The Ancient Library

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On this page: Merobaudes – Merope – Mesomedes – Mestra – Meta – Metageitnia – Metal, Artistic Work in – Metaulos – Metioche – Metis – Metoeci – Meton – Metopes



with Teucer specially distinguished in archery, an art in which the Cretans had always excelled. According to a later legend, on his return from Troy his vessel was driven to Engyion in the north of Sicily, which was supposed to be a Cretan settlement. At Gnossus in Crete his grave was shown, and both he and Idomeneus, his friend and companion in battle, were honoured as heroes.

M6r6baudes. A rhetorician born in Spain and distinguished as a general, and also as a Latin poet, in the first half of the 5th century after Christ. Besides a short hymn, De Christo, there are preserved fragments of five secular poems, the longest being part of a panegyric on the third consulate of Aetius (446), with a preface in prose. They prove him to be no unskilful imitator of Claudian; in language and metre he possesses an elegance rare in his time.

Mer6pe. (1) One of the Pleiads (q.v.), mother of Glaucus by Sisyphus.

(2) Wife of Polybus of Corinth (also called Per$a3a), foster-mother of (Edipus {q.v.).

Mes6medes. A Greek lyric poet of Crete, who lived about a.d. .130, and was a freed-man of Hadrian. Three small poems of hia have come down to us [Anthologia Grceca, xiv 63, xvi 323]. They are not unattrac­tive, and the one on Ngmesis is of peculiar interest, as its musical composition is indicated according to the ancient notation [Brnnck's AnaUcta, iii 292; Bellermann, Hynmen des Dionysius und Mesomcdes, pp. 13, 26].

Mestra. Daughter of Erysichthon (q.v., 2). She supported her famished father by em­ploying the power to change herself into any form she pleased, the gift of her lover Poseidon. She let herself be sold in various forms, and then always returned to her father [Ovid, Met. viii 738-884].

Meta. The upper column at the upper and lower end of the Roman circus, round which the competitors usually had to drive seven times. (Cp. circus, games of.)

MStageitnla. An Athenian festival in honour of Apollo (q.v.).

Metal, Artistic Work in. See toreutic art.

M8taul8s (MesaulOs). See house (Greek).

Metloche. See menippe and orion.

Metis (i.e. "Counsel"). Daughter of Oceanus, first wife of Zeus, by whom she was devoured, as he feared she would bear a son mightier than himself; whereupon Athene (q.v.) sprang from the head of the god.

Metceci. The name given at Athens to aliens (other than slaves) resident in Attica. When the State was most flourishing, they numbered as many as 10,000 adult men. The favourable position of Athens

I for commerce and the rich opportunities for carrying on trade and for selling merchandise induced both Greeks and bar­barians to settle there. The Athenians be­sides had the reputation among the Greeks of being friendly towards foreigners. For the legal protection granted them by the State, they paid a sum of twelve drachma} [8s.] annually for each man, and half as much for each independent woman; and they had to choose a patron (prostates) to conduct their dealings with the State in all public and private affairs, e.g. the bringing of an action. Whoever failed to do the one or the other was summoned before a lawcourt, and, if guilty, sold aa a slave. They were prohibited from marry­ing citizens and from obtaining landed property; but they could follow any trade they pleased, on payment of a certain tax.

j They also had to pay the extraordinary taxes for war, and were obliged to go on military service either in the fleet or in the land-army ; they might be hoplites, but not knights. At festivals it was their duty to follow the processions, carrying sunshades, pitchers, and bowls or trays (filled with honey or cakes). A decree of the people could, in return for special services, confer on them the IsStlleitl, which placed them on a level with the citizens with regard to " liturgies," or public burdens, freed them from the necessity of having a patron or

i paying a tax for protection, and gave them

i the right of holding property in land and of transacting business with the people or the authorities without an intermediary; but even this privileged class did not possess the active rights of a citizen.

Melon. A Greek astronomer, of Athens, instituted in b.c. 432 the cycle of nineteen years called after him ; it was intended to reconcile the lunar and the solar year : 235 lunar months of 29 or 30 days (on an average 29Jf) = 19 solar years of 365^ days. This cycle was not adopted at Athens till much later, probably in b.c. 330. (Cp. calendar.)

Metopes [MStopce, either " the intervening openings," or (Vitruv. iv 2, 4) " the spaces between the sockets " (Gr. opai). In Doric architecture the spaces between the tri-glyphs (q.v.) in the frieze. They were origin­ally left open. Thus, Orestes manages to make

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