Images of the Greek-Roman God Apollo

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Apollo Coin Denarius Coin of Apollo

Coin with Apollo Denarius

Smabs Sputzer/Flickr/CC by 2.0 

The Romans, as well as the Greeks, honored Apollo. Pictured is a Roman coin (a denarius) showing Apollo crowned with a laurel wreath.

Usually, when the Romans took over another country, they took their gods and associated them with pre-existing ones. Apollo, on the other hand, remained Apollo among the Romans, perhaps because he was incomparable. As a sun god, the Romans also called him Phoebus. Because of his plague-healing powers, Apollo was an important enough god to the Romans that in 212 B.C., they instituted a set of Roman games in his honor called the Ludi Apollinares. The games for Apollo featured circus games and dramatic performances.

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Lycian Apollo

Lycian Apollo at the Louvre

Public Domain/Wikipedia Commons

Apollo had an oracular shrine in Lycia. There were also cults of Lycian Apollo in Crete and Rhodes.

This statue of Apollo is an imperial era Roman copy of a statue of Apollo by Praxiteles or Euphranos. It is 2.16 m (7 ft. 1 in.) tall.

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Apollo and Hyacinthus

Apollo and Hyacinthus

Alexander Ivanov/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

 

Apollo was so deeply in love with the Spartan prince Hyacinthus, son of King Amyclas and Diomede, that he shared in the mortal youth's life, enjoying the human's pursuit of sports.

Unfortunately, Apollo wasn't the only deity enamored with Hyacinthus. One of the winds, Zephyros or Boreas, was as well. When Apollo and Hyacinthus were throwing the discus, the jealous wind made the discus Apollo had thrown bounce up and strike Hyacinthus. Hyacinthus died, but from his blood sprang the flower that bears his name.

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Apollo With Cithara

Apollo Citaredo ai Musei Capitolini

Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Apollo statue at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. The cithara is a lyre-type instrument invented by Apollo.

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Temple of Apollo in Pompeii

Temple of Apollo in Pompeii

Christine McIntosh/Flickr/CC by ND 2.0

The Temple of Apollo, which is in the forum at Pompeii, dates back at least to the 6th century B.C.

In The Fires of Vesuvius, Mary Beard says the Temple of Apollo once held a pair of bronze statues of Apollo and Diana and a copy of the omphalos (navel) that was a symbol of Apollo at his Delphic shrine.

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Apollo Belvedere

Apollo Belvedere

Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons 

Apollo Belvedere, named for the Belvedere Court at the Vatican, is considered the standard for male beauty. It was found in the ruins of Pompey's theater.

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Artemis, Poseidon, and Apollo

Poseidon, Artemis, and Apollo on a frieze

Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

How can you tell Apollo from Poseidon? Look for the facial hair. Apollo usually appears as a beardless young man. Also, he's beside his sister.

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Apollo and Artemis

Apollo and Artemis

 Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

Apollo and Artemis are the twin children of Apollo and Leto, although Artemis was born before her brother. They came to be associated with the sun and the moon.

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Phoebus Apollo

Phoebus Apollo

Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons 

An image of the god Phoebus Apollo from Keightley's Mythology, 1852.

The drawing shows Apollo as the sun god, with rays behind him, guiding the horses that drive the solar chariot across the sky each day.

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Apollo Musagetes

Apollo Musagetes

 Public Domain/Wikimedia

Apollo inspires the Muses, for which reason he is sometimes called Apollo Musagetes. Modern philosophers and psychologists sometimes contrast Apollo with Dionysus, god of wine and frenzy. Apollo inspires seers with prophecy while Dionysus fills his followers with madness.