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Daphne

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Apollo e Daphne

Baroque Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680) depicted the pursuit of the nymph Daphne by the god Apollo as inspired by Ovid'sMetamorphoses, in Apollo and Daphne (1622–1625). This statue is in the collection of the Galleria Borghese in Rome.

According to Greek myth, Apollo chased the nymph Daphne (Greek: Δάφνη, meaning "laurel"), daughter of Peneios and Creusa in Thessaly. The god's infatuation was caused by an arrow from Eros, who wanted to make Apollo pay for making fun of his archery skills and to demonstrate the power of love's arrow. Daphne prays for help either to the river god Peneus or to Gaea, and was transformed into a laurel (Laurus nobilis). The laurel became sacred to Apollo, and crowned the victors at the Pythian Games.

Unrequited Pursuit

According to Greek myth, Apollo chased the nymph Daphne, daughter either of Peneus and Creusa in Thessaly, or of the river Ladon in Arcadia. The pursuit of a local nymph by an Olympian god, part of the archaic adjustment of religious cult in Greece, was given an arch anecdotal turn in Ovid's Metamorphoses, where the god's infatuation was caused by an arrow from Eros, who wanted to make Apollo pay for making fun of his archery skills and to demonstrate the power of love's arrow. Ovid treats the encounter, Apollo's lapse of majesty, in the mode of elegiac lovers, and expands the pursuit into a series of speeches. According to the rendering Daphne prays for help either to the river god Peneus or to Gaia, and is transformed into a laurel: "a heavy numbness seized her limbs, thin bark closed over her breasts, her hair turned into leaves, her arms into branches, her feet so swift a moment ago stuck fast in slow-growing roots, her face was lost in the canopy. Only her shining beauty was left." The laurel became sacred to Apollo, and crowned the victors at the Pythian Games.

Parents

Either Ladon (river god) or Peneios (river god) and Unknown Mother

Consort

Apollo (pursued her to no avail)

Gallery

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