Apollo and Artemis: The Story of Their Unique Connection

Apollo and artemis all you need to knowApollo and Artemis shared a unique deep bond since birth. Although they greatly differ, they have the same passion for archery, hunting, and protecting the goddess Leto. Learn more about what is unique about the connection between Apollo and Artemis. 

Keep reading to find out more.

What Is Apollo and Artemis’ Relationship?

Apollo and Artemis are related to each other as they are the fraternal twins of Leto and Zeus. Though they shared many similarities like being great hunters, they had differences as big as night and day. Artemis is considered to be the moon goddess while Apollo is the sun god.

Apollo and Artemis Birth Story

Leto, the goddess mother of the twins, was impregnated by Zeus. As expected and similar to what happened to all the other women that Zeus had fallen in love with, Leto suffered punishment from Hera by demanding all connected lands not to shelter the pregnant Leto.

The pregnant goddess kept searching for a place to give birth while dealing with labor pains. She eventually located the floating island of Delos. Since it was not connected to any landform, it is not included in those prohibited by Hera. Some stories even state that Hera further punished Leto by delaying her childbirth and enduring labor pains for days before she could finally give birth. The island of Delos became Apollo and Artemis birthplace.

Artemis was the first twin to be born, and when Hera learned about this, she forbade her daughter, the goddess of childbirth, to help Leto. This caused Apollo’s birth to be delayed even more. Artemis, only a newborn by then, miraculously helped her mother to deliver Apollo in the place that they consider to be Apollo and Artemis home.

Apollo and Artemis as Children

Upon birth, Apollo was fed with food and drink for the gods: ambrosia and nectar. He instantly transformed from being a newborn to a young adult.

As soon as he was able to fight, Apollo started to hunt the huge serpent, Python. This was the creature that upon Hera’s orders, chased their mother when she was still pregnant. Apollo sought to get revenge and eventually came to Python’s lair in Mount Parnassus. A great battle ensued, and Python was killed.

As children, Apollo and Artemis developed a rivalry as to who was better, despite sharing a love for archery. In the case of Artemis, she spent her early years hunting for all the items she thought were needed for her to become the best huntress.

Apollo as a God

Apollo grew up and became one of the most important gods in the Greek pantheon. He easily became the most adored of all the gods. He was the pinnacle of youth and beauty, a giver of light and healing, patron of the arts, and as powerful and radiant as the sun.

However, the god of archery began practicing his craft long before the gods of music, prophecy, healing, and youth. Apollo requested a bow and arrows when he was only four days old, and Hephaestus made them for him.

Apollo is often depicted as an attractive young man with a wreath of laurel on his head, which symbolizes his wisdom. He also holds a bow and quiver of arrows. He likewise has a raven and a lyre with him.

Being an attractive, talented, and powerful young god, Apollo had attracted numerous lovers. However, it was Daphne, a beautiful Naiad nymph, daughter of the river god Peneus, that Apollo fell deeply in love with. However, similar to Artemis, Daphne has vowed to remain a virgin. Hence, Daphne continued to reject Apollo.

However, it was said that this was because Apollo teased Eros, the god of love. Thus, Eros shot an arrow at Apollo to make him fall madly in love with Daphne, while Eros also shot Daphne but with a different arrow to make her hate Apollo.

Artemis as a Goddess

Apollo’s twin sister was a popular goddess as well. She was the Greek goddess of wild animals, hunting, and childbirth. She is known to be fierce, defensive, merciless, and has a fiery temper. She will not hesitate to annihilate anyone who tries to hurt those she is trying to defend. Artemis does not tolerate disrespect either. This virgin goddess remained chaste and pure.

She has become an expert with a bow and arrow; she consistently had a flawless aim. She was also believed to be capable of healing or bringing pain to people, as well as famine, illness, or even death.

Artemis is usually depicted as a beautiful, fit young woman in the prime of her years. She wears a garment that reaches her knees and keeps her legs bare, so she is free to run through the forest. A few describe her as having several breasts, but as she is a virgin goddess, she would not have children of her own.

Apollo and Artemis as a Team

Apollo and Artemis shared a close relationship since birth. They have the same interests, such as hunting, and both of them have become great at it. Even though they have differences, they often teamed up, especially if it has something to do with protecting their mother.

The majority of myths surrounding Apollo and Artemis mother, Leto, always include her children. One of these was the instance when they were looking for drinking water. They came across a fountain in the town of Lycia, but they were unable to drink as three peasants stirred the mud from the bottom of the fountain. Leto was enraged and turned the Lycian peasants into frogs. The other myths showed how her children protected her and sought revenge for her.

Attempted Rape by Tityus

A perfect demonstration of this was when the giant Tityus, the son of Zeus and Elara, followed Hera’s command and tried to rape Leto. He was then killed by Apollo and Artemis together. In other versions, it is said that Tityus was killed by a bolt of lightning sent by Zeus. Tityus was further punished in Tartarus. He was stretched and chained to a rock where his liver would be devoured by two vultures every day. Since the liver regenerates, this torture will go on and on forever.

Mockery by Niobe

Another event was when Niobe, the daughter of King Tantalus, boasted that she was superior to the goddess Leto. This was because she bore fourteen children, whereas Leto only gave birth to two. When Apollo and Artemis learned of this, they were enraged at how their mother was mocked and belittled.

To seek revenge for this, Artemis and Apollo killed all fourteen children of Niobe. Niobe’s husband, Amphion, killed himself upon learning what happened to their children, making Niobe weep eternally. She was then turned into a rock in the mountain of Sipylus, which also weeps continuously.

Support for Trojan War

Apollo not only supported the Trojans, but he also participated as a soldier. He used his skills at firing arrows and his ability to cause plague. He fired arrows directed at the Greek camp. These particular arrows were laden with sickness, which made numerous warriors get sick and weaken. Apollo also made an important contribution to the war by directing the shot that hit Achilles on his only weak point—his heel. This shot killed the famed Greek hero.

While Apollo is a known supporter of the Trojans, Artemis was a minor character in the epic novel, The Iliad. Artemis was known to heal the Trojan hero, Aeneas when he was left wounded by Diomedes.

In this event, Artemis stopped the blowing winds that stranded the sailing Greeks. Although this helped in slowing down the Greeks, the main reason Artemis did it was because of her anger at Agamemnon, the leader of the group.

Agamemnon killed one of Artemis’ deer and boasted that not even Artemis could make that shot. Artemis was so enraged that she commanded the eldest daughter of Agamemnon to be offered to her.

Agamemnon complied and tricked his daughter by telling her that she would be marrying Achilles instead of being made as a sacrifice. As Artemis was also the protector of young girls, she stole Agamemnon’s daughter and replaced her with a stag on the altar.

Artemis as a Chastised Goddess

Ever since she was a child, she asked her father, Zeus, to grant her eternal virginity, because she was not interested in men, romance, or marriage. She was also equally protective of the virginity of her followers and companions.

She was also merciless when they were disrespected or broke their vow of being pure. An example of this was the story of Callisto, one of Artemis’ favorite companions. However, she fell pregnant after Zeus raped her. When Artemis learned about this, she was very furious, and some stories state it was Artemis who turned Callisto into a she-bear.

Another example was what happened to a hunter who accidentally came across Artemis while she was bathing. She turned him into a stag and later on made him be devoured by his own hunting dogs. A less harsh event was with a young boy named Siproites, to whom Artemis gave a choice of either death or transformation into a girl.

Needless to say, Artemis has no close relations with males except with her twin brother, Apollo, who was also very protective of his sister’s purity. He even intervened when he saw what was happening between Artemis and Orion.

The Story of Artemis and Orion

There was an exception to Artemis’ constant rejection and punishment of males. This was when she met Orion, a giant hunter whom Artemis fell in love with. There were many variations of how their love story unfolded and ended tragically.

Version One

The first variation was that Orion was once living a solitary life on an island as a hunter. Sharing a love for hunting, Artemis was fascinated with Orion. She fell in love with him. They went on several hunting trips together and competed as to who was the better hunter. However, Orion made the mistake of boasting that he could kill anything that came from the earth.

When Gaea became aware of this, she became protective of her children, and she considers anything coming from the earth her child. She sent a giant vicious scorpion to kill Orion. Together with Artemis, they tried to fight the giant scorpion, but unfortunately, Orion was killed during the battle.

At that time, Artemis requested for Orion’s body to be placed in the sky. He was then made to be the constellation Orion, along with the scorpion, who became the constellation Scorpio.

Version Two

The second version of the story involves Artemis’ twin brother, Apollo, which is why it differs. Since Apollo knew that Artemis valued her purity ever since she was a child, Apollo was worried that with Orion around, his sister would soon devalue this.

It was also stated that Apollo’s reason might be due to jealousy as Artemis has been spending even less time with him and more with Orion. Either way, Apollo did not approve of what was happening with Artemis and Orion. He made a plan and tricked Artemis into killing Orion herself.

Apollo challenged Artemis as to who was a better shooter between them. When asked what target they will be shooting, Apollo pointed to a speck in the middle of the lake, Artemis thinking it was a rock, fired her arrow. Apollo rejoiced when Artemis successfully hit the target.

Artemis became suspicious about why her twin was happy even if he lost in their competition. When Artemis closely examined, she realized it was Orion whom she just killed. She was devastated and requested for Orion to be placed in the sky and made to be a constellation.

In all of the versions of their love story, Orion ended up being killed and placed in the sky as a constellation, and Artemis remained a chaste goddess.

How are Apollo and Artemis Different?

Apollo and Artemis were fraternal twins who frequently agreed on many things, yet they also had some significant differences. Both generate light, but the light they generate is very different. One was produced by the sun, and the other by the moon.

When they killed the Niobe children, another distinction was made. The seven daughters died quietly as Artemis shot arrows into their hearts. The seven sons, on the other hand, screamed to death when Apollo shot arrows into their hearts.

The other way the twins are different is that Artemis never married, although Apollo is believed to have had numerous mortal and immortal partners. Apollo enjoys writing poetry, whereas Artemis prefers to spend her leisure time hunting with female companions. They also have distinct ways of passing the time.


What Is the Type of Love Between Apollo and Artemis?

The love story of Apollo and Artemis is centered on sibling love rather than romantic love. While they are both passionate about protecting their mother, there were no written references to whether they viewed one another as a romantic partner. Even though Apollo intervened when Artemis fell in love with Orion, his reason was to protect the vow of purity that Artemis made when she was still a child rather than stealing her as a lover.


Apollo and Artemis share a deep and close bond only present in twins. Being fraternal twins, they share a lot of similarities but a lot more differences. Let us summarize what we have learned about them.Apollo and artemis brother and sister

  • Apollo and Artemis are the twins of a Titan named Leto and the supreme god, Zeus. Due to Hera’s curse, a pregnant Leto was forced to look for a place where she could give birth while being chased by the serpent, Python. Finally, she was able to find the floating island of Delos, where she gave birth.
  • Apollo became the god of the sun, light, poetry, art, archery, plague, prophesy, the truth, and healing, whereas Artemis was known as the virgin goddess of nature, chastity, childbirth, wild animals, and the hunt.
  • The twins both supported and played a role in the war between the Trojans and Greeks. Apollo was even the one responsible for guiding the arrow that killed the famed Greek hero, Achilles.
  • Artemis and Apollo were protective of their mother. They would go to great lengths in the name of their mother. Instances include the killing of Tityus, who tried to rape Leto, and the killing of all fourteen children of Niobe when the latter mocked their mother.
  • Although Artemis might be perceived as not interested in men, she fell in love with the giant, Orion. There were several versions of their love story, but in all of them, Orion died and was reborn as a constellation in the sky.

The Apollo and Artemis love story shows that even if incestuous relationships are common among the ancient Greeks, it is possible to have a strong and healthy sibling love. Throughout their story, they were depicted as remaining in a close relationship.

Ancient Literature (May 25, 2024) Apollo and Artemis: The Story of Their Unique Connection. Retrieved from https://ancient-literature.com/apollo-and-artemis/.
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