Apollo, God of Enterprise

  • Ted Underwood


The Romantic revival of polytheism was selective. Zeus, Hera, Ares, and even the nine Muses remained antique names; the sun-gods, on the other hand (Hyperion, Apollo, Helios, and, as a kind of mediator with the sun, Prometheus) became favorite protagonists. The disproportionate emphasis on the sun extended beyond Hellenism: British Romantic writers also developed a strain of Zoroastrian poetry that interpreted Ormusd (or Oromazde) as a god of fire and sunlight.1 The names of Peruvian and Egyptian sun-gods could be added to the list, if listing deities weren’t finally beside the point. Romantic mythographers, including Charles-François Dupuis and William Drummond, transformed all gods into sun-gods, by arguing that religion itself was originally sun-worship. The religious impulse, in Dupuis’ account, springs from man’s gratitude for light’s “creative energy”—”the true principle of our existence, without which our life would only be a sensation of protracted weariness.”2 Though the original meaning may have been covered up or forgotten, all religious stories— including the birth and death of Christ—were according to Dupuis once representations of the sun’s daily journey across the sky or yearly journey through the stations of the zodiac.


Natural Force Natural Philosopher Human Energy Burning Energy Middle Rank 
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© Ted Underwood 2005

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  • Ted Underwood

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