William Smith.

A smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... online

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said was always impressive; he was brave
and courageous, but milder than Agamemnon,
intelligent and hospitable. According to the
prophecy of Proteus in the Odyssey, Menelaus
and Helen were not to die, but the gods were
to conduct them to Elysium. According to
a later tradition, he and Helen went to the
Taurians, where they were sacrificed by
Iphigenia to Artemis. Respecting the tale
that Helen never went to Troy, but was de-
tained in Egypt, see Helena.

MENENIUS (-i)LANATUS(-i),AGRIPPA
(-ae), consul, b.c. 508. It was owing to his
mediation that the first great rupture between
the patricians and plebeians, when the latter
seceded to the Sacred Mount, was brought to
a happy and peaceful termination in 493 ;
and it was upon this occasion he is said to
have related to the plebeians his well-known
fable of the belly and the members'.

MEn£S, first king of Egypt, according to
the Egyptian traditions.

MENE8THEUS (-Cos, « or el), (l) Son
of Peteus, an Athenian king, who led the
Athenians against Troy. He is said to have
driven Theseus from his kingdom. — (2) A
charioteer of Diomedes.

MENINX (-gis), or LOTOPHAGITIS,
(-is), an island close to the coast of Africa
Propria, at the S.E. extremity of the Lesser
Syrtw.

MENIPPUS (-i), a cynic philosopher, was
a native of Gadara in Coele-Syria, and
flourished about b.c. 60. He was noted for
his satirical writings, whence Yarro gave to
his satires the name of ScUurae Menippeae,

MENOECEUS {J^ » or el). (1) A
Theban, grandson of Pentheus, and father of
HipponomS, Jocasta, and Creon. — (2) Grand-
son of the former, and son* of Creon, put an
end to his life because Tiresias had declared
that his death would bring victory to his
country, when the 7 Argive heroes marched
against Thebes.

MENOETIUS (-i), son of Actor and Aegina,



and father of Patroolus, who is hence called
mnoetlUdeH,

MENON (-Onis), a Thessalian adventurer,
one of the generals of the Greek mercenaries
in the army of Cyrus the Younger, when the
latter marched into Upper Asia against his
brother Artazerxes, b.c. 401. After the
death of Cyrus he was apprehended along
with the other Greek generals by Tissaphemes,
and was put to death by lingering tortures,
which lasted for a whole year. His character
\b drawn in the blackest colours by Xenophon.
He is the same as the Menon introduced in
the dialog[ue of Plato, which bears his name.

MENTESA. (1) Sumamed Bastja, a
town of the Oretani in Hispania Tarraco-
nensis. — (2) A town of the Bastuli in the 8.
of Hispania Baetica.

MENTOR (-5ris). (1) Son of Alcimus and
a faithful firiend of Ulysses, frequently men-
tioned in the Odyssey. — (2) A Greek of
Rhodes, appointed by Darius Ochus to the
satrapy of all the western coast of Asia Minor,
in which he was succeeded by his brother
Memnon. [Msmnon.] — (3) The most cele-
brated silver-chaser among the Greeks, who
flourished before b.c. 856. His works were
vases and cups, which were highly prized by
the Romans.

MERCtJRil PROMONTORIUM. [He»-

MAEUM.]

MEBCttRIUS (-i), a Romah divinity of com-
merce and gain, identified by the Romans with
the Greek Hermes. The Romans of later
times transferred all the attributes «nd myth!*
of Hermes to their own god. [Hbbmbs.]
The Fetiales, however, never recognised the
identity ; and instead of the eadueeua, they
used a sacred branch as the emblem of
peace. The resemblance between Mercu-
rius and Hermes is indeed very slight. The
character of the Roman god is clear from his
name, which is connected with mera; and
mercari, A temple was built to him as early
as B.C. 495 near the Circus Maximus ; and
an altar of the god existed near the Porta
Capena, by tiie side of a well. His festival
was celebrated on the 25th of May, and
chiefiy by merchants, who visited the well
near the Porta Capena, to which magic
powers were ascribed.

MfiRIONfiS (-ae), a Cretan hero, son of
Molus, was one of the bravest heroes in the
Trojan war, and usually fought along with
his friend Jdomeneus.

MERMERUS (-i), one of the Centaurs
present at the wedding of Pirithous.

MEROE (-Ss), the island, formed by the
rivers Astapus and Astaboras, and the portion
of the Nile between their mouths, was a
district of Ethiopia. Its capital, also called



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HESSAKA.



Mero€, became at a rerj early period the
capital of a powerftil state. The priests of
Meroft were closely connected in origin and
customs with those of Egypt ; and, according
to some traditions^ the latter sprang from
'the former, and they ftrom India. For details
respecting the kingdom of Mero«, see

ASTHIOPIA.

M£R6pe (^). (1) One of the Heliades
or sisters of Pha^thon. — (2) Daughter of
Atlas, one of the Pleiades, wife of Sisyphus
of Corinth and mother of Glaocns. In the
constellation of the Pleiades she is the 7th and
the least risible star, because she is ashamed
of haying had intercourse with a mortal
man. — (8) Daughter of Cypselus, wife of Cres-
phontes, and mother of Aepytus. [Abpttus.]

MEROPS (^pis), king of the Ethiopians,
by whose wife, Clym^ie, Helios (Sol) became
the fother of Phaethon.

MESE1£BR!a i-ae), (l) A celebrated town
of Thrace on the Pontus Euzinus, and at the
foot of Mt. Haemus, founded by the inhabi-
tants of Chalcedon and Byzantium in the time
of Darius Hystaspis, and hence called a colony
of Megara, since those 2 towns were founded
by the Megarians. — (2) A town in Thrace,
but of less importance, on the coast of the
Aegaean sea, and in the territory of the
Cioones, near the mouth of the Lissus.

IfESOPOTAMlA (.ae), a district of Asia,
named from its positicm between the Euphrates
and the Tigris, divided by the Euphrates fh>m
Syria and Arabia, and by the Tigris firom
Assyria. On the N. it was separated trom
Armenia by a branch of the Taurus, called
Masius, and on the S. trom. Babylonia, by
the Median Wall. The name was first used
by the Greeks in the time of the Seleucidae.
In earlier times the country was reckoned a
part, sometimes of Syria, and sometimes of
Assyria. In the division of the Persian empire
it belonged to the satrapy of Babylonia. The
N. part of Mesopotamia was divided into the
districts of Mtodokia and Oskobmk. In a
wider sense, the name is sometimes applied
to the whole country between the Euphrates
and the Tigris.

MESPILA (-ae), a city of Assyria, on the
E. side of the Tigrris, which Xenophon men-
tions as having been formerly a great city,
inhabited by Medes, but in his time fallen to
decay. Layard places, it at Kouffouiyik,
opposite to Mosul.

MESSA (-ae), a town and harbour in
Laconia, near C. Taenarum.

MESSlLA or MESSALLA (.ae), the name
of a distinguished family of the Valeria gens
at Rome. The first who bore the name of
Messala was M. YALBams Maxdcus Cobvimxts
Mbssala, consul b.c. 263, who carried on the



war against the Carthaginians in Sicily, and
received this cognomen in consequence of his
relieving Messina. The most celebrated
member of the family was M. Yalebivs
Mbhwat.a Cobvinus. He fought on the
republican side at the battle of Philippi
(B.C. 42), but was afterwards pardoned by
the triumvirs, and became one of the chief
generals and friends of Augustus. He was
consul B.C. S], and proconsul of Aquitania
28, 27. He died about b.c. 8 — a.o. 3.
Messala was a patron of learning, and was
himself an historian, a poet, a grammarian,
and an oratbr ; but none of his works are
extant. His friendship for Horace and hi&
intimacy with Tibullns are well known. In
the elegies of the latter poet, the name of
Messala is eontinually introduced.

MESSIlINa, yIlERIA (.ae), wife of the
emperor Claudius, and mother of Britan-
nicus, was notorious for her profligacy and
licentiousness, and long exercised an un.
bounded empire over her weak husband.
Narcissus, the fireedman of Claudius, at length
persuaded the emperor to put Messalina to
death, because she had publicly married a
handsome Roman youth, C. SiUus, during the
absence of Claudius at Ostia, a.I). 48.

MESSANA (.ae: Jfesaina), a celebrated
town of Sicily, on the straits separating Italy
trom. this island, which are here about 4
miles broad. The Romans called the town
MessanOf according to its Doric pronun.
elation, but Messini was its more usual name
among the Greeks. It was originally a town
of the Siceli, and was called Zamclx, or a
sickle, on accoxmt of the shape of its hurbour,
which is formed by a singular curve of sand
and shells. It was first colonised by Chal.
cidians, and was afterwards seized by
Samians, who had come to Sicily after the
capture of Miletus by the Persians (b.c. 494).
The Samians were shortly afterwards driven
out of Zancle by Anaxilas, who changed the
name of the town into Messana or Messene,
both because he was himself a Messenian,
and because he transferred to the place a
body of Messenians trom Rhegium. In b.c.
396 it was taken and destroyed by the Car.
thaginians, but was rebuilt by Dionysius.
It afterwards fell into the hands of Aga-
thocles. Among the mercenaries of this
tjrrant were a number of Mamertini, an
Oscan people, trom Campania, who had been
sent from home under the protection of the
god Mamers or Mars, to seek their fortxme in
other lands. These Mamertini were quartered
\a Messana; and after the death of Aga.
thocles (B.C. 282), tiiey made themselves
masters of the town, killed the male inhabit-
ants, and took possession of their wives.



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METEI.LUS.



their children, and their property. The
town was now called Mame&tima, and the
inhabitants Mamebtini ; but its ancient
name of Messana continued to be in more
, general use. The new inhabitants could not
lay aside their old predatory habits, and in
consequence became involved in a war with
Hieron of Syracuse, who would probably
have conquered the town, had not the Cartha-
ginians come in to the aid of the Mameitini,
imd, under the pretext of 'assisting them,
taken possession of their citadel. The Mamer-
tini had at the same time applied to the
Bomans for help, who gladly availed them,
selves of the opportunity to obtain a footing
in Sicily. Thus Messana was the immediate
cause of the 1st Punic war, 264. The
Mamertini expelled the Carthaginian gar.
rison, and received the Komans, in whose
power Messana remained till the latest times.
MESSAPIA (.ae), the Greek name of
Calabria.

M£SS£NIA (.ae), a country in Pelopon-
nesus, bounded on the E. by Laconia, from
which it was separated by Mt. Taygetus, on
the N. by Elis and Arcadia, and on the S. and
W. by the sea. In the Homeric times the
western part of the coxmtry belonged to the
Neleid princes of Pylos, of whom Nestor was
the most celebrated ; and the eastern to the
Lacedaemonian monarchy. On the conquest
of Peloponnesus by the Dorians, Messenia fell
to the share of Cresphontes, who became king
of the whole country. Messenia was more
fertile than Laconia ; and the Spartans soon
coveted the territory of their brother Dorians ;
and thus war broke out between the two
people. The 1st Messenian war lasted 20
years, b.c. 743 — 723; and notwithstanding
the gallant resistance of the Messenian king,
Aristodemus, the Messenians were obliged to
submit to the Spartans after the capture of
their fortress Ithome. [Abistodemts.] After
bearing the yoke 38 years, the Messenians
again took up arms under their heroic leader
Axistomenes. [Abistomekes.] The 2nd Mes-
senian war lasted 17 years, b.c. 685 — 668,
and terminated with the conquest of Ira and
the complete subjugation of the country.
Most of the Messenians emigrated to foreign
countries, and those who remained behind
were reduced to the condition of Helots or
serfs. In this state they remained till 464,
when the Messenians and other Helots took
advantage of the devastation occasioned by
the great earthquake at Sparta, to rise
against their oppressors. This 3rd Messenian
war lasted 10 years, 464 — 455, and ended by.
the Messenians surrendering Ithome to the
Spartans on condition of being allowed a free
departure from Peloponnesus. When the



supremacy of Sparta was overthrown by the
battle of Leuctra, Epaminondas collected the
Messenian exiles, and foimded the town of
MessgnS (b.c. 369), at the foot of Mt. Ithom^,
which formed the acropoli of the city. MessenS
was made the capital of the country. • Mes-
senia was never again subdued by the Spar-
tans, and it. maintained its independence till
the conquest of the Achaeans and the rest of
Greece by the Bomans, 146.

MESTRA (.ae), daughver of Erysichthon,
and granddaughter of Triopas, whence she
is called THdpSia by Ovid.

METABUS (-i), a chief of the Volsci, father
of Cunilla.

METANIRA (-ae), wife of Celeus, and
mother of Triptolemus. [Celeus.I

METAPONTIUM, caUed METAPONTUM
(-i) by the Bomans, a celebrated Greek city
in Lucania, and on the Tarentine gulf. It
was founded by the Greeks at an early period,
was afterwards destroyed by the Samnites,
and was repeopled by a colony of Achaeans.
It fell into the hands of the Bomans with the
other Greek cities in the S. of Italy in the
war against Pyrrhus; but it revolted to
Hannibal after the battle of Cannae.

METAUBUM. [Mktaubxjs, No. 2.]

METAUBUS (-i). (1) A smaU river in
Umbria, flowing into the Adriatic sea, memo,
rable by the defeat and death of Hasdrubal,
the brother of Hannibal, on its banks b.c.
207. — (2) A river on the E. coast of Brut-
tium, at whose, mouth was the town of
Metaurum.

METELLUS (-i), a distinguished plebeian
family of the Caecilia gens at Bome. (1) L.
CaeciliusMetellus, consul B.C. 251, when he
defeated the Carthaginians in Sicily ; consul a
2nd time in 249 ; and afterwards pontifex
maximus; while holding the latter dignity he
rescued the Palladium when the.temple of Vesta
was on fire, and lost his sight hi consequence.
— (2) Q. Caxciuvb Metellus Macedonicvs,
was praetor 148, when he defeated the usurper
Andriscus in Macedonia, and received in con.
sequence the surname of Macedonicus. He
was consul in 143, and carried on the war
against the Celtiberians in Spain. — (3) Q.
CABCiLnrs Metellits Ntthidicus, consul
B.C. 109, carried on the war against Jugurtha
in Numidia with great success, and received
in consequence the Surname of Numidicus.
[JuoxTBTHA.] In 107 he was superseded in
the command by Marius. [Mabitjs.] In 102
he was censor, and two years afterwards (100)
he was banished fh>m Bome through the
intrigues of his enemy Marius. He was
however recalled in the following year (99).
Metellus was one of the chief leaders of the
aristocratical party, and a man of unsullied



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MIDAS.



character. — (4) Caxciuus Mktxllus Pits,
son of of the preceding, received the surname
of Pius on account of the love which he dis-
played for his fother when he besought the
people to recal him from banishment in 99.
He wan praetor b.g. 89, and one of the com-
manders in the Marsic or Social war. He
subsequently fought as one of Sulla's generals
against the Marian party, and was consul
with Sulla himself in b.o. 80. In the follow,
ing year (79), he went as proconsul into
Spain, where he carried on the war against
Sertorius for many years (b.o. 79 — 72). He
died in b.o. 68, and was succeeded in the
dignity of pontifex maximus by Julius
Caesar. — (5) Q. Cakciuvs Mbtbllus Cxlxb,
praetor B.C. 68, and consul 60, was a warm
supporter of the aristocratical party. He
died in 59, and it was suspected that he had
been poisoned by his wife Clodia. — (6) Q.
CABCiLirs Mbtbllus Nbpos, younger brother
of the preceding, tribune b.o. 62, praetor 60,
and consul 57, supported Pompey against
the aristocracy. — (7) Q. Cabcilius Mxtbllus
Pnrs SciPio, the adopted son of Metellus
Pius [No. 4], was the son of P. Scipio
Nasica, praetor 94. Pompey married Cornelia,
the daughter of Metellus Scipio in b.c. 52 and
in the same year made his fether-in-law
his colleague in the consulship. Scipio fought
on the side of Pompey in the civil war, and
after the battle of Pharsalia, crossed over to
Africa, where he received the command of
the Pompeian troops. He was defeated by
Caesar at the battle of Thapsus in 46 ; and
shortly afterwards he put an end to his own
liiTe. — (8) Q* Caxcilius Mbtkllxts Cbxticus,
consul B.C. 69, carried on war against Crete,
which he subdued in the course of 3 years.
— (9) L. Caxciuxts Mbtkllus, brother of the
last, praetor 71, and as propraetor the
successor of Yerres in the government of
Sicily. — (10) M. CABCiLnrsMxTBLLUs, praetor
69, presided at the trial of Yerres.

METHONfi (-es). (1) Or Mothonb, a
town at the S.W. comer of Messenia, with an
excellent harbour, protected from the sea by
a reef of rocks, of which the largest was
called Mothon. — (2) A town in Macedonia on
the Thermaio gulf, founded by the Eretrians,
and celebrated firom Philip having lost an eye
at the siege of the place. — (3) Or Mbthama,
an ancient town in Argolis, situated on a
peninsula of the same name, opposite the
island of Aegina.

METHYMNA (-ae), the second city of
Lesbos, stood at the N. extremity of the island.
It was the birthplace of the poet Arion, and
of the historian Hellanicus. The celebrated
Lesbian wine grew in its neighbourhood. In
the Peloponnesian war it remained faithful



to Athens, even during the great Lesbian
revolt [Mttilbnx] : afterwards it was sacked
by the Spartans (b.c. 406).

M£TIS (-Ydis), the personification of pm.
dence, described as a daughter of Oceanus and
Tethys, and the first wife of Zeus (Jupiter).
Afraid lest she should give birth to a child
wiser and more powerful than himself, Zeus
devoured her in the first month of her preg-
nancy. Afterwards he gave birth to AthSna,
who sprang from his head.

METiUS. [Mbtttos.]

METON (.dnis), an astronomer of Athens,
who, in coi^imction with Euctbmon, intru-
duced the cycle of 19 years, by which he
adjusted the course of the sun and moon.
The commencement of this cyde has been
placed B.C. 482.

M&TRdDORUS (4), a native of Lampsacus
or Athens, an Epicurean philosopher, and
the most distinguished of the disciples of
Epicurus, died b.c. 277.

M£TR0P5lIS (-is), a town of Thessaly
in Histiaeotis, near the Peneus, and between
Gomphi and Pharsalus. There were several
other cities of this name.

METTIUS or METiUS. (1) Cuktius.
[CuETirs.] — (2) FuFrrrius, dictator of Alba,
was torn asunder by chariots driven in oppo-
site directions, by order of Tullus Hostilius,
3rd king of Rome, on account of his treachery
towards the Romans.

METtLXTM (-i), the chief town of the
lapydes in JUyricum.

M£y1NIA (-ae : Bevagna), an ancient
city in the interior of Umbria on the river
Tinea, situated in a fertile country, and cele-
brated for its breed of beautiful white oxen.
According to some accounts Propertius was a
native of this place.

MEZENTIUS (-1), king of the Tyrrhenian
Caere or Agylla, was expelled by his subjects
on account of his cruelty, and took refuge
with Tumus, king of the Rutulians, whom he
assisted in the war against Aeneas and the
Trojans. Mezentius and his son Lausus were
slain in battle by Aeneas.

MICIPSA (-ae), king of Numidia (b.o. 14S
— 118), e.dest of the sons of Masinissa. He
left the kingdom to his 2 sons, Adberbal and
Hiempsal, and their adopted brother Ju-

OVKTHA.

MICON, of Athens, a distinguished painter
and statuary, contemporary with Polygnotus,
about B.C. 460.

MIDAS or mIdA (-ae), son of Oordius and
king of Phrygia, renowned for Ws immense
riches. In consequence of his kind treatment
of Silenus, the companion and teacher of Dio-
nysus (Bacchus), the latter allowed Midas to
ask a favour of him. Midas in his folly desired



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MILTIADES.



that all things which he touched should he
changed into gold. The request was granted ;
but as even the food which he touched became
gold, he implored the god to take his favour
back. Dionysus accordingly ordered him to
bathe in the sources of the Pactolus near Mt.
Tmolus. This bath saved Midas, but the
river from that time had an abundance of
gold in its sand. Once when Pan and
Apollo were engaged in a musical contest on
the flute and lyre, Midas was chosen to decide
between them. The king decided in favour
of Pan, whereupon Apollo changed his ears
into those of an ass. Midas contrived to
conceal them under his Phrygian cap, but
the servant who used to cut his hair dis-
covered them. The secret so much harassed
the man,that as he could not betray it to a
human being, he dug a hole in the earth, and
whispered into it, " King Midas has ass's
ears." He then filled up the hole, and his
heart was released. But on the same spot a
reed grew, which in its whispers betrayed
the secret.

MIDEA or MIDEA (-ae), a town in Argolis.

MILANION (-onis), husband of Atalanta.

Tjl^ ATLANTA 1

MILETUS (4). (1) Son of Apollo and Aria
of Crete, fled firom Minos to Asia, where he
built the city of Miletns. Ovid calls him a
son of Apollo and Deione, and hence Deioni-
des. — (2) One of the greatest cities of Asia
Minor, belonged territorially to Caria and
politically to Ionia, being the S.-most of
the 12 cities of the Ionian confederacy.
The city stood upon the S. headland of the
Sinus Latmicus, opposite to the mouth of the
Maeander, and possessed 4 distinct harbours,
protected by a group of islets; its territory
was rich in flocks, and the city was celebrated
for its woollen fabrics, the Mileaia vellera. At
a very early period it became a great maritime
state, and founded numerous colonies, espe-
cially on the shores of the Euxine. It was
the birthplace of the philosophers Thales,
Anaximander, and Anaximenes, and of the
historians Cadmus and Hecataeus. It was
the centre of the great Ionian revolt against
the Persians, after the suppression of which
it was destroyed (b.c. 494). It recovered
sufficient importance to oppose a vain re-
sistance to Alexander the Great, which
brought upon it a second ruin. Under the
Roman empire it still appears as a place of
some consequence.

MILO or MILON (-finis). (1) Of Crotona,
a celebrated athlete, 6 times victor in wrest-
ling at the Olympic games, and as often at
the Pythian. He was one of the followers of
Pythagoras, and commanded the army which
defeated the Sybarites, b.c. 511. Many



stories are related of his extraordinary feats
of strength ; such as his carrying a heifer four
years old on his shoulders through the
stadium at Olympia, and afterwards eating
the whole of it in a single day. Passing
through a forest in his old age, he saw the
trunk of a tree which had been partially
split open by woodcutters, and attempted to
rend it further, but the wood closed upon his
hands, and thus held him fast, in which
state he was attacked and devoured by wolves.
— (2) T. Anniijs Milo Papiniakus, was bom
at Lanuvium, of which place he was in b.c.
53 dictator or chief magistrate. As tribune
of the plebs, b.c. 57, Milo took an active part
in obtaining Cicero's recal from exile ; and
from this time he carried on a fierce and
memorable contest with P. Clodius. In 5d
Milo was candidate for the consulship, and
Clodius for the praetorship of the ensuing
year. Each of the candidates kept a gang of
gladiators, and there were frequent combats
between tiie rival ruffians in the streets of
Home. At length, on the 20th of January,
52, Milo and Clodius met. apparently by ac-
cident at Bovillae on the Appian road. An
affray ensued between their followers, in
which Clodius was slain. At Rome such
tumults followed upon the burial of Clodius,
that Pompey was appointed sole consul in
order to restore order to the state. Milo was
brought to trial. He was defended by Cicero *,
but was condemned, and went into exile at
Massilia {Marseilles), The soldiers who lined
the forum intimidated Cicero ; and he could
not deliver the oration which he had pre-
pared. Milo returned to Italy in 48, in order
to support the revolutionary schemes of the
praetor, M. Caelius ; but he was sliain under
the walls of an obscure fort in the district of
Thurii. Milo, in 57, married Fausta, a
daughter of the dictator Sulla.

MILTIADES (-is). (1) Son of Cypselus,
an Athenian, in the time of Pisistratus,
founded a colony in the Thracian Chersonesus,
of which he became tyrant. He died with-
out children, and his sovereignty passed
into the hands of Stesagoras, the son of his
half-brother Cimon. — (2) Son of Cimon and
brother of Stesagoras, became tyrant of the
Chersonesus on the death of the latter, being



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