We were rather interested, just now, to read of Apollo’s epithet of Τριοπιον – ‘Triopion’
Why? Because the name in question appears to mean ‘Three-Eyed’.
Now ostensibly, it pertains to an Anatolian town – and therefore Apollo Triopion is the Apollo of Triopion. Triopion having being founded by a figure bearing such a ‘Three-Eyed’ (Triopas) name.
Yet I would ponder the possibility for the ‘Three-Eyed’ characteristic – and, indeed, the nomenclature for the town – to have originally applied to the God; with the human king being a retroactive ‘filling in’ of history.
(We also note that this king Triopas appears to have some suspiciously similar features to the major mythology around Apollo, including having destroyed a Demeter place of worship … and, I suppose, some resonancies with Rudra also, when one considers that Rudra is Agni, and this Triopas, too, had an all-consuming hunger as the result of a Devi’s curse; an association with illness, and a serpent twining about the figure, certainly look ‘familiar’, even despite the twisting of these into punishments in the version of the tale related by Hyginus)
That is to say – the Town being named for its Patron God; rather than the naming for the God coming from the Town, and the naming of the Town coming from a human king bearing a suspiciously on-point naming.
Consider the figure of Zeus Triophthalmos. This stood in Argos, once, and was a ‘Three-Eyed’ Zeus.
However, its origins did not lie within the Hellenic sphere proper. Rather, that was, reputedly, the figure of Zeus which had been taken, at the climax of the Trojan War from Ilium and brought back to Argos therefrom.
Indeed, to be more specific – this Three-Eyed Zeus was apparently found within Priam’s Palace, as befitted the Ancestral Deific of his dynasty … and had been the therefore literally ‘Central God’ to the regime.
Which, of course, fits rather interestingly when we consider Apollo’s well-known patronage of Troy per Greek accountings.
Now, I have earlier sought to argue that Apollo was incorporated into the Hellenic religious perspective from the Apaliunas (‘Hunter’ / ‘One Who Entraps’) deific worshipped by the (Luwian Anatolian IE) inhabitants of Troy (Ilium – Wilusa); and may in fact have been a Sky Father deific expression that was ‘reconstrued’ as being a Son of the Sky Father in the process of this cultus-cultural assimilation.
This might sound rather incredible … yet we have direct evidence of such things occurring elsewhere within what would become the Classical sphere. Per etymology and comparative theology, it should seem that Sabazios of the Phrygians and Thracians should be a Sky Father deific … except we find this figure ‘assimilated’ as a ‘Son of the Sky Father’ (i.e. Zeus Pater / Jupiter) instead.
The same goes (for other reasons) for Dionysus. But I digress.
When we look at Apollo, there are a suite of curious ‘double-ups’ with Zeus – as we have explained and explored at some length elsewhere.
It should not prove surprising if these are reasonably explicable via the logic I have advanced above: that Apollo and Zeus, in a similar fashion to Zeus and Dionysus, etc. … are, in fact, the same underlying IE deific, just ‘differently recalled’, at different points in time.
And therefore – that what was understood by the Greeks of Argos, once upon a time, as being a figure of Three-Eyed Zeus brought in from Anatolia … might in fact be the same deific as the Three-Eyed Apollo that may once have existed also in Anatolia.
Certainly, it appears that the notion of a Three-Eyed Sky Father was already known to the Anatolian Indo-Europeans. Just as it has been known amidst the Vedic sphere right back to the early layers of the RigVeda.
And, given the hailings for Rudra as Vastopati – it is not inconceivable that the Three-Eyed One as a Protector of the Polis might also have been a natural development amidst the sedentary Indo-Europeans who had cities.
In much the same fashion as the ‘Temple Wolf’ complex we have earlier spoken of elsewhere.
So – ‘Apollo the Three-Eyed’ ?
I freely admit that this is a hypothetical.
But it should seem to be a hypothetical that has too much going for it to prove to be entirely idle speculation.
We Hail the Archer-God, in any case.
Indeed, in every case.
Jai Sri Rudra !