Manto (mythology)

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There are several distinct figures in Greek mythology named Manto (Μαντώ), the most prominent being the daughter of Tiresias. The name Manto derives from Ancient Greek Mantis, "seer, prophet".

Daughter of Tiresias[edit]

Manto was the daughter of the prophet Tiresias and mother of Mopsus. Tiresias was a Theban oracle who, according to tradition, was changed into a woman after striking a pair of copulating snakes with a rod, and was thereafter a priestess of Hera.[1]

During the War of the Epigoni, a later myth relates, Manto was brought to Delphi as a war prize. Apollo sent her to Colophon to find an oracle devoted to him. She married Rhacius and gave birth to Mopsus (although by some accounts Apollo was the father). According to the Bibliotheca, she had two children by Alcmaeon-- Amphilochus and Tisiphone. In Roman myth, Manto went to Italy and gave birth to Ocnus (father: Tiberinus, the genius of the river Tiber). Ocnus founded Mantua and named it after his mother.[2]

It was said that Manto's abilities in prophecy were much greater than her father's.

She is one of the sorceresses Dante sees in the fourth pit of the eighth circle of the Inferno.[3]

Daughter of Heracles[edit]

Manto was also described in late myths as a daughter of Heracles. According to Servius (comm. on Virgil, Aeneid X, 199), some held that this was the Manto for whom Mantua was named.[4]

Daughter of Polyidus[edit]

Another Manto was a daughter of the seer Polyidus. She and her sister Astycrateia were brought to Megara by their father, who came there to cleanse Alcathous for the murder of his son Callipolis. The tomb of the two sisters was shown at Megara in later times. (Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1. 43. 5)

Daughter of Melampus[edit]

Manto was also the name of a daughter of another famous seer, Melampus. Her mother was Iphianeira, daughter of Megapenthes, and her siblings were Antiphates, Bias and Pronoe. (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 4. 68. 5)

Sources[edit]

  • Virgil. Eclogae ix.59-60.
  • Isidore. Etymologai xv.1.59.
  • Statius. Thebais iv.463-468, x.597-603.
  • Pomponius Mela. De chorographia i.88.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tiresias". Maicar.com. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  2. ^ "Manto". mlahanas.de. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Circle 8, subcircles 1-6, cantos 18-23". The University of Texas. Retrieved 11 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)". Harry Thurston Peck. Retrieved 11 April 2012.