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Daphnis and Chloe

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DAPHNIS AND CHLOE. This Greek prose pastoral romance, attributed to one Longus, about whom nothing is known, may have been written in the 2d or early in the 3d century A.D. Despite many marks of decadence, it is by far the most delightful of the Greek romances. Daphnis, a boy, and Chloe, a girl, infants ex posed by their respective parents, are found and adopted by shepherds; and their fortunes are followed through the years of their love for each other as it .grows •with the ripening seasons,— to the happy end, when they are re claimed by their parents, and married. The charm of the story lies in the children's naive courtship and in the rich and exquisite scenery of their rural life, both the action and the set ting being such as a sophisticated urban imagi nation frames for idealized dwellers in the Golden Age. The book appeals to every sense in a succession of lovely idyls.

It pleased the and has pleased the centuries since. The cdttio princeps was printed in 1598 (Florence) ; hut in 1559 Tacques Amyot had already translated 'Daphnis and Chloe) into a French classic (often re printed), from which in 1587 Angel Day made a wretched English paraphrase (reprinted London 1890 with introduction by Joseph Jacobs). Both versions gave Robert reene

material for his (1588), which in turn became the chief source of Shakespeare's 'The Winter's Tale' (1611) ; Shakespeare seems to have taken several details directly from Day. How much Allan Ramsay's 'The Gentle Shepherd' (1725) owes to 'Daphnis and Chloe' is not certain; its theme is much the same, as is that of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's 'Paul et Virginie> (1789). An enlarged re cension of Amyot's translation was published in 1810 by Paul Louis Courier, who in 1807 had found in a Florentine manuscript —and in 1809 had transcribed and then blotted—a portion missing from all other manuscripts. Of Pierre Paul Prud'hon's admirable illustrations three appeared in the French version published by Didot and one other in Annibal Caro's Italian version, published by Renouard, both Paris 1800. The most useful and accessible English translation is that by George Thornley, (first published in 1657), revised and augmented by J. M. Edmonds, 'Loeb Classical Library' (Lon don and New York 1916).