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The Role of Apollo in Greek Life and Literature

            "Know Thyself ": The Role of Apollo in Greek Life and Literature.
             The figure of Apollo has been supremely influential in Greek life and literature since the beginning of Greek civilization, and has resonated throughout history to both modern religion and psychology. The derivation of the name "Apollo " remains ambiguous because its historical origin is unknown. The meaning of the name "Apollo " has no Greek etymology, and is thought to have associations with Asia Minor and the far north, as well as the Hyperboreans. The name is also vaguely associated with the word "Lycian " by many scholars, which can be translated to "wolf-like. " Apollo takes on many divine roles in Greek life. Ultimately, Apollo is known as the Far-Darter, the God of Prophecy, the God of Plague, and the God of Healing. Upon his chariot of swans, Apollo was also known as the Averter of Evil. In the classical period, Apollo was considered the Sun God, while his twin sister, Artemis, was considered the God of the Moon and Darkness. Because of his arrows, Apollo is often mistaken as the God of Hunters. This is false, as Athena, as well as his sister Artemis, are considered the Hunting Gods, and Apollo's arrows contain shafts of disease. Though he is constantly associated with disease as the "striker from afar ", Apollo is also closely related to healing because of his ability to perform the duties of a civilization's medicine man. Apollo also represents choral dance, singing, music, art, poetry, youth, sanity, moderation and entertaining in the Greek world. Apollo fulfills in the divine community the same function as the oral poet in human community. Apollo the singer eventually became the god of the Greek aristoi, meaning the self-projection of the Greek image. Apollo is also known well for his imperative skill on the lyre. Apollo was revered as the national expositor of Greek civilization, or the "patrios exegetes. " Overall, Apollo represented the ideal of young, vigorous manhood.

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