The Fascinating Greek Myth of Daphne & Apollo

My girlfriend is a laurel tree.

But that’s only because her name “Daphne” says so in Greek.

Names have often fascinated me in their meaning, for example, my own name “Bryan” means “strong” or “virtuous”. Whatever that means.

But Daphne has always had a fascination with her name. It’s a beautiful name and it has a wonderful myth behind it. Hopefully, our love story won’t be like Apollo’s.

Who was Daphne?

The Greek Nymph

Daphne was a water nymph in Greek mythology.

As a daughter of the river God Peneus, she was obsessed with nature and loved to hunt in the name of Artemis, the God of the hunt. To understand more of Daphne’s story, we know that she wanted to be like Artemis.

Hunting was a big part of her life and she was often to be found in the forests, the myth says.

Artemis was a virgin for the whole of her life and that’s what Daphne wanted to be as well. She didn’t like men and when Apollo, the twin brother of Artemis fell in love with her, she had to reject him.

Unfortunately for Daphne, Apollo didn’t give up.

The Greek God of Healing was so in love with the nymph because after insulting the God of Love, Eros, he shot his arrow of love into Apollo and another one into Daphne which would take away all of her love.

You can imagine that wouldn’t work out well.

Daphne’s Transformation

Daphne was scared of Apollo. He chased her like a 21st-century stalker and she didn’t know what to do — in fact, she didn’t even know who was chasing her.

Until she found out that the son of Zeus was chasing her.

That didn’t impress her much and she ran away even faster when Apollo started chasing her faster.

By Piero del Pollaiuolo — The original uploader was DO'Neil at English Wikipedia., Public Domain

Eventually, Apollo got to Daphne and she begged her father, a God, to help her.

She didn’t want this anymore.

He turned her into a laurel tree. She ended up transforming in front of Apollo’s face and he swore to worship this laurel tree.

The way he did this we still remember.

He turned a couple of branches and leaves into a laurel wreath, that was later used in the Olympics to honor the victors.

Now he would be with her forever.

Now the big question would be if Daphne was consciously in that laurel tree or did she spread her soul between all of the branches and she would be on top of Apollo’s head for eternity.

At least my girlfriend is not yet showing any symptoms of turning into a tree.

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