The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Melissus – Melite – Meliteus – Melito


made the first, though weak attempt, which was after­wards carried out by Zeno with far more acuteness and sagacity, to prove that the foundations of all knowledge derived from experience are in them­selves contradictory, and that the reality of the actual world is inconceivable. The fragments of Melissus are collected by Ch. A. Brandis, Commen-tationum Eleaticarum, pars prima, p. 185, &c., and by Mullach, Aristotelis de Melisso, Xenophane, et Gorgia Disputationes, cum Eleaticorum pliiloso-pkorum fragmentis, &c., Berol. 1846. . [L. S.]

MELISSUS (M&io-o-os). 1. A Theban,the son of Telesiades, of the family of the Cleonymidae, who conquered in the chariot race at the Nemean games, and in the pancratium at the Isthmian games. The dates of his victories are uncertain. Pindar's third Isthmian ode is written to celebrate the latter of his victories.

2. A Greek writer, a native of Euboea, who wrote a work explaining various mythological stories by the facts of natural history. (Fulgent, ii. 16.) He is probably the same as the Melissus referred to by Palaephates (Proem.) and by Servius (ad Virg. Aen. iv. 146).

3. A Roman writer mentioned by Pliny among those from whom he drew materials for his 7th, 9th, 10th, 11 th. and 35th books. [C. P. M.]

MELISSUS, AE'LIUS, a distinguished Roman grammarian mentioned by Aulus Gellius (xviii. 6). He was the author of a work, De loquendi Pro- prietate. [C. P. M.]

MELISSUS, C., MAECE'NAS, a native of Spoletium. He was of free birth, but was exposed in his infancy, and presented by the person who found and reared him to Maecenas. Though his mother declared his real origin, he refused to leave Maecenas. He was, however, speedily manu­mitted, and obtained the favour of Augustus, who commissioned him to arrange the library in the portico of Octavia. At an advanced period of life he commenced the composition of a collection of jokes and witticisms. He also wrote plays of a novel sort, which he called Trabeatae. (Suet, de Illustr. -Gramm. 21 ; Ov. ex Pont. iv. 16. 30.) Suetonius, in the passage already referred to, calls him C. Melissus, but in another place (de Illustr. Gramm. 3), he terms him Lenaeus Melissus, for which it has been conjectured we ought to read Cilnius Melissus. By Pliny (H. N. xxviii. 6. s. 17) he is called Maecenas Melissus. [C. P. M.]

MELITE (MeAiTTj). 1. A nymph, one of the Nereides, a daughter of Nereus and Doris.. (Horn. II. xviii. 42 ; Hes. Theog. 246 ; Apollod. i. 2. § 7 ; Virg Aen. v. 825.)

2. A Naias, a daughter of the river-god Aegaeus, who became, by Heracles, the mother of Hyllus, in the country of the Phaeacians. (Apollon. Rhod. iv. 538.)

3. A daughter of Erasinus of Argos, was visited by Britomartis. [britomartis.] [L. S.]

MELITEUS (MeAweus), a son of Zeus by an Othre'ian nymph. He was exposed by his mother in a wood, lest Hera should discover the affair. But Zeus took care that he was reared by bees, and the boy grew up. At length he was found by his step-brother Phagous, who took him with him, and gave him the name of Melkeus, from his having,been reared by bees. The town of Melite in Phthia was said td have been built by him. {Anton. Lib. 13.) [L. S.]

MELITO (McAfrwj'), a Christian writer of con-



siderable eminence, who lived in the second century. He was contemporary with Hegesippus, Dionysius of Corinth, Apollinaris of Hierapolis, and others (Euseb. H. E. iv. 21).- Of his personal history very little is known. The epithets Asianus and Sardensis, given to him by Jerome (De Vir. Illustr. c. 24), indicate the place of his episcopal charge, not, so far as appears, of his birth. Polycrates of Ephesus, a writer of somewhat later date, in his letter to Victor, bishop of Rome (apud Euseb. H. E. v. 24), calls him "Eunuchus," but it is not clear whether this term is to be understood literally, or is simply expressive of his inviolate chastity. At what time he became bishop of Sardes is not known: he probably was bishop when the contro­versy arose at Laodiceia respecting the observance of Easter, which occasioned him to write his book on the subject (Clem. Alexandr. apud Euseb. H. E. iv. 26). This controversy arose when Servilius Paulus was proconsul of Asia, and at the time of the martyrdom of §agaris, who is thought to have suffered in the persecution under M. Aurelius. During the same persecution, Melito composed his Apologia, which, as it was addressed to Aurelius alone, appears to have been written after the death of Lucius Verus, in A. d. 169. The Chronicon of Eusebius places its presentation in a. d. 169—170 : it must have been written then or between those years and A. d. 180, in which Aurelius himself died [aurelius marcus]. The Chronicon Paschale seems to ascribe to Melito two apologies, one pre­sented to Aurelius and Verus, A. d. 165, the other to Aurelius alone, a. d. 169. Tillemont is disposed to place the Apology as late as the year 175 ; Pearson and DodweTl between 170 and 175 ; and Basnage (Annales Politic. Eccles.) and Lardner as late as A. d. 177. The time, place, and manner of Melito's death are not accurately and certainly known: from the silence of Polycrates (apud Euseb. /. c.) it may be inferred that he was not a Martyr ; the place of his death may be conjectured from that of his interment, which Polycrates states to have been Sardes ; and as for the date of it, Polyr crates, whose letter to Victor was apparently written about 196, speaks of it in a way which indicates that it was not then recent.

The works of Melito are enumerated by Eusebius (H. E. iv. 26) as follows :—1.. Tlcpl roO irdcrxa Suo9 De Pascka Libri duo. 2. Ilepl iro\ireta,s koi rrpo-$r]Twv, De Recta Vivendi Ratione (s. de Recta Con-versatione) et de Prophetis. Some interpreters, including Rufinus, have inaccurately rendered this passage, as if it spoke of two distinct works. Jerome (De Viris Illustr. c. 24) gives the title of this work in Latin, De Vita Prophetarum, which his translator, the so-called Sophronius, re-translates into Greek, Tlepl /3/ou irpofyTiriKov, giving reason to think that the original text of Eusebius was Tlepl ttjs TToAircias t&v TrpotyTjTw; but all the MSS. and the text of Nicephorus Callisti support the common reading. 3. TIzpl eK/cA^o-fay, De Ecclesid. 4. Ilepi /cupiafcrj?, De Die Dominica. 5. ITept <$>6-(rceos dvQpwirov, De Natura Hominis. Rufinus appears to have read Tlepl triffrews dvQp<o7rov, for he renders it De Fide Hominis. 6. Hep! TrAatfecos, De Creatione, or according to Jerome, De Plasmate and according to Rufinus, De Figmento. Nicephorus Callisti, who, like Rufinus, read irio-rews in the title of No. 5, speaks of Nos. 5 and 6 as one work. Ilepi Triffrecas avQpwirov /mi TrAStrews, De Fide Ho* minis et Oreatione.- ' 7. Hepl viraKorjs Trlffreois

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