Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto and the brother of Artemis. One of the most widely worshiped gods of both Greek and Roman religions, Apollo was the god of the sun, prophecy, music, intelligence and archery.
Apollo is almost always potrayed as a teenager or young man, as the epitome of the male form: a strong young man with boyish hair and charm.
In some stories, including those of Homer, Apollo is the god of disease and plagues, but is also associated with medicine and cures.
Zeus had a son, Asclepius with Coronis. Coronis, however, fell in love with Ischys, and when Apollo learned of this, he sent his sister Artemis to kill Coronis. Apollo also killed Phlegyas, Coronis' father, after he burned down Apollo's Delphi temple.
Asclepius, as a god of medicine, had the ability to raise the dead. This angered both Zeus and Hades, and Zeus killed Asclepius with a lightning bolt. Enraged by his son's murder, Apollo killed the Cyclops, who created Zeus' lightning bolts. As punishment, he was sent to labour as a shepherd in Thessaly for a year.
The origin of Apollo's name is uncertain. Plato describes it as coming from the greek words for redemption, purification and simplicity, while Hesychius of Alexandria indicated that it may mean "assembly". Apollo was known to the Romans by the same name, although was sometimes called Phoebus. The Etruscans referred to him as Apulu, and Apollo is sometimes thought to have been associated with the Hittite god Aplu.