All About Daphne

DAPHNE 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 (Pausanias viii. 20, § 1 ; John Tzetzes ad Lycopli. 6 ; Philostratus Vita Apollonii i. 16), or of the river-god Peneius in Thessaly (Ovid Metamorphoses. i. 452 ; Hyginus Fab. 203), or lastly of Amyclas. (Parthenius Erotica. 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, of the boughs of which Apollo made himself a wreath. Another story relates that Leucippus, the son of Oenomaus, 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. (Pausanias viii. 20. § 2 ; Parthenius 1. c.) According to Ovid (Metamorphoses i. 452, &c.) Daphne in her flight from Apollo was metamorphosed herself into a laurel-tree. [L. S.]

from Smith's Biographical Dictionary

Pausanias, Guide to Greece "Book VIII: Arcadia", ch. 20:

Six miles or so from Lykouria, you come to the Springs of the Ladon. I heard that the water of the Phenean Lake, which drops into the sinkholes in the mountains comes out again to form the springs of the Ladon at this place. I am unable to say for sure whether this is the truth, but the Ladon has the best water of any river in Greece, and in addition the place is world famous because of Daphne and her celebrated story. I will not dwell on the story of Daphne as the Syrians on the Orontes [at Daphne, a suburb of Antioch-in-Syria], but there is another story told in Arcadia and Elis. Oenomaus, the King of Pisa, had a son called Leucippus who fell in love with Daphne, and he knew that he could never get her by straightforward courting because she ran away from every suitor no matter whom. So he thought up a trick. He grew his hair long for the River Alpheios, so he plaited this hair like a young virgin and put on women's clothes. He went to Daphne and said he was the daughter of Oenomaus and wanted to go hunting with her. She believed that he was a virgin of a much more important family and a much better huntress than the other girls, and moreover he was very attentive to her, so as a result he and Daphne became friends. Those who claim that Apollo was Daphne's lover add to the above that Apollo was jealous of Leucippus’ success in courtship. So Daphne and the other young virgins suddenly wanted to go swimming in the River Ladon, and pulled off Leucippus’ clothing against his will. When they saw that he was not a young girl, they stabbed him to death with their hunting knives and spears.



January 23, 2010 9:29 AM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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