Re: Greek Gods I : APOLLO

From: MrCaws@...
Message: 9645
Date: 2001-09-21

--- In cybalist@..., "Glen Gordon" <glengordon01@...> wrote:

> 2) Earth, Vegetation & Fertility (*Yemos):
> - beautiful young god
> - seasonally reincarnated
> - associated with burial and death
> - owns a scary wolf-dog to guard underworld
> - a fine musician
> - ORIGIN: Middle East, C.Asia, E.Mediterranean

> 3) Hunting & Herding (*Manus):
> - valiant hero; archer/hunter/herder
> - battles herd-stealing water serpent
> - ORIGIN: E.Mediterranean

Like the incident with Hermes stealing the cattle? I wonder if this
myth is related to the underworld as well. Hermes played the role of
psychopomp and general underworld guy as well. A note: Hermes gives
Apollo a musical instrument to make amends for his theft.

A variation of the tale has Hercules having his cattle taken by
Cacus, and this was ritually important to the Romans. Women and dogs
were forbidden from entering the cave associated with the myth.
Dogs also served as psychopomps, and were sacred to Hecate.
Another(disputed)variation of this myth has the Thunder god's cattle
taken by Veles, horned deity of nature, the underworld, prophecy, and

So, Hermes was playing the role of musical underworld deity, was
caught by valiant cultural hero Apollo, and gave Apollo gift and
divine attribute of music to make amends.

What I get from this is that Apollo goes through the trials of the
cultural hero,symbolically going to the underworld and besting its
master, and gaining new otherworldly powers as a benefit.

This parallels the way he acquired his powers of prophecy, defeating
the serpent who controlled the oracle beforehand, and is key to
Apollo's nature.

I propose that Apollo was a heroic figure who acquired soveirgnity
over realms of power(death, disease, prophecy) that were formerly
relegated to mysterious and often frightening powers. This could
explain his association with light, as he brought light to some of
the spookier and "darker" aspects of ancient religious thought.

-Cort Williams