Two Greek myths define the importance of Delphi. The first involves Zeus, the king of all gods. He ruled the sky and harnessed thunder and lightning. According to legend, Zeus wanted to find Gaia, the Greek deity of the earth and mother of life. So, he released two eagles. The birds flew in opposite directions until they met at the center of the world: present-day Delphi. Zeus marked the spot with an omphalos stone. The Greek word omphalós means navel. The second story is about Apollo, the god of healing, knowledge, the sun and the arts. He was the son of Zeus and his mistress Leto. When Zeus’ wife learned of the infidelity, she sent the giant serpent Python to kill Leto. Apollo defended his mother by slaying the dragon-like snake with arrows. This is why Delphi was originally named Pytho.