Saturday, May 26, 2012

Miletus and children

Miletus (Ancient Greek: Μίλητος)
Miletus was son of Apollo and Areia, daughter of Cleochus, of Crete.[1] When Areia gave birth to her son she hid him at a place where the plant milax* was growing; Cleochus found the child there and named him Miletus after the plant.[2] Another tradition relates that Miletus' mother by Apollo was Akakallis, the daughter of Minos. Fearing her father's wrath she exposed the child, but Apollo commanded the she-wolves to come down and nurse the child.[3] Yet another source[4] calls his mother Deione, and himself by the matronymic Deionides. Finally, one source gives Miletus as the son of Euxantius, himself son of Minos by a Telchinian woman Dexithea.[2] 
He was loved by both Minos and Sarpedon, but showed preference for the latter, and this became the reason why Sarpedon was expelled from Crete by his brother. Following the advice of Sarpedon, Miletus also left Crete for Samos, then moved to Caria and became the mythical founder and eponym of the city of Miletus.[1][2][3] Myths further relate that the hero Miletus founded the city only after slaying a giant named Asterius, son of Anax; and that the region known as Miletus was originally called 'Anactoria'.[5] 
Miletus married either Eidothea, daughter of Eurytus, or Tragasia, daughter of Celaenus, or Cyanee, daughter of the river god Maeander, or Areia, and by her had a son Kaunos (Caunus) and a daughter Byblis, who happened to develop incestous feelings for each other.[6][3][7][8][9]
*Milax = Smilax, a nymph beloved of Crocus, who in turn was beloved of Hermes. Crocus and Smilax are briefly alluded to -- Metamorphoses 4.283.

In Greek mythology, Byblis or Bublis (Ancient Greek: Βυβλίς) was a daughter of Miletus. Her mother was either Tragasia, Cyanee, daughter of the river-god Meander, or Eidothea, daughter of King Eurytus of Caria. She fell in love with Caunus, her twin brother.

In Greek mythology, Caunus or Kaunos (Ancient Greek: Καῦνος) was a son of Miletus, grandson of Apollo and brother of Byblis.
Caunus became the object of his own sister's passionate love. From some accounts it appears that Caunus was the first to develop the affection towards her;[1][2] others describe Byblis' feelings as unrequited.[3][4][5] All sources agree, however, that Caunus chose to flee from home in order to prevent himself from actually committing incest with Byblis, and that she followed him until she was completely exhausted by grief and died (or committed suicide). 
Caunus eventually came to Lycia, where he married the Naiad Pronoe and had by her a son Aegialus. Caunus became king of the land; when he died, Aegialus gathered all the people from scattered settlements in a newly founded city which he named Caunus after his father.[1]

Miletus here and here.

Milesian Tales also here.

The Milesian tale (Milesiaka, in Latin fabula milesiaca, or Milesiae fabula) originates in ancient Greek and Roman literature. According to most authorities, it is a short story, fable, or folktale featuring love and adventure, usually being erotic and titillating. M. C. Howatson, in The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (1989), voices the traditional view that it is the source "of such medieval collections of tales as the Gesta Romanorum, the Decameron of Boccaccio, and the Heptameron of Marguerite of Navarre." 
But Gottskálk Jensson of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, offers a dissenting view or corrective, arguing that the original Milesian tale was 
a type of first-person novel, a travelogue told from memory by a narrator who every now and then would relate how he encountered other characters who told him stories which he would then incorporate into the main tale through the rhetorical technique of narrative impersonation. [1] 
This resulted in "a complicated narrative fabric: a travelogue carried by a main narrator with numerous subordinate tales carried by subordinate narrative voices." 
. . . the name Milesian tale originates from the Milesiaka[1] of Aristides of Miletus (flourished 2nd century BCE), who was a writer of shameless and amusing tales with some salacious content and unexpected plot twists. Aristides set his tales in Miletus, which had a reputation for a luxurious, easy-going lifestyle, akin to that of Sybaris in Magna Graecia; there is no reason to think that he was in any sense "of" Miletus himself.
Milesian tales gained a reputation for ribaldry: Ovid, in Tristia, contrasts the boldness of Aristides and others with his own Ars Amatoria, for which he was punished by exile.

From Tristia:
Aristides associated himself with Milesian vice,
but Aristides wasn’t driven from his city.

Miletus and Maeander

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