Longo Sofista, Le avventure pastorali di Dafni e Cloe

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Longo Sophista, The pastoral adventures of Dafni and Cloe

Research output: Book/ReportBook


An introductory essay (pp. 7-117) elucidates Longus' use of literary models and particularly his technique of 'contaminazione'. Among the aspects explored are: the mixing of genres and models, often with the intention of parody (in the first place the fusion of novelistic prose and pastoral poetry, i.e. two genres quite “eclectic” in themselves); Longus' engagement with the epic and dramatic tradition (Daphnis as a tragic hero, Lycaenion as paraepic heroine, Dorcon as parody of the iliadic Dolon, passing through the intermediate of the pseudo-euripidean Rhesus, etc.); the paraklausithyron scene in Book 3. 5–9, mixing elegy with comedy and mime; the 'beauty competition' between Daphnis and Dorcon in Book 1. 16, creatively revisiting a pastoral motif; the repeated descriptions of lovesickness and the influence of erotic poetry; Sapphic echoes along all the novel; the mannered parallelism between the adventures of the two central characters; the tendency to the use of recurrent epithets and "typical scenes" as conscious reproduction of the very formularity of epic poetry. A small part of this introduction is based on some papers all published in 2004: M.P. Pattoni, “I Pastoralia di Longo e la contaminazione dei generi. Alcune proposte interpretative”, MD 53, 2004, 83–124; “Innamorarsi nella Lesbo di Longo: topoi romanzeschi, reminiscenze epiche e saffiche memorie”, Eikasmos 15, 2004, 273–303; “Dafni davanti alla porta chiusa (Longus II, 9): variazioni in tema di paraklausithyron”, Lexis 22, 2004, 341–368. The introductive essay is followed by an extensive series of “Schede informative” (pp. 119–189), shedding light on the author and his work. Among the topics analyzed are: questions of authorship and date; the ecphrastic proem, in which Longus declares his aesthetic principles; a history of critical interpretations (symbolic, mystic, etc.) of this novel; the structure of the work; the presentation of the countryside and other pastoral topics; the text and its transmission (including 'the Courier affair'), translations, editions and commentaries; a brief history of Longus' reception in literature and art, from the re-discovery of the text in the Renaissance to modern times. Between the introduction and the text is the bibliography (pp. 191-217). The text offered is Vieillefond’s (Paris 1987), which is reproduced reprographically, but several corrections are proposed in the notes and taken into account in the translation: sometimes I discuss my textual choices in the footnotes, sometimes I refer to my critical contributions in: “Annotazioni testuali ai Pastoralia di Longo”, Aevum(ant) n.s. 2, 2002, 278–290 (but the paper was sent to the review in 2004 and published in 2005); “In margine al testo di Longo”, Prometheus 31, 2005, 75–89. The Italian translation facing the text aims to reproduce the elegant simplicity and politeness of the original. The text is accompanied by a great number of notes, treating problems related to Longus’ language, style, and poetics, as well as to recurrent themes and structural analyses, and also discussing literary models and parallel texts, with the aim to enlighten Longus’ way of adapting and mixing his models.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Longo Sophista, The pastoral adventures of Dafni and Cloe
Original languageItalian
Number of pages538
ISBN (Print)88-17-00609-2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Daphnis and Chloe
  • Longus


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