A Delian who fled to Cinyras in Cyprus. Cinyras gave him his son Adonis as a companion, and his relative Peleia in marriage. The fruit of this marriage was a son, who was likewise called Melus, and whom he caused to be brought up in the sanctuary of Aphrodite. On the death of Adonis, the elder Melus hanged himself from grief, and his wife followed his example. Aphrodite then metamorphosed Melus into an apple (μῆλον, mēlon), and his wife into a dove (πέλεια, peleia).

The younger Melus was ordered by the goddess to return with a colony to Delos, where he founded the town of Delos. There the sheep were called from him μῆλα (mēla), because he first taught the inhabitants to shear them, and make cloth out of their wool.



  • Servius on Virgil's Eclogues viii, 37.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.