Saturday, September 25, 2021

M/M: Melanippus and Chariton, Two Lovers of Freedom Athenaeus, Deip. XIII.78

Like the Athenian couple Harmodius and Aristogeiton, the couple Melanippus and Chariton are also seen as symbols of political freedom.

...ut ait Heraclides Ponticus in libro De Amatoriis. Hi [Melanippus & Chariton] igitur deprehensi insidias struxisse Phalaridi, & tormentis subiecti quo coniuratos denunciare cogerentur, non modo non denuntiarunt, sed etiam Phalarin ipsum ad misericordiam tormentorum commoverunt, ut plurimum collaudatos dimitteret. 

ὥς φησιν Ἡρακλείδης ὁ Ποντικὸς ἐν τῷ περὶ Ἐρωτικῶν, οὗτοι φανέντες ἐπιβουλεύοντες Φαλάριδι καὶ βασανιζόμεναι ἀναγκαζόμενοί τε λέγειν τοὺς συνειδότας οὐ μόνον οὐ κατεῖπον, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸν Φάλαριν αὐτὸν εἰς ἔλεον τῶν βασάνων ἤγαγον, ὡς ἀπολῦσαι αὐτοὺς πολλὰ ἐπαινέσαντα. 

--Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae XIII.78; Translated in to Latin by Iohannes Schweighaeuser (1805)

According to The Lovers by Heraclides of Pontus, [Melanippus and Chariton] were caught plotting against Phalaris. Even when they were tortured to provide the names of their accomplices, they refused. Moreover, their plight moved Phalaris’ sympathy to such an extent that he praised them and released them.



Name:  Athenaeus

Date:  2nd c. CE

Works:  Deipnosophists



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



 Athenaeus was a scholar who lived in Naucratis (modern Egypt) during the reign of the Antonines. His fifteen volume work, the Deipnosophists, are invaluable for the amount of quotations they preserve of otherwise lost authors, including the poetry of Sappho.


ARCHAIC: (through 6th c. BCE); GOLDEN AGE: (5th - 4th c. BCE); HELLENISTIC: (4th c. BCE - 1st c. BCE); ROMAN: (1st c. BCE - 4th c. CE); POST CONSTANTINOPLE: (4th c. CE - 8th c. CE); BYZANTINE: (post 8th c CE)

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