APOLLO

Apollo and Diana, by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804), Italian Baroque painter

Apollo and Diana, by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
(1727-1804), Italian Baroque painter

In the religion of the early Romans there is no trace of the worship of Apollo [see APOLLO (Greek mythology section)]. The Romans became acquainted with this divinity through the Creeks, and adopted all their notions and ideas about him from the latter people. There is no doubt that the Romans knew of his worship among the Greeks at a very early time, and tradition says that they consulted his oracle at Delphi even before the expulsion of the kings. But the first time that we hear of the worship of Apollo at Rome is in the year B. C. 430, when, for the purpose of averting a plague, a temple was raised to him, and soon after dedicated by the consul, C. Julius. (Liv. iv. 25, 29.) A second temple was built to him in the year B. C. 350. One of these two (it is not certain which) stood outside the porta Capena. During the second Punic war, in B. C. 212, the ludi Apollinares were instituted in honour of Apollo. (Liv. xxv. 12; Macrob. Sat. i. 17; Dict. of Ant. s. v. Ludi Apollinares; comp. Ludi Sweculares.) The worship of this divinity, however, did not form a very prominent part in the religion of the Romans till the time of Augustus, who, after the battle of Actium, not only dedicated to him a portion of the spoils, but built or embellished his temple at Actium, and founded a new one at Rome on the Palatine, and instituted quinquennial games at Actium. (Suet. Aug. 31, 52; Dict. of Ant. s. v. Aktia.)