Apollo and Artemis, twin gods born on the beautiful island of Delos

Delos, this small island lost in the middle of the Aegean Sea is the theater of an amazing story, which is the birth of the God Apollo and his twin sister Artemis.

On the small rock of Asteria, Leto, the goddess of the night gave birth to Apollo, the God of fire of the sun and Artemis, the goddess of the Hunt, thus representing the Sun and moon.

The twin gods promised a divine outcome despite a difficult birth

For legend, Leto was the mistress of Zeus who married Hera, the goddess of marriage and fertility. Finally, furious at this union, he cursed Leto forbidding all creatures and immortals from caring for the goddess pregnant with the children of Zeus. At the same time, Hera sends Python, the first serpent, to find Leto to kill him and his children. When the plan didn’t go as planned, Leto ended up giving birth to both twins on the island of Asteria.

This island has a goddess, the sister of Leto, who wanted to throw herself from the top of Olympus before giving in to the progress of Zeus. In the fall, he turned it into an island that was the perfect place to host Leto and his children and thus escape from Hera.

Artemis or goddess of the hunt

Artemis, the goddess of hunting, animal husbandry and virginity, also represents the crescent moon, a symbol of rebirth and the cycle of life. Anyone who dares to attack the shields of this goddess, the most important of the Olympians and revered by the Amazons, will arouse her wrath.

Her protection was greatly appreciated by the ancient Greeks, who gave her one of the greatest temples of antiquity, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, today in Turkey.

Artemis is the perfect mirror of her brother Apollo who represents between them the principle of polarity of nature, a Hellenic “Yin and Yang” type, hence the importance of their worship in the Greek world.

Delos, the birthplace of Apollo, the god of beauty, music, music and prophecy

“Give me a lyre and a bow and I will give the people the innocent deeds of Zeus”

Unlike the cold beauty of his sister Artemis, Apollo is beautiful enough to humble the body and immortality, male or female. Above all, it represents the sun, the fire of life. Apollo was Zeus’ favorite son because of his beauty but also because of his natural talent as a warrior. As an adult, Apollo left the island of Asteria which was then transformed into an island paradise by the magic of the sun’s fire, and was named “Delos” which means “the beautiful one”. “.

Hera’s punishment and the creation of Delphi

Hera sent the snake Python at the feet of the twins to attack them. The beast was found by Apollo who tamed and killed it. What the god of beauty did not recognize was the son of Gaia, the Earth Goddess, and he was forced to make amends by doing penance by building a temple for her in that place. of fighting. This is how Delphi was built, named after the animal that symbolizes Apollo, the dolphin. Delphi was the center of the Pythian games and especially the great Oracle, the Pythia named in honor of Python. Delphi was the center of the entire spiritual world of ancient Greece thanks to the magic of Apollo, the sorcerer who transformed Delos into a green and fertile island.

Let’s prepare our trip to this divine island…

The forbidden island

This island is part of the Cyclades, in Greek “Kyklos” means “circle”, because all the islands of this region surround the circle around the sacred island of Delos. The latter is 3.43 km², for a length of 5 km and a width of 1.3 km, its highest point is Mount Cynthe (113m) and it is crossed by the river Inopos. Located east of the island of Rhenea and west of Mykonos, it has long been uninhabited, suffering from a dry climate that cannot be penetrated by the sea when the wind rises. During the time of ancient Greece, it played an important role, religious and political, until its height in the 6th century BC. JC is grateful to have access to drinking water.

It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1990

The island can only be reached by boat from Mykonos and can be visited during the day (allow about 4 hours). Tickets can be purchased online or online (€12 full price and €6 reduced price, the ticket is free for people under 25 from the European Union). Summer hours are 8 am to 8 pm, but this is subject to change. The best time to go to Delos is spring, in order to see the island’s green and wild flowers. You can visit four main sites and we recommend that you join a guided tour (about 50-60 euros), because you will not see much information to understand the importance of the sites different and their design.

The holy city of Apollo

It is located on the north side of the Route des Processions, where according to legend, the god comes to stay there every spring. To the north of the Propylaea are the ruins of the Oikos of the Naxians where the base of the great bronze statue of Apollo was found.

The Sacred Lake

To get there, one must leave the Hieron of Apollo through the agora of Theophrastus, and pass by the beautiful lions, marble statues from Naxos that are responsible for guarding the lake.

Cynthos sanctuaries and theater area

You will see the sanctuaries of Aphrodite, the most important of the three Egyptian sanctuaries on the island, the Sarapeion, which is dedicated to the Cabires, the temple of Hera, and many buildings, such as with Inopos and Hermes. In the theater district you can visit four buildings, the Dolphins, the Masks, the Trident and finally Dionysos. The most important monument of the district is the theater, dating from 250 BC. JC can accommodate more than 5,500 spectators.

Commercial port district

The latter can be reached by following the coast to the south, and along the way it is possible to see groups of shops, used for transit trade coming from Tire or Alexandria, to Italy. The island was also involved in the slave trade according to Strabo, who led after the revolution the construction of the Agora of the Italians, combining surveillance and security arrangements. Then we reach the bay of Phourni, a beautiful beach for swimming while sheltered from the north wind and from where you can see the ruins of the sanctuary of Asclepius from afar.

The Museum of Delos

Most of the antiquities found on the island are gathered here, except for some artifacts that have been transferred to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. You will find archaic paintings, drawings of Hellenic plastics, vases and small objects discovered during excavations.

Hello visitors!

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: