Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Greek God - Apollo

Greece is possibly one of the world's richest countries when it comes to history and culture. A lot of our present existence be it the language or customs, have somehow or the other evolved from Greek civilization. In fact even the fashion industry has its roots in the ancient Greek costume. Greece was famous for not only its culture but also its mythology and of course the Greek Gods! Large figures of Apollo, Zeus and all of the Gods of Mt. Olympus draped in their impressive ancient Greek costumes still stand tall at Delphi and all over Greece. It is believed that there was a 40-foot statue of Zeus at Olympia!

Ancient Greece had many religious figures. Each of these was associated with a distinct part of the earth's resources. They were guardians of these parts. For instance, there was a god associated with wars and also for daily work such as cleansing and even manufacturing.
The most authoritative and prominent not to mention well-known deity was Apollo - the Greek god of the sun. He was the son of the king of gods - Zeus (ruler of Mt. Olympus and God of sky and thunder) and mythical figure Leto, his twin sister was Artemis, deity of hunting and later the deity of the moon. Zeus is depicted in various sculptures as bearded, properly draped in the ancient Greek costume of a cloak - like a Roman Toga and bearing a thunderbolt.

Apollo on the other hand is portrayed in most of the sculptures and in scriptures in his ancient Greek costume of the cloak concealing his divine nakedness. Apollo controlled many of the aspects of Greek life such as including medicine, healing, music, poetry, archery and even plague. Both Delos and Delphi were devoted to worshiping him. He was also the god of migrants with the divine powers of keeping a watch over them and was the guardian of herds and flocks. Apollo's many different aspects were worshiped alternately in different areas of Greece.

Apollo was a patron of Delphi. This made him an oracle and he was thus able to speak to mortals and tell them the future. His position diving prophecy at Delphi made Apollo one of the most important deity figures of Olympus. There are various scripts describing the oracle and pictures depicting the followers at the oracle in their flowing ancient Greek costumes. The sects that followed were quite diverse, which was odd because he had two areas that were devoted to him - Delos and Delphi. Often, shrines of each cult would be found in the same city! Today, supporters of revivalist Hellenic polytheism still revere Apollo. The most common symbols associated with Apollo were the lyre and the bow, along with occasional depictions of a plectrum and the "sacrificial tripod", representing his powers of prophecy.

Another very important attribute to Apollo were The Pythean Games that were held at Delphi every four years. The crowns given to the winners were made out of laurel bay plant. This was a symbol sacred to Apollo since he was born under a palm in Delos. These games were the forerunner to our present day Olympics! It would seem strange to see those games with the participants sporting the ancient Greek costumes rather than the sports wear we see today.

Christopher Schwebius is an entrepreneur who seeks out sharply defined, specifically focused topics to research. Upon finishing his research he provides relevant, un-biased information to his readers based on his discoveries and/or personal experiences. One of his latest ongoing projects can be viewed at http://www.ancientgreekcostume.org


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