The son of Zeus and Leto (Jupiter and Latona), the Greek god Apollo was

worshipped by the Romans as the god of healing, oracles and prophecy,

archery, music and poetry, and light (including the sun). He was usually

portrayed as a long-haired youth, often an archer or a musician with a lyre.

His arrows may represent the rays of the sun which both warm the earth and

carry disease in the summer's heat. There were two important temples of

Apollo in Rome. The earlier one, located in the Campus Martius, was

dedicated in 431 B.C.E. in fulfillment of a vow made several years earlier

during a time of plague. This temple was subsequently restored, and the date

of its rededication (Sept. 23) became a festival day; games were also

celebrated in honor of Apollo in July. In 13 B.C.E. Augustus began the

building of a temple to Apollo, whom he regarded as his patron deity, on the

Palatine Hill near his own house.

vase painting of Apollo