The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Megarus – Megasthenes – Megellus

ioo»

MEGASTHENES.

pomenes, Apollo, or Aegeus. (Apollod. iii. 15. § 8; Paus. i. 39. § 5 ; Ov. Met. x. 605 ; Hygin. Fab. 157 ; Steph. Byz. s. v. Meyapa.) He was a brother of Abrote, the wife of Nisus, and the father of Euippus, Timalcus, and Euaechme, to whom Ovid adds a fourth, Hippomenes. (Paus. i. 41. § 4 ; Plut. Quaest. Grace. 16.) According to a Boeotian tradition, Megareus with his army went to the as­ sistance of Nisus, king of Megara, against Minos ; but he fell in battle, and was buried at Megara, which .was called after him, for its previous name had been Nisa. (Apollod. I. c.; Paus. i. 39. § 5, 42. § 1.) According to a Megarian tradition, which discarded the account of an expedition of Minos against Megara, Megareus was the husband of Iphinoe, the daughter of Nisus, and succeeded his father-in-law in the government of Megara, which he left to Alcathous, because his own two sons had died before him. (Paus. i. 39. § 5 ; comp. alcathous.) [L. S.]

MEGARUS (Meyapos), a son of Zeus, by a Sithnian or Megarian nymph. In the Deucalionian flood he is said to have escaped to the summit of Mount Gerania, by following the cries of cranes. (Paus. i. 40. § 1.) [L. S.]

MEGASTHENES (M.eya.aQevns}. 1. A Greek writer, to whom the subsequent Greek writers were chiefly indebted for their accounts of India. Megasthenes was a friend and companion of Seleu-cus Nicator (Clem. Alex. Strom. i. p. 305, d), and was sent by that monarch as ambassador to San-draco ttus, king of the Prasii, whose capital was Pali-bothra, a town, probably, near the confluence of the Ganges and Sone in the neighbourhood of the modern Patna.* (Strab. ii. p. 70, xv. p. 702; Arnan,Anab. v. 6, Ind. 5 ; Plin. ff.N. vi. 17. s. 21.) We know nothing more respecting the personal history of Megasthenes, except the statement of Arrian (Anab. I. c.), that he lived with Sibyrtius, the satrap of Arachosia, who obtained the satrapies 6f Arachosia and - Gedrosia, in b. c. 323. (Diod. xviii. 3.). Whether Megasthenes accompanied Alexander or not in his invasion of India, is quite uncertain. The time at which he was sent to San-dracottus, and the reason for which he was sent, are also equally uncertain. Clinton (Fasti Hell. vol. iii. p. 482, note z) places the embassy a little before b. c. 302, since it was about this time that Seleucus concluded an alliance with Sandracottus ; but it is no where stated that it was through the means of Megasthenes that the alliance was con­cluded ; and as the latter resided some time at the court of Sandracottus, he may have been sent into India at a subsequent period. Since, however, Sandracottus -died in b. c. 288, the mission of Megasthenes must be placed previous to that year. We have more certain information respecting the parts of India which Megasthenes visited. He entered the country through the dis­trict of the Pentapotamia, of the rivers of which he gave a full account (Arrian, Ind. cc. 4, 8, &c.), and proceeded thence, by the royal road to Pali-bothra,. but appears not to have visited any other parts of India. (Comp. Strab. xv. p. 689.) Most modern writers, from the time of Robertson, have supposed, from a passage of Arrian (irQ\\dicis 5e Acyet (M.eyao'Oev'ns") dcfiiKeo'Qai irapa. 2cw/8pa/coTTOj/ *rbv 'IvS&v jSacnAea, Anab. v. 6), that Megasthenes

* Sandracottus is called Chandragupta in the. Sanscrit writers and his capital Pataliputra;

megellus.

paid several visits to India, but since neither Me­gasthenes himself, nor any other writer, alludes to more than one visit, these words may simply mean that he had several interviews with Sandracottus during his residence in the country.

The work of Megasthenes was entitled rci *J>-5i/ct£, and was probably divided into four books (Athen. iv. p. 153$ e. ; Clem. Alex. Strom. i. p. 305 ; Strab. xv. p. 687 ; Joseph, c. Apion. i. 20, Ant. x. 11. § 1). It appears to have been written in the Attic dialect, and not in the Ionic, as some modern writers have asserted ; for in the passage of Eusebius (Praep. Ev. ix. 41), which has been quoted to prove that Megasthenes employed the Ionic dialect, the quotation from Megasthenes con­cludes with the word KaroiKiffcu, and the remain­ing words are an extract from Abydenus (comp. Clinton, Fast. Hell. vol. iii. p. 483, note b.). Me­gasthenes is repeatedly referred to by Arrian, Strabo, Diodorus, and Pliny. Of these writers Arrian, on whose judgment most reliance is to be placed, speaks most highly of Megasthenes (Arrian, Anab. v. 5, Ind. 7), but Strabo (ii. p. 70) and Pliny (I.e.) treat him with less respect. Although his work contained many fabulous stories, similar to those which we find in the Indica of Ctesias, yet these tales appear not to have been fabrications of Megasthenes, but accounts which he received from the natives, frequently containing, as modern writers have shown, real truth, though disguised by popular legends and fancy. There is every reason for believing that Megasthenes gave a faith­ful account of every thing that fell under his own observation ; and the picture which he presents of Indian manners and institutions is upon the whole more correct than might have been expected. Every thing that is known respecting Megasthenes and his work, is collected with great diligence by Schwanbeck, in a treatise entitled " Megasthenis Indica. Fragmenta collegit, commentationem et indices addidit E. A. Schwanbeck, Bonnae, 1846."

2. Of Chalcis in Eubbea, was, along with Hip-pocles, the founder of Cumae in Italy. (Strab. v. p. 243 ; Veil. Pat. i. 4.)

MEGELLUS, a family-name of the Postumia Gens at Rome.

1* L. postumjus L. f. sp. n. megellus, who as curule aedile built, and in his second consulship dedicated, a temple to Victory with the produce of the fines levied by him for encroachments on the demesne-land. The year of his aedileship is up.-kriown. Megellus was consul for the first time in b. c. 305, according to the Fasti, although some of the annalists placed this consulate two years earlier. It was towards the close of the second Samnite war, and Megellus, after defeating the Samnites in the field, took Bovianum, one of their principal fortresses on the north side of the Matese. On their march homeward Megellus and his colleague Minucius recovered Sora and Arpinum in the valley of the Liris, and Cerennia or Censennia (Liv. ix. 44 ; Diod, xx. 90), whose site is un­known. For this campaign Livy ascribes a triumph to Megellus, which the Fasti do not confirm. Me­gellus was propraetor in b. c. 295, when Rome was awaiting a combined invasion of the Gauls and Samnites, the Etruscans and Umbrians. Megellus was stationed in the Vatican district, on the right bank of the Tiber, to cover the approaches to the city. He probably remained there till after the great battle at Sentimmij when he was recalled by

Pages
About | First

1007

1008

1009
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.