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 4. Grantest thou no end at all of punishment and misery? The whole race of mankind beseeches thee, ay, the very mountains, worthy sire, and weary ridges with their forests supplicate thee. Sufficiently hast thou punished the theft of fire and safeguarded the secrets of the ethereal board. Then too from Acheron up to heaven's heights is heard the cry of Iapetus himself; sternly, as he pleads, does Erinys thrust him aside, looking to the law of lofty Jove [Zeus]. He moved by the goddesses' tears and Phoebus' [Apollon's] high renown sends down swift Iris on her rosy cloud.
Now let him rescue the Titan from the dreadful Bird. Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 5. There is a crash, as though Jupiter [Zeus] has risen in might and overthrown the citadels of heaven. The vast length of Pontus [the Black Sea] trembled, and all the Iberian land that lies beside Armenia, and as the ocean shook to its utmost depths the Minyae [Argonauts] feared the Cyanean Rocks they had left behind.
Then as the noise grew nearer the sound of the iron and the rending of the crags and the manifold travail of the mountain is heard, and the loud clamour of Prometheus while his rock-bound limbs are torn. But in their ignorance. Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 7. Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. Nonnus, Dionysiaca Father Zeus drove me from heaven and would have dragged me into marriage, but that old Prometheus stopt his desires, by prophesying that I should bear a son stronger than Kronion Cronion [Zeus]; he wished that Thetis' boy should not some time overpower his father and drive out Kronides as high Zeus drove out Kronos Cronus.
Desmotes trans. In the Prometheus Bound of Aiskhylos, the maiden Io--who has been transformed into a cow and set to wander tormented by gadfly--comes across Prometheus chained in the mountains of Skythia Scythia. He proceeds to prophesy about her wanderings, arrival in Egypt, and the descendant of her line who will come to release him from his bonds. Prometheus : It would be better not to know than to know, in your case.
Io : I beg you, do not hide from me what I am doomed to suffer. Prometheus : No, it is not that I do not want to grant your request. Io : Why then your reluctance to tell me everything? Prometheus : I am not unwilling; but I hesitate to crush your spirit. Io : Do not be more kind to me than I myself desire. Prometheus : Since you insist, I must speak. Listen, then. This salve was named after Prometheus. A man had only to smear it on his body, after propitiating the only-begotten Maiden [Hekate Hecate ] with a midnight offering, to become invulnerable by sword or fire and for that day to surpass himself in strength and daring.
It first appeared in a plant that sprang from the blood-like ichor of Prometheus in his torment, which the flesh-eating eagle had dropped on the spurs of Kaukasos Caucasus. The flowers, which grew on twin stalks a cubit high, were of the colour of Korykian Corycian saffron, while the root looked like flesh that has just been cut, and the juice like the dark sap of a mountain oak. To make the ointment, Medea, clothed in black, in the gloom of night, had drawn off this juice in a Caspian shell after bathing in seven perennial streams and calling seven times on Brimo [Hekate], nurse of youth, Brimo, night-wanderer of the underworld, Queen of the dead.
The dark earth shook and rumbled underneath the Titan root when it was cut, and Prometheus himself groaned in the anguish of his soul. Propertius, Elegies 1. Whatever trackless Eryx produces on his rocky slopes; plants that grow on heights clothed in unbroken winter, the heights of Caucasus, spattered with Prometheus' gore. Then she girds up her robe and takes forth a Caucasian herb, of potency sure beyond all others, sprung of the gore that dropped from the liver of Prometheus, and grass wind-nurtured, fostered and strengthened by that blood divine among snows and grisly frosts, when the Vulture rises from his feasting on the flesh and from his open beak bedews the cliffs.
That flower knows not the languor of life, but stands, immortally fresh, against the thunderbolt, and in the midst of lightnings its leaves are green. Hecate first, plying a blade that Stygian springs hardened, tore forth the strong stalk from the rocks; then showed she the plant to her handmaid [Medea], who beneath the tenth shining of Phoebe's [Selene the Moon's] light reaps the harvest of the mountain-side and rages madly among all the gory relics of the god; fruitlessly doth he groan, beholding the face of the Colchian maid; then over all the mountain pain contracts his limbs, and all his fetters shake beneath her sickle [Prometheus suffers anguish when the plant sprung from his blood is gathered].
Others say he is Prometheus, bound on Mt. Aristophanes, Birds ff trans. O'Neill Greek comedy C5th to 4th B. Prometheus : Ah! Where is Pisthetairos [leader of the birds revolt]? Pisthetairos : Ha! A masked man! Prometheus : Can you see any god behind me?
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Pisthetairos : No, none. But who are you, pray? Prometheus : What's the time, please? This led some scholars to the conclusion that Pythia carried on the rituals in a consistent procedure through many centuries, according to the local tradition. In that regard, the mythical seeress Sibyl of Anatolian origin, with her ecstatic art, looks unrelated to the oracle itself.
It is more probable that this art was introduced later from Anatolia and regenerated an existing oracular cult that was local to Delphi and dormant in several areas of Greece. A non-Greek origin of Apollo has long been assumed in scholarship. The inspiration oracular cult was probably introduced into Greece from Anatolia , which is the origin of Sibyl , and where existed some of the oldest oracular shrines. Omens, symbols, purifications, and exorcisms appear in old Assyro - Babylonian texts, and these rituals were spread into the empire of the Hittites.
In a Hittite text is mentioned that the king invited a Babylonian priestess for a certain "purification". A similar story is mentioned by Plutarch. He writes that the Cretan seer Epimenides purified Athens after the pollution brought by the Alcmeonidae , and that the seer's expertise in sacrifices and reform of funeral practices were of great help to Solon in his reform of the Athenian state.
It seems that these rituals were dormant in Greece, and they were reinforced when the Greeks migrated to Anatolia. Homer pictures Apollo on the side of the Trojans , fighting against the Achaeans , during the Trojan War. He is pictured as a terrible god, less trusted by the Greeks than other gods. The god seems to be related to Appaliunas , a tutelary god of Wilusa Troy in Asia Minor, but the word is not complete. Here we have an apotropaic situation, where a god originally bringing the plague was invoked to end it.
Aplu, meaning the son of , was a title given to the god Nergal , who was linked to the Babylonian god of the sun Shamash. Unusually among the Olympic deities, Apollo had two cult sites that had widespread influence: Delos and Delphi. In cult practice, Delian Apollo and Pythian Apollo the Apollo of Delphi were so distinct that they might both have shrines in the same locality. Apollo became extremely important to the Greek world as an oracular deity in the archaic period , and the frequency of theophoric names such as Apollodorus or Apollonios and cities named Apollonia testify to his popularity.
Oracular sanctuaries to Apollo were established in other sites. In the 2nd and 3rd century CE, those at Didyma and Clarus pronounced the so-called "theological oracles", in which Apollo confirms that all deities are aspects or servants of an all-encompassing, highest deity. Julian the Apostate — tried to revive the Delphic oracle, but failed. Apollo had a famous oracle in Delphi, and other notable ones in Clarus and Branchidae.
Many temples were dedicated to Apollo in Greece and the Greek colonies. They show the spread of the cult of Apollo and the evolution of the Greek architecture, which was mostly based on the rightness of form and on mathematical relations. Some of the earliest temples, especially in Crete , do not belong to any Greek order. It seems that the first peripteral temples were rectangular wooden structures. The different wooden elements were considered divine , and their forms were preserved in the marble or stone elements of the temples of Doric order. The Greeks used standard types because they believed that the world of objects was a series of typical forms which could be represented in several instances.
The temples should be canonic, and the architects were trying to achieve this esthetic perfection.
The first buildings were built narrowly in order to hold the roof, and when the dimensions changed some mathematical relations became necessary in order to keep the original forms. This probably influenced the theory of numbers of Pythagoras , who believed that behind the appearance of things there was the permanent principle of mathematics.
The Doric order dominated during the 6th and the 5th century BC but there was a mathematical problem regarding the position of the triglyphs, which couldn't be solved without changing the original forms. The order was almost abandoned for the Ionic order , but the Ionic capital also posed an insoluble problem at the corner of a temple.
Both orders were abandoned for the Corinthian order gradually during the Hellenistic age and under Rome. Apollo appears often in the myths, plays and hymns. As Zeus' favorite son, Apollo had direct access to the mind of Zeus and was willing to reveal this knowledge to humans. A divinity beyond human comprehension, he appears both as a beneficial and a wrathful god. Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, his previous wife,  or one of his mistresses. After his birth, Apollo was nursed by the nymphs Korythalia and Aletheia , the personification of truth.
When Zeus' wife Hera discovered that Leto was impregnanted by Zeus, she banned Leto from giving birth on terra firma. In her wanderings, Leto sought shelter on many lands, only to be rejected by them. Finally, she saw Delos, a floating island, which was neither a real island nor a mainland. It is said that Apollo, still in Leto's womb, had informed his mother about Delos to put an end to her suffering. It is also stated that Hera kidnapped Eileithyia , the goddess of childbirth, to prevent Leto from going into labor. The other gods tricked Hera into letting her go by offering her a necklace of amber 9 yards or 8.
When Apollo was born clutching a golden sword,  the swans circled Delos seven times and the nymphs sang in delight. Since Leto was unable to feed the new born, Themis , the goddess of divine law, fed him the nectar, or ambrosia. Upon tasting the divine food, Apollo broke free of the bands fastened onto him and declared that he would be the master of lyre and archery, and interpret the will of Zeus to humankind.
Apollo's birth fixed the floating Delos to the earth. According to some, Apollo secured Delos to the bottom of the ocean after some time. The seventh and twentieth, the days of the new and full moon, were ever afterwards held sacred to him. Hyperborea , the mystical land of eternal spring, venerated Apollo above all the gods. They always sung and danced in his honor, and hosted Pythian games. Apollo spends the winter months among the Hyperboreans.
No prophecies were issued during this time. The festival theophania was observed in Delphi to celebrate his return. It is said that Leto came to Delos from Hyperborea, accompanied by a pack of wolves. Henceforth, Hyperborea became Apollo's winter home and wolves became sacred to Apollo. His intimate connection to wolves is evident from his epithet Lyceus , meaning wolf-like. But Apollo was also the wolf-slayer in his role of the pastoral god who protected flocks from predators.
The hyperborean worship of Apollo bears the strongest marks of Apollo being worshipped as the sun god. Shamanistic elements in Apollo's cult are often liked to his Hyperborean origin, and he is likewise speculated to have originated as a solar shaman. In myths, Apollo wept tears of ambers on the banks of Eridanos when his son Asclepius died and buried in Hyperborea the arrow which he had used to kill the cyclops.
He later gave this arrow to Abaris. As a child, Apollo is said to have built a foundation and an altar on Delos using the horns of the goats that his sister Artemis hunted. Since he learnt the art of building when young, he later became Archegetes , the founder of towns and god who guided men to build new cities. In his young years when Apollo spent his time herding cows, he was reared by Thriae , the bee nymphs, who trained him and enhanced his prophetic skills.
He then taught to the humans the art of healing and archery. Themis inspired him to be the oracular voice of Delphi thereon. Python , a chthonic serpent-dragon, was a child of Gaea and the guardian of the Delphic Oracle , whose death was foretold by Apollo when he was still in Leto's womb. Python was sent by Hera to hunt the pregnant Leto to death, and had assaulted Leto. To avenge the trouble given to his mother, the young Apollo, with his bow and arrows that he had received from Hephaestus , went in search of Python and killed it in the sacred cave at Delphi with his arrows.
The Delphian nymphs were present and encouraged Apollo during the battle with the cry "Hie Paean ". After Apollo was victorious, they also brought him gifts and gave the Corycian cave to him. According to other versions, when Leto was in Delphi, Python had attacked her.
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Apollo defended his mother and killed Python. You killed him, o Phoebus, while still a baby, still leaping in the arms of your dear mother, and you entered the holy shrine, and sat on the golden tripod, on your truthful throne distributing prophecies from the gods to mortals. A detailed account of Apollo's conflict with Gaea and Zeus' intervention on behalf of his young son is also given.
But when Apollo came and sent Themis, the child of Earth, away from the holy oracle of Pytho, Earth gave birth to dream visions of the night; and they told to the cities of men the present, and what will happen in the future, through dark beds of sleep on the ground; and so Earth took the office of prophecy away from Phoebus, in envy, because of her daughter. The lord made his swift way to Olympus and wound his baby hands around Zeus, asking him to take the wrath of the earth goddess from the Pythian home. Zeus smiled, that the child so quickly came to ask for worship that pays in gold.
He shook his locks of hair, put an end to the night voices, and took away from mortals the truth that appears in darkness, and gave the privilege back again to Loxias. Apollo also demanded that all the other methods of divination be made inferior, and Zeus granted him that too.
Because of this, Athena, who had been practicing divination by throwing pebbles, cast her pebbles away in displeasure. However, Apollo had committed a blood murder, and had to be purified. Apollo had to serve as a slave for nine years. Purified, Apollo was escorted by his half sister Athena to Delphi where the oracular shrine was finally handed over to him by Gaea.
Apollo later established the Pythian games to appropriate Gaea. Henceforth, Apollo became the god who cleansed himself from the sin of murder and, made men aware of their guilt and purified them. Zeus sent Apollo to go to Delphi and establish his law and order there. But Apollo, disobeying his father, went to the land of Hyperborea and stayed there for a year.
Zeus, pleased with his son's integrity, gave Apollo the seat next to him on his right side. He also gifted to Apollo a golden tripod, a golden bow and arrows, a golden chariot and the land of Delphi. Soon after his return, Apollo needed to recruit people to Delphi. So, when he spotted a ship sailing from Crete, he sprang aboard in the form of a dolphin. The crew was awed into submission and followed a course that led the ship to Delphi.
There Apollo revealed himself as a god. Initiating them to his service, he instructed them to keep righteousness in their hearts. The Pythia was Apollo's high priestess and his mouthpiece through whom he gave prophecies. Pythia is arguably the constant favorite of Apollo among the mortals. Hera once again sent another giant, Tityos to rape Leto. This time Apollo shot him with his arrows and attacked him with his golden sword. According to other version, Artemis also aided him in protecting their mother by attacking Tityos with her arrows.
King Admetus was the king of Pherae who was known for his hospitality. When Apollo was exiled from Olympus for killing Python, he served as a herdsman under Admetus who was still a young king. Apollo is said to have shared a romantic relationship with Admetus during his stay of 9 years. Because Admetus treated Apollo well, in return, the god conferred great benefits on him. Apollo's mere presence is said to have made the cows give birth to twins  . When Admetus angered the goddess Artemis by neglecting to make her offerings, Apollo came to Admetus' rescue and calmed his sister . Much later, Apollo convinced or tricked the Fates into letting Admetus live past his time.
According to another version, or perhaps some years later, when Zeus struck down Apollo's son Asclepius with a lightning bolt for resurrecting the dead, Apollo in revenge killed the Cyclopes , who had fashioned the bolt for Zeus. Zeus obliged and sentenced Apollo to one year of hard labor once again under Admetus .
The fate of Niobe was prophesied by Apollo while he was still in Leto's womb. She displayed hubris when she boasted of her superiority to Leto because she had fourteen children Niobids , seven male and seven female, while Leto had only two. She further mocked Apollo's effeminate appearance and Artemis' manly appearance. Leto, insulted by this, told her children to punish Niobe. Accordingly, Apollo killed Niobe's sons, and Artemis her daughters.
Apollo and Artemis used poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions of the myth, among the Niobids, Chloris and her brother Amyclas were not killed because they prayed to Leto. Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, either killed himself or was killed by Apollo after swearing revenge. Her tears formed the river Achelous. Zeus had turned all the people of Thebes to stone and so no one buried the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the gods themselves entombed them.
When Chloris married and had children, Apollo granted her son Nestor the years he had taken away from the Niobids. Hence, Nestor was able to live for 3 generations. Once Apollo, along with Athena and Poseidon , participated in Hera's scheme to hold Zeus captive and demand a better rule from him. Though they were successful in trapping Zeus with nets, Zeus managed to get himself freed with the help of Thetis.
Feeling beatryed and angry, he sent Apollo and Poseidon to serve as slaves under the Trojan king Laomedon. According to othet version, both gods went there to test Laomedon. Apollo guarded the cattle of Laomedon in the valleys of mount Ida, while Poseidon built the walls of Troy. There, Apollo had a lover named Ourea, and sired a son Ileus by her.
Later, Apollo was also made to build the walls. Apollo obeyed, and by playing his lyre, he built the walls of Troy. However, the king refused to give them the wages he had promised. Angered, Apollo sent a pestilence to the city. To deliver the city from it, Laomedon had to sacrifice his daughter Hesione who would later be saved by Heracles. Apollo sided with the Trojans during the Trojan war , a war waged by the Greeks against the Trojans.
During the war, Agamemnon , a Greek hero captured Chryseis , the daughter of Apollo's priest Chryses. Angered, Apollo shot arrows infected with the plague into the Greek encampment. He demanded to return the girl, and the Achaeans Greeks complied, indirectly causing the anger of Achilles , which is the theme of the Iliad. Receiving the aegis from Zeus, Apollo entered the battlefield as per his father's wish, causing great terror to the enemy with his war cry, pushing them back and destroying many of them.
He is described as "the rouser of armies", because he rallied the Trojan army when they were falling apart. When Zeus allowed the other gods to get involved in the war, Apollo was provoked by Poseidon to a duel. However, Apollo declined to fight him, saying that he wouldn't fight his uncle for the sake of mortals.
When Diomedes , the Greek hero, injured Aeneas , a Trojan ally, Aphrodite tried to rescue him but Diomedes injured her as well. Apollo then enveloped Aeneas in a cloud to protect him. He repelled the attacks Diomedes made on him and gave the hero a stern warning to abstain himself from attacking a god. Aeneas was then taken to Pergamos, a sacred spot in Troy , where he was healed. After the death of Sarpedon , a son of Zeus, Apollo rescued the corpse from the battlefield as per his father's wish and cleaned it.
He then gave it to Sleep Hypnos and Death Thanatos. Apollo had also once convinced Athena to stop the war for that day, so that the warriors can relieve themselves for a while. The Trojan hero Hector was favored by Apollo, who, according to some, was the god's own son by Hecuba. During a duel with Achilles, when Hector was about to lose, Apollo hid Hector in a cloud of mist to save him. At last, after Hector's fated death, Apollo protected his corpse from Achilles' attempt to mutilate it by creating a magical cloud over the corpse.
The Greek warrior Patroclus tried to get into the fort of Troy and was stopped by Apollo. Encouraging Hector to attack Patroclus, Apollo stripped the armour of Patroclus and broke his weapons. Patroclus was eventually killed by Hector. Apollo held anger towards Achilles throughout the war. The reason for this was the murder of his son Tenes before the war began, and brutal assassination of his another son Troilus in his own temple, both by Achilles.
Not only did Apollo save Hector from Achilles, he also tricked Achilles by disguising himself as a Trojan warrior and driving him away from the gates. He foiled Achilles' attempt to mutilate Hector's dead body. Finally, Apollo caused Achilles' death by guiding an arrow shot by Paris into Achilles ' heel. In some versions, Apollo himself killed Achilles by taking the disguise of Paris. Apollo helped many Trojan warriors, including Agenor , Polydamas , Glaucus in the battlefield.
Though he greatly favored the Trojans, Apollo was bound to follow the orders of Zeus and served his father loyally during the war. After Alcides was struck with madness and killed his family, he sought to purify himself and consulted the oracle of Apollo. Apollo, through the Pythia, commanded him to serve king Eurystheus for twelve years and complete the ten tasks the king would give him.
Only then Alcides would be absolved of his sin. Apollo also renamed him as Heracles. To complete his third task, Heracles had to capture the Ceryneian Hind , a hind sacred to Artemis, and bring it alive. He chased the hind for one year. When the animal eventually got tired and tried crossing the river Ladon, he captured it. While he was taking it back, he was confronted by Apollo and Artemis, who was angered at Heracles for this act. However, Heracles soothed the goddess, explained the situation and pleaded her.
In the end, Artemis gave her consent. After he was freed from his servitude to Eurystheus, Heracles fell in conflict with Iphytus, a prince of Oechalia, and murdered him. Soon after, he contracted a terrible disease. He consulted the oracle of Apollo once again, in hopes to get rid of the disease.
The Pythia, however, denied to give any prophesy. In anger, Heracles snatched the sacred tripod and started going away, intending to start his own Oracle. However, Apollo did not tolerate this and stopped Heracles. A duel ensued between Apollo and Heracles where Athena supported the latter. Soon, Zeus intervened between the fighting brothers by throwing his thunderbolt between them.
Sextus Propertius: The Love Elegies
He reprimanded Heracles for this act of violation, and asked Apollo to give a solution to Heracles. Apollo then ordered the hero to serve under Omphale , queen of Lydia for one year in order to purify himself. Periphas was an Attican king and a priest of Apollo. He was noble, just and rich. He did all his duties justly. Because of this people were very fond of him and started honouring him to the same extent as Zeus. At one point, they worshipped Periphas in place of Zeus and set up shrines and temples for him. This annoyed Zeus, who decided to annihilate the entire family of Periphas.
But because he was a just king and a good devotee, Apollo intervened and requested his father to spare Periphas. Zeus considered Apollo's words and agreed to let him live. But he metamorphosed Periphas into an eagle and made the eagle the king of birds. When Periphas' wife requested Zeus to let her stay with her husband, Zeus turned her into a vulture and fulfilled her wish. A long time ago, there were three kinds of human beings: male, descended from the sun; female, descended from the earth; and androgynous, descended from the moon.
Each human being was completely round, with four arms and fours legs, two identical faces on opposite sides of a head with four ears, and all else to match. They were powerful and unruly. Otis and Ephialtes even dared to scale Mount Olympus. To check their insolence, Zeus devised a plan to humble them and improve their manners instead of completely destroying them. He cut them all in two and asked Apollo to make necessary repairs, giving humans the individual shape they still have now.
Apollo turned their heads and necks around towards their wounds, he pulled together their skin at the abdomen , and sewed the skin together at the middle of it. This is what we call navel today. He smoothened the wrinkles and shaped the chest. But he made sure to leave a few wrinkles on the abdomen and around the navel so that they might be reminded of their punishment. Apollo was also bidden to heal their wounds and compose their forms. So Apollo gave a turn to the face and pulled the skin from the sides all over that which in our language is called the belly, like the purses which draw in, and he made one mouth at the centre [of the belly] which he fastened in a knot the same which is called the navel ; he also moulded the breast and took out most of the wrinkles, much as a shoemaker might smooth leather upon a last; he left a few wrinkles, however, in the region of the belly and navel, as a memorial of the primeval state.
Apollo Kourotrophos is the god who nurtures and protects the children and youth, especially boys. He oversees their education and their passage into adulthood. Education is said to have originated from Apollo and the Muses. Many myths have him train his children. It was a custom for boys to cut and dedicate their long hair to Apollo after reaching adulthood. Chiron , the abandoned centaur was fostered by Apollo who instructed him in medicine, prophecy, archery and more.
Chiron's calm nature and wisdom, in contrast to rest of the centaurs, is attributed to the quality education Apollo gave him. Chiron would later become a great teacher himself. Asclepius in his childhood gained much knowledge pertaining to medicinal arts by his father. However, he was later entrusted to Chiron for further education. Anius , Apollo's son by Rhoeo , was abandoned by his mother soon after his birth.
Apollo brought him up and educated him in mantic arts. Anius later became the priest of Apollo and the king of Delos. Iamus was the son of Apollo and Evadne. When he reached the age of education, Apollo took him to Olympia and taught him many arts, including the ability to understand and explain the languages of birds. Idmon was educated by Apollo to be a seer.
Even though he foresaw his death that would happen in his journey with the Argonauts , he embraced his destiny and died a brave death. To commemorate his son's bravery, Apollo commanded Boetians to build a town around the tomb of the hero, and to honor him. Apollo adopted Carnus , the abandoned son of Zeus and Europa. He reared the child with the help of his mother Leto and educated him to be a seer.
Apollo saved a shepherd boy name unknown from death in a large deep cave, by the means of vultures. To thank him, the shepherd built Apollo a temple under the name Vulturius.
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Apollo's music is soulful and enchanting. His music would deliver people from their pain, and hence, like Dionysus, he is also called the liberator. He is found delighting the immortal gods with his songs and music on the lyre. Apollo was always invited to play music on weddings of the gods, like the marriage of Eros and Psyche , Peleus and Thetis. When Orpheus was still a child, Apollo gifted a lyre and taught him how to play it. Apollo also participated in musical contests when challenged by others. He was the victor in all those contests, but usually punished his opponents severely for their hubris.
The invention of lyre is attributed either to Hermes or to Apollo himself. Myths tell that the infant Hermes stole a number of Apollo's cows and took them to a cave in the woods near Pylos , covering their tracks. In the cave, he found a tortoise and killed it, then removed the insides.
He used one of the cow's intestines and the tortoise shell and made his lyre. Upon discovering the theft, Apollo confronted Hermes and asked him to return his cattle. When Hermes acted innocent, Apollo took the matter to Zeus. Zeus, having seen the events, sided with Apollo, and ordered Hermes to return the cattle. Hermes then began to play music on the lyre he had invented. Apollo, a god of music, fell in love with the instrument and offered to allow exchange of the cattle for the lyre. Hence, Apollo then became a master of the lyre.
According to other versions, Apollo had invented the lyre himself, whose strings he tore in repent to the excess punishment he had given to Marsyas. Hermes' lyre, therefore, is rather a reinvention. Once Pan had the audacity to compare his music with that of Apollo and to challenge Apollo, the god of music.
The mountain-god Tmolus was chosen to umpire. Pan blew on his pipes, and with his rustic melody gave great satisfaction to himself and his faithful follower, Midas , who happened to be present. Then Apollo struck the strings of his lyre. It was so beautiful that Tmolus at once awarded the victory to Apollo, and everyone were pleased with the judgement. Only Midas dissented and questioned the justice of the award.
Apollo would not suffer such a depraved pair of ears any longer, and caused them to become the ears of a donkey. Marsyas was a satyr who was punished by Apollo for his hubris. He had found an aulos on the ground, tossed away after being invented by Athena because it made her cheeks puffy.
Athena had also placed a curse upon the instrument, that whoever would pick it up would be severely punished. When Marsyas played the flute, everyone became frenzied with joy. This led Marsyas to think that he was better than Apollo, and he challenged the god to a musical contest. The contest was judged by the Muses , or the nymphs of Nysa. Athena was also present to witness the contest. Marsyas taunted Apollo for "wearing his hair long, for having a fair face and smooth body, for his skill in so many arts".
His body is fair from head to foot, his limbs shine bright, his tongue gives oracles, and he is equally eloquent in prose or verse, propose which you will. What of his robes so fine in texture, so soft to the touch, aglow with purple? What of his lyre that flashes gold, gleams white with ivory, and shimmers with rainbow gems? What of his song, so cunning and so sweet? Nay, all these allurements suit with naught save luxury. To virtue they bring shame alone! The Muses and Athena sniggered at this comment. The contestants agreed to take turns displaying their skills and the rule was that the victor can "do whatever he wanted" to the loser.
Marsyas, since he was a satyr, expected to do something sexual in nature to Apollo when he would win the contest. According to one account, after they each had performed, both were deemed equal by the Nysiads. But in the next round, Apollo played and sang with his melodious voice at the same time. Marsyas argued against this, saying that Apollo would have an advantage and accused Apollo of cheating. But Apollo replied that since Marsyas played the flute, which needed air blown from the throat, it was almost the same as singing, and that either they both should get an equal chance to combine their skills or none of them should use their mouths at all.
The nymphs dedided that Apollo's arguement was just. Apollo again played his lyre and sang at the same time, mesmerising the audience. Marsyas could not do this. Apollo was declared the winner and angered with Marsyas' haughtiness and his accusation, he decided to flay the satyr. According to another account, Marsyas played his flute out of tune at one point and accepted his defeat. Out of shame, he assigned to himself the punishment of being skinned for a wine sack. Marsyas could not do this with his instrument the flute , and so the Muses who were the judges declared Apollo the winner, who hung Marsyas from a tree to flay him.
Apollo flayed the limbs of Marsyas alive in a cave near Celaenae in Phrygia for his hubris to challenge a god. He then gave the rest of his body for proper burial  and nailed Marsyas' flayed skin to a nearby pine-tree. Marsyas' blood turned into the river Marsyas. But, Apollo soon repented and being distressed at what he had done, he broke the strings of his lyre and threw it away. The lyre was later discovered by the Muses and Apollo's sons Linus and Orpheus. The Muses fixed the middle string, Linus the string struck with the forefinger, and Orpheus the lowest string and the one next to it.
They took it back to Apollo, but the god laid away both the lyre and the pipes, and joined Cybele in her wanderings to as far as Hyperborea. Cinyras was a ruler of Cyprus , who was a friend of Agamemnon. Cinyras promised to assist Agamemnon in the Trojan war, but did not keep his promise. Agamemnon cursed Cinyras. He invoked Apollo and asked the god to avenge the broken promise. Apollo then had a lyre -playing contest with Cinyras , and defeated him. Either Cinyras committed suicide when he lost, or was killed by Apollo. Apollo's functions as the patron and protector of sailors, one of the duties he shares with Poseidon.
In the myths, he is seen helping heroes who pray to him for safe journey. When Apollo spotted a ship of Cretan sailors that was caught in a storm, he quickly assumed the shape of a dolphin and guided their ship safely to Delphi. When the Argonauts faced a terrible storm, Jason prayed to his patron, Apollo, to help them. Apollo used his bow and golden arrow to shed light upon an island , where the Argonauts soon took shelter. This island was renamed "Anaphi", which means "He revealed it". Apollo helped the Greek hero, Diomedes , to escape from a great tempest during his journey back to home.
As a token of gratitude, Diomedes built a temple in honor of Apollo Epibaterius, Apollo the embarker. During the Trojan war, Odysseus came to the Trojan camp to return Chriseis, the daughter of Apollo's priest Chryses , and brought many offerings to Apollo. Pleased with this, Apollo sent gentle breezes that would help Odysseus reach safely back to the Greek camp. Arion was a poet who was kidnapped by some sailors kidnapped for the rich prizes he possessed.
Arion requested them to let him sing for the last time, to which the sailors consented. Arion began singing a song in praise of Apollo, seeking the god's help. Consequently, numerous dolphins surrounded the ship and when Arion jumped into the water, the dolphins carried him away safely. Once Hera , out of spite, aroused the Titans to war against Zeus and take away his throne. Accordingly, when the Titans tried to climb Mount Olympus , Zeus with the help of Apollo, Artemis and Athena , defeated them and cast them into tartarus.
Apollo played a pivotal role in the entire Trojan war. He sided with the Trojans, and sent a terrible plague to the Greek camp, which indirectly led to the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon.
The Epimetheus Trial : Elder Blood by E. A. Setser (2012, Paperback)
He killed the Greek heroes Patroclus , Achilles, and numerous Greek soldiers. He also helped many Trojan heroes, the most important one being Hector. A war broke out between the Brygoi and the Thesprotians, who had the support of Odysseus. The gods Athena and Ares came to the battlefield and took sides. Athena helped the hero Odysseus while Ares fought alongside of the Brygoi.
When Odysseus lost, Athena and Ares came into a direct duel. To stop the battling gods and the terror created by their battle, Apollo intervened and stopped the duel between them. When Zeus told that if Dionysus defeats the impudent Indians, he would earn a place among the gods, Dionysus declared a war against Indians and travelled to India along with his army of Bacchantes and satyrs.
Among the warriors was Aristaeus , Apollo's son. Apollo armed his son with his own hands and gave him a bow, arrows, and fitted a strong shield to his arm. During the war between the sons of Oedipus , Apollo favored Amphiaraus , a seer and one of the leaders in the war. Though saddened that the seer was fated to be doomed in the war, Apollo made Amphiaraus' last hours gloriousglorious by "lighting his shield and his helm with starry gleam".
When Hypseus tried to kill the hero by a spear, Apollo directed the spear towards the charioteer of Amphiaraus instead. Then Apollo himself replaced the charioteer and took the reins in his hands. He deflected many spears and arrows away them. At last when the moment of departure came, Apollo expressed his grief with tears in his eyes and bid farewell to Amphiaraus, who was soon engulfed by the Earth.
During the gigantomachy , Apollo killed the giant Ephialtes by shooting him in his eyes. He is also killed Porphyrion , the king of giants, using his bow and arrows. Otis and Ephialtes, the twin giants were together called the Aloadae. These giants are said to have grown every year by one cubit in breadth and three cubits in height.
Olympus by piling up mountains. They also threatened to change land into sea and sea into land. Some say they even dared to seek the hand of Hera and Artemis in marriage. Angered by this, Apollo killed them by shooting arrows at them. He sent a deer between them. As they tried to kill it with their javelins, they accidentally stabbed each other and died. Phorbas was a savage giant king of Phlegyas who was described as having swine like features. He wished to plunder Delphi for its wealth.
He seized the roads to Delphi and started harassing the pilgrims. He captured the old people and children and sent them to his army to hold them for ransom. And he challenged the young and sturdy men to a match of boxing, only to cut their heads off when they would get defeated by him. He hung the chopped off heads to an oak tree. Finally, Apollo came to put an end to this cruelty. He entered a boxing contest with Phorbas and killed him with a single blow.
As a child, Apollo built an altar made of goat horns  which was considered as one of the wonders of the world. In the first Olympic games , Apollo defeated Ares and became the victor in wrestling. He outran Hermes in the race and won first place. Apollo rescued Hemithea and Parthenos, sisters of Rhoeo from their drunk father and turned them into goddesses. Apollo spoke to Zeus regarding Prometheus , the titan who was punished by Zeus for stealing fire. Apollo, with tears in his eyes, pleaded Zeus to release the kind Titan.
Apollo guided Aphrodite to his sanctuary when she was grief-stricken with Adonis ' death. He helped her free herself from the heartbreak. Apollo divides months into summer and winter. During his absence, Delphi was under the care of Dionysus , and no prophecies were given during winters. Love affairs ascribed to Apollo are a late development in Greek mythology. Daphne was a nymph whose parentage varies. She scorned Apollo's advances and ran away from him. When Apollo chased her in order to persuade her, she changed herself into a laurel tree.
According to other versions, she cried for help during the chase, and Gaea helped her by taking her in and placing a laurel tree in her place. The myth explains the origin of the laurel and connection of Apollo with the laurel and its leaves, which his priestess employed at Delphi. The leaves became the symbol of victory and laurel wreaths were given to the victors of the Pythian games.
Apollo is said to have been the lover of all nine Muses , and not being able to choose one of them, decided to remain unwed. Cyrene , was a Thessalian princess whom Apollo loved. In her honor, he built the city Cyrene and made her its ruler. She was later granted longevity by Apollo who turned her into a nymph. The couple had two sons, Aristaeus , and Idmon. Evadne was a nymph daughter of Poseidon and a lover of Apollo. She bore him a son, Iamos. During the time of the childbirth, Apollo sent Eileithyia , the goddess of childbirth to assist her.
Rhoeo , a princess of the island of Naxos was loved by Apollo. Out of affection for her, Apollo turned her sisters into goddesses. On the island Delos she bore Apollo a son named Anius. Not wanting to have the child, she entrusted the infant to Apollo and left. Apollo raised and educated the child on his own. Ourea, a daughter of Poseidon , fell in love with Apollo when he and Poseidon were serving the Trojan king Laomedon. They both united on the day the walls of Troy were built. Ileus was very dear to Apollo. Thero , daughter of Phylas , a maiden as beautiful as the moonbeams, was loved by the radiant Apollo, and she loved him in return.
By their union, she became mother of Chaeron, who was famed as "the tamer of horses". He later built the city Chaeronea. Hyrie or Thyrie was the mother of Cycnus. Apollo turned both the mother and son into swans when they jumped into a lake and tried to kill themselves.
An oracle prophesied that Troy would not be defeated as long as Troilus reached the age of twenty alive. He was ambushed and killed by Achilleus , and Apollo avenged his death by killing Achilles. After the sack of Troy, Hecuba was taken to Lycia by Apollo. Coronis , was daughter of Phlegyas , King of the Lapiths. While pregnant with Asclepius , Coronis fell in love with Ischys , son of Elatus and slept with him.
When Apollo found out about her infidelity through his prophetic powers, he sent his sister, Artemis, to kill Coronis. Apollo rescued the baby by cutting open Koronis' belly and gave it to the centaur Chiron to raise. He used his powers to conceal her pregnancy from her father. Later, when Creusa left Ion to die in the wild, Apollo asked Hermes to save the child and bring him to the oracle at Delphi , where he was raised by a priestess. Hyacinth or Hyacinthus was one of Apollo's male lovers.
He was a Spartan prince, beautiful and athletic. The pair was practicing throwing the discus when a discus thrown by Apollo was blown off course by the jealous Zephyrus and struck Hyacinthus in the head, killing him instantly. The festival Hyacinthia was a national celebration of Sparta, which commemorated the death and rebirth of Hyacinthus.
Another male lover was Cyparissus , a descendant of Heracles. Apollo gave him a tame deer as a companion but Cyparissus accidentally killed it with a javelin as it lay asleep in the undergrowth. Cyparissus was so saddened by its death that he asked Apollo to let his tears fall forever. Apollo granted the request by turning him into the Cypress named after him, which was said to be a sad tree because the sap forms droplets like tears on the trunk.
Admetus , the king of Pherae, was also Apollo's lover. Developing a passion for the king there, he herded and fed the cattle, and caused the cows to give birth to twin calves. He would make cheese and serve it to Admetus and was often seen being domestic, causing embarrassment to his family. Oh how often his sister Diana blushed at meeting her brother as he carried a young calf through the fields!
When Admetus wanted to marry princess Alcestis , Apollo provided a chariot pulled by a lion and a boar he had tamed. This satisfied Alcestis' father and he let Admetus marry his daughter. Further, Apollo saved the king from Artemis' wrath and also convinced the Moirai to postpone Admetus' death once. Branchus , a shepherd, one day came across Apollo in the woods. Captivated by the god's beauty, he kissed Apollo.
Apollo requited his affections and wanting to reward him, bestowed prophetic skills on him. His descendants, the Branchides, were an influential clan of prophets. Apollo sired many children, from mortal women and nymphs as well as the goddesses. His children grew up to be physicians, musicians, poets, seers or archers. Many of his sons founded new cities and became kings.