The Ancient Library

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On this page: Menelaus – Menestheus – Menippe – Menippus – Menoeceus – Mens – Mentor



(2) A Greek rhetorician, of Laodicea, who probably lived at the end of the 3rd century after Christ. He is the author of two treatises About Speeches for Display, which add to our knowledge of the theory of the sophistic type of oratory [in Spengel's Rhetores Greed, iii 331-446].

M&n&laus. Son of Atreus, and younger brothel' of Agamemnon, with whom he was exiled by Thyestes, the murderer of Atreus, and fled to king Tyndareos, at Sparta, whose daughter Helen he married, and whose throne he inherited after the death of Helen's brothers, Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux). When Paris had robbed him of his wife and of great treasures, he went with Odysseus to Troy to demand restitu­tion, and they were hospitably received there by Antenor. His just claims were refused, and his life was even in danger; he and Agamemnon accordingly called on the Greek chieftains to join in an expedition against Troy, and himself furnished sixty ships. At Troy he distinguished himself in counsel and in action, and was specially protected by Athene and Hera. In the single combat with Paris he is victorious, but his opponent is rescued and carried off by Aphrodite. On demanding that Helen and the treasures should be restored, he is wounded by an arrow shot by the Trojan Pandarus. He is also ready to fight Hector, and is only prevented by the entreaties of his friends. When Patroclus has fallen, he shields the dead body, at first alone, and then with the aid of Ajax, and bears it from the field of battle with Meriones. He is also one of the heroes of the wooden horse. Having recovered Helen he hastens home, but on rounding the pro­montory of Malea he is driven to Egypt with five ships, and wanders about for eight years among the peoples of the East, where he is kindly received everywhere, and receives rich gifts. He is finally detained at the isle of Pharos by contrary winds, and with the help of the marine goddess Eidothea he artfully compels her | father Proteus to prophecy to him. He I thus learns the reason of his being unwil­lingly detained at the island, and is also told that, as husband of the daughter of Zeus, he will not die, but enter the Elysian plains alive. After appeasing the gods in Egypt with hecatombs, he returns swiftly and prosperously to his home, where he ! arrives on the very day on which Orestes is burying jEgisthus and Clytfemnestra. He spent the rest of his life quietly with

Helen, in Lacedaemon. Their only daugh­ter Hermione was married to Neoptolemus, son of Achilles.

MSnestheus. The son of PetSus, who seized the government of Attica, while Theseus pined away in the nether world, and commanded the Athenians before Troy, where he fell. (Cp. demophoon, theseus.)

Mfinippe. Daughter of Orion, who offered to die with her sister MetiSche, when a pes­tilence was raging in Boaotia, and the oracle demanded the sacrifice of two virgins. (See also okion.)

Menippus. A Greek philosopher of Gadara in Syria, flourished about B.C. 250. He was originally a slave, and afterwards an adherent of the Cynic school of philo­sophy. His writings (now completely lost) treated of the follies of mankind, especially of philosophers, in a sarcastic tone. They were a medley of prose and verse, and became models for the satirical works of Varro, and afterwards for those of Lucian.

Jienfficeus. (1) Grandson of Pentheus of Thebes, father of Creon and J<3casta.

(2) Grandson of the above, son of Creon. At the siege of Thebes by the Seven, Tiresias prophesied that the Thebans would conquer if the wrath of Ares at the slaying of the dragon by Cadmus were appeased by the voluntary death of a descendant of the warriors that had sprung from the dragon's teeth. MenoBceus, one of the last of this race, slew himself, in spite of his father's prohibition, on the castle wall, and fell down into the chasm which had once been the haunt of the dragon as guardian of the spring Dirce.

Kens. Under this name the Romans personified intelligence and prudence. After the battle at Lake Trasimene, which was lost through the carelessness of the Romans, a temple was erected to her on the Capitol. The anniversary of its founda­tion was celebrated on the 8th of June,

Mentor. (1) Sou of Alcimus of Ithaca, friend of Odysseus, who, on departing for Troy, confided to him the care of his house and the education of Telemachus [Od. ii 225]. His name has hence become a proverbial one for a wise and faithful adviser or monitor. Athene assumed his shape when she brought Telemachus to Pylus [Od. ii 268], and when she aided Odysseus in fight­ing the suitors and made peace between him and their relatives [xxii 206, xxiv 446).

(2) [The most celebrated master of the toreutic art (q.v.) among the ancients (Pliny, N. H. xxxiii 154). As some of his works

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