MELIA was the Okeanid- and Naiad-nymph of the spring or fountain of the main town of the Bebrykes (Bebryces) tribe of eastern Bithynia (north-western Anatolia). She was loved by the god Poseidon and bore him Amykos (Amycus), first king of the Bebrykes.
Melia's name was derived from one of two Greek words--meli "honey-sweet" which was used to describe the pure waters of a spring, and melia "ash-tree" whose wood was used for the crafting of spears. She might therefore have also been numbered amongst the Meliai or ash-tree nymphs.
Melia was perhaps identified with Melia, a Bithynian Nymphe loved by the god Seilenos. However that Melia was associated with the Doliones tribe of western Bithynia, while the Melia loved by Poseidon was located amongst the Bebrykes of eastern Bithynia.
[1.1] OKEANOS (Hyginus Fabulae 157)
[1.1] AMYKOS, MYGDON (by Poseidon) (Apollodorus 1.119 & 2.100)
[1.2] AMYKOS (by Poseidon) (Apollonius Rhodius 2.2, Hyginus Fabulae 157, Valerius Flaccus 4.104)
ME′LIA (Melia), a nymph, a daughter of Oceanus. By Poseidon she became the mother of Amycus. (Apollon. Rhod. ii. 4; Serv. ad Aen. v. 373.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 119 & 2 . 100 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Mysia they [the Argonauts] left for the land of the Bebrykes (Bebryces), whose king was Amykos (Amycus), son of Poseidon and a Bithynian Nymphe [i.e. Melia who is not named here]. A powerful fellow, he would force arriving strangers to box with him, and in this manner destroy them . . .
When Lykos (Lycus) [King of Mysia] and the King of the Bebrykes went to war, Herakles helped Lykos out, and slew many, including King Mygdon, the brother of Amykos."
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 2. 2 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"Amykos (Amycus), the arrogant king of the Bebrykes (Bebyrces) . . . borne to Poseidon by the Bithynian Nymphe Melie (Melia)."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 17 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Amycus, son of Neptunus [Poseidon] and Melie, king of Bebrycia, compelled whoever came to his kingdom to contend with him in boxing, and slew the vanquished."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 157 :
"Sons of Neptunus [Poseidon] . . . Amycus by Melie, daughter of Oceanus."
Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 4. 104 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"He [Poseidon] sighed and poured from his heart such plaints as these : ‘Melie, 'tis pity thou wast long ago carried off by me beneath the waves, and didst not rather yield to the Thunderer [Zeus]! So utterly then does a sad fate await my offspring [Amycus son of Poseidon and Melia], from whomsoever born? . . . And let not thy valour, O my son, nor confidence in me afford thee courage, trust no more in thy father's power.’"
- Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica - Greek Epic C3rd B.C.
- Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Valerius Flaccus, The Argonautica - Latin Epic C1st A.D.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.