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Extra resources for Apollo
Apollo will guide the hand of the archer Paris when Achilles is being killed, as he guided the arrow of the archer he loathes, the Greek Teukros, away from Hector (Il. 31). Human archers had better pray to him before they shoot: in the shooting contest during the funeral games for Patroclus, Meriones vows a hecatomb of sheep to the god while his opponent Teukros shoots without praying (Il. 865): this explains why Teukros missed despite being generally recognized as the better archer. One sees how divine intervention helps to save face: Teukros is a bad worshipper, not a bad archer.
Correcting Agamemnon’s mistake, the Greeks fully recognized Chryses’ sacred status as a priest and met his demand, the restitution of his daughter: this is why the shrewd politician Odysseus chose the god’s altar as the place of restitution. Propitiating rituals, however, always concern the divinity: Apollo received a hecatomb and a day of paeans and dancing. If another god had caused the disease, another rite would have been used: the paean, at least here, is not necessarily a healing hymn but Apollo’s specific ritual poetry.
In the reality of Greek warfare, archers were either ephebes or they Apollo 14 were foreigners, Cretans or Lycians; adolescents were nearly as marginal in the Greek city as foreigners. Again, Apollo is rather ambivalent; the hoplite’s goddess is Athena, with helmet, breast armor and shield. Apollo’s arrows are as deadly as they are stealthy; sudden and unexpected death is their doing – the arrow that suddenly strikes from afar is an apt image for a sudden epidemic whose results are as terrible as its causes are unexplained.