Gates of Fire

by

Steven Pressfield

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Gates of Fire can help.
Apollo is a god of the Greek pantheon, the deity of archery among many other things. At the beginning of the novel, a dying Xeo sees a vision of him on the battlefield and believes that he chooses Xeo to survive and tell the story of what happened at Thermopylae. Xeo first saw a vision of Apollo when Xeo was a boy; Apollo saved him from death and encouraged him to learn to shoot a bow and arrow. Throughout his life, Xeo maintains a deep devotion to Apollo.
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Apollo Character Timeline in Gates of Fire

The timeline below shows where the character Apollo appears in Gates of Fire. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Faith and Divine Intervention Theme Icon
Xeo suddenly sees Apollo moving among the dead and dying men. His eye turns to Xeo, and Xeo knows... (full context)
Chapter 6
Fear, Courage, and Love Theme Icon
...this and then notices the bow on the man’s shoulder and realizes that he is Apollo. He apprehends that Apollo is telling him that while he will never be able to... (full context)
Chapter 8
Faith and Divine Intervention Theme Icon
...Xeo is eager to continue, saying that the story seems to be “telling itself” at Apollo’s direction. (full context)
Chapter 12
Kingship, Loyalty, and Freedom Theme Icon
...Spartan than the Spartans” in their great piety, so Demaratos appealed to Xeo’s reverence for Apollo, who had assisted Xeo’s tale thus far. Xeo apparently finds that Apollo does not wish... (full context)
Cities, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
Faith and Divine Intervention Theme Icon
...goats and kids. Dekton scorns Xeo’s piety, calling him a “mountain-mad yokel” to think that Apollo would deign to “[swoop] down to chat in the snow with a cityless” kid like... (full context)
Chapter 13
Cities, Identity, and Belonging Theme Icon
Faith and Divine Intervention Theme Icon
Female Strength and Influence Theme Icon
...a question, too, “for a friend.” He tells Arete about having been spoken to by Apollo. He wants to know if such a thing is really possible: “would a being of... (full context)
Chapter 18
Faith and Divine Intervention Theme Icon
Kingship, Loyalty, and Freedom Theme Icon
...invaders, except for a small band who occupy the Acropolis, trusting in an oracle of Apollo which said, “the wooden wall alone shall not fail you.” They believe the oracle refers... (full context)
Chapter 27
Faith and Divine Intervention Theme Icon
Fear, Courage, and Love Theme Icon
Female Strength and Influence Theme Icon
...buckle beneath necessity’s yoke like dumb beasts.” Smiling, she tells him that “this is Lord Apollo talking.” (full context)
Faith and Divine Intervention Theme Icon
Fear, Courage, and Love Theme Icon
Female Strength and Influence Theme Icon
...her to this temple. Now she serves the Veiled Persephone, who has protected her as Apollo has protected Xeo. She assures Xeo that everything he has done has, in fact, protected... (full context)
Chapter 36
Faith and Divine Intervention Theme Icon
...and support of the army, doomed the entire campaign to disaster.” When the oracle of Apollo told the Athenians, “The wooden wall alone shall not fail you,” it had not referred... (full context)