Greek Mythology: Apollo v. Helios

Helios was a Titan (a second-generation Titan actually, the son of Hyperion and Theia) who was the personification of the Sun. But then after the Olympians displace the Titans, the sun is said to be Apollo’s chariot that he drives across the sky each day. I’m unclear how these two concepts get reconciled. For that matter, if Apollo puts in an appearance anywhere in the daytime, who’s driving the Sun?

Time is the answer. As time went by they expanded Apollo’s roles. He and Helios became one. As opposed to early on Helios was the Sun God and Apollo was a God of Light.

While the child of two Titans, it seems Helios was mostly thought of as a God. As was Selene his sister.

The short answer is that gods are not as well-defined and discrete as humans are. You can say, for instance, that Artemis was a virgin, and Artemis was the goddess of the Moon, and the goddess of the Moon is also the goddess of childbirth, and the goddess of childbirth is of course not a virgin, and none of this is considered a contradiction.

As alreasdy mentioned, the myths aren’t static – they change through time. In the oldest myths Helios is the sun and Apollo is the god of prophecy and music (and, arguably, plague). In the oldest versions, Phaethon is the child of Helios. It’s only in much later retellings and references (as in Shakespeare) where Phaethon is the son of Apollo.

From the Wikipedia article on Apollo: