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Apollo and Helios.

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:59 am

How did Apollo ever become renowned as the god of the sun?

Helios is the god of the sun not Apollo.

Where does this confusion come from?

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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Erodius on Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:27 am

It comes primarily from the philosophical tradition, but is nearly a universal understanding by the Hellenistic period.

These characteristics of Apollo necessarily appear in a peculiar light, if we adopt the view which was almost universal among the later poets, mythographers, and philosophers, and according to which Apollo was identical with Helios, or the Sun. In Homer and for some centuries after his time Apollo and Helios are reasonably distinct. The question which here presents itself, is, whether the idea of the identity of the two divinities was the original and primitive one, and was only revival in later times, or whether it was the result of later speculations and of foreign, chiefly Egyptian, influence. Each of these two opinions has had its able advocates. The former, which has been maintained by Buttmann and Hermann, is supported by strong arguments. In the time of Callimachus, some persons distinguished between Apollo and Helios, for which they were censured by the poet. (Fragm. 48, ed. Bentley.) Pausanias (vii. 23. &sec; 6) states, that he met a Sidonian who declared the two gods to be identical, and Pausanias adds that this was quite in accordance with the belief of the Greeks. (Comp. Strab. xiv. p. (635; Plut. de Ei ap. Delph. 4, de Def.Orae. 7.) It has further been said, that if Apollo be regarded as the Sun, the powers and attributes which we have enumerated above are easily explained and accounted for; that the surname of Phoibos (the shining or brilliant), which is frequently applied to Apollo in the Homeric poems, points to the sun; and lastly, that the traditions concerning the Hyperboreans and their worship of Apollo bear the strongest marks of their regarding the god in the same light. (Alcaeus, ap. Himer. xiv. 10; Diod. ii. 47.)

'Ēlios' is the literal Sun, its power, and soul. Apollo stands for the intangible Sun — that is, the divinity rooted behind all heliac things. In this way, the Sun is said to be a symbol in the Apollonine seira.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:02 pm

So, do you think Helios and Apollo are the same god Erodius?

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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Erodius on Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:54 pm

It's not really as simple as a yes or no.

I would phrase it this way, the Sun is entirely Apollinine, and an icon and symbolon of Apollo, however, is not the entirety of Apollo, in the same way that my face is entirely me, but is not the entirety of me.

A baker is dividing a lump of dough into loaves; each loaf is entirely of the being of the lump, but is not its fullness ultimately — though still, it is not entirely incorrect to say that it is, if one means in terms of elements represented.

It's helpful to imagine any given subset of the Pythagorean/Fractal Tree diagram, as language is not really able to convey the concept with total accuracy.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Pemphredo on Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:47 pm

Maybe it might be interesting for you that some scholars believe that the name Apollo could be derived from Assyrian aplu which means 'son'* and seemed to be an epitheton of Nergal, the Mesopotamian deity who was mostly equated to Ares, Hades and/or Herakles, but who actually has some similarities to (Homeric) Apollon as bringer of deseases. Nergal was associated with the negative influence of the sun too. So he was a kind of a sun deity. He was related to the goddess Ereshkigal, whom one might equate wit Persephone, but her other name, Alattu, resembles the name Allat (who was equated with Aphrodite) whom name shows similarities to Leto, the goddess of the Lycians and mythological mother to Apollon. ... well, that are just my observations and interpretations of course ^^.

I think it depends on your personal view. Mythological, they might be two different characters. But in Religion... well, that's how you regard it of course: one and the same deity; two different deities; Helios as the sphere belonging to Apollon (Saloustios); Apollon as a manifestation of the henotheistic Helios (Macrobius); ...


*These sholars are mentioned in Rafal Rosol's Die Herkunft des Gottesnamens Apollon(2007: 229).
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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Erodius on Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:19 pm

Maybe it might be interesting for you that some scholars believe that the name Apollo could be derived from Assyrian aplu which means 'son'* and seemed to be an epitheton of Nergal, the Mesopotamian deity who was mostly equated to Ares, Hades and/or Herakles, but who actually has some similarities to (Homeric) Apollon as bringer of deseases. Nergal was associated with the negative influence of the sun too. So he was a kind of a sun deity. He was related to the goddess Ereshkigal, whom one might equate wit Persephone, but her other name, Alattu, resembles the name Allat (who was equated with Aphrodite) whom name shows similarities to Leto, the goddess of the Lycians and mythological mother to Apollon. ... well, that are just my observations and interpretations of course.
Historically, the near-eastern Ereschigal has been routinely equated in the papyri-corpus with Ἄρτεμις, who is customarily likened to Φερσεφόνη (via equation with Προθυραία and Τύχη) in Hellenistic-era religion and in the various esoteric and philosophical movements.

As I would chart-ify it, based on the Orphic theology, these sets form a Triad, a major element of Orpheo-Pythagorean cosmology:

i. At the top, empyrean, level these are Ἀπόλλων and Ἄρτεμις, hence the direct association with the sun and moon
ii. At the middle, transitional/dynamic level, these become Πλούτων/Ἅϊδης and Φερσεφόνη
iii. And at the basal, hyparxic level, these become Ζαγρεύς/Ψυχόγονος/Παν-Βόσκος/Logic Soul and Μειλινόη/Ψυχή/Νύμφη/Alogic Soul.

Likewise, Λήτω is an extension of 'Ρέα, who, a mother to an aetherial power in all her stases, is identified in Orphic writing with the Second-Venus/Ἀφροδίτη, and thus are both Venus and Ceres called the 'Companion of Bacchus'.

What you and those scholars have written is all quite consistent with attestations and intact theology. You need no 'disclaimer'. Wink

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Pemphredo on Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:15 am

Erodius wrote:Historically, the near-eastern Ereschigal has been routinely equated in the papyri-corpus with Ἄρτεμις, who is customarily likened to Φερσεφόνη (via equation with Προθυραία and Τύχη) in Hellenistic-era religion and in the various esoteric and philosophical movements.
I think I read something similar in Hyginus' work, where he stated that the Moon (Selènè/Luna) was called Ἄρτεμις-Diana in the forests and Φερσεφόνη-Proserpina in the Underworld. And Aischulos made Artemis a daughter to Demeter what we know from Herodotos who equated Demeter with Isis and Artemis wit Bast (but, you know these things far better than I do.)

Erodius wrote:As I would chart-ify it, based on the Orphic theology, these sets form a Triad, a major element of Orpheo-Pythagorean cosmology:

i. At the top, empyrean, level these are Ἀπόλλων and Ἄρτεμις, hence the direct association with the sun and moon
ii. At the middle, transitional/dynamic level, these become Πλούτων/Ἅϊδης and Φερσεφόνη
iii. And at the basal, hyparxic level, these become Ζαγρεύς/Ψυχόγονος/Παν-Βόσκος/Logic Soul and Μειλινόη/Ψυχή/Νύμφη/Alogic Soul.

Ow... I start to feel like Tantalos...


Erodius wrote:Likewise, Λήτω is an extension of 'Ρέα, who, a mother to an aetherial power in all her stases, is identified in Orphic writing with the Second-Venus/Ἀφροδίτη, and thus are both Venus and Ceres called the 'Companion of Bacchus'.
Is that the reason why Proklos honours Ἀφροδίτη as the tutelary deity of the Lycians? I thought Λήτω was the tutelary goddess to the Lycians (Letoon), but if these goddesses are identified with eachother in Orphic literature, my question is answered. It's quite usefull to know the Orphic teachings (... feeling like Tantalos again...).

Erodius wrote:What you and those scholars have written is all quite consistent with attestations and intact theology. You need no 'disclaimer'.
Haha, it's a bad cusom indeed. In other, mostly German polytheistic fora one has to be so careful with the subjects one wishes to discuss... there, one can never use enough "possibles" or "maybe's" or "might be's".... mostly, the subjects themselves are not discussed, but the sources. I'm a Bachelor (academic, but also without partner... so twice) myself, so I KNOW how important sources are, but... grrrrrr... some people just like to argue for arguing I guess.

(Again: you know that my English is not appropriate. I really should do something about it...)
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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Erodius on Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:30 pm

Is that the reason why Proklos honours Ἀφροδίτη as the tutelary deity of the Lycians? I thought Λήτω was the tutelary goddess to the Lycians (Letoon), but if these goddesses are identified with eachother in Orphic literature, my question is answered. It's quite usefull to know the Orphic teachings (... feeling like Tantalos again...).
I have always heard of Venus-'Αφροδίτη as the tutelary of Lycia – but there certainly may have been several, depending on the time and locale — Lycia is a region, after all, not simply a city. 


Latona is not overtly declared to be the same as Venus in the various Orphic scriptures as far as I'm aware, however, it would not be unreasonable to say that they are indirectly equated. Latona is more specifically equated with Ceres — both are κυανόπεπλοι (darkly-clothed), and both are progenitors of microcosmically-representatives pairs of deities (Apollo and Diana, and Zagreus and Meilinoe, respectively). Ceres may be equated with the Second Venus, as we describe her, with both being generated to Heaven by Earth subsequent to Heaven's rejection by Saturn — Rhea and Ceres being identical in Orphism; the names simply applying to different segments of the cosmogony. 


Orpheus' 'Ιερός Λόγος proves an exegetical treasure again and again, things are shown consistent that appear otherwise a total mess, and things are explained that appear otherwise inexplicable. 


Why ever do you feel like Tantalus, might I ask? Wink 

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Pemphredo on Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:22 pm

Erodius wrote:

Why ever do you feel like Tantalus, might I ask? Wink 
Because there's always just a little I get to know about the gods. I wish I could be initiated to Orphism.

Sorry for the late answer.
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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Erodius on Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:20 pm

Because there's always just a little I get to know about the gods. I wish I could be initiated to Orphism.
If you sincerely desire to enter the fold, you will be received. If you are of sound mind, good judgment, not disposed to foolishness, desire genuinely to learn, keep a student's heart, have never committed murder, and have the ability to receive direct, verbal instruction by a mystagogue, and are a legal adult, you can be received as an intiand (one in the process of receiving the transmission of instruction).

We charge no money, and we do not discriminate by nationality, gender, or sexual orientation.

For legal reasons, we do have to discriminate based on age, and for practical reasons, as far as I'm aware, instruction is only available in Greek or English (and English has only become available within the last few years).

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Pemphredo on Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:45 pm

Well, I worship (or try to worship) the gods, whatever names they might have, for quite a long time. It would be nice to learn to do it right. I would try to do whatever it asks or needs to be initiated. Though travelling to the US would be a little too expensive for now.

Is there anything I already could start with? For example studying some specific text (the Orphic Hymns, Pythagoras)?
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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Erodius on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:24 pm

Pemphredo wrote:Well, I worship (or try to worship) the gods, whatever names they might have, for quite a long time. It would be nice to learn to do it right. I would try to do whatever it asks or needs to be initiated. Though travelling to the US would be a little too expensive for now.

Do you have access to something like Skype? It has proven a valuable aid for postulant students who are not able to meet personally with a teacher.

The rites of worship preserved in Orphic practice are not hugely different in most cases from what one can learn about from studying Classical religion, but there are some things to be learned in which Orphic custom differs. The sources of and reasons for these differences vary — in many cases they are theologically based and unique to Orphism, in other cases they are descended from Classical customs outside of the ones commonly studied, and in other cases, they derive likely from developments that occurred in Orphic religion in post-Antique times after other streams of Classical religion had died out.

Is there anything I already could start with? For example studying some specific text (the Orphic Hymns, Pythagoras)?

The Pythagorean texts are an excellent place to study (KS Guthrie's Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library is the Pythagorean bible par excellence), however, it should be kept in mind that, although the Pythagorean school is almost certainly derived from Orphism (and later was reabsorbed back into it during the persecution of Pythagoreanism in Magna Graecia), and is heavily Orphic-influenced because of its Orphic heritage, Pythagoreanism is essentially a philosophical school derived from tenets of Orphic religion, and Pythagorean texts can sometimes get to be highly technical, philosophical, and abstract, whereas Orphism and truly Orphic texts are more plainly religious in tone and content.

Proclus, the Neoplatonic philosopher, was evidently a fairly devout Orphic, and his writings abound in meditations on Orphic points of theology. However, as excellent as they are, Proclus' writings are extraordinarily long (single Proclean texts can be 1,000 pages or more), he was such a brilliant man that his writing can be almost incomprehensible if you are not already reasonably familiar with what he is talking about.

The Orphic Hymns (or Teletae) are, of course, a central text of Orphic religion. However, they are full of elements that are invisible to the uninitiated, hidden in plain sight. I can vouch for this myself — I studied Classical religion for a few years before entering the Orphic brotherhood, and read the Orphic Hymns quite often, however, reading them after being instructed in the Mysteria, it is like somebody turned on a light I never knew was off.

There are some other texts that are either difficult or impossible to find online that I could send to you, and you might also be interested in taking a look through our English-language/US-based website which is at the bottom of my signature  Wink 


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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:03 pm

Erodius wrote: Do you have access to something like Skype? It has proven a valuable aid for postulant students who are not able to meet personally with a teacher.

Indeed. Even though I'm now in the same geographical area as my teacher, the schedule of life on a military base makes face-to-face contact very difficult. Skype is now my best friend Laughing

Is there anything I already could start with? For example studying some specific text (the Orphic Hymns, Pythagoras)?

In addition to Erodius' recommendations, I have a copy of George Robert Stow Mead's "Orpheus," and found it helpful, after asking my teacher whether it was reliable (he said be careful with it, due to the history of the author's mentor, but he didn't think it was terribly inaccurate). Basically, go in with a salt shaker, just in case. Mead makes a lot of references to concepts which exist in Sanatana Dharma, but Orphism and Sanatana Dharma really don't disagree on a whole lot. In any case, I thought it was an interesting read.

Erodius wrote: Proclus, the Neoplatonic philosopher, was evidently a fairly devout Orphic, and his writings abound in meditations on Orphic points of theology. However, as excellent as they are, Proclus' writings are extraordinarily long (single Proclean texts can be 1,000 pages or more), he was such a brilliant man that his writing can be almost incomprehensible if you are not already reasonably familiar with what he is talking about.

You're telling me Laughing Proclus has caused me to need aspirin a few times after reading his works.

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Re: Apollo and Helios.

Post  Pemphredo on Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:57 pm

I'm thankfull for all your information. I'm just afraid that my English isn't good enough, not to speak of my (old) Greek. I'll study the textes of Pythagoras and Proclus and the Teletae, but I guess my religion will always stay in it's current level.
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