Apollo God Symbols

The symbols of the Greek god Apollo

Apollo Belvedere
Apollo Belvedere. "T" altered art/Flickr

Apollo is a Greek God of the sun, light, music, and prophesy. He's the son of the Zeus and Leto. His twin sister Artemis is the goddess of the moon and the hunt. Not only is Apollo the god of prophesy he also possesses the mystical talent as well. He's one of the most well-known gods in Greek mythology. He's one of the most well-known gods in Greek mythology. Like many of the Greek Gods, Apollo is associated with many different things which means he has many symbols.

These symbols are objects that people associated with the Gods and Goddesses. Each deity had their own symbols which were usually associated with the things they were the deity of or of great accomplishments they'd made. As Apollo is one of the most important Gods, on par with Zeus the father of the Gods, there are many symbols associated with the sun god. 

Symbols of Apollo 

  • Bow and arrows
  • The lyre
  • The raven
  • Rays of light radiating from his head
  • Wreath
  • Branch of Laurel

What Apollo's Symbols Mean

Apollo's silver bow and arrow represent the myth where he defeated the monster Python. Apollo is also the god of plagues and is known for shooting plague arrows at the enemy during the Trojan war. 

The lyre which is perhaps his most well-known symbol signifying that he is the god of music. In the ancient myths the god Hermes gifted Apollo the lyre in exchange for the rod of health. Apollos lyre has the power to cause things like stones to become musical instruments.

The raven is a symbol of Apollos anger. At one time the raven was a white bird but after delivering bad news to the god he turned all ravens black. The bird had the bad news of having to let Apollo know his lover Coronis was being unfaithful. News of the infidelity caused Apollo to literally shoot the messenger.

The rays of light that radiate from his head along with the wreath he wears are both meant to symbolize that he is the god of the sun. According to the Greek myth, each morning Apollo rides a golden flaming chariot across the sky bringing daylight to the world. In the evening his twin, Artemis, rides her own chariot across the sky bringing darkness.  

The branch of laurels was actually something Apollo wore as a sign of his love for the demigod Daphne. Unfortunately, Daphne was cursed by the Goddess Eros to have a hatred of love and lust. It was an act of revenge against Apollo who claimed he was the better archer. Eventually, after Daphne grew tired of Apollo's chasing she begged her father the river god Peneus for help. He turned Daphne was into a laurel tree to escape the love of Apollo. 

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Gill, N.S. "Apollo God Symbols." ThoughtCo, Oct. 31, 2017, thoughtco.com/apollo-god-symbols-117070. Gill, N.S. (2017, October 31). Apollo God Symbols. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/apollo-god-symbols-117070 Gill, N.S. "Apollo God Symbols." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/apollo-god-symbols-117070 (accessed January 19, 2018).