Daphnis and Chloë by Longus

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Daphnis and Chloë Summary

Lamo and his wife discover the infant Daphnis, abandoned and wrapped in a purple cloak with an ivory dagger by his side. They raise the boy as their own.

Dyras discovered the infant Chloë, also abandoned and richly dressed. He and his wife raise her as their own.

Daphnis and Chloë grow up together. One day, while playing, Daphnis becomes trapped in a wolf pit, but he is rescued by Chloë. At this point, he falls in love with her. However, a young man named Dorco asks to marry Chloë, but her father refuses. He tries to kidnap Chloë, but his plan fails when he is attacked by a pack of dogs.

Later, Daphnis is kidnapped by pirates. She is given a herding pipe by Dorco, and when she blows into it, the cattle swim to the ship, and it is overturned. While celebrating Daphnis's safe return, Chloë is kidnapped by the Methymneans after they blame Daphnis for breaking the lines used to dock their ship. The god Pan threatens them, and they return Chloë.

Chloë is pursued by another man named Lampis, and her father considers agreeing to the marriage. Too poor to provide for her, Daphnis sets off to find a silver purse before he asks for Chloë's hand in marriage. He succeeds and asks her father's permission to marry her. While preparing for the wedding, Chloë and Daphnis learn who their fathers are.


(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

On the Greek island of Lesbos, a goatherd named Lamo one day finds a richly dressed infant boy being suckled by one of his goats. Lamo and his wife, Myrtale, hide the purple cloak and ivory dagger the boy wore and pretend he is their own son. They name him Daphnis. Two years later, a shepherd named Dryas discovers an infant girl being nursed by one of his sheep in a cave of the nymphs. This child also is richly dressed. Dryas and his wife, Nape, keep the girl as their own, giving her the name Chloë.

When the two children are fifteen and thirteen years old, they are given flocks to tend. Daphnis and Chloë play happily together, amusing themselves in many ways. One day, while chasing a goat, Daphnis falls into a wolf pit, from which he is rescued unharmed by Chloë and a herdsman she summoned to help her. Daphnis begins to experience delightful but disturbing feelings about Chloë. Dorco, a herdsman, asks permission to marry Chloë but is refused by Dryas. Disguising himself in a wolf skin, Dorco shortly afterward attempts to seize Chloë. Attacked by the flock dogs, he is rescued by Daphnis and Chloë, who innocently think he was merely playing a prank. Love, little understood by either, grows between Daphnis and Chloë.

In the autumn some Tyrian pirates wound Dorco, steal some of his oxen and cows, and take Daphnis away with them. Chloë, who hears Daphnis calling to her from the pirate ship, runs to aid the mortally wounded Dorco. Dorco gives her his herdsman’s pipe, telling her to blow upon it. When she blows, the cattle jump into the sea and overturn the ship. The pirates drown, but Daphnis, catching on to the horns of two swimming cows, comes safely to shore.

After the celebration of the autumn vintage, Daphnis and Chloë return to their flocks. They attempt in their innocence to practice the art of love, but they are not successful. Some young men of Methymne come to the fields of Mitylene to hunt. When a withe used as a cable to hold their small ship is gnawed in two by a goat, the Methymneans blame Daphnis and set upon him. In a trial over the affair, Daphnis is judged innocent. The angry Methymneans later carry away Chloë. The god Pan warns the Methymnean captain in a dream that he should bring back Chloë, and she is returned. Daphnis and Chloë joyfully celebrate holidays in honor of Pan.

The two lovers are sad at being parted by winter weather, which keeps the flocks in their folds. In the spring the lovers happily drive their flocks again to the fields. When a woman named Lycaenium...

(The entire section is 1,031 words.)