The Ancient Library

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On this page: Metrophanes – Mettius – Mettius Carus – Mettius Curtius – Mettius Fuffetius – Mettius Geminius – Mettius Pomposianus – Mezentius




life of Isictorus (:ap. Phot. cod. p. 342 a. b. ed. Bekker).

METROPHANES (M^rpo^^s), bishop of Smyrna, is renowned in ecclesiastical history for his obstinate opposition to the famous patriarch Photius. He was the son of the woman who was enveigled to entice Methodius, patriarch of Constantinople, but he was not the son of -Methodius* The patri­ arch Ignatius having been deposed by the emperor Michael III., in 858, and Photius chosen in his stead, Metrophanes, who was then bishop of Smyrna, recognised Photius, although he was a friend of Ignatius. But he soon altered his opi­ nion, declared publicly for the deposed patriarch, and so violently attacked Photius, that he was de­ prived of his see and thrown into a prison. When Phpjius was deposed in his turn, and Ignatius re­ established in "the patriarchate by the emperor Basil I., Metrophanes recovered his see of Smyrna, and, in the council held in Constantinople in 869, showed himself one of the most zealous opponents of Photius. But in 879 Photius became once more patriarch on the death of Ignatius, and now Me­ trophanes was again deposed. He nevertheless continued to speak and to write against Photius, so that in 880 the patriarch and the emperor con­ trived his excommunication. Metrophanes died in an obscure retirement, but the year of his death is not known. He wrote besides other works :—1. .Epistola ad Manuelem Patriciwn de Rebus in Causa Pliotii ab anno 858 ad 870 yestis, one of the most valuable documents bearing on the history of that turbulent patriarch. A Latin version by Melius, in Baronius, Annal, ad ann. 870, Greek and Latin, in the 8th vol. of Labbe, Concilia^ and in Acta Condlii CP. quarti^ by M. Raderus, Ingolstadt. 1604, 4to. 2. 'ETrto-ToA^ WLiiTpuQdvovs M^rpo- Tro\irov irpds MavovijA. TlwrpiKiov Kal Aoyo6fTrjy tow Spojiiov, divided into four parts, a very remark­ able and important document. The three first parts treat on Manichaeism, and the fourth on the Mystery of the Holy Ghost: it is very doubtful whether Metrophanes is the author of this work, which is now generally attributed to Photius. 3. De Spiriiu Sancto, of which a fragment is extant in a Vienna codex. 4. Expositio Fidei^ in a Paris codex. 5. Liber Canonum Triadicorum, in a Vene­ tian codex, according to Leo Allatius. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. xi. p. 700 ; Baronius, Annal. ad ann. 870, &c. ; Hankius, Script. Byzant. xvii. 1, &c., xviii. 66.) [W. P.]

METTIUS or METIUS, an old Italian name, in use both among the Sabines and Latins. It is doubtful whether Mettius or Metius is the better orthography, as we sometimes find one and some­times the other in the best MSS. For the sake of 'uniformity, however, we have adopted the form Mettius in all the following names, though some of them occur with only one t.

METTIUS. 1. P. mettius, a partisan of Saturninus and Glaucia in b. c. 100, assassinated C. Memmius, one of the consular candidates in that year. (Oros. v. 17.)

2. M. mettius, was sent by Caesar at the opening of the Gallic war, in b. c. 58, as legatus to Ariovistus, king of the German league, and was detained prisoner by him, but subsequently res­ cued by Caesar. (Caes. B. G. i. 47, 53.) The annexed coin, which bears the legend M. Mettius, and has on the obverse the head of Caesar, pro­ bably refers to this Mettius. [W. B. D.]


METTIUS CURTIUS. [curtius mettius, No. 1.]


METTIUS FUFFETIUS, was praetor or dictator of Alba in the reign of Tullus Hostilius, third king of Rome. After the combat between the Horatii and Curiatii had determined the supremacy of the Romans, Mettius was sum­moned to aid them in a war with Fidenae and the Veientines. On the field of battle, from cowardice or treachery, Mettius drew off his Albans to the hills, and awaited the issue of the battle. The Etruscans, mistaking his movement for a design upon their flank, took to flight, and. Mettius fell upon them in their disorder, intending probably to regain the confidence of his Roman allies. But on the following day the Albans were all deprived of their arms, and Mettius himself, as the punishment of his treachery, was torn asunder by chariots driven in opposite directions. (Dionys. iii. 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28. 29, 30 ; Liv. i. 23, 26, 27, 28 ; Varr. Fr. p. 240, Bip. ed. ; Flor. i. 3. § 8 ; Val. Max. vii. 4. § 1 ; Frontin. Strat. ii. 7. § 1; Polyaen.Stout, viii. 5.) [W. B. D.]

METTIUS GEMINIUS, or GEMINUS, was commander of the cavalry of Tusculum in the last war between Rome and the Latin league, b. c. 340. He challenged T. Manlius, son of the consul T. Manlius Torquatus, and Avas slain by him in the combat. (Liv. viii. 7 ; Val. Max. ii. 7. §6.) [W.B. D.]

METTIUS POMPOSIANUS, a senator in Vespasian's reign, whom the emperor raised to the consulate, although Mettius was reported to have a royal nativity. Domitian afterwards banished and put him to death. (Suet. Vesp. 14, Dom. 10, 20 ; Dion Cass. Ixvii. 12; Victor, Ep. 9.) [W. B. D.]

MEZENTIUS (Meo-eVnos), a mythical king of the Tyrrhenians or Etruscans, at Caere or Agylla, and father of Lausus* When he was expelled by his subjects on account of his cruelty he took refuge with Turnus, king of the Rutulians, and assisted him in his war against Aeneas and the Trojans. Aeneas wounded him, but Mezentius escaped under the protection of his son. When, however, Lausus had fallen, Mezentius returned to the battle on horseback, and was slain by Aeneas (Virg. Aen. viii. 480, &c., x. 689, &c., 785, 800, &c.). The story about the alliance between Me­zentius and the Rutulians is also mentioned by Livy and Dionysius, but they say nothing about his expulsion from Caere or Agylla. According to them Aeneas disappeared during the battle against the Rutulians and Etruscans at Lanuviuni, and Ascanius was besieged by Mezentius and Lausus. In a sally at night the besieged defeated the enemy, slew Lausus, and then concluded a peace with Mezentius, who henceforth remained their ally. (Liv. i. 2, 3; Dionys. i. 64, &c.) According to Servius (ad Aen. iv. 620, vi. 760, ix. 745) Mezentius was slain by Ascanius. During

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