In Greek mythology, Melanthus (Ancient Greek: Μέλανθος) was a king of Messenia and son of Andropompus and Henioche.[1] He was among the descendants of Neleus (the Neleidae) expelled from Messenia, by the descendants of Heracles,[2] as part of the legendary "Return of the Heracleidae", later associated with the supposed "Dorian invasion".

He fled to Athens, along with other of the expelled Neleidae, Alcmaeon and the sons of Paeon. Melanthus later became a king of Athens, the successor of Thymoetes, succeeded by Codrus. Codrus was considered to be a forefether to the Greek philosopher Plato. According to Diogenes Laertius who cited Thrasylus as his source, Codrus and Melanthus also trace their descent from Poseidon.[3]

Melanthus was also a shipmate of Acoetes who attempted to kidnap Dionysus.


  1. ^ Scholia on Plato, Symposium, 208d, citing Hellanicus
  2. ^ Pausanias, 2.18.7–9.
  3. ^ Diogenes Laertius Plato 1
Further reading
  • Pausanias, Description of Greece. W. H. S. Jones (translator). Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. (1918). Vol. 1. Books I–II: ISBN 0-674-99104-4.

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Regnal titles
Preceded by
King of Athens Succeeded by