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. 66. To save a part for his family, Mela be queathed, to Tigellinus and his son-in-law, Gossu- tianus Capito [capito], a large portion of his wealth. Codicils, believed however to be spurious, were annexed to Mela's will,, accusing Anicius Cerialis ['cerialis] and Rufius Crispinus [Cms- pinus] of participation in Piso's plot. The char acter and studies of Mela are agreeably sketched by the elder Seneca in the prooemium to his 2d book of Controversiae, which book is also especially addressed to Mela. (Tac. Ann.xvi. 17 ; Dion Cass. Ixii. 25 ; Sen. Controv. ii. v. prooem.,, Cons, ad Helv. xvi.) [W. B. D.]
MELA, FA'BIUS, a Roman jurist, who is often cited in the Digest; but there is no excerpt from his writings there. The fact that he is cited by Africanus (Dig. 46. tit. 3. s. 39, and 50. tit. 16. s. 207) shows that he was at least his contemporary. But it may be collected from another passage (Dig. 9. tit. 2. s. 11) that he was prior to Proculus, or at least his contemporary ; for in that passage Ul- pian cites Mela before Proculus. In another pas sage Ulpian (Dig. 19. tit. 1. s. 17) cites Mela as the authority for an opinion of Gallus Aquilius who was a friend of Cicero, and praetor b. c. 66 ; and again (Dig. 19. tit 9. s. 3) as authority for an opinion of Servhis Sulpicius. He is often cited in connection with Labeo and Trebatius. As Afri canus wrote under Hadrian, who died A. D. 138, and in the reign of Pius, the successor of Hadrian, we cannot with certainty fix the period of Mela as earlier than that of Antoninus Pius ; but from the other citations here mentioned it has been inferred that he was a contemporary of Labeo and Treba tius. We are not acquainted with the title of any of Mela's writings, though he wrote at least ten books about something. (Dig. 46. tit. 3. s. 39.) [G.L.]
MELA, POMPO'NIUS, the first Roman author who composed a formal treatise upon Geography. From one passage in his work (ii. 6. § 74) we learn that he was born at a town situated on the bay of Algesiras, and the name of the place seems to have been Tingentera or Cingentera ; but the text is here so corrupt, that it is impossible to speak with certainty. From a second passage (iii. 6. § 25, comp. Sueton. Claud. 17) it is highly probable that he flourished under the emperor Claudius ; but at all events it is certain that he must have written after the campaigns of Augustus in Spain, for he speaks of the ancient Jol as having been ennobled by the appellation of Caesareia (i. 6. § 5), and mentions two towns in the country of the Cantabri which had been named after their conqueror. Beyond these particulars our knowledge does not extend. Funccius indeed conjectures that the designation Pomponius was acquired by adoption, and that he is in reality the L. Annaeus Mela of Corduba, who was the son of Seneca the rhetorician—the brother of Seneca the philosopher, and of Junius Gallio-—and the father of the poet Lucan ; but there appears to be no evidence in favour of this hypothesis beyond the bare facts that both of these personages were Spaniards, and that both bore the surname of Mela. (Senec. .Controv* lib. ii. praef. ; T&c.Ann. xvi. 17 ; Hieron. in Chron. Euseb. Olymp. ccxi. ; comp. Plin. H.N. xix. 33, who, probably by mistake, wrote Tiberio for Nerone.)
The title prefixed to the Compendium of Mela in the best MSS. is De Situ Orbis Libri IIL After
a short prooemium, in which he dwells upon the importance and the difficulties of the undertaking, and states the manner in which he proposes to execute his task, he proceeds to define the cardinal points, and to explain the division of the world into two hemispheres and five zones. The northern hemisphere is that portion of the earth which is . known, and is separated by the impassable torrid zone from the southern hemisphere, which is .altogether unknown, and is the abode of the Ariticthdnes. The northern or known hemisphere is completely surrounded by the ocean, which communicates with the four great seas: one on the north, the Caspian ; two on the south, the Persian and the Arabian ; one pn the west, the Mediter-raneafy with its subdivisions of the Hellespont, the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus, the Euxine, the Cimmerian Bosporus, and the Palus Maeotis. By this sea and the two great rivers, the Tanais and Nile, the whole of the northern hemisphere is portioned out into three great divisions. All to the north of the Mediterranean and the west of the Tanais constitute Europe ; all to the south of the Mediterranean and the west of the Nile constitute Africa; what remains is Asia. Next follows a brief general description of the three continents, and an enumeration of the chief tribes by which they are inhabited. These preliminaries being discussed, the author enters upon more minute details, and makes a complete circuit of the known world, tracing first the coast of the Mediterranean and the shores of the ocean. Thus commencing at the straits of Hercules with Mauritania, he passes on in regular order to Numidia, Africa Properj the Cyrenaica, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, Phoenicia, Cilicia, Pamphylia, Lyeia, Caria, Ionia, Aeolis, Bithynia, Paphlagonia, the Asiatic nations on the Euxine and the Palus Maeotis, European Scythia, Thrace, Macedonia, Greece, the Peloponnesus, Epirus, Illyricum, Italy from the head of the Adriatic round by Magna Graecia to the Ligu-rian Gulf, Gallia. Narbonnensis, and the eastern coast of Spain. (Hispaniae ora citerior.') The tour of the Mediterranean being now completed, a chapter is devoted to its islands. Passing beyond the Straits, we stretch along the western coast of Spain (Hispaniae ora exterior), the western coast of Gaul (Galliae ora exterior), the islands of the Northern Ocean, Germany, Sannatia, the shores of the Caspian, the Eastern Ocean and India, the Mare Rubrum and its two gulfs, the Persian and Arabian, Aethiopia, and those portions of Aethiopia and Mauritania bordering upon the Atlantic, which brings him round to the point from which he started. It will be seen from the above sketch that the existence of the northern countries of Europe and of the northern and eastern countries of Asia were unknown, it being supposed* that these regions formed part of the ocean, which, in like manner, was supposed to occupy the whole of Central and Southern Africa.
As might be expected in a tract which consists chiefly of proper names, the text is often excessively and hopelessly currupt, but the style is simple, unaffected, and perspicuous; the Latinity is pure ; all the best authorities accessible at that period, especially Eratosthenes, appear to have been carefully consulted ; and although everything is compressed within the narrowest limits, we find the monotony of the catalogue occasionally diy.ersi-fied by animated and pleasing,pictures.