An extract on #great_captures_greece
The name Apollounlike the related older name Paeanis generally not found in the Linear B (Mycenean Greek) texts, although there is a possible attestation in the lacunose form ]pe-rjo-[ (Linear B: ]-[) on the KN E 842 tablet.
The etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling (pronounced [a.pl.ln] in Classical Attic) had almost superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era, but the Doric form, Apellon (), is more archaic, as it is derived from an earlier *j. It probably is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios (), and the offerings apellaia () at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai (). According to some scholars, the words are derived from the Doric word apella (), which originally meant "wall," "fence for animals" and later "assembly within the limits of the square." Apella () is the name of the popular assembly in Sparta, corresponding to the ecclesia (). R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai and suggested a Pre-Greek proto-form *Apalyun.
Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most often associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb (apollymi), "to destroy". Plato in Cratylus connects the name with (apolysis), "redemption", with (apolousis), "purification", and with ([h]aploun), "simple", in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, , and finally with (aeiballon), "ever-shooting". Hesychius connects the name Apollo with the Doric (apella), which means "assembly", so that Apollo would be the god of political life, and he also gives the explanation (sekos), "fold", in which case Apollo would be the god of flocks and herds. In the ancient Macedonian language (pella) means "stone," and some toponyms may be derived from this word: (Pella, the capital of ancient Macedonia) and (Pelln/Pallene).
A number of non-Greek etymologies have been suggested for the name, The Hittite form Apaliunas (dx-ap-pa-li-u-na-a) is attested in the Manapa-Tarhunta letter, perhaps related to Hurrian (and certainly the Etruscan) Aplu, a god of plague, in turn likely from Akkadian Aplu Enlil meaning simply "the son of Enlil", a title that was given to the god Nergal, who was linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the sun. The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus ("mouse Apollo") by Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, with the purpose of sending a plague against the Greeks (the reasoning behind a god of the plague becoming a god of healing is of course apotropaic, meaning that the god responsible for bringing the plague must be appeased in order to remove the plague).
The Hittite testimony reflects an early form *Apeljn, which may also be surmised from comparison of Cypriot with Doric .
A Luwian etymology suggested for Apaliunas makes Apollo "The One of Entrapment", perhaps in the sense of "Hunter".