DAPHNE

ΔΑΦΝΗ

Apollo and Daphne (detail), Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), Italian Rococo painter

Apollo and Daphne (detail), Giovanni Battista
Tiepolo (1696-1770), Italian Rococo painter

A fair maiden who is mixed up with various traditions about Apollo. According to Pausanias (x. 5. § 3) she was an Oreas and an ancient priestess of the Delphic oracle to which she had been appointed by Ge. Diodorus (iv. 66) describes her as the daughter of Teiresias, who is better known by the name of Manto. She was made prisoner in the war of the Epigoni and given as a present to Apollo. A third Daphne is called a daughter of the river-god Ladon in Arcadia by Ge (Paus. viii. 20. § 1; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 6; Philostr. Vit. Apollon. i. 16), or of the river-god Peneius in Thessaly (Ov. Met. i. 452; Hygin. Fab. 203), or lastly of Amyclas. (Parthen. Erot. 15.) She was extremely beautiful and was loved and pursued by Apollo. When on the point of being overtaken by him, she prayed to her mother, Ge, who opened the earth and received her, and in order to console Apollo she created the ever-green laurel-tree (daphnê), of the boughs of which Apollo made himself a wreath. Another story relates that Leucippus, the son of Oenomaüs, king of Pisa, was in love with Daphne and approached her in the disguise of a maiden and thus hunted with her. But Apollo's jealousy caused his discovery during the bath, and he was killed by the nymphs. (Paus. viii. 20. § 2; Parthen. l. c.) According to Ovid (Met. i. 452, &c.) Daphne in her flight from Apollo was metamorphosed herself into a laurel-tree.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Theoi Greek Mythology, Daphne (Illustrated)
Greek Mythology Link, Daphne (Illustrated)

Pallas and the Centaur, by Sandro Botticelli (1444-1510), Italian Renaissance painter

Apollo and Daphne, by Théodore Chassériau (1819-1856), French romantic painter