Daphne was beloved of Apollo, like many other nymphs in mythology, but there is always trouble when the gods fall in love. Due to some insulting remarks Apollo had made about Eros (Cupid in Roman mythology), the god of love had shot Apollo with a golden arrow that caused him to fall in love with Daphne. However, Eros shot Daphne with an arrow made of lead so she could never fall in love with anyone.

Apollo also had a rival for Daphne by the name of Leucippus.

Apollo, being the god of prophecy, discovered a secret about Leucippus. In order to be near Daphne, he had disguised himself as a girl and joined her troop of nymphs. Apollo cleverly revealed Leucippus' secret by suggesting to the nymphs that they bathe naked. When the nymphs discovered that Leucippus was a man they tore him to pieces. The nymphs in mythology are often short tempered.

One day Apollo spoke to her directly about his love but before he could finish Daphne ran away. The sight of her fleeing through the woods was so charming the god could no longer resist and began to chase her. Seeing that the god would eventually catch her, Daphne prayed to Mother Earth who snatched her away in the nick of time. To fool Apollo Mother Earth left in her place a laurel tree. Thinking that Daphne had been transformed into the tree Apollo took the tree as his own symbol. He made a crown of laurel leaves for himself, which was used as the crown of victory up till Roman times.

Daphne, meanwhile, was taken to Crete were she became known as Pasiphae. There she married King Minos and gave birth to the minotaur.

Click here for more on the nymphs in mythology.

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