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ISBN: 978-2-87457-118-3

Bias, frère de Mélampous, porte-t-il un nom louvite ?

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by Marcel MEULDER, in Res Antiquae 17, 2020.

The name of Bias, Melampus’ brother, is originally Luwian. It means “ the man to whom a wife is given”. He woos Pero, the daughter of the Pylian king Neleus, as a reward of Melampus’achievement. But Melampus achieved it, resorting to trickeries, not to the violence (bίa in Greek) – the trickery is an alternative to the violence. Consequently, Bias’ name was interpreted as “the violent man”, in particular when both brothers emigrated to Argos. There, violent conflicts occurred between Bias’ and Melampus’ descendants, but not between both brothers. According to the Greek mythology, no violent act was to Bias’ credit. In a possible equivalence with the Dioscuri, Bias was got nothing of a warrior. He is only “the man to whom a wife is given”, according his Luwian etymology. Other names of Luwian origin are present in the Greek mythology and in the Mycenaean linear-B.

Keywords: Greek mythology, mythical history of Argos, Greek and Luwian etymologies, dioscuric similarities, relations between Greece and Minor Asia
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