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