Melantho[pronunciation?] (Greek: Μελανθώ), is one of the minor characters in the Odyssey. Described as having a "sharp tongue", she is sister to Melanthios, a goatherd in Ithaca, and the daughter of Dolios. She is among the favorite maids of Penelope, treated like a daughter by her, having been given trinkets and other small gifts.
Despite having been much cared for by Penelope, Melantho is a disloyal and ungrateful servant to Odysseus and his household. She is one of the female servants that often sleep with the suitors of Penelope, a characteristic which is evident by her relationship with Eurymachus. Upon Odysseus' arrival in his own house, dressed as a beggar, Melantho rates him harshly and rudely asks why he hasn't left to sleep in the smithy, the location where chance visitors in Ithaca tended to go.
The name Melantho may also refer to several other minor Greek mythological figures:
- Daughter of Deucalion, whom Poseidon seduced in the shape of a dolphin. She had by him a son Delphus.
- Wife of Criasus, mother of Phorbas, Ereuthalion and Cleoboea.
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