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date: 31 January 2023

Melampus(1)locked

, mythical seer

Melampus(1)locked

, mythical seer
  • J. N. Bremmer

Extract

Mythical seer and ancestor of the Melampodids, Greece's most renowned family of seers. The young, unmarried seer Melampus won a bride for his brother Bias, and for himself a part of a kingdom with its kingship. The kernel of this myth belongs to the older strata of Greek mythology, as Melampus' knowledge of the language of snakes and woodworms demonstrates (Od. 11. 281–97, 15. 231–6). But his kingship is almost certainly the invention of the Melampodids, who probably tried to strengthen their position by this myth. Melampus is also connected with girls' *initiation. He is the king's son who with a band of youths catches the daughters of *Proetus and cures them of madness. Melampus was worshipped in *Arcadia, witness his Melampodeon and the personal name Melampodorus.

Subjects

  • Greek Myth and Religion

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