The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Melas – Meleager



afterwards to disguise the violent change of dy­ nasty. ; and Melanthus undertook it on condition of being rewarded with the throne in the event of success. He slew Xanthus, and became king, to the exclusion of the line of Theseus. According to Pausanias, the conqueror of Xanthus was An- dropompus, the father of Melanthus ; according to Aristotle, it was Codrus, his son. To the period of the reign of Melanthus Pausanias refers the ex­ pulsion of the lonians from Aegialus by the Achaeans, and their settlement at Athens as a place of refuge. (Her. i. 147, v. 65 ; Paus. ii. 18, iv. 5, vii. 1, 2 ; Strab. viii. p. 359, ix. p. 393, xiv. p. 633; Con. Narr. 39 ; Aristot. Pol. v. 10, ed. Bekk..; Schol. ad Aristoph. Acli. 146, Pac. 855 ; Suid. s. v. 'Airaroifyna ; Diet, of Ant. s. v. 'Avra- Totpia.) [E. K]

MELAS (MeAas.) 1. A son of Poseidon by a nymph of Chios, and brother of Angelus. (Paus. vii. 4. § 6.)

2. One of the Tyrrhenian pirates mentioned under melanthus No. 1.

3. A son of Phrixus and Chalciope, was married to Eurycleia, by whom he became the father of Hyperes. (Apollod. i. 9. § 1; Apollon. Rhod. ii. 1158 ; Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. iv. 221.)

4. A son of Porthaon and Euryte, and brother of Oeneus. (Horn. //. xiv. 117 ; Apollod. i. 7. § 10 ; comp. oeneus and tydeus.)

5. A son of Antassus, at Gonusa, near Sicyon. He joined the Dorians on their march against Corinth. His services were at first declined, but he was afterwards allowed to fight in the ranks of the Dorians. He was the ancestor of the family of Cypselus. (Paus. ii. 4. § 4, v. 18. § 7, 20, in fin.)

There are three other mythical personages of this name. (Paus. vii. 4. § 6, viii. 28. § 3; Apollod. ii. 7. § 7.) [L. S.J

MELEAGER (MteAeVypos), a son of Oeneus (whence he is called OiWtSTjs), and Althaea, the daughter of Thestius, and was married to Cleopatra, by whom he became the father of Polydora. (Apollod. i. 8. § 2; Paus. iv. 2 in fin.; Orph. Argon. 157.) Other accounts call Meleager a son of Ares, by Althaea (Plut, Parall Min. 26; Ov. Met. viii. 437 ; Hygin. Fab. 171) ; and Hyginus calls Parthenopaeus a son of Meleager. (JFab. 99, 270.) His brothers and sisters were Phereus or Thyreus, Agelaus, Toxeus, Periphas, Gorge, Eury-mede, Deianeira, Melanippe. Meleager is one of the most famous Aetolian heroes of Calydon, and distinguished himself by his skill in throwing the javelin, as one of the Argonauts, and in the Caly­donian hunt. Thus he gained the victory at the funeral games of Acastus (Hygin. Fab. 273; A then. iv. p. 172) ; and the spear with which he had slain the Calydonian boar he dedicated in the temple of Apollo at Sicyon. (Paus. ii. 7. § 8.) In the expedition of the Argonauts he was said in some legends to have slain Aeetes in the contest for the golden fleece. (Died. iv. 48.) While Mele­ager was at Calydon, Oeneus, the king of the place, once neglected to offer up a sacrifice to Ar­temis, whereupon the angry goddess sent a mon­strous boar into the fields of Calydon, which were ravaged by the beast, while no one had the courage to hunt it. At length Meleager, with a band of other heroes, whose number and names are different in the different accounts (Apollod. i. 8. § 2; Ov. Met. viii. 300, &c.; Hygin. Fab. 174 j Paus. viii.


45. § 4), went out to hunt the boar, which was killed by Meleager. Artemis, however, created a dispute about the animal's head and skin among the Calydonians and Curetes. Late writers re­ present Atalante as taking part in this famous hunt; but the huntsmen refused to go out with her, until Meleager, who loved her, prevailed upon them. According to Ovid (Met. viii. 380), Ata­ lante inflicted the first wound upon the animal; while, according to others, Meleager first struck and killed it. He gave his prize, the boar's skin, to Atalante, who was deprived of it by the sons of Thestius ; but Meleager slew them. (Apollod. Ov. II. cc.; Diod. iv. 34.) During the war between the Calydonians and Curetes, the former were always victorious, so long as Meleager went out with them. But on one occasion he killed his mother's brothers ; and his mother pronounced a curse upon him, in consequence of which he be­ came indignant, and stayed at home, so that the victorious Curetes began to press Calydon very hard. It was in vain that the old men of the town made him the most brilliant promises if he would again join in the fight, and also the entreaties of his own friends remained without effect. At length, however, he yielded to the prayers of his wife, Cleopatra: he put the Curetes to flight, but never returned home, for the Erinnys, who had heard the curse of his mother, overtook him. (Horn. //. ix. 527—600; comp. ii. 641.) The post- Homeric account gives a different cause of his death. When Meleager was seven days old, it is said, the Moerae appeared, declaring that the boy would die as soon as the piece of wood that was burning on the hearth should be consumed. When Althaea heard this, she extinguished the firebrand, and concealed it in a chest. Meleager himself be­ came invulnerable ; but after he had killed the brothers of his mother, she lighted the piece of wood, and Meleager died, whereupon Althaea and Cleopatra hung themselves. (Apollod. i. 8. $ 2, &c. ; Hygin. Fab. 171 ; Diod. iv. 34 ; Ov. Met. viii. 450, &c., 531.) The sisters of Meleager wept unceasingly after his death, until Artemis changed them into guinea-hens (/ueAeirypi'Ses), Avho were transferred to the island of Leros. Even in this condition they mourned during a certain part of the year for their brother. Two of them, Gorge and Deianeira, through the mediation of Dionysus, were not metamorphosed. (Anton. Lib. 2 ; Ov. Met. viii. 532, &c.; Apollod. i. 8. § 3.) The story of Meleager, his hunt of the Calydonian boar, his contest with the sons of Thestius, and other scenes of his life, were frequently represented by ancient artists. (Paus. iii. 18. § 9, viii. 45, § 4.) He usually appears as a robust hunter, with curly hair, the Aetolian chlamys, and a boar's head. (Philostr. Icon. 15; comp. Welcker, Zeitschrift fur die alte Kunst^ p. 123, &c.) [L. S.]

MELEAGER (MeAeVypos). 1. Son of Neoptole-mus, a Macedonian officer of distinction in the service of Alexander the Great. He is first mentioned in the war against the Getae (b. c. 335); and at the passage of the Granicus in the following year, we find him commanding one of the divisions (tc^cxs) of the phalanx, a post which he afterwards held ap­parently throughout the campaigns in Asia. He was appointed, together with Coenus and Ptolemy the son of Seleucus, to command the newly-married troops which were sent home from Caria to spend the winter in Macedonia, and rejoined Alexander at

About | First



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of