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The Battle of Apollo and Python

Apollo and Python

Python was a fearsome creature in Greek mythology. Born from Gaia the goddess of the earth and mother of all the gods. The creature was depicted as a large snake. It was so terrifying that it was sometimes also described as a dragon.

Python a horrid serpent, new to all men’s eyes — a sight that terrified the reborn tribes

Metamorphoses of OVID. A NEW VERSE TRANSLATION BY. Allen Mandelbaum.

The Battle Between Apollo and Python

The origin of the battle starts when Hera (Zeus’s wife and queen of the gods) finds out about his affair with Leto. From this affair, Leto will be expecting twins (Artemis & Apollo).

Angry, she decides to take revenge on Leto and sends the Python to chase her restlessly through the lands. She also forbids anyone to welcome Leto on land from giving birth. The period of Leto’s pregnancy is a nightmare for her and she can never rest. At last, Leto finds refuge on the island of Delos and gives birth to Apollo and Artemis.

Apollo, after just four days of life, vowed to avenge his mother. He tracked Python to its cave and fought it. The battle between Apollo and Python was hard-fought, but Apollo triumphed eventually. It is said that he shot a thousand arrows at the monster before it fell.

Apollo and Python - Meet The Myths

After slaying the serpent Python, Apollo set up The Oracle of Delphi and built his Temple of Apollo. To keep the memory of his great feat alive, the god established the Pythia games. It was the most important game after the Olympics.

Alternative versions of the Myth of Apollo and Python

  • Python would have seen its future, where it would be killed by the son of Leto. Therefore he would have to chase Leto to avoid her giving birth.
  • Apollo would come to Dephi seeking to take control of the oracular site protected by Python.

If you enjoyed this myth, we recommend reading the myth of Apollo And Daphne that starts after this story. In it, Apollo is shot by Cupid’s arrow, which makes him fall in love with Daphne. However, she has vowed to remain chaste and flees from him.



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