Ămalthēa, ae, f., = Ἀμάλθεια.
- I. A nymph, daughter of Melissus, king of Crete, who fed Jupiter with goat’s milk, Hyg. Fab. 139.
Acc. to others, Amalthea is the name of the goat itself, one of whose horns, accidentally broken off, was placed among the stars as the Cornu Amaltheae, or Cornu copiae, Hyg. Astr. 2, 13; 3, 12. From this horn nectar and ambrosia are said to have flowed; hence, it was the emblem of plenty, Ov. F. 5, 121; Hor. C. 1, 17, 14; id. C. S. 59; id. Ep. 1, 12, 28.
Hence, meton.: Ămal-thēa, ae, f., or Ămalthēum, i, n.; in Cic., the name of a library (acc. to others, an old sanctuary of Amalthea near the villa of Atticus, in Epirus, adorned with inscriptions, etc., by Atticus, in imitation of which Cicero made a similar one at Arpinum): Amalthea mea te exspectat, Cic. Att. 2, 1 fin.; 1, 16 fin.
- II. The name of the Cumœan sibyl: Quidquid Amalthea dixit, Tib. 2, 5, 67; cf. Lact. 1, 6; Serv. ad Verg. A. 6, 72.