Although almost all of us have met twins as a pair or individual at some point in our lives, solely 3.6 twins per 1,000 births are born on average in worldwide. Besides the valuableness of their rareness, it is not hard to comprehend humanity’s fascination considering the uniqueness of physical and mental dynamics between them which usually leads people to think them as a set rather than individuals with a special bond.

One of the famously known twins Apollo and Artemis, Olympian Gods of the sun and moon, children of Leto and Zeus also have share from this conflict. Therewithal, the first thing that stands out about the twins, is the contrast in their characterization which would be basically seen at their definitive symbols. However, the apparent contrast between the symbols, such as before mentioned sun and moon, is nothing more than a whisper to the complicated dynamics between the twins. Nevertheless, this whisper points to the complementariness of the two in a one.

If the individual characteristics considered in a spectrum, their complementarians sequentially follow with each other rather than placement in extreme points. In other words, one begins at the end of the other in the sense of spectrum where both embrace all points. Thereby, they become a whole.

The unmissable point at this stage is once again the role of being a twin as a feature which deepens the apparent contrast toward the complementariness. One of the myths that include twins is additionally, the one with Niobe who was the wife of King Amphion of Thebes, which is a case in point for corroborating the idea. According to the myth, Niobe had children which varied in that range depending on the sources between five and ten of each sex. She was very proud of her children and claimed that she is a superior mother rather than Leto who had two children. Apollo and Artemis revenge upon her on their mother’s behalf by killing the children of Niobe as the Apollo’s arrows killed the males and Artemis’s females (Roman & Roman, p.84,85).

Based upon the myth, gender shines out as one of the complementarians in sequential feature with the help of another aspect where gender not only defines themselves but also their targets and therefore it would be said that both Apollo and Artemis do not intervene with each other’s subject matter in the scope of complementariness. One of the further examples is the contradictory sexual preferences while Artemis profiled as a virgin, Apollo’s myths mostly feature his love affairs.

On the other hand, the contradiction is not always the underlying link for complementariness. Sometimes twins would individually vary under a concept such as light which is the origin of their names along with their quintessence. Alternative names of Artemis and Apollo as “Phoebe” and “Phoebus” are both derived from the word of light or “pháos” in Greek. The sun and moon which were accepted as the main sources of light in that era, once again are another reference to the light. Another correlation shines through over the concept of archery. Herein, Artemis carries a quiver and arrows, and she lets loose a “rain of arrows”, while Apollo described as the “far-shooter” because of his association with archery.

IRMAK SAYGI, Library Student Ambassador

Roman, Luke & Roman, Monica. Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology. Facts On File, Inc. 2010.

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