Melampus was a soothsayer and healer from Pylos in Messenia. He eventually ruled part of the Kingdom of Argos. He was the son of Amythaon and Idomene and grandson of Cretheus and Tyro. His brother was Bias.
Division of Argos
In order to reward Melampus, King Anaxagoras divided Argos into three parts. He retained one, gave one to Melampus and one to Bias.
In one version, Melampus cured Alector of an illness placed upon the boy by a hamadryad, who had been injured by Anaxagoras' knife when it was tossed aside during a sacrifice (because Alector was frightened of the blade). Melampus demanded two thirds of Argos, one for himself and one for Bias.
In another version, Dionysus had driven the Argive women mad. Melampus came to Anaxagoras with a proposition; he could cure the women in exchange for a third of Argos. The king refused but, as the women became madder and more dangerous, he relented. However, Melampus increased his price to two thirds. Melampus held up his side of the agreement by curing the women at a sanctuary of Artemis, and Anaxagoras gave up two thirds of Argos for Melampus and Bias.
Melampus was succeeded by his son Antiphates. His descendants continued to rule their portion of Argos until the death of Melampus' great-great-grandson Amphilochus, upon which the share reverted to Anaxagoras' descendant (Sthenelius).
| Preceded by:|
Anaxagoras (King of united Argos)
| King of Argos (Melampid branch)|
| Succeeded by|