Once upon a time, a monstrous serpent, Python, emerged out of post-diluvian Earth.  The Sun God Apollo saved the world by throwing a thousand darts into the beast.  To commemorate the event, the Pythian Games were established.

The symbolism of Spirit vanquishing the powers of lust and impulsiveness changes in the next story in Book One of Ovid’s Metamorphoses.  Like a hummingbird darting here and there, Cupid, spots Phoebus (another name for the Sun God) and shoots one of his love-inducing arrows into him.

Apollo then falls immediately in love with the lovely virgin, Daphne.  Daphne’s social context demands a wedding and children.  She refuses.  She wants to remain a virgin forever.  Not even the Sun God (infected with Cupid’s love shaft) will meet her high standards.  Apollo pursues Daphne and she turns into a laurel tree (see entry from yesterday).

Someone should’ve commissioned Gustave Moreau to have illuminated the Metamorphoses into an even more beautiful book than it already is.


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