(Μελισσεύς; Melisseús). Mythical king of Crete, father of the nymphs Adrastea and Ide  (Apollod. 1,5; Hyg. Fab. 182) or Amalthea  and Melissa  (Didymus In Lact. inst. 1,22,19 f.). After Rhe(i)a gives birth to Zeus in a cave of Mt Dicte on Crete, she hands them the baby and they raise him on goat's milk and honey. The names of M. and Melissa are derived from Greek méli (honey). According to Didymus (l.c.), M. was the first to sacrifice to the gods and to introduce rites and religious festivals. He appointed his daughter Melissa the first priestess of Mater Magna.
Cite this pageFrey, Alexandra (Basle), “Melisseus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 20 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e730880>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510
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