Daphnis and Chloe  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Daphnis and Chloe is the only known work of the 2nd century AD Greek novelist and romancer Longus.


Setting and style

It is set on the isle of Lesbos during the 2nd century AD, which is also assumed to be the author's home. 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 its characterization.

Plot summary

Daphnis and Chloe, two children found by shepherds, grow up together, nourishing a mutual love which neither suspects. The development of their passion forms the chief interest, and there are few incidents. Chloe is carried off by a pirate, and ultimately regains her family. Rivals trouble Daphnis' peace of mind; but the two lovers are recognized by their parents, and return to a happy married life in the country.


The human characters in the novel include:

  • Chloe - The heroine
  • Daphnis - The hero
  • Dorcon - The would-be suitor of Chloe
  • Dryas - Chloe's foster father
  • Lamon - Daphnis' foster father
  • Myrtale - Daphnis' foster mother
  • Nape - Chloe's foster mother

Reception and influences

Daphnis and Chloe was the model of La Sireine of Honoré d'Urfé, the Diana enamorada of Jorge de Montemayor, the Aminta of Torquato Tasso, and The Gentle Shepherd of Allan Ramsay. The novel Paul et Virginie echos the same story. Also, Maurice Ravel based his ballet, Daphnis et Chloé, on the story.

The French translation, as prepared by Jacques Amyot, bishop of Auxerre and revised by Paul Louis Courier, is perhaps better known than the original. It appeared in 1559. The story has been prepared in numerous illustrated editions, including a 1937 limited edition with woodcuts by Aristide Maillol, and a 1977 edition illustrated by Marc Chagall.

The 1952 work Shiosai (The Sound of the Waves), written by the well-known Japanese writer Yukio Mishima following a visit to Greece, is considered to have been inspired by the Daphnis and Chloe myth.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Daphnis and Chloe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools