Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • David A. LeemingEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_40

One of the most important of the Greek gods, Apollo was the son of the high god, Zeus, and the Titan, Leto. Apollo’s twin sister was Artemis. Apollo was the god of light and reason. He was associated with music and the other arts. By defeating the Python, a mythical relative of the old Mother goddess at Delphi, Apollo became known as Pythian Apollo. His defeat of the old power, like his overruling of the same power represented by the Furies at the trial of Orestes for matricide, establishes him as the symbol of patriarchal order at the center of the classical Greek worldview. That order was based on the mind rather than emotion, on reason, moderation, balance, and form as opposed to what was seen as the old chthonic chaos. If the old female power was of the earth and its mortality, Apollo’s was of the sky, heaven, and its eternity. In his attention to social order, Apollo’s concerns are not with individual worth, but with “higher values.” To quote mythologist Walter Otto, “The sense...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Blanton-Peale InstituteNew YorkUSA