FURTHER READING - Apollo - Fritz Graf

Apollo - Fritz Graf (2009)


There are very few books on Apollo, besides the general histories of Greek and Roman religion and the outdated but still useful L.R. Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, vol. 4 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907). On the Greek side, Marcel Detienne, Apollon le couteau à la main. Une approche expérimentale du polythéisme grec (Paris: Gallimard, 1998) is somewhat one-sided but stimulating, as is Philippe Monbrun, Les voix d’Apollon. L’arc, la lyre et les oracles (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2007). Jon Solomon, ed., Apollo. Origins and Influences (Tucson and London: University of Arizona Press, 1994) is patchy at best. On the Roman side, Jean Gagé, Apollon Romain. Essai sur le culte d’Apollo et le développement du “ritus Graecus” à Rome des origines à Auguste (Paris: Boccard, 1955) is essential; but add some of the essays in Georges Dumézil, Apollon sonore et autres essais. Esquisses de mythologie (Paris: Gallimard, 1982).


On Apollo in Homer, Emily Vermeule, Götterkult. Archaeologia Homerica V (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1974) is outdated, but has not been replaced. On religion in the Odyssey, Hans Schwabl, “Religiöse Aspekte der Odyssee. Zu Götterapparat und Kultgegebenheiten,” Wiener Studien 12 (1978) 5-28 is still useful. On the calendrical and ritual background of Odysseus’ return, Christoph Auffarth’ s chapter (6.3) in Der drohende Untergang. “Schöpfung” in Mythos und Ritual im Alten Orient und in Griechenland am Beispiel der Odyssee und des Ezechielbuches (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1991), is stimulating and suggestive.

The Homeric Hymn to Apollo is most helpfully discussed by Andrew M. Miller, From Delos to Delphi. A Literary Study of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (Mnemosyne Supplement 93) (Leiden: Brill, 1986).


On the paean, see Lutz Käppel, Paian. Studien zur Geschichte einer Gattung (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1992) and Ian Rutherford, Pindar’s Paeans. A Reading of the Fragments with a Survey of the Genre (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996). On Pythagoras, Walter Burkert, Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972); on Aristeas, J.P.D. Bolton, Aristeas of Proconessus (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962), on Empedocles, Peter Kingsley, Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic. Empedocles and the Pythagorean Tradition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995). Among the many books on Orpheus, I single out Charles Segal, Orpheus. The Myth of the Poet (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989), and Martin L. West, The Orphic Poems (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983).


Divination has long been neglected by scholars. Sarah Iles Johnston, Greek Divination (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008) is the first major monograph in many decades; Veit Rosenberger, Griechische Orakel. Eine Kulturgeschichte(Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2001) is useful for the archaeological record only.


Among general accounts, I single out H.W. Parke and D.E.W. Wormell, The Delphic Oracle (Oxford: Blackwell, 1956) and Joseph Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle. Its Responses and Operations (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1978). Pierre Amandry, La mantique apollinienne à Delphes. Essai sur le fonctionnement de l’oracle, repr. 1975 (Paris: Boccard, 1950) is still helpful; the centenary volume edited by Anne Jacquemine, Delphes cent ans après la grande fouille. Essai de bilan. Actes du colloque international organisé par l’École Française d’Athènes (Athens: École Française d’Athènes, 2000) is spotty. On the Pythia’s possession, and on possession in general, Lisa Maurizio, “Anthropology and Spirit Possession. A Reconsideration of the Pythia’s Role at Delphi,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 115 (1995), 69-86 is fundamental, as is Christopher Forbes, Prophecy and Inspired Speech in Early Christianity and its Hellenistic Environment (Tübingen: Mohr, 1995).

The most recent geological discoveries are summarized in J.Z. De Boer, J.R. Hale, and J. Chanton, “New Evidence for the Geological Origins of the Ancient Delphic Oracle (Greece),” Geology 28 (2001), 707-710.

Clarus and Didyma

We lack a good account of Clarus, despite the French excavations; the known oracles are collected in Reinhold Merkelbach and Josef Stauber, “Die Orakel des Apollon von Klaros,” Epigraphica Anatolica 27 (1996), 1-53, reprinted in R. Merkelbach, Philologica (Stuttgart and Leipzig: Teubner, 1997), 155-218. On Didyma, Joseph Fontenrose, Didyma. Apollo’s Oracle, Cult, and Companions (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988) is useful, but not very stimulating. On late antiquity, Aude Busine, Paroles d’Apollon. Pratiques et traditions oraculaires dans l’Antiquité tardive (IIe-VIe siècles) (Leiden: Brill, 2005) is learned and thorough.

On the Sibyls, see John J. Collins, Sibyls, Seers and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism (Leiden: Brill, 1997).


Religious healing in general and Apollo the Healer are rather neglected. For details, see Norbert Ehrhardt, “Apollon Ietros. Ein verschollener Gott in Ionien?” Istanbuler Mitteilungen 39 (1989), 115-122, on Miletus and its colonies; Walter Burkert, “Olbia and Apollo of Didyma. A New Oracle Text,” in Apollo. Origins and Influences, ed. Jon Solomon (Tucson and London: University of Arizona Press, 1994), 49-60, 145-147 on Apollo in Olbia; Carsten Schneider, “Apollon Ulias in Velia?” Archäologischer Anzeiger (1998), 305-317 on Elea/Velia.

On Asclepius, the two volumes of Emma J. and Ludwig Edelstein, Asclepius. Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1945) are still indispensable. The Epidaurian healing stories are edited and translated in Lynn R. LiDonnici, The Epidaurian Miracle Inscriptions. Text, Translation and Commentary (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1995).


For a critical discussion of initiation in Greece, see Walter Burkert, “‘Iniziazione’. Un concetto moderno e una terminologia antica,” in Bruno Gentili and Franca Perusino, eds., Le orse di Brauron. Un rituale di iniziazione femminile nel santuario di Artemide (Pisa, 2002), 13-27, and Fritz Graf, “Initiation. A Concept with a Troubled History,” in David B. Dodd and Christoper A. Faraone, eds., Initiation in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives. New Critical Perspectives (London: Routledge, 2003), 3-24; both look at the concept from the distance of a new century. Men’s associations, originally debated at the turn of the twentieth century, have been discussed in the context of the symposium, see some of the contributions in Oswyn Murray, ed., Sympotica. A Symposium on the Symposium (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), esp. Jan N. Bremmer, “Adolescents, symposium, and pederasty,” 135-148. On Apollo Delphinios, see Fritz Graf, “Apollon Delphinios,” Museum Helveticum 26 (1979), 2-22; on Apollo Lykeios, see Michael H. Jameson, “Apollo Lykeios in Athens,” Archaiognosia 1 (1980), 213-232. On the Molpoi in Miletus, see Alexander Herda, Der Apollon-Delphinios-Kult in Milet und die Neujahrsprozession nach Didyma. Ein neuer Kommentar der sog. Molpoi-Satzung (Mainz: Zabern, 2006). On Apollo in Sparta see Michael Pettersson, Cults of Apollo at Sparta. The Hyakinthia, the Gymnopaidia and the Karneia (Stockholm: Åström, 1992).


On the Dorian Apollo, Walter Burkert, “Apellai und Apollon,” Rheinisches Museum 118 (1975), 1-21. The Anatolian hypothesis has been renewed by Robert S. Beekes, “The origin of Apollo,” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 3 (2003), 1-21, and by Edwin L. Brown, “In Search of Anatolian Apollo,” in Essays in Honor of Sara A. Immerwahr, Hesperia Supplements 33 (2004), 243-257, in both cases mainly for linguistic reasons. Walter Burkert has also done pioneering research on the Oriental connections, see “Rešep-Figuren, Apollon von Amyklai und die ‘Erfindung’ des Opfers auf Zypern,” Grazer Beiträge 4 (1975), 51-79; The Orientalizing Revolution. Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U.P., 1992), and Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis. Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U.P., 2004).


Jean Seznec, La survivance des dieux antiques (London: Warburg Institute, 1940; transl. The Survival of the Pagan Gods. The Mythological Tradition and its Place in Renaissance Humanism and Art, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953) still deserves a place of honor, but the topic is in need of much more research. A useful starting point is the impressive catalogue of Jane Davison Reid, Classical Mythology in the Arts, 1300-1990(New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993) that covers the literature as well as the figurative arts. On the history of German archaeology since Winckelmann see Suzanne L. Marchand, Down from Olympus. Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany, 1750-1970. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998).