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The name Melanippe is the feminine counterpart of Melanippus.

In Greek mythology, Melanippe referred to several different people.

  • Daughter of the Centaur Chiron. Also known as Hippe or Euippe. She bore a daughter to Aeolus, Melanippe or Arne (see below). She escaped to Mount Pelion so that her father would not find out that she was pregnant, but, being searched for, she prayed to Artemis asking for assistance, and the goddess transformed her into a mare. Other accounts state that the transformation was a punishment for her having scorned Artemis, or for having divulged the secrets of gods. She was later placed among the stars.[1][2][3]
  • Daughter of Aeolus and the precedent Melanippe (or else daughter of Hippotes or of Desmontes). Also known as Arne. Mother, by Poseidon, of the twins Aeolus and Boeotus. There are various accounts of what happened to her after the birth of her sons. In one version, when her father discovered her pregnancy, he handed her over to a man from Metapontium, who was childless and adopted her sons as his own. When the boys grew up, a civil war began in Metapontium and they seized the kingship. They also killed Autolyte, their adoptive father's wife, for having mistreated their natural mother.[4] Strabo cites two other accounts, in which Melanippe was said to have been handed over either to Metabus or to Dius.[5] In another version of Melanippe's story, when her father discovered that she had given birth to twins, he blinded her, shut her in a prison and ordered that the babies be exposed. However, they were suckled by a cow and survived. They were subsequently rescued by shepherds, who later gave them to Theano, wife of King Metapontus of Icaria, as she was looking for a baby to present to her husband as her own, fearing that he would expel her if she bore him no children. Later, however, she did give birth to two sons, but Metapontus was already more fond of the sons of Melanippe. So when they grew up, Theano instructed her natural sons to kill Aeolus and Boeotus during hunt. The two, however, defended themselves and, with the aid of Poseidon, killed Theano's sons. She then committed suicide and the brothers fled to the shepherds who had found them. Having found out about their true descent from Poseidon, they released their natural mother Melanippe from prison, and Poseidon restored her sight.[6] Two tragedies by Euripides, Melanippe The Prisoner and Melanippe The Philosopher, were dedicated to this character.
  • Daughter of Althaea and Oeneus, one of the Meleagrids. She was turned into a guinea fowl by Artemis after the death of her brother, Meleager.[7]
  • An Amazon, sister of Hippolyte and Antiope, daughter of Ares. Heracles captured her and demanded Hippolyte's girdle in exchange for her freedom. Hippolyte complied and Heracles let her go.[8][9] Some say that it was Melanippe whom Theseus abducted and married.[10] Yet others relate that she was killed by Telamon.[11]
  • Wife of Hippotes, son of Mimas, himself son of Aeolus, and the mother of another Aeolus.[12]
  • Daughter of the winged horse Pegasus and Ocyrhoe the centauress.
  • A nymph who married Itonus, son of Amphictyon.[13]
  • Possible wife of Chalcodon and mother of Elephenor.[14]
  • Melanippe, an emendation for "Medippe" (name of one of the sacrificial victims of Minotaur) in Servius' commentaries on Aeneid.


  1. ^ Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catasterisms, 18
  2. ^ Hyginus, Poetical Astronomy, 2. 18
  3. ^ Smith, "Melanippe" 1.
  4. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 4. 67. 3-4
  5. ^ Strabo, Geography, 6. 1. 15
  6. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 186
  7. ^ Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses, 2
  8. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 4.16.3
  9. ^ Justin's Epitome of Trogus Pompeius' History of the World, Book 2, part IV
  10. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, Epitome of Book IV, 1. 16
  11. ^ Scholia on Pindar, Nemean Ode 3. 64
  12. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, 4. 67. 3
  13. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9. 1. 1
  14. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 1034