), that is, an ant, from which animal, according to some traditions, the Myrmidons in Thessaly derived their name. An Attic maiden of the name of Myrmex, it is said, was beloved by Athena; and when the goddess had invented the plough, Myrmex boastfully pretended to have made the discovery herself, whereupon she was metamorphosed into an ant.
But when afterwards Zeus made his son Aeacus king of Thessaly, which was not inhabited by human beings, he metamorphosed all the ants of the country into men, who were thence called Myrmidones. (Verg. A. 4.402
, with the note of Serv.; Hyg. Fab. 52
; Strab. viii. p.375
, ix. p. 433; comp. AEACUS.) According to Philochorus (ap. Harpocr. s. v. Μελίτη
), Myrmex was the father of Melite, from whom the Attic demos of Melite derived its name.