Attributes and Symbols
Apollo's most common attributes were the bow and arrow. Other attributes of his included the kithara (an advanced version of the common lyre), the plectrum and the sword. Another common emblem was the sacrificial tripod, representing his prophetic powers. The Pythian Games were held in Apollo's honor every four years at Delphi. The bay laurel plant was used in expiatory sacrifices and in making the crown of victory at these games.
The palm tree was also sacred to Apollo because he had been born under one in Delos. Animals sacred to Apollo included wolves, dolphins, roe deer, swans, cicadas (symbolizing music and song), hawks, ravens, crows, snakes (referencing Apollo's function as the god of prophecy), mice and griffins, mythical eagle–lion hybrids of Eastern origin.
As god of colonization, Apollo gave oracular guidance on colonies, especially during the height of colonization, 750–550 BCE. According to Greek tradition, he helped Cretan or Arcadian colonists found the city of Troy. However, this story may reflect a cultural influence which had the reverse direction: Hittite cuneiform texts mention a Minor Asian god called Appaliunas or Apalunas in connection with the city of Wilusa attested in Hittite inscriptions, which is now generally regarded as being identical with the Greek Ilion by most scholars. In this interpretation, Apollo's title of Lykegenes can simply be read as "born in Lycia", which effectively severs the god's supposed link with wolves (possibly a folk etymology).
In literary contexts, Apollo represents harmony, order, and reason—characteristics contrasted with those of Dionysus, god of wine, who represents ecstasy and disorder. The contrast between the roles of these gods is reflected in the adjectives Apollonian and Dionysian. However, the Greeks thought of the two qualities as complementary: the two gods are brothers, and when Apollo at winter left for Hyperborea, he would leave the Delphic oracle to Dionysus. This contrast appears to be shown on the two sides of the Borghese Vase.
Apollo is often associated with the Golden Mean. This is the Greek ideal of moderation and a virtue that opposes gluttony.
Read more about this topic: Phivos
Famous quotes containing the words attributes and, attributes and/or symbols:
“Even though fathers, grandparents, siblings, memories of ancestors are important agents of socialization, our society focuses on the attributes and characteristics of mothers and teachers and gives them the ultimate responsibility for the childs life chances.”
—Sara Lawrence Lightfoot (20th century)
“True and false are attributes of speech not of things. And where speech is not, there is neither truth nor falsehood. Error there may be, as when we expect that which shall not be; or suspect what has not been: but in neither case can a man be charged with untruth.”
—Thomas Hobbes (15881679)
“Eloquence must be grounded on the plainest narrative. Afterwards, it may warm itself until it exhales symbols of every kind and color, speaks only through the most poetic forms; but first and last, it must still be at bottom a biblical statement of fact.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)