Melanippe (page 735 upper, with art)

Chapter 18: Other Myths

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Atlanta, Michael C. Carlos Museum 1994.0001 (once Geneva, Sciclounoff Collection): Apulian red-figure volute krater with story of twin sons of Melanippe and Poseidon: on lower level, Aiolos (father of Melanippe), Boter (cowherd) with infants, Hellen (Melanippe’s grandfather), Trophos (nurse) and Melanippe; on upper right above Melanippe, Poseidon

Carlos Collection of Ancient Art

Str 6.1.5 – Strabo, Geography

Next in order comes Metapontium, which is one hundred and forty stadia from the naval station of Heracleia…

Here, too, the fabulous accounts place Metapontus, and also Melanippe the prisoner and her son Boeotus. In the opinion of Antiochus, the city Metapontium was first called Metabum and later on its name was slightly altered, and further, Melanippe was brought, not to Metabus, but to Dius, as is proved by a hero-temple of Metabus, and also by Asius the poet, when he says that Boeotus was brought forth “”in the halls of Dius by shapely Melanippe,”” meaning that Melanippe was brought to Dius, not to Metabus. Greek Text

Athenaios, The Deipnosophists (The Learned Banqueters) 12.523d (12.25)

But the place was called Siris, as Timæus asserts, and as Euripides says too in his play called The Female Prisoner, or Melanippe, from a woman named Siris, but according to Archilochus, from a river of the same name.  Greek Text

 186 – Hyginus, Fabulae

MELANIPPE: Neptune seduced Melanippe, a very beautiful girl, daughter of Desmontes or as other poets say, of Aeolus, and begat by her two sons. When Desmontes found this out, he blinded Melanippe, and shut her in a prison, with commands that only scant food and water be given to her, and that the children be thrown to wild beasts. When they had been thrown out, a cow in milk came to the children and offered them her udders, and cowherds, seeing this, took the children to rear. In the meantime Metapontus, King of Icaria, demanded of his wife Theano that she bear children to him, or leave the kingdom. She, in fear, sent to the shepherds asking them to find a child she could present to the king. They sent her the two babies they had found, and she presented them to king Metapontus as her own. Theano later bore two sons to Metapontus. Since, however, Metapontus, was exceedingly fond of the first two, because they were very handsome, Theano sought to get rid of them and save the kingdom for her own sons. A day came when Metapontus went out to perform sacrifices to Diana Metapontina, and Theano, seizing the opportunity, revealed to her sons that the older boys were not her own. So, when they go out to hunt, kill them with hunting knives. When they had gone out in the mountains, at their mother’s instructions, they started fighting. But with the aid of Neptune, Neptune’s sons overcame them and killed them. When their bodies were borne into the palace, Theano killed herself with a hunting knife. The avengers, Boeotus and Aeolus, fled to the shepherds where they had been reared, and there Neptune revealed to them that they were his sons and that their mother was held in custody. They went to Desmontes, killed him, and freed their mother, whose sight Neptune restored. Her sons brought her to Icaria to King Metapontus, and revealed Theano’s treachery to him. After this, Metapontus married Melanippe, and adopted the two as his sons. In Propontis they founded towns called by their names — Boeotus, Boeotia, and Aeolus, Aeolia.  Latin Text

DS 4.67.3-6 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

In the times before that which we are discussing the rest of the sons of Aeolus, who was the son of Hellen, who was the son of Deucalion, settled in the regions we have mentioned, but Mimas remained behind and ruled as king of Aeolis. Hippotes, who was born of Mimas, begat Aeolus by Melanippê, and Arnê, who was the daughter of Aeolus, bore Boeotus by Poseidon. [4] But Aeolus, not believing that it was Poseidon who had lain with Arnê and holding her to blame for her downfall, handed her over to a stranger from Metapontium who happened to be sojourning there at the time, with orders to carry her off to Metapontium. And after the stranger had done as he was ordered, Arnê, while living in Metapontium, gave birth to Aeolus and Boeotus, whom the Metapontian, being childless, in obedience to a certain oracle adopted as his own sons. [5] When the boys had attained to manhood, a civil discord arose in Metapontium and they seized the kingship by violence. Later, however, a quarrel took place between Arnê and Autolytê, the wife of the Metapontian, and the young men took the side of their mother and slew Autolytê. But the Metapontian was indignant at this deed, and so they got boats ready and taking Arnê with them set out to sea accompanied by many friends. [6] Now Aeolus took possession of the islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea which are called after him “Aeolian” and founded a city to which he gave the name Lipara;​ but Boeotus sailed home to Aeolus, the father of Arnê, by whom he was adopted and in succession to him he took over the kingship of Aeolis; and the landhe named Arnê after his mother, but the inhabitants Boeotians after himself.  Greek Text

Euripides, Melanippe Desmotis (Melanippe Captive) fr 495 N² – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, pp. 517-20, ed. A. Nauck, 2nd ed. Leipzig 1889.

Greek Text

same as

13b GLP – Fragments of more recent Greek literary papyri cited according to D.L. Page, Select Papyri III, pp. 114-17. London 1941.

Greek Text and English Translation

Cyzene Epigrams AP 3.16 – Palatine Anthology (Greek Anthology) vol. 1,  pp. 104-5, ed. W.R. Paton. Cambridge Mass., 1926.

Greek Text and English Translation

Paus 9.1.1 – Pausanias, Description of Greece

The Boeotians as a race got their name from Boeotus, who, legend says, was the son of Itonus and the nymph Melanippe, and Itonus was the son of Amphictyon.  Greek Text

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Artistic sources edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, May 2019.

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, March 2022.

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