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Meropis
Philippica
Creator Theopompus of Chios
Type Fictional island
Notable people Méropes

Meropis (Ancient Greek: Μεροπίς) is a fictional island mentioned by ancient Greek writer Theopompus of Chios in his work "Philippica", which is only fragmentarily maintained via Aelian.[1]

Contents

Background

The story of Meropis is neither a utopia nor a political allegory; it is a parody of Plato's Atlantis.[2] Theopompos somewhat overstates many of Plato's aspects of the Atlantis myth. While it is an Egyptian priest who is telling Solon the story of Atlantis according to Plato's Timaeus,[3] it is an Ipotane (a mythical half-man half-horse creature) who is telling the Meropis story to king Midas according to Theopompus Philippica. Although Atlantis was incredibly big by Plato's account, Theopompus describes Meropis as even bigger, to make it completely absurd. And while the invading Atlanteans were beaten by Athens because of its perfect society, the Méropes (Μέροπες) - attacking with an army of ten million soldiers - attempt to conquer Hyperborea, but return in disgrace after realizing that the Hyperboreans were the luckiest people on earth and not worth looting.[4]

Geography

It is situated beyond the world-ocean (Oceanus). Its inhabitants, the Méropes (poet. humans), are supposed to grow twice as tall as average human beings, as well as getting twice as old. Theopompos describes two cities on Meropis: Eusebes (Εὐσεβής, "Pious"-town) and Machimos (Μάχιμος, "Fighting"-town). While the inhabitants of Eusebes are living in opulence getting neither hungry nor thick, the inhabitants of Machimos are in fact born with weapons and carry on wars steadily. A third place, called Anostos (Ἄνοστος, Place of "No return") is situated on the outermost border of Meropis. It resembles a yawning abyss, does not have day or night, and is covered by cloudy, red fumes.

References

  1. ^ Fragments see FGrHist 115 F 75.
  2. ^ HG Nesselrath (1998). "Theopomps Meropis und Platon". GFA 1: 4-7.
  3. ^ Plato, Timaeus 23e.
  4. ^ HG Nesselrath (1998). "Theopomps Meropis und Platon". GFA 1: 6.

Further reading

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