Anatolian origin of Apollo Illustration of a coin of Apollo Agyieus from Ambracia.

A non-Greek origin of Apollo has long been assumed in scholarship.[3] The name o f Apollo's mother Leto has Lydian origin, and she was worshipped on the coasts o f Asia Minor. The inspiration oracular cult was probably introduced into Greece from Anatolia, which is the origin of Sibyl, and where existed some of the oldes t oracular shrines. Omens, symbols, purifications, and exorcisms appear in old A ssyro-Babylonian texts, and these rituals were spread into the empire of the Hit tites. In a Hittite text is mentioned that the king invited a Babylonian prieste ss for a certain "purification".[33] A similar story is mentioned by Plutarch. He writes that the Cretan- seer Epimen ides, purified Athens after the pollution brought by the Alcmeonidae, and that t he seer's expertise in sacrifices and reform of funeral practices were of great help to Solon in his reform of the Athenian state.[62] The story indicates that Epimenides was probably heir to the shamanic religions of Asia, and proves toget her with the Homeric hymn, that Crete had a resisting religion up to the histori cal times. It seems that these rituals were dormant in Greece, and they were rei nforced when the Greeks migrated to Anatolia. Homer pictures Apollo on the side of the Trojans, fighting against the Achaeans, during the Trojan War. He is pictured as a terrible god, less trusted by the Gr eeks than other gods. The god seems to be related to Appaliunas, a tutelary god of Wilusa (Troy) in Asia Minor, but the word is not complete.[63] The stones fou nd in front of the gates of Homeric Troy were the symbols of Apollo. The Greeks gave to him the name a???e?? agyieus as the protector god of public places and h ouses who wards off evil, and his symbol was a tapered stone or column.[64] Howe ver, while usually Greek festivals were celebrated at the full moon, all the fea sts of Apollo were celebrated at the seventh day of the month, and the emphasis given to that day (sibutu) indicates a Babylonian origin.[65] The Late Bronze Age (from 1700 to 1200 BCE) Hittite and Hurrian Aplu was a god o f plague, invoked during plague years. Here we have an apotropaic situation, whe re a god originally bringing the plague was invoked to end it. Aplu, meaning the son of, was a title given to the god Nergal, who was linked to the Babylonian g od of the sun Shamash.[12] Homer interprets Apollo as a terrible god (de???? ?e? ?) who brings death and disease with his arrows, but who can also heal, possessi ng a magic art that separates him from the other Greek gods.[66] In Iliad, his p riest prays to Apollo Smintheus,[67] the mouse god who retains an older agricult ural function as the protector from field rats.[68][69] All these functions, inc luding the function of the healer-god Paean, who seems to have Mycenean origin, are fused in the cult of Apollo.

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