Daphnis and Aphrodite: a love affair in Theocritus Idyll 1

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14 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we argue that the object of Daphnis' enamorment in Theocritus' first Idyll is Aphrodite. Our case is based on two distinct but converging lines of argument. First, we provide reasons for supposing that the character of Daphnis in Theocritus' poem is modelled on that of Adonis and related figures in near-eastern tradition, who serve as the young, dying consorts of a goddess associated with eroticism and love. Second, we argue that the evidence of Idyll 1 points clearly to Daphnis' passion for Aphrodite as the cause of his love-sickness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-527
Number of pages31
JournalAmerican Journal of Philology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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