Ancient Greek mythology personified the mysteries of life and the cosmos in the form of a pantheon of gods who ruled from Mount Olympus. Their most powerful god who controlled the sky and weather was named Zeus.
Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto and the twin of the goddess Artemis. He is sometimes personified as the sun driving a fiery chariot across the sky each day. He is associated with the tending of flocks and herds, love of beauty, balance, music, fine arts, poetry and medicine. He is the god of prophecy and is credited with the foundation of the oracle of Delphi. He is usually pictured as a young and handsome man holding the lyre, the bow and arrow, or seated on the omphalos next to the tripod, the twin symbols of Delphi.
Hermes, the little brother of Apollo, was personified as Mercury, the planet closest to the sun. The ancient Greek gods were very real to the common man in antiquity, but to the philosophers and to people who could think for themselves, the gods were recognized as metaphors for the powers of nature.