The ever youthful Apollo was the son of Zeus and Leto, and was the twin brother of Artemis. Before being integrated into the Olympian family, Apollo was feared by the regions of the earth and by the gods Only Delos-a floating island that could claim not to be, strictly, a "land" -was willing to host his birth. Seeming to bear out a prophecy that he would "greatly lord it among gods and mortal men" (Homeric Hymn to Apollo), Apollo, upon arriving at the house of Zeus, stretched his bow. In fear, the other gods left their thrones till Leto disarmed him. Apollo's achievements included his victory over the serpent Python, the previous ruler of Delphi. The site thereafter became his foremost place of worship. In response to slights upon his mother's honor, Apollo took joint vengeance with his twin and fellow archer, Artemis. When Niobe boasted that she was more fertile than Leto, the pair shot and killed her children.Among his other deeds were ones for which he incurred punishment. For slaying the Cyclopes, for instance, Zeus made him spend a year tending the livestock of the mortal Admetus.
by Susan Deacy, 30 Second Mythology