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Primary Sources | Secondary Sources | Music | DVD

Primary Sources

Aesch. Eum. complete. For the Oresteia, see Chapter 16.
Apollod. 1.4.1-1.4.2: Leto and the birth of Artemis and Apollo; some exploits of Apollo.
1.7.8-1.7.9:  Apollo, Idas, and Marpessa.
1.9.15: Apollo, Admetus, and Alcestis.
3.10.3-3.10.4: Hyacinthus and Aesculapius.
Hymn 2
Hymn 4
Eur. Alcestis, entire.
Ion, entire.
HH 3a
HH 3b
HH 21
HH 25
HH 16
Hyg. 49: Asclepius, son of Apollo.
50: Apollo Serves Admetus.
51: Alcestis.
53: Ortygia and the Birth of Apollo.
93: Apollo and Cassandra.
140: Python.
161: Catalogue of Children of Apollo.
165: Marsyas.
191: King Midas’ Ears.
202: Coronis.
203: Daphne.
Luc. D. G.: Apollo.
Ov. Met. 1.416-451: Python.
Met. 1.452-567: Daphne.
Met. 2.533-632: Coronis.
Met. 6.382-400: Marsyas.
Met. 10.106-142: Apollo and Cyparissus.
Met. 10.162-219: Hyacinthus.
Met. 11.146-193: Midas’ Ears.
Met. 13.623-704: Anius’ Daughters.
Met. 14.129-153: Apollo and the Sibyl.
Paus. 1.43.7-1.44.2: Coroebus and Apollo; and a sanctuary of Apollo.
2.7.7-2.7.9: Apollo and Artemis and the sanctuary of Persuasion.
2.19.3-2.19.4: Sanctuary of Apollo Lycius, wolf-god.
2.26.1-2.29.1: Epidaurus and Asclepius.
3.13.4-3.13.6: The cult of Apollo Carneus.
3.19.3-3.19.5: Hyacinthus.
3.26.9-3.26.10: Machaon, son of Asclepius.
5.10.8: The Olympia pediment: Battle between Lapiths and Centaurs. Note that Pausanias Apollo as Perithoüs.
7.20.3-7.20.6: Apollo, his cattle, and music hall.
7.27.11: Sanctuary of Asclepius.
8.20.1-8.20.4: Daphne, Apollo, and Leucippus.
8.25.11: Sanctuary of boy Asclepius.
8.53.1-8.53.3: Apollo, Lord of the Streets.
9.10.4-9.10.6: Ismenian Apollo.
10.5.5-10.32.19: Delphi.
Pind. O. 6.29-6.74: Evadne, Apollo, and Iamus.
P. 1.1-1.20: Apollo and the Muses.
P. 3.1-3.69: Chiron, Asclepius, Apollo, and Coronis.
P. 9.1-9.66: Apollo and Cyrene.
Plat. Apol. 20d-22e: Socrates and Delphi.
Rep. 404e-408e: On medicine, with references to Asclepius.
Plut. Lys. 26.1-26.4: Lysander’s scheme for power by using Apollo.
Strab. 9.3.2-9.3.12: Description of Delphi.
10.5.1-10.5.5: Some islands, including Delos.
14.1.20: Otygia and Leto.
Thuc. 3.104.1-3.104.6: The festival of Delos.
Verg. Ecl. 4: The Cumaean prophecy of the Golden Child, fulfilled in Augustus.
Xen. Apol. 12-15: Socrates and Delphi.

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Primary Sources | Secondary Sources | Music | DVD

Secondary Sources


Arnold, Matthew (1822–1888). Empedocles on Etna, 2.1. Poem.

Browning, Robert (1812–1889). Balaution’s Adventure. Poem. Included is a translation from Euripides’ Alcestis.

Clampitt, Amy (1920–1994). “Tempe in Rain,” in The Collected Poems. New York: Knopf, 1999. 202–203.

Dobyns, Stephen. “Marsyas, Midas, and the Barber.” Cemetary Nights. New York: Viking/Penquin, 17–19.

Fulton, Alice. “Give:  A Sequence Reimagining Daphne and Apollo.” Sensual Math. New York:  Norton, 1995. 73-99. A modern riff on the tale of Apollo and Daphne, with Apollo as an oily Sinatraesque lounge singer, with a poignant focus on Daphne.

Keats, John (1795–1821). “God of the Golden Bow.” Poem.

———. “Ode to Apollo.” Poem.

Rilke, Rainer Maria (1875–1926). “Archäischer Torso Apollos” (“Archaic Torso of Apollo”). Poem.

Ritsos, Yannis (1909–1990). “Apollo at the Cave of Antigone.” Poem.

Sitwell, Edith (1887–1964). “Daphne.” Poem. See Walton, William, under Music, below.

Wilder, Thornton, The Alcestiad. This play, based upon Euripides, is followed by a short satyr play, The Drunken Sisters (i.e., the three Fates, with whom Apollo has an encounter). See The Collected Short Plays of Thornton Wilder, vol. 2, edited by A. Tappan Wilder (New York: Theatre Communcations Group, 1998), which includes an informative foreword by Isabel Wilder, the playwright’s younger sister. An operatic version of The Alcestiad was composed by Louise Talma (190l–1996), with libretto by Wilder.


Barnard, Mary E. The Myth of Apollo and Daphne from Ovid to Quevedo: Love, Agon and the Grotesque. Durham: Duke University Press, 1987.

Broad, W. J. The Oracle: The Lost Secrets and Hidden Message of Ancient Delphi. New York: Penguin Press, 2006.

Fontenrose, Joseph. The Delphic Oracle: Its Responses and Operations. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.

———. Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and Its Origins. New York: Biblo & Tannen, 1974.

Parke, H. W. Sibyls and Sibylline Prophecy in Classical Antiquity, edited by Brian C. McGing. Croom Helm Classical Studies. New York: Routledge, 1988.

Petrakos, Basil. Delphi. Athens: Clio Editions, 1977. A brief, well-illustrated introduction to the site of Delphi.

Wood, Michael. The Road to Delphi. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003. A lively, entertaining interpretation of oracular phenomena from ancient times to the present.

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Primary Sources | Secondary Sources | Music | DVD


Bliss, Arthur (1891–1975). Hymn to Apollo. Bliss said that this symphonic work evokes Apollo as “the God of the healing art.” Ulster Orchestra, cond. Handley. Chandos CHAN 8818; London Symphony Orchestra, cond. Bliss. Lyrita SRCD 225.

Britten, Benjamin (1913–1976). Young Apollo, for piano and strings. Evans. Scottish Chamber Orchestra, cond. Serebrier. Phoenix PHCD 11. Also I Musici de Montreal, cond. Turovsky. Chandos CHAN 8817. Inspired by the last lines of Keats’ “Hyperion.”

Campra, André (1660–1774). Daphné. Cantata for soprano and continuo. Nicolas, cond. Chapuis. Pierre Verany PV.786101 (distr. Harmonia Mundi). Includes Achille Oisif, Arion, Didon, Hébé.

Cavalli, Francesco (1602–1676). Egisto. Cecchetti et al. Mediterraneo Concento, cond. Vartolo. Naxos 8.557746.  Excerpts from this opera about Aegisthus, a descendant of Apollo, who with Venus and Cupid is embroiled in this invented love story. Includes Didone, Giasone, and Calisto.

Diepenbrock, Alphons (1862–1921). Marsyas. Programmatic orchestral suite, drawn from music written for a comic play by Balthazar Verhagen about the contest between Apollo and Marsyas. Residentie Orchestra the Hague, cond. Vonk. Chandos CHAN 8821. Includes Elektra and overture to Aristophanes’ The Birds.

Elias, Brian (1948–). Pythikos Nomos, for saxophone and piano. Kelly and Versteegh. Col Legno AU 31817 CD. Using both modernized and ancient Greek musical structures (with the quotation of the Delphic hymn), the program of the music depicts the battle between Apollo and the Python.

Fine, Vivian (1913–2000). Alcestis. Imperial Philharmonic of Tokyo, cond. Strickland. CEI (American Masters) CE 692. Sections of a ballet score written for Martha Graham’s Alcestis. The sections are entitled Alcestis and Thanatos, The Revelling Hercules, Battle between Hercules and Thanatos, The Dance of Triumph, and the Rescue of Alcestis.

Fux, Johann Joseph (1660–1741). Dafne in Lauro. Opera about Daphne’s devotion to Diana, her encounter with Apollo, and her transformation. Van der Sluis et al. Orchestre Baroque du Clemencic Consort, cond. Clemencic. Nuova Era 6930/31.

Gagliano, Marco da (1582–1643). La Dafne. Opera first performed in 1608. The text by Ottavio Rinuccini (based on Ovid) is the same as that of the very first opera, composed in 1594 by Peri and Corsi. Ensemble Elyma, cond. Garrido. K617 (made in France) K617058.

Grétry, André-Ernest-Modeste (1741–1813). Le Jugement de Midas. Comic opera about the contest between Apollo and Pan. Excerpts. Devos et al. Chamber Orchestra from the Nouvel Orchestre de la R.T.B.F., cond. Zollman. Koch/Schwann 3-1090-2; Elwes et al. La Petite Bande, cond. Leonhardt. Ricercar RIC 063033.

Handel, George Frideric (1685–1759), Admeto, Ré di Tessaglia. Opera. Jacobs et al. Il Complesso Barocco, cond. Curtis. (Virgin) Veritas 5 61369 2. The main action comes from Euripides, with a complicated subplot of Venetian intrigue.

———. Apollo e Dafne. Cantata for two soloists and orchestra. Alexander and Hampson. Concentus Musicus Wien, cond. Harnoncourt. Teldec 4509-98645-2. Nelson et al. Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, cond. McGegan. Harmonia Mundi 905157.

Larsson, Lars-Erik (1908–1986). God in Disguise. Cantata. Söderström et al. Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Westerberg. Swedish Society SCD 1020. Setting of pastoral poems by Hjalmar Gullberg (for soprano, baritone, speaker, chorus, and orchestra) that includes Apollo’s exile in Thessaly.

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756–1791). Apollo et Hyacinthus. Mozart’s first opera, with a libretto in Latin. Johnson et al. Mozarteum-Orchester Salzburg. Philips 422 526-2; Dickie et al. Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Leipzig, cond. Pommer. Berlin Classics 0210 010.

Partch, Harry (1901–1976). Daphne of the Dunes, for eight musicians and prerecorded tape. Originally composed for a film about Daphne and Apollo, includes Windsong, by Madeline Tourelot. Newband, Microtonal Works 2. Mode 33.

Philidor, François-André-Danican (1726–1795). Carmen Saeculare. Cantata for chorus. La Grande écurie et la Chambre du Roy, cond. Malgoire. Erato 2292-45609-2. Musical setting of the Latin text of Horace’s hymn to Apollo and Diana.

Pichel, Wenzel (1741–1805). Symphony Concertante in D Major, Apollo and Symphony in D Major, Mars. The Ordea Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Rîmbu. Olympia OCD 434.

Schweitzer, Anton (1735–1787). Alceste. Opera. Targler et al. Erfurt Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Wehr. Marco Polo 8.225261. Overture to the opera: Stejskal. Das Landessinfonieorchester Thüringen, Gotha, cond. Breuer. ES-DUR ES 2028. Also includes Polyxena.

“The Song of the Sibyl” (“El Cant de la Sibilla”). Obsidienne Vocal Ensemble, cond. Bellsolà. Opus 111 OPS 30-130. Anonymous liturgical composition of the 14th century, which has the ancient sibyl prophesy the return of Christ on the day of the Last Judgment.

Strauss, Richard (1864–1949). Daphne. Opera. Fleming et al. WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, cond. Bychkov. Decca B0005182-02. Popp et al. Bavarian Radio Orchestra, cond. Haitink. EMI CDS 7 49309 2 (Angel CDCB 49309). Among the recordings of the ecstatic final scene, brilliantly evoking Daphne’s transformation into a laurel tree, is an earlier one by Renée Fleming and the London Symphony Orchestra, cond. Solti. London 455 760-2. Strauss’s operatic version of the myth is an amalgamation of Ovid and Pausanias.

Stravinsky, Igor (1882–1971). Apollo (Apollon Musagète). Ballet. Orchestra of St. John’s, Smith Square, cond. Lubbock. ASV CD DCA 618. This is the 1928 version; the work was revised in 1947. Includes Orpheus. See Videos.

Walton, William (1902–1983). “Daphne.” Song for soprano and piano. “A Portrait of Kiri te Kanawa” CBS Masterworks 39208. Also Bronsgeest and Bolen. “Ständchen” Erasmus WVH150. Text is a poem by Edith Sitwell.  

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Primary Sources | Secondary Sources | Music | DVD


Apollo. Ballet.  Choreography by George Balanchine, Music by Igor Stravinsky. At last a complete performance on DVD in Jacques D’Amboise: Portrait of a Great American Dancer. VAI. Among the other ballets D’Amboise performs on this DVD is Afternoon of a Faun, choreographed by Jerome Robbins with music by Debussy and also on Dancing for Mr. B: Six Balanchine Ballerinas. Kultur Balanchine, in the composition of his ballet Apollo (original title, Apollon Musagète), for the first time, in 1928, collaborated with Stravinsky, who wrote the original score. Balanchine later described this collaboration as the turning point in his creative life. Just after Apollo's birth, three of the Muses educate Apollo in their arts: Calliope personifies poetry and rhythm; Polyhymnia represents mime; and Terpsichore combines poetry and gesture in dance. Apollo and the Muses in a final dance ascent to Parnassus. In 1979 for a revival with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Balanchine eliminated nearly the first third of the dance; his original version is much to be preferred. . For an informative documentary on the career of Balanchine, see Balanchine. Kultur. On VHS video but not yet on DVD: Excerpts from Apollo in The Balanchine Library, the Balanchine Celebration Part 1. New York City Ballet. Nonesuch 40189-3.

Gluck, Christoph Willibald (1714–1787). Alceste. Opera. Anne Sofie von Otter, Paul Groves, et al. Stage director Robert Wilson. English Baroque Soloists & Monteverdi Choir, cond. Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Image Entertainment.

Opera: Gluck, Christoph Willibald (1714–1787). Alceste. Naglestad et al. Stuttgart State Opera, cond. Carydis. Arte Music. Based upon Euripides’ play.

Rashomon. This classic Japanese movie by the famous director Akira Kurosawa includes an episode realistically portraying a medium (or sibyl) possessed. The Criterion Collection.

Rameau, Jean-Philippe. Les Boréades. Barbara Bonney, Paul Agnew, et al. Stage director, Robert Carsen. Opéra National de Paris, Les Arts Florisaants, cond. Christie. Opus Arte. Opera about how Queen Alphise of Bactria must marry one of the sons of Boreas, god of the North Wind. Apollo, however, plays an important role and so does Eros. Opus Arte.

Strauss, Richard (1864–1949). Daphne. Anderson et al. Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra, cond. Reck. Strauss’ dynamic operatic version of the myth is an amalgamation of Ovid and Pausanias. The ecstatic final scene brilliantly evokes Daphne’s transformation into a laurel tree.

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