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On this page: Melaeneus – Melaenis – Melampodes – Melampus



The Editio Princeps of Pomponius Mela ap- .peared at Milan, in 4to. 1471, without any printer's name. Numerous editions were published before the end of the fifteenth century, but the text first began to assume an improved appearance in those superintended by Vadianus, fol. Vienn. 1518, and fol. Basil. 1522, especially in the second. Further emendations were introduced by Vinetus, 4to. Paris, 1572 ; by Schottus, 4to. Antv. 1582 ; but the great restorers of this author were Vossius, 4to. Hag. Com. 1658 ; Jac. Gronovius, 8vo. Lug. Bat. 1685, 1696 ; and Abr. Gronovius, Lug. Bat. 8vo. 1722, and especially 1728. This last edition gives a completely new recension, and remained the standard until superseded by that of Tzschuckius, 7 parts, 8vo. Lips. 1807, which is executed with the greatest care, presents us with the labours of former critics in their best form, is enriched by the collation of several new MSS., contains an ample collection of the most valuable commentaries, and supplies everything which either the scholar or the student can require. We have an old translation into English: "The rare and singular Work of Pomponius Mela, that excellent and worthy Cos- mographer, of the Situation of the World, most orderly prepared, and divided every parte by its selfe: with the Longitude and Latitude of everie Kingdome, Regent, Province, Rivers, &ec. Where- unto is added, that learned Worke of Julius Solinus Polyhistor, with a necessarie Table for this Booke; right pleasant and profitable for Gentlemen, Mer- chaunts, Mariners, and Travellers. Translated into Englyshe by Arthur Golding, Gent." 4to. Lond. The Mela was first published in 1585, the Solinus in 1587, and then both were bound up in one volume, and reissued with the above title in 1590. There is a translation into French by C. P. Fradin, 3 vols. 8vo. Paris, 1804, and with a new title-page 1827 ; into Italian by Por- eacchi, 8vo. Venet. 1547 ; and into German by J. C. Dietz, 8vo. Giessen, 1774, which is said to be very bad. (Bahr, Gesch. der Rom. Litter at. § 362, 3ded.) [W. R.]

MELAENEUS (MeAccfi/erfs), a son of Lycaon, who is said to have built the Arcadian town of Melaeneae. (Paus. viii. 26. § 5 ; Steph. Byz. s. v. MeAaij/eai.) [L. S.]

MELAENIS (MeAcuv/s), i. e. the dark, a sur­ name of Aphrodite, under which she was worshipped at Corinth. (Paus. ii. 2. § 4 ; comp. viii. 6.' § 2, ix. 17. § 4 ; Athen. xiii. p. 588.) [L. S.]

MELAMPODES (MeAajuTr^s). 1. A Greek grammarian, the author of a treatise which is still extant, though unpublished, addressed to Diony-sius the Thracian. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. vi. p. 345.)

2. A writer on astrology, the author of an ex­ tant, though unpublished treatise, entitled Methodus Praedictionum Lunarium. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iv. p. 160.) [C. P. M.]

MELAMPUS (McAcfywrous), a son of Amy thaon by Eidomene, or according to others, by Aglaia or Hhodope (Apollod. i. 9. § 1 ; Diod, iv. 68 ; Schol. <td Theocnt. iii. 43), and a brother of Bias. He was looked upon by the ancients as the first mortal that had been endowed with prophetic powers, as the person tha-t first practised the medical art, and ^established the worship of Dionysus in Greece (Apollod. ii. 2. § 2). He is said to have been married to Iphianassa (others call her Iphianeira or Cjrianassa,—Died. iv. 68 j Sery. ad Virg. .Eclog.


vi. 48), by whom he became the father of Mantius and Antiphates (Horn. Od. xv. 225, &c.). Apol-lodorus (i. 9. § 13) adds a son, Abas ; and Diodorus calls his children Bias, Antiphates, Manto, and Pronoe (comp. Paus. vi. 17. § 4). Melampus at first dwelt with Neleus at Pylus, afterwards he resided for a time at Phylace, near Mount Othrys, with Phylacus and Iphiclus, and at last ruled over a third of the territory of Argos (Horn. I. c:). At Aegosthena, in the north-western part of Megaris, he had a sanctuary and a statue, and an annual festival was there celebrated in his honour. (Paus. i. 44. § 8.)

With regard to his having introduced the wor­ship of Dionysus into Greece, Herodotus (ii. 49) thinks that Melampus became acquainted with the worship of the Egyptian Dionysus, through Cadmus and the Phoenicians, and his connection with the Dionysiac religion is often alluded to in the ancient writers. Thus, we are told, for example, that he taught the Greeks how to mix wine with water (Athen. ii. p. 45 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1816). Diodorus (i. 97) further adds that Melampus brought with him from Egypt the myths about Cronos and the fight of the Titans. As regards his prophetic power, his residence at Phylace, and his ultimate rule over a portion of Argos, the fol­lowing traditions were current in antiquity. When Melampus lived with Neleus,. he dwelt outside the town of Pylos, and before his house there stood an oak tree containing a serpent's nest. The old serpents were killed by his servants, and burnt by Melampus himself, who reared the young ones. One day, when they had grown up, arid Melampus was asleep, they approached from both sides and cleaned his ears with their tongues. Being thus roused from his sleep, he started up, and to his surprise perceived that he now understood the lan­guage of birds, and that with their assistance he could foretell the future. In addition to this he acquired the power of prophesying, from the victims that were offered to the gods, and, after having had an interview with Apollo on the banks of the Alpheius, he became a most renowned soothsayer (Apollod. i. 9. § 11 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1685). During his stay with Neleus it happened that his brother Bias was one of the suitors for the hand of Pero, the daughter of Neleus, and Neleus promised his daughter to the man who should bring to, him as a gift for the maiden, the oxen of Iphiclus, which were guarded by a dog whom neither man nor animal could approach. Melampus undertook the task of procuring the oxen for his brother, although he knew that the thief would be caught and kept in imprisonment for one whole year, after which he was to come into possession of the oxen. Things turned out as he had said ; Melampus was thrown into prison, and in his captivity he learned from the wood-worms that the building in which he was would soon break down. He accordingly demanded to be let out, and as Phylacus and Iphiclus became thus acquainted with his prophetic powers, they asked him in what manner Iphiclus, who had no children, was to become father. Melampus, on the suggestion of a vulture, advised Iphiclus to take the rust from the knife with which Phylacus had once cut his son, and drink it in water during ten days. This was done, and Iphiclus became the father of Podarces. Melampus now received the oxen as a reward for his good services, and drove them to Pylos ; he thus gained Pero for his brother,

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