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On this page: Melisander – Melissa – Melisseus – Melissus




-the flourishing period of the Roman empire. The .ode is printed, with an admirable essay upon it, by Welcker, in Creuzer's Meletemata, 1817, p. 1, and in Welcker's Kkine Schriften, vol. ii. p. 160. . [P.S.]

MELISANDER (MeAfowfyos), of Miletus, is said to have written an account of the battles of the Lapithae and Centaurs, and is classed by Aelian with the poets Oroebantius and Dares4 who .are stated to have been the predecessors of Homer. (Aelian, V. II. xi. 2.)

MELISSA (MeAfcr<ra), that is, the soother or propitiator (from /xeAfotrco or juetAtVo'co), occurs, 1. As the name of a nymph who discovered and taught the use of honey, and from whom bees were believed to have received their name, jueAi<ro-at. (Schol. ad. Find. Pytfi. iv. 104.) Bees seem to .have been the symbol of nymph Sj whence they themselves are sometimes called Melissae, and are sometimes said to have been metamorphosed into bees. (Schol. ad' Pind. I. c. ; Hesych. s. v. 'O/>o-SsHfiaSes ; Columell. ix. 2 ; Schol. ad Theocnt. iii. 13.) Hence also nymphs in the form of bees are said to have guided the colonists that went to Ephesus (Philostr. Icon. ii. 8) ; and the nymphs who nursed the infant Zeus are called Melissae, or Meliae. (Anton. Lib. 19 ; Callim. Hymn.inJov. 47 ; Apollod. i. 1. § 3.)

2. From the nymphs the name Melissae was transferred to priestesses in general, but more especially to those of Demeter (Schol. ad Pind. I.e. ;

•Callim. Hymn, in Apoll. 110 ; Hesych. s.. v. Me-A.«r<rai), Persephone (Schol. ad Theocrit. xv. 94), and to the priestess of the Delphian Apollo. (Pind. Pyth. iv. 106; Schol. ad Eurip. Hippol. 72.) Ac-jcording to the scholiasts of Pindar and Euripides, priestesses received the name Melissae from the purity of the bee. Comp. a story about the origin of bees in Serv. ad Aen* i. 434.

3. Melissa is also a surname of Artemis as the goddess of the moon, in which capacity she alle­viates the suffering of women in childbed. (Por-phyr. De Antr. Nymph, p. 261.)

4. A daughter of Epidamnus, became by Posei­ don the mother of Dyrrhachius, from whom the town of Dyrrhachium derived its name. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Avppdxiov.) [L. S.]

MELISSA (MeAt<r<ra), the wife of Periander, tyrant of Corinth. She was the daughter of Procles, tyrant of Epidaurus, and Eristheneia ; and, accord­ing to Diogenes Laertius (i. 94), was called Lysis before her marriage, and received the name Me­lissa from Periander. She bore two sons, Cypselus .and Lycophron, and her husband was passionately attached to her; but in a fit of jealousy, produced by the slanderous tales of some courtesans, he killed her in a barbarous manner. [periander.] From the story of the appearance of the shade of Melissa to the ambassadors sent by Periander to consult the oracle of the dead among the Thespro-tians, and the mode in which Periander sought to appease her, we may gather that he sought to still his remorse by the rites of a dark and barbarous superstition: he took a horrible revenge on those who had instigated him to the murder of his wife. (Herod, iii. 50, v. 92; Athen. xiii. p. 589, f. ; Diog. Laert. i. 94 ; Plut. Sept. Sap. Conv.y. 146.) Pausanias (ii. 28. § 8) mentions a monument in memory of Melissa^ near Epidaurus. [C. P. M.]


MELISSEUS (MeAio-o-eik of MeAt^os), an ancient king of Crete, who, by Amalthea, became the father of the nymphs Adrastea and Ida, to whom Rhea entrusted the infant Zeus to be brought up. (Apollod. i. 1. § 6; Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 13.) Other accounts call the daughters of this king Melissa and Amalthea. (Lactarit. i. 22 ^ TT S 1

MELISSEUS (MeAitrtrevY), a Greek writer of uncertain date, wrote a work entitled AeA(/u/ca. (Tzetz. CML vi. 90 ; Schol. in Hesiod. p. 29, ed. Oxon.)

MELISSUS (Me'AKnros), of Samos, a Greek philosopher, the son of Ithagenes, is said to have been likewise distinguished as a statesman, and to have commanded the fleet which first conquered a part of the Athenian armament which blockaded the island under the command of Pericles ; but it is stated afterwards that he was conquered by Pericles, in 01. 85. Thucydides does not mention Melissus. (Plut. PericL 26, 27; comp. Themist* 2, adv. Colot. 32.) This account is supported by the statement of Apollodorus, that Melissus flou­rished in 01. 84 ; but it is irreconcilable with the account which represents him as personally con^ nected with Heracleitus, who lived at a much earlier period. (Diog. Laert. ix. 24.) There seems to be less reason for doubting that he was a dis­ciple of Parmenides, and it is quite certain that he was acquainted with the doctrines of the Eleatics, which in fact he completely adopted, though he took up the letter rather than the spirit of their system, as is proved by the fragments of his work, which was written in prose, and in the Ionic dialect. They have been preserved by Sirtfplicius, and their genuineness is attested by the work of Aristotle or Theophrastus. He proves that the coming into existence and the annihilation of any thing that exists are both inconceivable, whether it be supposed that it arises from a non-existence or from some existence. But even here Melissus is unable to maintain the pure idea of existence, which we find in Parmenides, for he denies that existence, and still more absolute existence (to aTrAws eov) can arise from non-existence. Panne-nides could not have admitted the difference of de­grees of existence, which is here assumed, any more than the parts of existence which Melissus assumes as possible, or at least as not absolutely . opposed to the idea, since he thinks it necessary to prove that no part of existence could have come into existence any more than existence itself. (Simplic. in Aristot. Phys. f. 22, b ; Aristot. De XenopJi. Gorg. et Meliss. 1.) The inference of Melissus which now follows, that things which have neither beginning nor end must be infinite and unlimited in magnitude, and accordingly one (ibid, and Simplic. f. 23, b. fragm. 2 and 7 — 10 ; in Brandis, Commentat. Eleatic.}^ is manifestly erroneous, since, without even attempting a media­tion, he assumes infinitude of space in things which have no beginning or end in time. The simplicity of existence he infers from its unity, and he appears to have endeavoured very minutely to show that no change could take place either in quantity or quality, and neither internal nor external motion. (Fr. 4. 11, &c. ; Aristot. I. c.) From this he then argued backwards, and assumed the impossibility of finding existence in the actual world. (Simplic. De Coelo, f. 1 38, and the corrected text of the Schol. in Aristot. ed. Brandis, p. 509, b.) He thus

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