H. 6 5/8 inches (16.8 cm.)
2nd-1st Century B.C.
Ex- French private collection; Sotheby’s Antiquities Auction, London, May 1992, A. von S. collection, New York, acquired from Royal-Athena.
Famously handsome and an expert archer, Apollo was a Greek– and, later, Roman– sun god, the son of Zeus and the Titan Leto (Letona). Headstrong at first, he grew to represent music, poetry, medicine and the civilized arts. According to legend, Apollo drove the fiery chariot (representative of the sun) across the sky each day. Next to Zeus, he was the most important and widely worshiped divinity in ancient Greek culture. Interestingly, while later antiquity identified Apollo with the sun, Homer completely distinguished the two.
As to the origin and meaning of the name Apollo, there is no general agreement among scholars, though the weight of the argument is slightly in favor of those who interpret it as “he who wards off”, and “he who drives away evil”.