Sunday, October 27, 2019

Outed and Executed: The Awful Fate of Leucippus, Parthenius Nicaensis, Erot. XV

TRIGGER WARNING: mob violence, murder

De Daphne Amyclae filia haec traduntur. Ea omnino ad urbem non progrediebatur, neque etiam reliquis virginibus convivebat. Verum adparatu magno frequenter venabatur, aliquando etiam usque ad Laconiam regionem pervagata, progressaque ulterius per reliquos Peloponnesi montes, adeo ut hanc ob causam valde grata esset Dianae, quae eam certe penitus spicula faciebat eiaculari. In eius cum aequalibus per silvas oberantis amorem Leucippus incidit Oenomai filius, qui cum alias viam qua eam aggrederetur desperasset, muliebribus vestibus indutus, ac puellae assimilatus cum ea venabatur. Erat autem omnino iucunda ipsi Daphnae illius conversatio, adeo ut numquam dimitteret eum, talisque colluderet, ac quasi ex eo penderet omni hora. Apollo autem qui et ipse puellae desiderio ardebat, iraque et invidia ob Leucippi praesentiam tenebatur, puellae in animum iniicit, ut cum reliquis virginibus ad fontem accedat ac lavet. Quo sane cum pervenissent, omnes exuebantur: et cum Leucippum invitum ad hoc vierent, vestes ei detraxerunt. Cognita autem fraude et insidiis sibi paratis, omnes eum spiculis transfixerunt, atque ita ille, diis volentibus disparuit. Daphne vero cum Apollinem se petentem perspexisset, strenue valde fugit. Illo autem pariter insequente, a Iove petiit ex hominibus excedere. Aiunt itaque ipsam factam arborem, quae adhuc illius nomine Daphne appelletur. 

--Parthenii Nicaensis, Erot. XV

This is the story of Daphne, the daughter of Amyclas. She never went into town, nor did she ever spend time with other girls. She frequently would hunt armed to the teeth, and would wander all over the region of Sparta, even into the Peloponnesian mountains. Because of this, she was well liked by Diana [the goddess of the hunt], who gave her the gift of sharp-shooting accuracy.
Leucippus, the son of Oenomaus, fell in love with her while he was wandering through the forest with his friends. When he despaired that he would never be able to get to know her, he dressed as a woman and went hunting with her while pretending to be a girl.
Daphne enjoyed his company so much that she never left his side. She always flirted with him, and spent every minute she could with him. However, Apollo [the god of music and prophecy], who also had a crush on Daphne, was seized by anger and jealousy for Leucippus, and planted the idea in Daphne's head that she and Leucippus should bathe in a nearby stream with the other girls. When all of them got together and all of the girls took off their clothes, Leucippus hesitated. Noticing that he was unwilling to join them, the girls pulled off his clothes. Feeling betrayed by the trick and armed with their weapons, the band of girls shot him with their spears and he disappeared from the face of the earth.
However, when Daphne saw Apollo eyeing her, she quickly fled from him. While he was following her and about to catch her, she prayed to Jupiter [the king of the gods] to end her suffering. The legend goes that she became a tree, which is now called the "daphne" tree (bay tree).

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