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On this page: Melia – Meliades – Meliboea – Melicertes – Melinaea – Meline – Melinno


which it was similar in its argument, Aristophanes makes him one of the ambassadors sent by the poets on earth to the poets in Hades (Athen. xii. p. 551). He was also ridiculed by Sannyrion in his FeAajy (Athen. I. c.) ; and his erotic poetry was referred to by Epicrates in his 'AvriAafs (Athen. xiii. p. 605, e.). Suidas (s. v.) calls him an orator as well as a poet, no doubt on account of his accusation of Socrates, and perhaps of Andocides. (See below.)

The character of Meletus, as drawn by Plato and Aristophanes and their scholiasts, is that of a bad, frigid, and licentious poet, and a worthless and profligate man,—vain, silly, effeminate, and grossly sensual. Plato makes Socrates call him reravorpixa koi ov irdvv evysveiov^ eirlypvrrov Se. Aristophanes, in the rypvrdfiT/js, ridiculed him for his excessive thinness, and light weight, and his natural tendency to the infernal regions, where, as Thirl wall remarks, " to understand the point of the sarcasm, we must compare the balancing scene in the FrogS) and the remarks of Aeschylus, 867, on tj iroiTjffis ou%l ffWTeflvrjKe /xoi, Tovrqi Se avv-TtQvqKev" (Hist, of Greece, vol. iv. p. 275, note). Aristophanes again, in the ITeAap7oi, calls him the son of Lai'us, a designation which not only contains an allusion to his Oedipodeia^lout is also meant to insi­nuate a charge of the grossest vice (see Meineke, ad loo.. Frag. Com. Graec* vol. ii. pp. 1126,1127). Misled by this passage, Suidas (s.v. MeAn-os) makes him a son of Lai'us (as Clinton has corrected the word from Adpov) ; the real name of his father was Meletus, as we learn from Diogenes Laertius, on the authority of Phavorinus, in whose time the deed of accusation against Socrates was still pre­served in the Metroum at Athens (Diog. Laert. ii. 40). The epithet ®pct£, applied to him by Aris­tophanes, in the fragment just referred to, probably alludes to the foreign origin of his family.

In the accusation of Socrates it was Meletus who laid the indictment before the Archon Basi-leus ; but in reality he was the most insignificant of the accusers ; and according to on'e account he was bribed by Anytus and Lycon to take part in the affair. (Liban. Apol. pp. 11, 51, ed. Reiske.) Soon after the death of Socrates, the Athenians repented of their injustice, and Meletus was stoned to death as one of the authors of their folly. (Diog. Laert. ii. 43; Diod. xiv. 37 ; Suid. s. v. MeAiros: it may here be observed that the article in Suidas is a mass of confusion ; there is evidently in it a mixing up of the lives of two different persons, Melissus of Samos and Meletus.)

There is room for some doubt whether the ac­cuser of Socrates was the same person as the Me­letus who was charged with participation in the profanation, of the mysteries, and in the mutilation of the Hermae, b.c. 415, and who was an active partizan of the Thirty Tyrants, both as the execu­tioner of their sentence of death upon Leon of Sa-lamis, and as an emissary to Lacedaemon on their behalf, and who was afterwards one of the accusers of Andocides in the case respecting the m}rsteries, b.c. 400 (Andoc. de Myst. pp. 7, 18, 46, Reiske ; Xen. Hell. ii. 4. § 36): but as all this is perfectly consistent with the indications we have noticed •above respecting the age of Meletus, there seems no good ground for distinguishing the two persons, though they cannot be identified with absolute certainty. (Droysen, Rliein. Mus. vol. iii. p. 190.)

Respecting the form of the name, MeA^ros is almost universally adopted by modern scholars,


though Welcker defends MeAn-os1. For the argu: ments on both sides, and respecting Meletus in general, see Clinton, F. H. vol. ii. p. xxxvi.; Welcker, die Griech. Trag. pp.. 872—874 ; Kayser, Hist. Crit. Trag. Graec. pp. 284, 285. Plato makes Socrates pun upon the name several times in the Apology (p. 24, c. d., 25, c., 26, d.). [P. S.]

MELIA (MeAia), a nymph, a daughter of Oceanus, became by Inachus the mother of Phoro-neus and Aegialeus or Pegeus. (Apollod. ii. 1. § 1 ; Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 920.) By Seilenus she became the mother of the centaur, Pholus (Apollod. ii. 5. § 4), and by Poseidon of Amycus. (Apollon. Rhod. ii. 4 ; Serv. ad Aen. v. 373.) She was carried off by Apollo, and became by him the mother of Ismenius (some call her own brother Ismenus, Schol. ad Find. Pyili. xi. 5 ; Tzetz. ad Lye. 1211), and of the seer Tenerus. She was worshipped in the Apollinian sanctuary, the Isme-nium, near Thebes. (Paus. ix. 10. § 5, 26, § 1 ; Strab. p. 413.)

In the plural form MeAuu or MeAiciSes is the name of the nymphs, who, along with the Gigantes and Erinnyes, sprang from the drops of blood that fell from Uranus, and which were received by Gaea. (Hes. Theog. 187.) The nymphs that nursed Zeus are likewise called Meliae. (Callim. Hymn, in Jov. 47 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1963.) [L. S.J

MELIADES (MeAiaSes), the same as the Ma- liades, or nymphs of the district of Melis, near Trachis. (Soph. Philoct. 715.) [L. S.]

MELIBOEA (MeAt&na.) 1. A daughter of Oceanus, and, by Pelasgus, the mother of Lycaon. (Apollod. iii. 8. § 1.)

2. A daughter of Magnes, who called the town of Meliboea, in Magnesia, after her. (Eustath. ad Horn. p. 338.)

3. One of the daughters of Niobe. (Apollod, iii. 5. §6; Paus, ii. 21, § 10.)

4. An Ephesian maiden who was in love with a youth of the name of Alexis. As, however, her parents had destined her for another man, Alexis quitted his native place ; and on the day of her marriage Meliboea threw herself from the roof of her house. But she was not injured, and escaped to a boat which was lying near, and the ropes of which became untied of their own accord. The boat then carried her to her beloved Alexis. The united happy lovers now dedicated a sanctuary to Aphrodite, surnamed Automate andEpidaetia (Serv. ad Aen. i. 724.)

5. The mother of Ajax, and wife, of Theseus. (Athen. xiii. p. 557.)

Meliboea occurs also as a surname of Persephone. (Lasus, ap. Athen. xiv. p. 624.) [L. S.]

MELICERTES (MeAiKeprv/s), a son of Athamas and Ino, was metamorphosed into a marine divi­ nity, under the name of Palaemon. (Apollbd. i. 9. § 5; comp. athamas, palaemon, and leu^- cothea.) [L. S.]

MELINAEA (MeAiwu'a), a surname of Aphro­dite, which she derived from the Argive town Me-line. (Steph. Byz. s. v.; Lycoph. 403.) [L. S.]

MELINE (MeAiVij), a daughter of Thespius, became by Heracles the mother of Laomedoiu (Apollod. ii. 7. § 8.) [L. S.J

MELINNO (McAimw), a lyric poetess, the author of an ode on Rome in five Sapphic stanzas, which is commonly ascribed to Erinna of Lesbos. Nothing is known of her with certainty, except what the ode itself shows, namely, that she lived in

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