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  • 1 Livadia Greece
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In this article I attempt to trace the premise of Longus’ novel Daphnis and Chloe, that is the structural principle which organizes the entirety of its narration. By pointing out that the purpose of the narrator and of Eros, the deity who continuously instigates the chain of events in this novel, is practically identical, I argue that love is consistently associated in Longus’ romance with the element of strife. Contrary to the other surviving works of its genre, strife actually forwards the process of the primary couple’s erotic progression; it does not forestall or pose obstacles to it. It is the combination of these two seemingly contradictory forces that brings about the elevation of Daphnis’ and Chloe’s status, an assertion which encourages a symbolic reading of the novel. Consequently, the paedeutic message of Daphnis and Chloe consists mainly in an implicit reassurance to the reader that if s/he embraces the element of strife, when s/he experiences the feeling of love, s/he will be led to a spiritual elevation and reinstatement. Finally, it must be noted that Longus’ thesis probably modifies Empedocles’ philosophical view that love and strife regulate the entire universe.