A surname of Apollo under which he was worshiped in various parts of Greece, especially in the Peloponnese, as at Sparta and Sicyon, and also in Thera, Cyrene, and Magna Graecia.

The origin of the name is explained in different ways. Some derived it from Carnus, an Acarnanian soothsayer, whose murder by Hippotes provoked Apollo to send a plague into the army of Hippotes while he was on his march to the Peloponnese. Apollo was afterwards propitiated by the introduction of the worship of Apollo Carneius.1

Others believed that Apollo was thus called from his favorite Carnus or Carneius, a son of Zeus and Europa, whom Leto and Apollo had brought up.2

Several other attempts to explain the name are given in Pausanias and the Scholiast on Theocritus. It is evident, however, that the worship of the Carneian Apollo was very ancient, and was probably established in the Peloponnese even before the Dorian conquest.

Respecting the festival of the Carneia see Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, s.v. Κάρνεια.



  1. Pausanias. Description of Greece iii, 13.3; Scholiast on Theocritus, v, 83.
  2. Pausanias, l.c.; Hesychius s.v. Καρνεῖος.


  • Pausanias. Description of Greece iii, 13.2 ff.; ii, 10.2, 11.2; iii, 24.5; iv, 31.1, 33.5.
  • Pindar. Pythian Odes v, 106.
  • Plutarch. Symposiacs viii, 1.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.