Apollo The God Who Captained A Ship As A Dolphin

Samuel Reason | January 22nd, 2018

When you dive into Greek mythology there are many wild and mysterious tales, but did you know that Apollo once captained a ship while being disguised as a dolphin? Seems mad that the crew would have accepted a dolphin as their captain!

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Apollo is widely accepted as being one of the most influential of all the ancient Greek and Roman gods. Where he appeared and how he came about is unknown, he was always distanced from other gods and seemed to scare people from afar. Only his father Zeus himself would be capable of standing in his presence as he was so bright from being the sun god! Apollo apparently ensured the religious law was followed and that you owed up to your guilt.

What we do know is that Apollo grew to adulthood in four days while being stuck on an island that he could not leave, the isle of Delos. And once he escaped his island home, he went over all of Greece searching for where he could start the temple of the sun god. He knew that he had to make it an incredible site and decided that the cave at the bottom of Mount Parnassos in Delphi would be suitable. There was only one problem the cave was guarded by a great dragon goddess Python! The story goes that Apollo was able to slay the magical beast with one of his silver arrows.

Yet he needed followers and priests for his new temple, as such he dove into the sea under the form of a dolphin. Finding a Cretan merchant ship in grave danger from a terrible storm, he jumped on board and as dolphin Apollo took control of the boat. Blowing the winds with his power, he steered the ship to safety. Because as we all know, dolphins can control the winds!

He brought them to the harbor at Delphi by his new temple and instructed the crew to become his first priests. Which of course they did as who would not follow the instructions of a dolphin, haha!

This story is outlined by legendary Greek author Homer in “Hymn to Apollo” and like many Greek poems the mythology is a sort of code for what really happened. The theory is that this poem tells the story of the first followers of the sun god Apollo outing what they believed to be an indigenous religion to the earth goddess Python. But why the dolphin? Maybe Homer just thought dolphins were cool!

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