CLA204 L4 October 4 th
- Apollo: god of prophecy and music.
o A god connected by myth to Delphi.
o Apollo has a sanctuary at Delos. Was a vibrant commercial centre in antiquity. Also
important in religious practices. Role diminishes, and later Delphi becomes the centre of
worship of Apollo.
Omphalos (the stone that marks the centre of the earth) was said to be in
Delphi, in the temple of Apollo. Delphi being the centre of the world.
A revealing idea, being the centre of the world.
o Apollo was supposed to be more important and more active at Delos; but how is Apollo
brought to Delphi? And why?
o Apollo knows exactly what he’s going to do when born; be the mouthpiece of the gods.
Apollo travelled throughout Greece to find a place to set his oracle, and thus takes up
residence in Delphi. -> Acquired this sanctuary by killing a dragon, and leaving it out to
dry and rot. Thus called Pythian Apollo (Pythian in Greek is ‘rot’)
o Once Apollo has the sanctuary, he pirates a ship from Knossos to Pylos, and steers it
instead to Delphi. He orders the crew to establish a cult to him at Delphi, where they
and their descendants are keepers of the temple.
o Delphinius Apollo (being from Delphi) (both Delphi and Delphinius refer to Greek word
for dolphin, which Apollo had turned into to hijack the boat).
o Delphi important worship cite in Greece;
o Major function of the story is to connect Pylos and Knossos and Delphi, and also to
connect the rest of the cities along that west coast. This connects Greeks around the
world to Delphi, and to this god.
o Links Apollo’s narrative to all these places; explains why Apollo is welcome to all of
o Apollo’s love affairs:
Daphne: Daphni is a Greek plant sacred to Apollo, because the myth says the life
of Daphne, his lover, was transferred into this plant.
Apollo- terrible at love. Clumsy in love
Daphne ran away, and turned into a plant.
o Apollo and music
Apollo awesomely divine at music; shows the Artemis in Apollo.
Marseus challenges Apollo, says he’s better than Apollo; Apollo turns his lyre
upside down and plays it amazingly, and challenges Marseus to do the same. So
Marseus happens to be holding a knife; Apollo punishes Marseus by flaying him
alive with a maniacal look. Can see some of qualities of Artemis. Anyone who
threatens his authority will be punished.
o He is essentially a god of generally good things, and is humane. o Second musical contest with Pan. Pan plays a reed pipe, and Apollo on him lyre. Apollo
wins; everybody accepts, except King Midas. Apollo turns Midas’s ears into ears of a
donkey. This isn’t as bad as Marseus’ fate. Apollo has the quality of humanity, and can
be measured in his response. His taste sometimes can veer towards comedy like with
o Also is a god of medicine. So god of the sun, light, medicine, music, prophesy. The god of
truth, the god of rational behaviour. Tries to make everything intelligible. Sometimes
need to remember that there is always a little bit of Artemis in him.
o But there are important differences
Artemis runs away from love; Apollo chases it
Artemis consistently vengeful; Apollo can take the more measured path.
- Hermes- messenger of the gods
o Symbols- petasus (broad brimmed hat typically worn by travellers in antiquity),
caduceus (herald’s staff), winged sandals.
o Roles of Hermes-
Messenger of gods
God of trade/commerce
Hermes as the ‘trickster’ connects with those ideas about trade.
A god/protector of travel
o Hermes originally Greek god of rocks?
o Hermes’ name shows up in Linear B tablets.
o Herma=pile of rocks; boundary markers, landmarks
o Development into a god of boundaries
Respecting boundaries, but also crossing boundaries whether for good
(travelling) or for evil (theft). [story about Hermes stealing Apollo's sheep]
Crossing the boundary after death- leader of souls, judgement of souls. One of
the few gods who can travel into the underworld over and over
Transition from youth to adulthood. Has special connection to these
boundaries, like b/w childhood and adolescence, teen years and adulthood, etc.
o Old depictions of Hermes look like Poseidon or Zeus, put onto a pile of rock. As time
goes on, depictions of the gods look more like us
o Hermes- boundary marker stones; usually have a bust of Hermes on the top.
o Older head that looks like the gods is a feature of the archaic period; Hermes seems to
grow younger as time goes on.
o Hermes- patron of young men?
o Leader of souls-takes the souls into the underworld to their future home.
o Connected to childbirth; agent at the birth of Dionysus. - Dionysus- the god of wine
o Crazy dude. Madness.
o Epithets mean something like ‘power in tree’, ‘fruit bringer’, ‘abundance of life’, etc.
o Dionysus- god of the power in intoxication in wine, the power of sap in a tree, force of
blood in our veins, etc. (WTF?)
A force that flows in everything that’s alive.
o How does one worship a god like this?
o Not a force to be reckoned with; as shown by the death of Pentheus.
o What is his mythical power?
People probably involved in the worship of someone more sedate; a god of wine
From Euripides- getting a myth about a god, that doesn’t correspond to
Religion- dealing with god of wine and theatre. Myth- idea of madness-> idea of
a god who drives his followers mad.
o Dionysus- son of Zeus and Semele.
Hera is jealous, and asks Zeus to reveal his god self to Semele. She burns, but
her unborn child survives.