Greek and Roman Mythology > Python


The slime with which the earth was covered by the waters of the
flood, produced an excessive fertility, which called forth every
variety of production, both bad and good. Among the rest,
Python, an enormous serpent, crept forth, the terror of the
people, and lurked in the caves of Mount Parnassus. Apollo slew
him with his arrows weapons which he had not before used
against any but feeble animals, hares, wild goats, and such game.
In commemoration of this illustrious conquest he instituted the
Pythian games, in which the victor in feats of strength,
swiftness of foot, or in the chariot race, was crowned with a
wreath of beech leaves; for the laurel was not yet adopted by
Apollo as his own tree. And here Apollo founded his oracle at
Delphi, the only oracle "that was not exclusively national, for
it was consulted by many outside nations, and, in fact, was held
in the highest repute all over the world. In obedience to its
decrees, the laws of Lycurgus were introduced, and the earliest
Greek colonies founded. No cities were built without first
consulting the Delphic oracle, for it was believed that Apollo
took special delight in the founding of cities, the first stone
of which he laid in person; nor was any enterprise ever
undertaken without inquiry at this sacred fane as to its probable
success" [From Beren's Myths and Legends of Greece and Rome.]

The famous statue of Apollo called the Belvedere [From the
Belvedere of the Vatican palace where it stands] represents the
god after his victory over the serpent Python. To this Byron
alludes in his Childe Harold, iv. 161:--

"The lord of the unerring bow,
The god of life, and poetry, and light,
The Sun, in human limbs arrayed, and brow
All radiant from his triumph in the fight.
The shaft has just been shot; the arrow bright
With an immortal's vengeance; in his eye
And nostril, beautiful disdain, and might,
And majesty flash their full lightnings by,
Developing in that one glance the Deity."

Myth Collection

Achelous and HerculesAcis and GalateaAdmetus and Alcestis
Agamemnon, Orestes, and ElectraAmphionAmphitrite
AntigoneApollo and DaphneApollo and Hyacinthus
Aurora and TithonusBacchusBaucis and Philemon
CadmusCastor and PolluxCephalus and Procris
Ceyx and HalcyoneClytieCupid and Psyche
DaedalusDiana and ActaeonDryope
Echo and NarcissusEndymionErisichthon
Glaucus and ScyllaHebe and GanymedeHercules
IbycusIo and CallistoLeucothea dnd Palaemon
LinusMarsyasMedea and Aeson
MelampusMenelaus and HelenMidas
Minerva and ArachneMonstersMusaeus
NeptuneNereus and DorisNiobe
Nisus and ScyllaOrionOrpheus and Eurydice
Pegasus and the ChimaeraPenelopePerseus and Medusa
PhaetonPluto and ProsperinePrometheus and Pandora
PygmalionPyramus and ThisbePython
ThamyrisThe Calydonian HuntThe Camenae
The CentaursThe Golden FleeceThe Graeae and Gorgons
The Griffin, or GryphonThe IliadThe Myrmidons
The PygmiesThe Rural DeitiesThe Sphinx
The Trojan WarThe Water DeitiesThe Winds
TheseusThetisVenus and Adonis
Vertumnus and Pomona

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