Daphnis and Chloe

Influences and adaptations

The first vernacular edition of Daphnis and Chloe was the French version of Jacques Amyot, published in 1559. Along with the Diana of Jorge de Montemayor (published in the same year), Daphnis and Chloe helped inaugurate a European vogue for pastoral fiction in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Daphnis and Chloe was the model of La Sireine of Honoré d'Urfé, the Aminta of Torquato Tasso, and The Gentle Shepherd of Allan Ramsay. The novel Paul et Virginie by Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre echoes the same story.

Jacques Amyot's French translation is perhaps better known than the original. The story has been presented in numerous illustrated editions, including a 1937 limited edition with woodcuts by Aristide Maillol, and a 1977 edition illustrated by Marc Chagall. Another translation that rivals the original is that of Annibale Caro, one of those writers dearest to lovers of the Tuscan elegances.

The 1952 work Shiosai (The Sound of Waves), written by the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima following a visit to Greece, is considered to have been inspired by the Daphnis and Chloe myth. Another work based on it is the 1923 novel Le Blé en herbe by Colette.[5]

The 1987 film The Princess Bride contains similarities to Daphnis and Chloe (for example, in both stories the male romantic lead is captured by pirates). Lawrence Rinder, director of the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, attributes the inspiration for the film to Longus.[6]


  • Jacques Offenbach wrote a one-act operetta based on the story in 1860.
  • Joseph Bodin de Boismortier wrote a Daphnis et Chloé pastorale in 3 acts in 1747.
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote a pastorale heroïque called Daphnis et Chloè between 1774 and 1776. The work was never finished, due to his death in 1778.


  • Maurice Ravel wrote the 1912 ballet Daphnis et Chloé for Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, choreographed by Michel Fokine.
  • The music by Ravel was also used in the ballet of the same name by Frederick Ashton, first performed by the Sadler's Wells Ballet (now The Royal Ballet) at Covent Garden on 5 April 1951, with Margot Fonteyn as Chloe and Michael Somes as Daphnis. Decor was by John Craxton.[7]
  • John Neumeier choreographed the ballet Daphnis and Chloe for his Frankfurt Ballet company.[8]
  • Jean-Christophe Maillot created a contemporary and sensual choreography of the ballet Daphnis et Chloé for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. This shorter 35 minute choreography also uses Maurice Ravel's music, but not the whole original ballet. It features Jeroen Verbruggen as Daphnis, Anjara Ballesteros-Cilla as Chloe, Bernice Coppieters as Lycenion and Chris Roelandt as Dorcon, and was directed by Denis Caïozzi and produced by Telmondis, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo and Mezzo. The ballet premiered on April 1, 2010, at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and has since then been broadcast several times on television internationally.[9]


The work was adapted into a 64-minute mute film by Orestis Laskos in 1931, one of the first Greek cinema classics. The movie was originally considered shocking due to the nudity in some of the scenes.

The story was the basis for the 1963 film Μικρές Αφροδίτες (Mikres Afrodites), or Young Aphrodites, by the Greek filmmaker Nikos Koundouros, based on a script of Vassilis Vassilikos.


The work was adapted into a 45-minute radio play in 2006 by Hattie Naylor.

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