Overview by A. S. Kline, 2000. "Why should she wish to escape? Because she is Artemis Daphnaia, the god's sister," observed the Freudian anthropologist Géza Róheim,Róheim, Animism, Magic and the Divine King, (London 1930:308) and Joseph Fontenrose concurs;Fontenrose, The Delphic oracle: its responses and operations 1981:49. boldly stating such a one-to-one identity doubtless oversimplifies the picture: "the equation of Artemis and Daphne in the transformation myth itself clearly cannot work", observes Lightfoot.lightfoot p. 474. The laurel became sacred to Apollo, and crowned the victors at the Pythian Games.Pausanias, x.7.8. Most artistic impressions of the myth focus on the moment of transformation.
A version of the attempt on Daphne's sworn virginity that has been less familiar since the Renaissance was narrated by the Hellenistic civilization|Hellenistic poet Parthenius of Nicaea|Parthenius, in his Erotica Pathemata, "The Sorrows of Love".J. L. Lightfoot, tr. Parthenius of Nicaea: the poetical fragments and the Erōtika pathēmata 1999,
notes to XV, Περὶ Δάφνης pp 471ff. Parthenius' tale, based on the Hellenistic historian Phylarchus, was known to Pausanias (geographer)|Pausanias, who recounted it in his Description of Greece (2nd century AD).Pausanias viii.20.2. In this, which is the earliest written account, Daphne is a mortal (person) girl fond of hunting and determined to remain a virgin; she is pursued by the lad Leucippus (mythology)|Leucippos ("white stallion"), who assumes girl's outfits in order to join her band of huntresses. He is so successful in gaining her innocent affection, that Apollo is jealous and puts it into the girl's mind to stop to bathe in the river Ladon; there, as all strip naked, the ruse is revealed, as in the myth of Callisto (mythology)|Callisto, and the huntresses plunge their spears into Leucippos. At this moment Apollo's attention becomes engaged, and he begins his own pursuit; Parthenius' modern editor remarks on the rather awkward transition, linking two narratives.Lightfoot, p. 471.
A famous rendition of the subject is Gian Lorenzo Bernini's sculpture Apollo and Daphne (Bernini)|Apollo and Daphne. In music, the German composer Richard Strauss composed a one-act Daphne (opera)|opera about the legend based on accounts by both Ovid and Euripides.