1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Merope

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

MEROPE, the name of several figures in Greek mythology. The most important of them are the following: (1) The daughter of Cypselus, king of Arcadia, and wife of Cresphontes, ruler of Messenia. During an insurrection Cresphontes and two of his sons were murdered and the throne seized by Polyphontes, who forced Merope to marry him. A third son, Aepytus, contrived to escape, and, subsequently returning to Messenia, put Polyphontes to death and recovered his father’s kingdom (Apollodorus ii. 8, 5; Pausanias iv. 3, 6). The fortunes of Merope have furnished the subject of tragedies by Euripides (Cresphontes, not extant), Voltaire, Maffei and Matthew Arnold. (2) The daughter of Atlas and wife of Sisyphus. She was one of the seven Pleiades, but remained invisible, hiding her light for shame at having become the wife of a mortal (Apollodorus i. 9, 3; iii. 10, 1; Ovid, Fasti, iv. 175).