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On this page: Maecflia Gens – Maecia Gens – Maecianus – Maecius – Maelia Gens – Maelius

MAECILIA GENS.

sat on the tribunal, condemning numbers to death, Maecenas, who was among the bystanders, and could not approach Caesar by reason of the crowd, wrote upon his tablets, " Rise, hangman !" (Surge tandem carnifex /), and threw them into Caesar's lap, who immediately left the judgment-seat (comp. JDion Cass. Iv. 7).

Maecenas appears to have been a constant vale­tudinarian. If Pliny's statement (vii. 51) is to be taken literally, he laboured under a continual fever. According to the same author he was sleepless during the last three years of his life ; and Seneca tells us (de Provid. iii. 9) that he endeavoured to procure that sweet and indispensable refreshment, by listening to the sound of distant symphonies. We may infer from Horace (Carm. ii. 17) that he was rather hypochondriacal. He died in the con­sulate of Gallus and Censorinus, b.c. 8 (Dion Cass. Iv. 7), and was buried on the Esquiline. He left no children, and thus by his death his ancient fa­mily became extinct. He bequeathed his property to Augustus, and we find that Tiberius afterwards re­sided in his house (Suet. Tib. 15). Though the emperor treated Maecenas with coldness during the latter years of his life, he sincerely lamented his death, and seems to have sometimes felt the want of so able, so honest, and so faithful a counsellor. (Dion Cass. liv. 9, Iv. 7 ; Senec. de Ben. vi. 32.)

The life of Maecenas has been written in Latin by John Henry Meibom, in a thin quarto, entitled Liber singularis de C. Cilnii Maecenatis Vita, Mori- bus, et Rebus Gestis, Leyden, 1653. It contains at the end the elegies ascribed to Pedo Albinovanus, and is a learned and useful work, though the author has taken an extravagant view of his hero's virtues, and, according to the fashion of those days, has been rather too liberal of the contents of his commonplace book. In Italian there is a life by Cenni, Rome 1684 ; by Dini, Venice 1704 ; and by Sante Viola, Rome, 1816 ; in German, by Bennemann, Leipzig, 1744 ; by Dr. Albert Lion (Maecenatiana\ Gottingen, 1824 ; and by Frand- sen, Altona, 1843 ; which last is by far the best life of Maecenas. In French there is a life of Maecenas by the Abbe Richer, Paris, 1746. The only life in English is by Dr. Ralph Schomberg, London, 1766, 12mo. It is a mere compilation from Meibom and Richer, and shows no critical discrimination. [T. D.]

MAECIA GENS, plebeian. Only one person of this gens is mentioned under the republic, Sp. Maecius Tarpa, a contemporary of Cicero [tarpa] ; but under the empire the Maecii became more dis­tinguished though they are rarely mentioned by ancient writers. Thus we find on coins mention made of a M. Maecius Rufus, who was proconsul of Bithynia in the reign of Vespasian ; in inscrip­tions (Gruter, p. 49. 3) of a M. Maecius Rufus who was consul with L. Turpilius Dexter, though the date of their consulship is uncertain; and in the consular Fasti of a M. Maecius Memmius Furius Placidus, who was consul a. d. 343, with Fl. Pisidius Romulus.

MAECIANUS, the son of Avidius Cassius, was, at the breaking out of the rebellion against M. Aurelius, entrusted by his father with the com­ mand of Alexandria, and was soon afterwards slain by his own soldiers. (Capitolin. M. Aurel. 25.) [avidius cassius.] [W. R.]

MAECFLIA GENS, plebeian. Only two members of it are mentioned under tjie republic.

1395

MAELIUS.

1. L. maecilius, one of those tribunes of the plebs who were chosen for the first time in the comitia tributa, b. c. 471. (Liv. ii. 58.)

2. sp. maecilius, chosen for the fourth time tribune of the plebs, b. c. 416. (Liv. iv. 48.)

In the time of Augustus we find the name of M. Maecilius Tullus, a triumvir of the mint, on many coins (Eckhel, vol. v. p. 240) ; and at length not long before the downfall of the Roman empire in the west a Maecilius obtained the imperial dignity. [AviTus, maecilius.]

MAECIUS, QUINTUS (Ko'iVros Maf/aos), the. author of twelve epigrams in the Greek Anthology, which are among the best in the collection, was evidently, from his name, a Roman ; but nothing further is known of him. (Brunck. Anal. vol. ii. p. 236, vol. iii. p. 332; Jacobs, Antli. Grace, vol. ii. p. 220, vol. xiii. pp. 913, 914; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. iv. p. 481.) [P. S.J

MAELIA GENS, the richest plebeian gens of the equestrian order, shortly after the time of the decemvirate. The name does not occur after the Samnite wars. Of this gens capitolinus is the only cognomen mentioned.

MAELIUS. 1. sp. maelius, the richest of the plebeian knights, employed his fortune in buying up corn in Etruria in the great famine at Rome in b. c. 440. This corn he sold to the poor at a small price, or distributed it gratuitously. Such liberality gained him the favour of the ple­beians, but at the same time exposed him to the hatred of the ruling class. Accordingly, in the following year, b. c. 439, soon after the consuls had entered upon their office, L. Minucius Augurinus, who had been appointed praefectus annonae [au­gurinus, No. 5], revealed to the senate a con­spiracy which Maelius was said to have formed for the purpose of seizing the kingly power. He de­clared that the tribunes had been bribed by Mae­lius, that secret assemblies had been held in his house, and that arms had been collected there. Thereupon the aged Quintius Cincinnatus was im­mediately appointed dictator, and C. Servilius Ahala, the master of the horse. During the night" the capitol and other strong places were garrisoned, and in the morning the dictator appeared in the forum with an armed force. Maelius was summoned to appear before his tribunal; but as he saw the fate which awaited him, he refused to go, seized a butcher's knife to ward off the officer (apparitor), who was preparing to drag him along, and took refuge among the crowd. Straightway Ahala, with an armed band of patrician youths, rushed into the crowd, and slew Maelius. His property was confiscated, and his house pulled down; its vacant site, which was called the Aequimaelium, continued to subsequent ages a memorial of his fate. Niebuhr says that it lay at the foot of the capitol, not far from the prison.

Later ages, following the traditions of the Quin-tian and Servilian houses, fully believed the story of Maelius's conspiracy. Thus Cicero speaks of him as " omnibus exosus " (de, Amic. 8), and re­peatedly praises the glorious deed of Ahala. But his guilt is very doubtful, and his death was clearly an act of murder, since the dictator himself had no right to put him to death, but only to bring him to trial before the comitia centuriata. The fact that'he was thus violently and illegally slain, is a strong proof'that no crime could be proved against him. Niebuhr thinks it not improbable that the real de-

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