The Greeks were among the first great seafaring nations, and the wealth of their civilization was built largely on their forays across the Mediterranean.
It is not surprising, then, that dolphins appear frequently in Classical mythology - they are depicted, for example, on frescoes on the bathroom wall in the Palace of Knossos in Crete, which dates to 1600 BC
However it is through the writings of the Greek poets that most of the myths about dolphins are known to us today.
One of the earliest dolphin stories is Homer's 'Hymn to Apollo', which describes how the god Apollo founded the temple at Delphi after a journey which took him all over Greece in search of a suitable site.
Eventually he chose a lonely cave nestling at the foot of Mount Parnassos, which was guarded by the dragoness Python, whom he slew with an arrow from his silver bow.
After killing the dragoness, Apollo set off to hijack a Cretan merchant ship, leaping aboard the boat in the guise of a dolphin.
Terrified, the crew huddled below deck while the dolphin Apollo directed the winds to blow the ship right around the Greek coast and into the harbour below Delphi.
Then, according to Homer's poem, the sun god instructed his hostages to live in the new temple and serve him as priests:
And whereas I first, in the misty sea, sprung aboard the swift ship in the guise of a dolphin, therefore pray to me as Apollo Delphinus.
The masculine overthrowing the feminine and the balance of power shifts.