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Daphnis can also be a genus of hawk moth, and a moon of Saturn
Sculpture of Pan teaching Daphnis to play the pipes; ca. 100 B.C. Found in Pompeii

In Greek mythology, Daphnis (/ˈdæfns/; Ancient Greek: Δάφνις, from δάφνη, daphne, "Bay Laurel"[1]) was a Sicilian shepherd who was said to be the inventor of pastoral poetry.[2] According to tradition, he was the son of Hermes and a nymph, despite which Daphnis himself was mortal. Daphnis is also described and shown as an eromenos. His mother was said to have exposed him under a laurel tree, where he was found by shepherds and named after the tree under which he was found. He was also sometimes said to be Hermes' favourite or beloved rather than his son.

A naiad (possibly Echenais or Nomia) was in love with him and promised to be faithful to him. However, he was seduced, with the aid of wine, by the daughter of a king, and, in revenge, this nymph either blinded him or turned him to stone. Pan also fell in love with him and taught him to play the pan pipes.

Daphnis was also the name of a member of the group of Prophetic sisters, known as the Thriae.

Longus's legend of Daphnis and Chloe describes two children who grow up together and gradually develop mutual love, eventually marrying after many adventures.

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  1. ^ "δάφνη", Henry George Liddel, Robert Scott, A Greek-English lexicon, 9th ed., 1940, Oxford University Press.
  2. ^ "Daphnis" The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Edited by M. C. Howatson. Oxford University Press Inc. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. 16 June 2012

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