Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

A principal God of Greek and Roman mythology. Arrows fired from his bow were a significant instrument of divine punishment, but he functioned also as a deliverer and as a patron of Oracles. His place in modern fantasy is more associated with his minor role as the god of Music. He was also the god to whom Sacrifices were offered when new towns were founded (thereby tacitly appointing him "god of civilization"); for this reason he was deployed as a crucial symbol by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) in The Birth of Tragedy (1872), which used the terms "Apollonian" and "Dionysian" (see Dionysus) to compare and contrast ascetic and hedonistic cultural phases. Nietzsche's notion of Apollonian ideals is neatly unpacked in Evander (1919) by Eden Phillpotts. Apollo's symbolic presence as Sun-god is vital to The Arrows of the Sun (1949) by Ivor Bannet. He plays a leading role in "The Substitute for Apollo" (1833) by John Sterling, "The Dumb Oracle" (1878) and "The Poet of Panopolis" (1888) by Richard Garnett, "The Gods and Ritter Tanhuser" (1913) by Vernon Lee, "Under the Sun" (1923) by R Ellis Roberts (1879-1953) and The Mask of Circe (1948; 1975) by Henry Kuttner. [BS]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.