Daphnis and Chloe (Greek: Δάφνις καὶ Χλόη, Daphnis kai Chloē) is an ancient Greek novel written in the Roman Empire, the only known work of the second-century AD Greek novelist and romance writer Longus.[1]

Daphnis and Chloe by Jean-Pierre Cortot

Setting and style Edit

It is set on the Greek isle of Lesbos, where scholars assume the author to have lived. Its style is rhetorical and pastoral; its shepherds and shepherdesses are wholly conventional, but the author imparts human interest to this idealized world. Daphnis and Chloe resembles a modern novel more than does its chief rival among Greek erotic romances, the Aethiopica of Heliodorus, which is remarkable more for its plot than for its characterization.

Plot summary Edit

Daphnis and Chloe is the story of a boy (Daphnis) and a girl (Chloe), each of whom is abandoned at birth along with some identifying tokens. A goatherd named Lamon discovers Daphnis, and a shepherd called Dryas finds Chloe. Each decides to raise the child he finds as his own. Daphnis and Chloe grow up together, herding the flocks for their foster parents. They fall in love but, being naive, do not understand what is happening to them. Philetas, a wise old cowherd, explains to them what love is and tells them that the only cure is kissing.[2] They do this. Eventually, Lycaenion, a woman from the city, educates Daphnis in love-making. Daphnis, however, decides not to test his newly acquired skill on Chloe, because Lycaenion tells Daphnis that Chloe "will scream and cry and lie bleeding heavily [as if murdered]."[2] Throughout the book, Chloe is courted by suitors, two of whom (Dorcon and Lampis) attempt with varying degrees of success to abduct her. She is also carried off by raiders from a nearby city and saved by the intervention of the god Pan. Meanwhile, Daphnis falls into a pit, gets beaten up, is abducted by pirates, and is very nearly raped by a drunkard. In the end, after being recognised by their birth parents, Daphnis and Chloe get married and live out their bucolic lives in the country.[2][3]

Characters Edit

Daphnis et Chloe, oil on canvas by Louise Marie-Jeanne Hersent-Mauduit

The characters in the novel include:

  • Astylus – Dionysophanes' son
  • Chloe – the heroine
  • Daphnis – the hero
  • Dionysophanes – Daphnis' master and father
  • Dorcon – the would-be suitor of Chloe
  • Dryas – Chloe's foster father
  • Eros – god of love
  • Eudromus – a messenger
  • Gnathon – the would-be suitor of Daphnis
  • Lamon – Daphnis' foster father
  • Lampis – a cow-herder
  • Lycaenion – woman who educates Daphnis in love-making
  • Megacles – Chloe's father
  • Myrtale – Daphnis' foster mother
  • Nape – Chloe's foster mother
  • Pan - god of shepherds and the wild
  • Philetas – old countryman who advises the heroes about love; likely named after Philitas of Cos[4]
  • Rhode – Chloe's mother

Text tradition Edit

Until the beginning of the nineteenth century, about a page of text was missing; when Paul Louis Courier went to Italy, he found the missing part in one of the plutei (an ancient Roman reading desk or place for storing manuscripts) of the Biblioteca Laurenziana in Florence. However, as soon as he had copied the text, he upset the ink-stand and spilled ink all over the manuscript. The Italian philologists were incensed, especially those who had studied the pluteus giving "a most exact description" (un'esattissima notizia) of it.

Influences and adaptations Edit

A nineteenth-century painting by the Swiss-French painter Marc Gabriel Charles Gleyre depicting a scene from Daphnis and Chloe

The first vernacular edition of Daphnis and Chloe was the French version of Jacques Amyot, published in 1559. Along with the Diana of Jorge de Montemayor (published in the same year), Daphnis and Chloe helped inaugurate a European vogue for pastoral fiction in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Daphnis and Chloe was the model of La Sireine of Honoré d'Urfé, the Aminta of Torquato Tasso, and The Gentle Shepherd of Allan Ramsay. The novel Paul et Virginie by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre echoes the same story.

Jacques Amyot's French translation is perhaps better known than the original. The story has been presented in numerous illustrated editions, including a 1937 limited edition with woodcuts by Aristide Maillol, and a 1977 edition illustrated by Marc Chagall. Another translation that rivals the original is that of Annibale Caro, one of those writers dearest to lovers of the Tuscan elegances.

The 1952 work Shiosai (The Sound of Waves), written by the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima following a visit to Greece, is considered to have been inspired by the Daphnis and Chloe myth. Another work based on it is the 1923 novel Le Blé en herbe by Colette.[5]

The 1987 film The Princess Bride contains similarities to Daphnis and Chloe (for example, in both stories the male romantic lead is captured by pirates). Lawrence Rinder, director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, attributes the inspiration for the film to Longus.[6]

Opera Edit

Ballet Edit

Art Edit

Photographic print by F. Holland Day of Ethel Reed in costume as Chloe (c. 1895–98).
  • Marc Chagall produced a series of 42 color lithographs based on the tale of Daphnis and Chloe.

Cinema Edit

Radio Edit

The work was adapted into a 45-minute radio play in 2006 by Hattie Naylor.

Editions Edit

  • Columbani, Raphael; Henry Cuffe and Marcello Adriani (1598). Longi Pastoralium, de Daphnide & Chloë libri quatuor. Florence: Apud Philippum Iunctam. The first printed edition.
  • Courier, Paul Louis (1810). Contained a previously unknown passage, after the discovery of a new manuscript.
  • Athenian Society (1896). Longus, literally and completely translated from the Greek. Athens: Privately printed. Retrieved 2007-06-22. With English translation.
  • Edmonds, John Maxwell (1916). Daphnis & Chloe, by Longus; The Love Romances of Parthenius and Other Fragments. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-99076-5. With English translation revised from that of George Thornley.
  • Dalmeyda, Georges (1971) [1934]. Pastorales (Daphnis et Chloe) / Longus. Collection des universités de France. Paris: Belles Lettres. With French translation.
  • Viellefond, Jean-René (1987). Pastorales (Daphnis et Chloé) / Longus. Collection des universités de France. Paris: Belles Lettres. With French translation.
  • Reeve, Michael D. (1994) [1982]. Daphnis et Chloe / Longus. Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana (Editio correctior ed.). Stuttgart: Teubner. ISBN 3-8154-1932-8. Reeve's text is reprinted with the translation and commentary by Morgan (see below).

English translations Edit

See also Edit

Other ancient Greek novelists:

Footnotes Edit

  1. ^ It has been suggested that the name "Longus" is merely a misreading of the last word of the title Λεσβιακῶν ἐρωτικῶν λόγοι δ in the Florentine manuscript; Seiler also observes that the best manuscript begins and ends with λόγου (not λόγγου) ποιμενικῶν.
  2. ^ a b c Longus; Xenophon of Ephesus (2009), Henderson, Jeffery (ed.), Anthia and Habrocomes (translation), Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, pp. 69 & 127, ISBN 978-0-674-99633-5
  3. ^ Blanchfield; Jones, Jamie; Lefler, Carrie. "Longus, Daphnis and Chloefirst1=Kelly". University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Archived from the original on 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  4. ^ Richard Hunter (1996). "Longus, Daphnis and Chloe". In Gareth L. Schmeling (ed.). The Novel in the Ancient World. Brill. pp. 361–86. ISBN 90-04-09630-2.
  5. ^ Fischler, Alexander (1969). "Unity in Colette's Le Blé en Herbe". Modern Language Quarterly. 30 (2): 248–264. doi:10.1215/00267929-30-2-248.
  6. ^ Edelstein, Wendy (March 4, 2009). "In a Galaxy not all that far away..." UC Berkeley News. The University of California at Berkeley. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  7. ^ Arnold Haskell (ed.) 'Gala Performance' (Collins 1955) p226.
  8. ^ "John Neumeier". The Hamburg Ballet. www.hamburgballett.de. Archived from the original on 2011-06-25. Retrieved 2011-03-01.
  9. ^ "Les Ballets de Monte Carlo". Daphnis et Chloé. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2013-07-27.

External links Edit

Editions of the Greek text

  • Longi Pastoralium de Daphnide et Chloe Libri IV Graece et Latine Ed. Christ. Guil. Mitscherlich, Biponti (Zweibrücken), 1794.
  • Longi Pastoralia First complete Greek text of Daphnis and Chloe, edited by P.-L. Courier, with a Latin translation by G. R. Lud. de Sinner. Paris, 1829.
  • Longi Pastoralia Greek text of Daphnis and Chloe with a Latin translation, edd. Seiler, Schaefer, Boissonade & Brunck. Leipzig, 1843.
  • Erotici Scriptores Paris, 1856. Longi Pastoralia, Greek text with Latin translation, edited by G A Hirschig, pp. 174–222.
  • Daphnis and Chloe The Bibliotheca Classica Selecta's 2006/07 edition of the Greek text with the French translation of Jacques Amyot revised, corrected and completed by P.-L. Courier.

Synopses, analyses, and other studies