Daphne & Apollo – bedestan

Daphne & Apollo

bedestan's throws are sourced from beautiful Antakya, Turkey. this city has a storied past, having hosted Alexander the Great in his battles with the Persians, Caesar's legendary olympics, and St. Paul and St. Peter at the beginning of Christianity.

near the edge of Antakya lies a city we know now as Harbiye. here a grove of laurel, oak, and cypress trees stand watch over springs feeding into waterfalls. so beautiful was this site that it was thought to be the setting for the story of Daphne and Apollo.

while accounts vary in the details, the essential story of Daphne is one of chastity versus lust.

Daphne, a beautiful mountain nymph, has the misfortune of turning the head of Apollo, the god of reason, music, and poetry. Apollo comes across Eros (Rome's Cupid) after slaying a python. this being a Greek myth, Apollo insults Eros with some suggestive, hyper-masculine remarks. trouble ensues.

the insulted Eros prepares two arrows: one gold, one lead. with the gold arrow, he shoots Apollo, instilling in the god a passionate love for Daphne. with the lead arrow, he shoots Daphne, instilling in her a hatred for Apollo. 

Apollo pursues her, begging, but the nymph will have none of it. Daphne, understandably frightened, takes off. and she keeps pace until Eros intervenes and helps Apollo catch up. seeing that Apollo was bound to reach her, she calls to her father for an escape. in a final twist, she is granted release by being turned into a laurel tree.

in spite of this, Apollo vows to honor her forever, using his powers of eternal youth to render Daphne evergreen. for this reason, the leaves of the Bay laurel tree do not decay. forevermore, Apollo would wear his laurel wreath crown, a tribute to his lost love.