Sandro Botticelli: "Primavera" (1478). "Primavera" in Italian means "Spring." In
this wonderful painting by Botticelli, Mercury is depicted at far left. At the
center is Venus, on Venus' left the three Graces, and on her right the goddess
Flora. At the far right of the painting is the wind god Zephir pursuing the nymph
Chloris. Zephir's breath cause the nymph to sprout flowers from her mouth.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of Planet Art.
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus)
and Leto (Letona).
He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer.
Leto travelled all over Greece to find a place to give birth to Apollo. She finally came upon an island named Delos. The island agreed to allow the birth of Apollo if he in turn founded a temple on the island. Leto agreed, and when Apollo grew up, he changed Delos into a beautiful island.
He was known as the god who could foretell the future. His most famous sacred place was at Delphi, site of the Oracle of Delphi.
Apollo was very intelligent, as seen in a story with Mercury. As a young baby, Mercury was also very cunning. He tried to steal Apollo's cattle, and tricked Apollo by forcing the animals to walk backwards. This way, the footprints made it appear as if the cattle were walking the other way.
Eventually, a trial was held in front of Zeus. Mercury admitted he had stolen the cattle. He showed Apollo where they were hidden. Mercury offered his lyre as a present, and so the two became good friends.
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