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The Beautiful Tragedy of Apollo and Daphne

In the idyllic setting of Ancient Olympia, a beautiful and tragic love myth was born, that of Apollo and Daphne.

Here’s how the story goes:

Apollo, god of prophecy, sees the young Cupid, god of love, playing with his bow and arrows and remarks, "What have you to do with warlike weapons? Leave them for hands worthy of them."

In retribution for this reproach, Cupid wounds Apollo with a golden arrow, causing him to fall in love with the nymph daughter of the river God Peneus.

Cupid additionally wounds the beautiful nymph Daphne, with a lead arrow, thus insuring she would not be wooed by Apollo's advances.

Apollo, struck with the golden arrow of love, pleads with Daphne to fulfill his desire. Daphne, repulsed by the idea, begins to flee. Even as she runs, he is more captivated by her beauty and gains on her.

With slower speed and failing strength, Daphne cries out to her father just as Apollo captures her.

Not a moment later, Peneus protects his daughter by turning her into a laurel tree.

After the transformation Apollo still embraced the tree. He cut off some of her branches and leaves to make a wreath and proclaimed the laurel as a sacred tree.

Apollo and Daphne