About “Daphnis & Chloe” by Longus
Daphnis & Chloe by Longus is a masterpiece of literature, not because of using any of the sophisticated literary techniques contemporary audiences might expect after so many centuries of exercised literary writing, though more because of it being a direct, delicate exposition of the “picturesque” life of two (very) young shepherds whom the strange turns of fortune have brought close to each other. The story leads the listener through a mix of adventures and colourful descriptions of their daily rural life to the birth of innocent erotic anxiety. This progresses from the initial state of ignorance to the final stage of crowned love, but not without more adventures and even the interference of the supernatural powers of the Nymphs and the god Pan. A charming story of love and truth meeting each other by a final turn of fortune in an ancient Paradise.
This work has been the inspiration for Maurice Ravel’s well known musical masterpiece with the same name.
You can follow the text of Longus’ “Daphnis & Chloë” (in English translation) online at Archive.org, here, or an edition of Thornley’s translation, with a number of illustrations by J.Austen here. The Greek text with facing English translation (also by Thornley) can be found here. Also an edition by W.D.Lowe with text & translation as downloadable pdf. A very interesting article on this work, by Jeroen Lauwrens, opines that this novel is written by a learned composer and addressed to a learned audience. Not as simple a work as it seems to be. You can read it at Academia.edu. More studies on Daphnis & Chloe can be found there too.
Longus (Gr.: Λόγγος), is an otherwise unknown Greek author of the Roman period, who probably lived in the 2nd c. CE. He’s only known by this very work. Some words can be found at the relevant Britannica entry.
About the audiobook
The recording contains the complete, unabridged Ancient Greek text of “Daphnis & Chloë” in 4 books, by Longus. After purchase you will be able to download the zip file, containing the work in mp3 and m4b format.
A short sample
ΛΟΓΓΟΥ ΠΟΙΜΕΝΙΚΩΝ ΤΩΝ ΚΑΤΑ ΔΑΦΝΙΝ ΚΑΙ ΧΛΟΗΝ
Ἐν Λέσβῳ θηρῶν ἐν ἄλσει Νυμφῶν θέαμα εἶδον κάλλιστον ὧν εἶδον, εἰκόνος γραφήν, ἱστορίαν ἔρωτος. καλὸν μὲν καὶ τὸ ἄλσος, πολύδενδρον, ἀνθηρόν, κατάῤῥυτον· μία πηγὴ πάντα ἔτρεφε, καὶ τὰ ἄνθη καὶ τὰ δένδρα· ἀλλ’ ἡ γραφὴ τερπνοτέρα, καὶ τέχνην ἔχουσα περιττὴν καὶ τύχην ἐρωτικήν, ὥστε πολλοὶ καὶ τῶν ξένων κατὰ φήμην ᾔεσαν, τῶν μὲν Νυμφῶν ἱκέται, τῆς δὲ εἰκόνος θεαταί. γυναῖκες ἐπ’ αὐτῆς τίκτουσαι καὶ ἄλλαι σπαργάνοις κοσμοῦσαι, παιδία ἐκκείμενα, ποίμνια τρέφοντα, ποιμένες ἀναιρούμενοι, νέοι συντιθέμενοι, λῃστῶν καταδρομή, πολεμίων ἐμβολή, πολλὰ ἄλλα καὶ πάντα ἐρωτικά. ἰδόντα με καὶ θαυμάσαντα πόθος ἔσχεν ἀντιγράψαι τῇ γραφῇ, καὶ ἀναζητησάμενος ἐξηγητὴν τῆς εἰκόνος τέτταρας βίβλους ἐξεπονησάμην, ἀνάθημα μὲν Ἔρωτι καὶ Νύμφαις καὶ Πανί, κτῆμα δὲ τερπνὸν πᾶσιν ἀνθρῶποις, ὃ καὶ νοσοῦντα ἰάσεται καὶ λυπούμενον παραμυθήσεται, τὸν ἐρασθέντα ἀναμνήσει, τὸν οὐκ ἐρασθέντα προπαιδεύσει. πάντως γὰρ οὐδεὶς Ἔρωτα ἔφυγεν ἢ φεύξεται μέχρις ἂν κάλλος ᾖ καὶ ὀφθαλμοὶ βλέπωσιν. ἡμῖν δὲ ὁ θεὸς παράσχοι σωφρονοῦσι τὰ τῶν ἄλλων γράφειν.