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Epithet of Apollon

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Epithet of Apollon

Post  AgathonZante on Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:28 am

One of Apollon's epithets is "Apollon of the Far North." What does that mean?

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Re: Epithet of Apollon

Post  Theodoros on Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:24 am

Apollo was said to spend part of the year(usually the winter) with the Hyperboreans, a race of mythical people who were said to live in an area of extreme north which would have sun all the time. There are lots of different ideas about them, such as they were giants, or that they had longer life spans than a average human. They have some resemblance of the Ice Giants from Nordic mythology although I have a very bare knowledge of that subject so it is quite possible that I'm wrong.

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Re: Epithet of Apollon

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:04 pm

By the logic of interpretatio graeca, it was held that those Hyperboreans in the North worshiped Apollo (possibly the Celtic Belenus or some other equivalent).  Diodorus Siculus writes of an island beyond Gaul inhabited by a people who worship Apollo in a circular temple.  Probably Britain, as there is no solar deity in the Gaelic subset of Celtic polytheism.  

Pytheas likely made it up there in his explorations, it's even said he made it so far north he reached a sea full of floating ice (I think Barry Cunliffe has a book on this where he basically shows that it's not just hearsay and exaggeration, that it's quite plausible that this remarkable Phocaean did indeed make it that far).  It may be that Pytheas first made this observation of their worship of Apollo.
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Re: Epithet of Apollon

Post  Human on Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:57 pm

That's really interesting. I figured it was probably a reference to a Viking like culture because there is a God in Norse mythology that has many similarities to Apollo named Baldr.

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Re: Epithet of Apollon

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:03 pm

Interesting.  I had always thought the closest comparison among the Norse pantheon would be Bragi, who was the god of skalds.  Either way, Odin/Wotan/Woden seems to me very clearly to be the Germanic cult of Hermes.  There are many very interesting liminal parallels within Indo-European religiosity (see Tlepsh and Lady Tree in the Nart Sagas, very similar account of Odin and Yggdrasil), say with the Gaulish Lugos and Irish Lugh, and I think they are expressions of eternal metaphysical truths, or echoes of Hermes among non-Hellenic peoples, if you will.
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Re: Epithet of Apollon

Post  Callisto on Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:05 pm

There are entries at Theoi.com that might be of interest:

Hyperborea
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Hyperborea Giants
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