Thoughts on the Symbolism and Origin of Apollo’s Fight Against the Pythian Snake


  • Mieszek Jagiełło Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań



Apollo, Pytho, Kadmos, Illuyanka, Ophioneus


The following paper deals with the mythological story about Apollo’s fight against a she-snake at Pytho, where he eventually builds a sanctuary – the Delphic Oracle. First, it is attempted to decipher the terms Pytho, Delphi and Omphalos. A symbolism revolving around an underlying theme of birth is considered. Then, the stories about Apollo and about Kadmos, as well as a motif in Pherecydes’ theogony, and the Anatolian Illuyanka Myth are being presented as subjects of a comparative analysis. This leads to the proposal that all four narratives have a common origin in Western Anatolia or Pre-Greek Hellas.


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How to Cite

Jagiełło, M. “Thoughts on the Symbolism and Origin of Apollo’s Fight Against the Pythian Snake”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 24, Dec. 2021, pp. 25-39, doi:10.12797/CC.24.2021.24.02.



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