Saturday, August 27, 2022

Dangerous Beauty: Daphne's Rescue. Lactantius Placidus, Narr. 1.9

 CONTENT WARNING: attempted rape

It is important to note that the common denominator in abduction myths is not the victim's gender, but their beauty.

Daphne, Penei fluminis filia, cum omnium virginum, quae in Thessalia essent, speciosissima haberetur, adeo quidem ut deos pulchritudine sua caperet, Apollo etiam cum illam conspexisset, forma eius expalluit. Quam cum neque pollicitis neque precibus adire potuisset, vim ut adferret instituit. et illa cursu conspectum eius effugere cupiens, patrem invocavit, ut virginitati usae, quam sibi permiserat, ferret auxilium. cuius ille auditis precibus filiam deorum auxilio, ut vim effugeret, in laurum convertit.

--Lactantius Placidus, Qui dicitur Narrationes Fabularum Ovidianarum Liber 1.fab.9

 Daphne, the daughter of the river Peneus, was the most beautiful maiden in Thessaly. She was so pretty that her beauty attracted the attention of the gods. When Apollo caught sight of her, he was stunned by her curves. When she wouldn’t date him regardless of his promises or begging, he decided to attack her. Trying to get away, called upon her father to help guard her virginity (which he had allowed her to keep). Peneus, hearing his daughter’s prayers, helped her and turned her into a laurel tree in order to escape Apollo’s attack.



Name:  Lactantius Placidus

Date:  5th or 6th century CE

Works:  Abridgement of Ovids’ Metamorphoses

Commentary on Statius’ Thebaid



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



 Little is known about this Christian author, but he is known for his commentary on Statius’ Thebaid and an abridgement of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.


Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE

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