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On this page: Megistonus – Megjsto – Meherdates – Meidias – Meilanion – Meilichius – Mela



MEGJSTO (Me7«TTw), is in some writers another form for Callisto, the mother of Areas, who is also called Thernisto. (Steph. Byz. s. v. 'Ap/cay ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 300; Hygin. Poet. Astr. ii. 1.) [L. S.]

MEGISTONUS or MEGISTO'NOUS (Me- yiffrovovs}, a Spartan of rank and influence, whom Cratesicleia, the mother of Cleomenes III., took for her second husband, with the view, as it would seem, of securing him to her son's party j and we find him accordingly entering readily into the plans of Gleomenes for the reformation of the state. In b. xv 226 he was taken prisoner by Aratus in a battle near Orchomenus in Arcadia ; but he, must have been soon released, for he appears again not long after at Sparta, co-operating with Cleomenes in the measures which he proposed after the murder of the Ephori, and setting an example to his countrymen by the voluntary surrender of his property. In b. c. 223, when Cleomenes took Argos, Megistonous induced him to adopt no steps against those citizens who were .suspected of an attachment to the Achaean party, beyond the re­ quisition of twenty hostages. In the same year Cleomenes, having taken possession of Corinth, and besieged the citadel, sent Megistonous and Tripy- lus, or Tritymallus, to Aratus, then at Sicyon, with an offer of terms, which, however, were rejected. Not long after this, the Achaean party in Argos excited an insurrection against the Spartan gar­ rison ; and Megistonous, being sent by Cleomenes with 2000 men to quell the revolt, was slain in battle soon after he had thrown himself into the city. (Plut. Cleom. 6, 7, 11,19, 21, Arat. 38,41, 44; comp. Polyb. ii. 47, 52, 53; Droysen, Hellen- ismus, vol. ii. b. ii. ch. 4.) [E. E.]

MEHERDATES, the grandson of Phraates IV., king of Parthia, lived at Rome as a hostage, but was sent by the emperor Claudius, about a. d. 50^ into Parthia at the request of the inhabitants, who were disgusted at the cruelty of their reigning sovereign Gotarzes. Cassius Longinus, the governor of Syria, received orders to support Meherdates in his attempt to gain the crown ; but Meherdates was defeated in battle, and taken prisoner by Go­tarzes, who spared his life but cut off his ears. (Tac. Ann. xi. 10, xii. 10—14.) The name Me­herdates is merely another form of Mithridates.

MEIDIAS (MeiSms), a native of Scepsis, and son-in-law of Mania, satrapess of the Miclland Aeolis, whom he strangled, and added to the crime the murder of her son, a boy about sixteen years old. He then seized the towns of Scepsis and Gergis, where the greater part of Mania's treasures was deposited. The other cities, however, of the satrapy refused to acknowledge him as their ruler, and, when he sent presents to Pharnabazus with a request to be invested with the government which his mother-in-law had held, he received a threat­ening answer and an assurance that the satrap would rather die than leave Mania unrevenged. At this crisis Dercyllidas, the Spartan general, ar­rived in Asia (b.c. 399), and, having proclaimed freedom to all the Aeolian towns and received several of them into alliance, advanced against Scepsis, where Meidias was. The latter, equally afraid of Pharnabazus and of the Scepsians, sent to Dercyllidas to propose a conference on receiving hostages for his safety. These he obtained ; but, when he asked on what terms he might hope for alliance, the Spartan answered, " on condition of


giving freedom and independence to the citizens.** He then entered Scepsis and proclaimed liberty amidst the joy of the inhabitants. Meidias, ac­ companying him thence on his march to Gergis, begged leave to retain the town, and received for answer, that lie should have Ms due. Having taken possession of the place, Dercyllidas deprived Mei­ dias of his guards, and seized the treasures of Mania as his by right of conquest over Pharna­ bazus, leaving to Meidias nothing beyond his pri­ vate property. The murderer, alarmed with good reason for his safety, asked where he was to live? " Even where it is most just you should,"— was the answer, — " in Scepsis, your native city, and in your father's house," — words which could have conveyed to him no other meaning than, " Even where you will be exposed unprotected to the indignation and vengeance of your country­ men." (Xen. Hell iii. 1. §§ 14—28 ; Polyaen. ii, 6.) [midias.] [E. E.]

MEILANION (M6Aa*/fco*/),ason of Amphida- mas, and husband of Atalante, by whom he became the father of Parthenopaeus. (Apollod. iii. 9. § 2 ; comp. atalante.) [L. S.]

MEILICHIUS (MetAi'xtos), i. e. the god that can be propitiated, or the gracious, is used as a surname of several divinities. 1. Of Zeus, as the protector of those who honoured him with propi­tiatory sacrifices. At Athens cakes were offered to him every year at the festival of the Diasia. (Thucyd. i. 126 ; Xenoph. Anab. vii. 7. § 4.) Altars were erected to Zeus Meilichius on the Cephissus (Pans. i. 37. § 3),at Sicyon (ii.9. § 6), and at Argos (ii. 20. § 1 ; Plut. De cohib. Ir. 9). 2. Of Dionysus in the island of Naxos. (Athen. iii. p. 78.) 3. Of Tyche or Fortune. (Orph. Hymn. 71. 2.) The plu­ral 3-eoi ^i\ixtoi is also applied to certain divinities whom mortals used to propitiate with sacrifices at night, that they might avert all evil, as e. g. at Myonia in the country of the Ozolian Locrians. (Paus. x. 38. § 4; comp. Orph. E. 30.) [L. S.J

MELA, or MELLA,M. ANNAEUS, was the youngest son of M. Annaeus Seneca, the rhetorician, and Helvia [helvia], and brother of L. Seneca and Gallio [gallic] (et docti Senecae ter nume-randa domus. Mart. Ep. iv. 40). He was born at Cordubar, and, although raised to senatorial! rank, he always preferred the name and station of an eques. (Sen. Consol. ad Helv. xvi., Con-trov. ii. Prooem.; comp. Tac. Ann. xvi. 17.) Mela studied rhetoric with success; but, leaving to his brothers the dangerous honours in Nero's reign of the state and the forum, he adhered to a life of privacy. His first occupation was that of steward to his father's estates in Spain; and through his brother L. Seneca's influence with Nero, he after­wards held the office of procurator or agent to the imperial demesnes. Mela married Acilia, daughter of Acilius Lucanus of Corduba, a provincial lawyer of some note. By Acilia he had at least one son, the celebrated Lucan, a. d. 40. [lucanus.] After Lucan's death, a. d. 65, Mela laid claim to his property ; and the suit arising from this claim proved ultimately his own destruction. Fabius Romanus, who opposed him, had been his son's intimate friend, and was thought to have inserted among the papers of the deceased forged letters involving Mela in at least a knowledge of Piso's conspiracy, a. d. 65. (Tac. Ann. xv. 48, &c.) Mela was rich, Nero was needy and rapacious, and the former anticipated a certain sentence by suicide,

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