Apollo never got married, but there once came a time when he got very close to marriage.
This story happened in Aetolia, in West Greece, with the beautiful princess Marpissa.
Marpissa's father, King Evinos, was a son of the war-god Ares and therefore a very skillful fighter. Only the best was good enough for his daughter. So when Marpissa reached the age of marriage, Evinos decided to give his daughter's hand only to the one who would beat him on a chariot race.
Many men took the challenge but Evinos won them all. Heartlessly, he cut off all the heads of the defeated. Until one day, a young man named Ida came along with his winged chariot. Ida was a son of Poseidon and famous for being unbeatable. When he saw Marpissa dance, he fell in love with her. Secretly, he approached the princess and told her: "Dont be afraid, I don't want to do harm. Just come with me and let's leave before dawn!"
Touched by Ida's tenderness, Marpissa listened to his words. So the couple fled in the middle of the night and went to Messine, in southern Greece.
The river Evinos. Photography taken from the bridge of Bania. Photographer: Christos Makrozachopoulos
When king Evinos found out his daughter was missing, he desperately set off in pursuit of her. But while he was crossing the river Lykorma, Evinos lost hope. So he slaughtered his horses and drowned in the river.