Obrazy na stronie
PDF

stone in the lap of the statue in the year 1824, and conjectured that it might have been used to deceive the Roman visiters; but the nature of the sound, which did not agree with the accounts given by ancient authors, seemed to present an insuperable objection. In a subsequent visit to Thebes in 1830, on again examining the statue and its inscriptions, I found that one Ballilla had compared it to the striking of brass; and feeling convinced that this authority was more decisive than the vague accounts of those writers who had never heard it, I determined on posting some peasants below and ascending myself to the lap of the statue, with a view of hearing from them the impression made by the sound. Having struck the sonorous block with a small hammer, I inquired what they heard, and their answer, Ente betidrobe'nahás, ‘You are striking brass,’ convinced me that the sound was the same that deceived the Romans, and led Strabo to observe that it appeared to him as the effect of a slight blow.” (Wilkinson's Topography of Thebes, p. 36, seq.)—The head of the colossal Memnon in the British Museum has no claim to be considered the vocal Memnon described by Strabo, Tacitus, and Pausanias. The height of the figure to which the head belongs was about 24 feet when entire. There is also an entire colossal Memnon in the British Museum 9 feet 6% inches high, which is a copy of the great Memnon at Thebes. (Hamilton's AEgyptiaca. Philological Museum, No. 4, art. Memnon. —Encycl. Us. Knowl., vol. 15, p. 88, seqq.) Mexiphis, a famous city of Egypt, on the left side of the Nile. Concerning the epoch of its foundation and its precise situation, writers are not agreed. With regard to its position, it would seem, from a review of all the authorities which bear upon the subject, that Memphis stood about 15 miles south of the Apex of the Delta: this, at least, is D'Anville's opinion. Herodotus (2, 99) assigns the founding of Memphis to Menes, and Diodorus (1, 50) to Uchoreus. From the account given by the former of these writers, it would seem that the Nile originally ran nearer the Libyan mountains, and that Menes, having erected a large dam about a hundred stadia south of the spot where Memphis afterward stood, caused the river to pursue a more easterly course. After he had thus diverted the current of the stream, he built Memphis within the ancient bed of the Nile. The great embankment was always an object of attention, and Herodotus states that under the Persian dominion it was annually repaired; for if the river had at any time broken through the bank, the whole city would have been inundated. In Memphis the same Menes erected a magnificent temple to Vulcan or Phtha. (Herod., l. c.) What Herodotus partly saw and partly learned from the lips of the priests relative to this city, Diodorus confirms (1, 50). He, too, speaks of the large embankment, of a vast and deep excavation which received the water of the river, and which, encircling the city, excep in the quarter where the mound was constructed, rendered it secure against any hostile attack. He differs from Herodotus, however, in inaking, as has already been remarked, Uchoreus to have been its founder. On this point, indeed, there appears to have been a great diversity of opinion among the ancient writers, for we find the building of Memphis assigned also to Epaphus (Schol, in Stat., Theb., 4, 737) and to Apis. (Syncellus, p. 149. —Compare Wesseling, ad Diod. Sic, l. c.). It is more than probable, that the Egyptian priests themselves were possessed of no definite information on this head, and that Memphis was the capital of Lower Egypt, as Thebes was of Upper Egypt, at a very early period, when the land was under the sway of many contempoIaneous monarchs. When, however, the whole country was united under one king, the royal residence would seem to have been transferred to Memphis, in

order to enjoy, probably, the cool breezes from the sea, and Thebes would then appear to have declined in importance. The circuit of Memphis is given by Diodorus at 150 stadia, from which it would seem that it was still larger in compass than the city of Thebes. Memphis is supposed to have suffered much in the invasion of Cambyses. It was adorned and beautified, however, under the Ptolemies; and, about the time of our Saviour, was the second city of Egypt, Alexandrea being the capital : but its decay had already begun. Strabo, who visited it about this time, describes the temple of Vulcan, another of Venus, and a third of Osiris, where the Apis, a sacred bull, was worshipped (rid. Apis); and also a Serapeum and a large circus. But many of its palaces were in ruins ; an immense colossus, formed of a single stone, lay in front of the circus; and among a number of sphinxes near the Serapeum, some were covered with sand to the middle of the body, and others were so nearly buried as to leave only their heads visible—melancholy and certain presages of its future fate. In the seventh century the Saracen or Arabian conquest of Egypt occurred. Memphis was not indeed destroyed by the victors, yet it had to supply abundant materials for the new capital of Cairo, as a view of this latter place even at the present day conclusively proves. From this period Memphis fell gradually to ruin; and though Benjamin of Tudela, in the twelfth century sound it still in part standing, yet the process of dilapidation was actively carried on, and most of the former inhabitants had taken up their residence in the new capital of Cairo. This latter city he calls “New Misraim,” and Memphis “Old Misraim” (c. 21). The first modern traveller who seems to have discovered the true site of Memphis is Fourmont (Description des ruines d'Heliopolis et de Memphis, Paris, 1755, 8vo). The whole subject is now clearly elucidated by the researches of the French in Egypt. The ruins of the ancient city extend, on the western side of the Nile, for more than one geographical mile in a southern direction from Old Cairo. In the vicinity of Saccara is to be seen the spot where once stood the temple of Vulcan. The village which occupies a part of the site of Memphis is called by Fourmont Manuf, while more modern authorities name it Myt-Rah: neh. Both are, in fact, right: along the side of Memphis many villages rise, but the largest masses of ruins show themselves principally at Myt-Rahyneh. on the southern side of the city.—The following description of Memphis, as it appeared in the twelfth century, is from an Oriental writer. (Abdollatif's Abridgment of Edrisi, translated by De Sacy—Encyclopædia Metropolitana, art. Egypt) . “Among the monuments of the power and genius of the ancients are the remains still extant in old Misr or Memphis. That city, a little above Fostat, in the province of Djizeh, was inhabited by the Pharaohs, and is the ancient capital of the kingdom of Egypt. Such it continued to be until ruined by Bokhtnasr (Nebuchadnezzar); but many years afterward, when Alexander had built Iskanderiyeh (Alexandrea), this latter place was made the metropolis of Egypt, and retained that pre-eminence till the Moslems conquered the country under Amru-ebn-el-Aasi, who transferred the seat of government to Fostat. At last El Moezz came from the west and built El Cahirah (Cairo), which has ever since been the royal place of residence.—But let us return to the description of Menus, also called old Misr. Notwithstanding the vast extent of this city: the remote period at which it was built, the change of dynasties to which it has been subjected, the attempts made by various nations to destroy even the vestige", and to obliterate every trace of it, by removing the stones and materials of which it was formed-ruining its houses and defacing its sculptures—notwithstand

ing all this, combined with what more * thou sand years must have done towards its destruction, there are yet found in it works so wonderful that they confound even a reflecting mind, and are such as the most eloquent would not be able to describe. The more you consider them, the more does your astonishment increase; and the more you look at them, the more pleasure you experience. Every idea which they suggest immediately gives birth to some other still more novel and unexpected; and as soon as you imagine that you have traced out their full scope, you discover that there is something still greater behind.” Among the works here alluded to, he specifies a monolithic temple similar to the one mentioned by Herodotus, adorned with curious sculptures. He next expatiates upon the idols found among the ruins, not less remarkable for the beauty of their forms, the exactness of their proportions, and perfect resemblance to nature, than for their truly astonishing dimensions. We measured one of them, he says, which, without including the pedestal, was 45 feet in length, 15 feet from side to side, and from back to front in the same proportion. It was of one block of red granite, covered with a coating of red varnish, the antiquity of which seemed only to increase its lustre. The ruins of Memphis, in his time, extended to the distance of half a day's journey in every direction. But so rapidly has the work of destruction proceeded since the twelfth century, that few points have been more debated by modern travellers than the site of this celebrated metropolis. The investigations of the French, as nas already been remarked, appear to have decided the question. “At Myt-Rahyneh (Metrahainé), one league from Saccara, we found,” says General Dugna, "so many blocks of granite covered with hieroglyphics and sculptures around and within an esplanade three leagues in circumference, enclosed by heaps of rubbish, that we were convinced these must be the ruins of Memphis. The sight of some fragments of one of those colossusses, which Herodotus says were erected by Sesos. tris at the entrance of the temple of Vulcan, would, indeed, have been sufficient to dispel our doubts had any remained. The wrist of this colossus shows that it must have been 45 feet high.”, (Russell's Egypt, p. 216, seqq.)—Memphis is to: by many to have been the §, h of Scripture. 2, 16.-Ezek., 30, 13–16.) MENANDER (Mévavópoc), I. a celebrated comic poet of Athens, born B.C. 342. According to Suidas, he was the son of Diopithes and Hegistraté, was crosseyed, and yet clear-headed enough (arpatoc tàr opeic Öğüç de Töv voiv). His father was at this time com: mander of the forces stationed by the Athenians at the Hellespont, and must therefore have been a man of some consequence. Alexis, the comic poet, was his uncle and instructer in the drama. (Proleg., Aristoph., p. 30) Theophrastus was his tutor in philosophy and literature, and he may have derived from the latter the knowledge of character for which he was so eminent. (Diog. Laert., 5, 36.) The merit of his ieces obtained for him the title of Chief of the New omedy. His compositions were remarkable for their i."; refined wit, and knowledge of human nature. In his 21st year he brought out the 'Opyń, his first drama. (Proleg., Aristoph., p. xxx.) #. lived 29 years more, dying B.C. 292, after having composed 105 plays, according to some authorities (Apollod, ap. Aul. Gell., 17, 4), and according to others 108. (Sui. das-yé; page koupéiac på.) He gained the prize, however, only eight times, notwithstanding the num. ber of his productions, and although he was the most admired writer of his time. One hundred and fifteen titles of comedies ascribed to him have come down to us; but it is clear, of course, that all these are not correctly attributed to him. (Fabric., Billioth. Gr., vol. 2, p. 460, 468, ed. Harles.) Menander is said about 270 B.C. He was the author of a treatise IIept 'Ettöeurruköv, “Concerning discourses delivered for mere display.”—III. Surnamed “Protector,” a Greek writer, who lived at Constantinople during the latter half of the sixth century. He was one of the emperor's body-guard, whence he derived the name of “Protector.” (Cod. Theodos., 6, 24.) He wrote a history of the Eastern empire, from A.D. 559 to A.D. 582, in eight books, of which considerable extracts have been preserved in the “Ecloga Legationum,” attributed to Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The best edition of Menander is by Bekker and Niebuhr, Bonn., 1830, together with the fragments of Dexippus, Eunapius, Patricius, &c. (Encycl. Us. Knowl., vol. 15, p. 92.) MENAPil, I. a powerful tribe of Belgic Gaul, occu: "...o. all the country between the Rhenus and Mosa (Rhine and Meuse) as far nearly as the territory of Julich. In Caesar's time they had even possessions on the eastern side of the Rhine, until driven thence by the German tribes. (Caes., B. G., 4, 4.) At a later period they removed from the banks of the Rhine, when the Ubii and Sigambri, from Germany, established themselves on the western bank of the river. From a passage in Tacitus (Hist., 4, 28), it appears that the territory of this tribe was o, to be found along the lower Meuse. They had a fortress on this last-mentioned stream, whose name of Castellum still subsists in Kessel. In Caesar's days the Menapii had no city, but lived after the German fashion, in the woods and among the sens. (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 2, pt. 1, p. 201.)—II. A Gallic tribe who migrated into Hibernia (Ireland), and settled in part of the modern province of Leinster. (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 2, pt. 2, p. 218.) MENAs, a freedman of Pompey the Great, noted for frequently changing sides in the war between Sextus Pompeius and the triumvirs. He first deserted the party of Sextus, under whom he held an important naval command, and went over to Augustus: then he returned to his former side; and again abandoned it and joined the forces of the enemy. (Compare Appian, B. C., 5, 78, seqq.) The historian just quoted applies to him the very appropriate title of tražiumpoČármc. Horace has been thought to allude to him in his 4th Epode; but this opinion, though countenanced by the earlier commentators, has been rejected by 'more recent scholars. (Döring, ad Horat., Epod., 4, Arg.) MENDEs, a city of Egypt, in the Delta Parvum, northeast of Sebennytus, and near the coast. It was the chief city of, and gave name to, the Mendesian nome. From it also the Mendesian mouth of the Nile (Ostium Mendesium), now the canal of Achmun, derived its appellation. The goat was here an object of adoration, and Herodotus states (2, 46) that both this animal and the god Pan were called in the Egyptian language Mendes. Pan was worshipped at this place with the visage and feet of a goat; though what the Greek writers here call Pan answers more correctly to the deity Priapus, or the generative attribute considered abstractedly. At Mendes, female goats were also held sacred. The fable of Jupiter having been suckled by a goat probably arose from some emblematic composition, the true explanation of which was known only to the initiated.—The city of Mendes gradually disappeared from history, and in its immediate vicinity rose the city of Thmuis, where the goat was still worshipped as at Mendes.—Jablonski (Panth. AEgypt., 1, 2, 7) makes Mendes signify “fertile” or “prolific,” and regards it as expressive of the fertilizing and productive energies of nature, especially of the sun. In like manner, we find it stated that Thnuis in the Egyptian tongue also signified “a goat.” (Hieron, ad Jovin., 2, 6.) Lacroze, on the contrary, makes Thmuis equivalent to “the city of Lions.”

to have been drowned while bathing in the harbour of ed., p. 122)—II. A native of Laodicea,

[ocr errors]

Piraeus, and a line in the Ibis of Ovid is supposed by some to allude to this: “Comicus ut medits periit dum nabat in undis.” (Ib., 591.) According to another account, he drowned himself because his rival Philemon obtained the prize in a dramatic contest.—All antiquity agrees in praise of Menander. We learn from Ovid that all his plots turned on love, and that in his time the plays of Menander were common children's books. (Ovid, Trist., 2, 370.) Julius Caesar called Terence a dimidiatus Menander,” or “halved Menander,” having reference to his professed imitation of the Athenian dramatist. Terence, indeed, was but a translator of his dramas. Plutarch preferred Menander to Aristophanes, and Dio Chrysostom ranked him above all the writers of the Old Comedy. Quintilian (10, 1,69) gives him unqualified praise as a delineator of manners. From these notices, from the plays of Terence, and from an awkward compliment passed upon him by Aristophanes the grammarian, we may inser that Menander was an admirable painter of real life. He was a man, however, of licentious principles; and his effeminate and immoral hab: its, and that carelessness in his verses which subjected him to the charge of plagiarism, or, at least, of copying, all point to the man of fashion rather than the imaginative poet. It has been observed that there is very little of the humorous in the fragments of Menander which remain; but we cannot judge of a play by fragments. Sheridan's plays, if reduced to the same state, would be open to a similar charge, although he is perhaps the most witty writer of any age or coun: try. The essential aim of the comedy of manners is to excite interest and smiles, not laughter. The plays of Menander were probably very simple in dramatic action. Terence did not keep to this simplicity, but, as he tells us himself, added to the main plot some subordinate one taken from a different piece of Menander; thus making, as he says, one piece out of two. Between the time of Aristophanes and that of Menander, a great change must have taken place in the Athenian character, which, in all probability, was mainly brought about by the change in the political condition of the Athenian state. The spirit of the people had declined from the noble patriotism which characterized the plays of Aristophanes at a time when Athens was struggling sor supremacy in Greece; and, in the time of Menander, Macedonian influence had nearly extinguished the spirit that once animated the conquerors of Marathon and Plataea. Mamers probably had not changed for the better in Athens; though the obscenity and ribaldry of Aristophanes would no longer have been tolerated. The transition from coarseness of expression to a decent propriety of language marks the history of literature in every country. Thus the personal satire and the coarseness, which characterized the old comedy, were no longer adapted to the age and circumstances in which Menander lived, and there remained nothing for him to attempt as a drainatist but the new species of comedy, in which, by the unanimous judgment of all autiquity, he attained.” the highest excellence.—The fragments of Menander are principally preserved in Athenæus, Stoba.us.and the Greek lexicographers and grammarians. They were published along with those of Philemon by Le Clerc (Clericus), in 1709, 8vo. This edition, executed with very little care, gave occasion to a Mery disgraceful literary warfare, in which Bentley, Burmann, Gronovius, De Pauw, and D'Orville took an active part. (Fabric, Bill. Gr., vol. 2, p. 457, off. Harles.) The best edition is that of Meineke, Berol, 1823, 8vo.—It seems possible that some of the plays of Menander may yet exist; at least there is evidence to the fact of some of the plays having been in o' istence in the seventeenth century. (Encyclop. To

[ocr errors]

Jablonski (Voc., p. 89, seqq.) inclines to the former of these explanations; while Champollion, on his side, seeks to overthrow both, by giving Thmuis the meaning of “island.” (L'Egypte sous les Pharaons, vol. 2, p. 119. — Compare Creuzer, Symbolik, vol. 1, p. 476–Knight, Inquiry into the Symb. Lang., &c., § 191.-Class. Journ., vol. 26, p. 265.)—The ruins of Mendes are in the neighbourhood of the modern town of Achmun. (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 10, pt. 1, p. 579.) MrNäcles, a native of Barce in Cyrenaica, who wrote an historical work on the Athenians. Harpo cration and the scholiast on Aristophanes are in doubt whether to assign this production to Menecles, or to a certain Callistratus. The scholiast on Pindar (Pyth., 4, 10) has preserved a fragment from a work of Menecles, which relates to Battus, the founder of Cyrene. It is supposed to be taken from the Auðvká of this writer. (Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. 3, p. 225.) MENEcRXTEs, I. a native of Elaea, in AEolis, contemporary with Hecataeus. Strabo cites his work “On the origin of cities” (Topi kriaean), and his “Description of the Hellespont” (E2%matovtzakh trepiodoo). —II. Tiberius Claudius, a physician in the reign of Tiberius, and a resident at Rome. Galen makes mention of him, and speaks also of several of his preparations. He was the inventor of the diachylon, a species of plaster much used even in modern times (Galen, de Compos. Medic., 5, p. 228), and also of a preparation called ěkóóptoc, composed of escharotic substances. (Id. ib.) An inscription given by Montfaucon informs us that he was imperial physician, and that he composed 155 works. (Montfaucon, suppl., vol. 3, pt. 4.—Sprengel, Hist. Med., vol. 2, p. 50, seq.)—III. A physician, a native of Syracuse, who became extremely vain in consequence of his success in curing epilepsies. He assumed, in consequence, the appellation of Jupiter, as the dispenser of life unto others, while he gave the names of other deities to the individuals whom he had cured, and always had some of them following him as minor gods throughout the cities of Greece. He is said to have stipulated for this service on their part before he undertook to cure them. In a letter which he wrote to Philip of Macedon, he employed the following language: “Memecrates, Jupiter (6 Zetic) to Philip, the king of the Macedonians, success” (ei Tpárretv). The reply of the Macedonian monarch was characteristic: “Philip to Menecrates, a sound mind (ùytaivetv): I advise thee to betake thyself to Anticyra.”—The same king played off, on one occasion, a good practical joke on this crazy disciple of Æsculapius. Having invited him to a splendid banquet, he seated him apart from the other guests, and placed before him a censer containing frank: incense. The fumes of this were his only portion of the feast, while the rest of the company banqueted on more substantial food. Menecrates at first was delighted at the compliment, but the cravings of hunger soon convinced him that he was still a mortal, and he abruptly left the apartment, complaining of having been insulted by the king. (Athenæus, 7, p. 289–AElian, W. H., 12, 51.) Plutarch makes Menecrates to have written the letter in question to Agesilaus, king of Sparta (Apophth. Reg. et Duc.), but incorrectly according to Perizonius. (Perizon, ad AEl., l.c.) MrNer. Mus, I a Greek philosopher, a native of Eretria, who flourished towards the close of the fourth century before Christ. Though nobly descended, he was obliged, through poverty, to submit to a mechanical employment, either as a tent-maker or mason. He formed an early acquaintance with Asclepiades, who was a sellow-labourer with him in the same occupation. Having resolved to devote themselves to phi: losophy, they abandoned their mean employment and went to Athens, where Plato presided in the Academy. It was soon observed that these *;o no Visible means of subsistence, and, according to a law of Solon's, they were cited before the court of Areopagus, to give an account of the manner in which they were supported. The master of one of the public prisons was, at their request, sent for, and attested, that every night these two youths went among the criminals, and, by grinding with them, earned two drachmas, which enabled them to spend the day in the study of philosophy. The magistrates, struck with admiration at such an extraordinary proof of an indefatigable thirst after knowledge, dismissed them with high applause, and presented them with two hundred drachmas. (Athenaus, 4, p. 168.) They met with several other friends, who liberally supplied them with whatever was necessary to enable them to prosecute their studies. By the advice of his friend, and probably in his society, Menedemus went from Athens to Megara, to attend upon the instructions of Stilpo. He expressed his approbation of the manner in which this philosopher taught, by giving him the appellation of “the Liberal.” He next visited Elis, where he became a disciple of Phaedo, and afterward his successor. Transferring the Eliac school from Elis to his native city, he gave it the name of Eretrian. In his school he neglected those forms which were commonly observed in places of this kind; his hearers were not, as usual, placed on gircular benches around him; but every one attended him in whatever posture he pleased, standing, walking, or sitting. At first Menedemus was received by the Eretrians with contempt, and, on account of the vehemence with which he disputed, he was often branded with the appellation of cur and madman. But afterward he rose into high esteem, and was intrusted with a public office, to which was affixed an annual stipend of 200 talents. He discharged the trust with fidelity and reputation, but would only accept a fourth part of the salary. He was afterward sent as ambassador to Ptolemy, Lysander, and Demetrius, and did his countrymen several important services. Antigonus entertained a personal respect for him, and professed himself one of his disciples. His intimacy with this prince made the Eretrians suspect him of a design to betray their city to Antigonus. To save himself, he fled to Antigonus, and soon after died, in the 84th year of his age. It is thought he precipitated his death by abstaining from food, being oppressed with grief at the ingratitude of his countrymen, and on being unable to persuade Antigonus to restore the lost liberties of his country. (Diog. Laert., 2, § 125, seqq.—Enfield's History of Philosophy, vol. 1, p. 204, seqq.)—II. A native of Lampsacus, in whom the spirit of the Cynic sect degenerated into downright madness. Dressed in a black cloak, with an Arcadian cap upon his head, on which were drawn the figures of the twelve signs of the zodiac, with tragic buskins on his legs, with a long beard, and with an ashen staff in his hand, he went about like a maniac, saying that he was a spirit, returned from the lower world to admonish the living. He lived in the reign of Antigonus, king of Macedon. (Diog. Laert., 6, § 102.-Suid, s. v. Øaôc.—Enfield's History of Philosophy, vol. 1, p. 314.) MENELKI Portus (Meve?áioc Atuffv, Herod., 4, 169), a harbour on the Mediterranean coast of Africa, in Cyrenaica, and between the city of Cyrene and Egypt. It was fabled to have derived its name from Menelaus, who, on fleeing from Egypt, i.-ded upon this coast. (Strab., 1195–Scylaz, p. 45.-Corn. Nep., Vit. Ages., 17.—Mannert, Geogr., vol. 10, pt. 2, p. 86.) ENELAium (or Menelai Mons), a range of hills on the left bank of the Eurotas, stretching to the southeast of the city, and rising abruptly from the river. Polybius (5,22) says these hills were remarkably high (ówagepóvroc inpmåotic), but modern travellers assure us that this is not the case, and that they are mere hillocks when compared to Taygetus (Dodwell, vol. 2,

p. 409–Gell, Itin. of the Morea, p. 222), so that perhaps we should read, in the text of Polybius, ow ôuagepóvrag inpmżotc. (Cramer's Anc. Greece, vol. 3, . 210.) p MENelius, king of Sparta, and brother of Agamemnon. He was the son of Plisthenes; but his father dying young, and his mother Aérope having been taken in marriage by Atreus, her father-in-law, both Menelaus and Agamemnon received the common name of Atridae, as if they had been the sons of Atreus. After the murder of Atreus, Thyestes his brother ascended the throne, and compelled Menelaus and Agamemnon to flee from Argolis. They found an asylum, first with Polyphides, king of Sicyon, and then with OEneus, king of Calydon. From the latter court they proceeded to Sparta, where Menelaus became the successful candidate for the hand of Helen (Vid. Helena); and, at the death of his father-in-law, succeeded to the vacant throne. His conjugal felicity, however, was not destined to be of long continuance. Paris, the son of Priam, king of Troy, came on a visit to Sparta, accompanied by Æneas. Here he was hospitably entertained by Menelaus. The Trojan prince, at the banquet, bestowed gifts on his fair hostess Helen, and shortly after Menelaus sailed to Crete, directing his queen to entertain the guests as long as they stayed. Venus, however, inspired Paris and Helen with mutual love, and, filling a vessel with the property of Menelaus, they fled from Sparta during his absence. A tempest sent by Juno drove them to Sidon, which city Paris took and plundered, and, sailing thence to Ilium, he there celebrated his union with Helen. Menelaus, being informed by Iris of what had occurred, returned home and consulted with his brother Agamemnon, king of Mycense, about an expedition to Ilium; he then repaired to Nestor at Pylos, and, going through Greece, they assembled the chieftains for the war, all of them having been bound, as is said, by an oath to lend such aid whenever it might be demanded of them.—After the destruction of Troy (vid. Troja) and the recovery of Helen (vid. Helena and Deiphobus), Menelaus, who had commanded the Spartan forces in that memorable war, kept company with Nestor, on his return to Greece, until they reached the promontory of Sunium in Attica. Apollo here slew Phrontis, the pilot of Menelaus' ship, and the latter was obliged to stay and bury him. Having performed the funeral rites, he again put to sea ; but, as he approached Cape Malea, Jupiter sent forth a storm, which drove some of his vessels to Crete, where they went to pieces against the rocks... Five, on board of one of which was Menelaus himself, were carried by the wind and waves to Egypt. (Od., 3, 276, seqq.) During the eight years of his absence, Menelaus visited all the adjacent coasts, Cyprus, Phoenicia, Egypt, the Ethiopians, Sidonians, and Erembians, and also Libya (Od., 4, 81, seqq.), where the lambs are born horned, and the sheep yean three times a year, and milk, cheese, and flesh are in the utmost abundance, for king and shepherd alike. In these various countries he collected much wealth ; but, leaving Egypt on his voyage homeward, he neglected offering sacrifices to the gods, and was, in consequence, detained by want of wind at the isle of Pharos. They were here twenty days, and their stock of provisions were nearly exhausted, when Menelaus was informed of what he ought to do by Protecs, whom he had caught for that purpose by the advice of the seanymph Idothea. Having offered due sacrifices to the immortal gods, a favourable wind was sent, which speedily carried him homeward; and he arrived in his native country on the very day that Orestes was giving the funeral-feast for his mother and AEgisthus, whom he had slain. (Od., 4, 351, seqq.) Such is the narrative of Homer. Helena, according to this same poet, was the companion of all the wanderings of Menalaus ; but the Egyptian priests pretended that Paris was driven by adverse winds to Egypt, where Proteus, who was then king, learning the truth, kept Helena and dismissed Paris; that the Greeks would not believe the Trojans, that she was not in their city, till they had taken it; and that then Menelaus sailed to Egypt, where his wife was restored to him. (Herod., 2, 113, seqq.—Wid. Helena—Keightley's Mythology, p. 492, seqq.)—As regards the reconciliation of Menelaus and Helen, Virgil follows the account which makes the latter to have ingratiated herself into the favour of her first husband by betraying Deiphobus into his hands on the night when Troy was taken. (AEn, 6,494, seqq.—Compare Quint. Col., 13, 354, seqq.—Dict. Cret., 5, 116.) MENENIUs, I. Agrippa, a celebrated Roman, who obtained the consulship B.C. 501, and who afterward prevailed upon the people, when they had seceded to the Mons Sacer, to return to the city. He related on this occasion the well-known fable of the stomach and the limbs. (Liv., 2, 16.—Id., 2, 32.)—II. Titus, son of the preceding, was chosen consul with C. Horatius, B.C. 475, when he was defeated by the Tusci, and being called to an account by the tribunes for this failure, was sentenced to pay a heavy fine. He died of grief soon after. (Liv., 51, seqq.) MENEs, the first king mentioned as having reigned over Egypt, and who is supposed to have lived above 2000 B.C., about the time fixed by biblical chronologists for the foundation of the kingdom of Assyria by Nimrod, and corresponding also with the era of the Chinese emperor Yao, with whom the historical period of China begins. All inquiries concerning the history of nations previous to this epoch are mere speculations unsupported by evidence. The records of the Egyptian priests, as handed down to us by Herodotus, Manetho, Eratosthenes, and others, place the era of Menes several thousand years farther back, reckoning a great number of kings and dynasties after him, with remarks on the gigantic stature of some of the kings, and on their wonderful exploits, and other characteristics of mystical and confused tradition. (Consult Eusebius, Chron. Canon., ed. Maii et Zohrab., Mediol., 1818.) It has been conjectured that several of Manetho's dynasties were not successive, but contemporaneous, reigning over various parts of the country. From the time of Menes, however, something like a chronological series has been made out by Champollion, Wilkinson, and other Egyptian chronologists, partly from the list of Manetho, and partly from the Phonetic inscriptions on the monuments of the country.-Menes, it is said by some (Herod., 2, 99), built the city of Memphis, and, in the prosecution of his work, stopped the course of the Nile near it, by constructing a causeway several miles broad, and caused it to run through the mountains. (Vid. Nilus.) Diodorus Siculus, however (1, 50), assigns the foundation of Memphis to Uchoreus. Bishop Clayton contends that Menes was not the first king of Egypt, but that he only transferred the seat of empire from Thebes to Memphis. (Wid, remarks under the article Memphis.) Zoega finds an analogy between the names Menes and Mnevis; to which may be added those of the Indian Menu and the Cretan Minos, to say nothing of the German Mannus. (Zoega, de Obelisc., p. 11.) MENEsthéi Portus, a harbour not far from Gades, on the coast of Spain, in the territory of Baetica. An oracle of Menestheus was said to have been in or near the place. The modern Puerto de Santa Maria is thought to correspond to the ancient spot. (Ukert, Geogr., vol. 2, p. 342.) MENEstheus or MNEstheus, a son of Peteus, and great-grandson of Erechtheus, who so insinuated himself into the savour of the people of Athens, that, during the long * of Theseus, who was engaged in per5

forming his various adventures, he was elected king. The lawful monarch, at his return home, was j and Menestheus established his usurpation by his popular manners and great moderation. As he had been one of Helen's suiters, he went to the Trojan war at the head of the people of Athens, and died on his return in the island of Melos. He was succeeded by Demophoön, the son of Theseus. (Plut., Wit. Thes.) MENINx, or Lotophagitis INsula, an island off the coast of Africa, in the vicinity of the Syrtis Minor, and forming part of its southern side. Its name of Lotophagitis (Aotogayittg) or Lotophagorum insula (Aotogayov viaoc) was given it by the Greeks, from the belief that in this quarter was to be placed Homer's land of the Lotophagi; and, in fact, both the island itself, and also the adjacent country along the coast of the Syrtis, produced abundance of this sweet and tempting fruit. . (Herod., 2,92—Id, 4, 177—Polyb, 12, 2–Eustath. ad Hom., Od., 10, 84, p. 1616.) In our editions of Scylax, the island is called Brachion (Boaxetwy), a manifest interpolation, which has found its way into the text from the note or gloss of some individual, who wished to convey the information that there were many shallows in the neighbourhood. (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 10, pt. 2, p. 144.)—The island fell into the hands of the Romans during the first Punic war, and then, for the first time, we learn that the true name, and the one used among the natives themselves, was Meninx (Mivty;.-Polyb., 1, 39.—Compare Dionys. Perieg., v. 480). From this time forward, Meninx remained the more usual appellation among the geographical writers.—Strabo (834) informs us that the chief city bore the same name with the island. Pliny (5,4) speaks of the city of Meninx towards Af. rica, and of another named Thoar. Ptolemy likewise mentions two cities, Meninx and Gerra, the former of which he places to the northeast, and the latter to the southwest. It is more than probable, that the chief city of the island was not called Meninx, but only received this name from those who traded thither, and that the true appellation was Girba, which was given at a later period to the whole island. (Aurel. Vict, Epit., c. 31. “Creati in insula Meninge, qua nunc Girba dicitur.”) The Arabs still give it the name of Gerbo or Zerbi.—Meninx was famed for its purple dye, obtained from the shellfish along its shores, and Pliny ranks it next in value to the Tyrian. MENippus, a cynic philosopher, born at Sinope in Asia Minor, but whose family were originally from Gadara, in Palestine. According to an authority cited by Diogenes Laertius, he was at first a slave, but af. terward obtained his freedom by purchase, and eventually succeeded, by dint of money, in obtaining citizenship at Thebes. Here he pursued the employment of a money-lender or usurer, and obtained from this circumstance the appellation of 'Huepodaveto Túc (“one who lends money at daily interest”). Having been defrauded, and having lost, in consequence, all his property, he hung himself in despair. Menippus was the author of several works, and his satiric style was imitated by Varro. (Wid, remarks on the Menippean Satire, under the article Varro.) Among other productions, he wrote a piece entitled Atoyávovo Tpāqug, “The Sale of Diogenes,” and another called Nekvia, “Necromancy.” It is thought by some, that this latter performance suggested to some imitator of Lucian the idea of composing the “Menippus, or Oracle of the Dead,” which is found among the works of the native of Samosata. (Schöll, Hist. Lit. Gr., vol. 2, p. 363.) MeNNis, a city of Assyria, in the district of Adiabene, to the south of Árbela. The adjacent country abounded with bitumen. Mannert supposes it to have been near the modern Dus-Churmalu, (Mannert, Geogr., vol. 5, p. 453.) Curtius calls it Memnium (5, 1). MeNodórus, a physician of the empoo, born

« PoprzedniaDalej »