The Ancient Library

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On this page: Metragyrti – Metretes – Mezentius – Midas – Milanion – Miliarium – Mills



his way into the Tauric temple of Artemis through one of these openings (Eur., Iph. T. 113). They were afterwards filled with panels of wood, which were in course of time superseded by plain slabs of marble, as in the temples at Paestum, etc. These slabs were sometimes slightly ornamented with a round shield in low relief, as in the frieze of the temple of Zeus at Olympia. More frequently they were filled with figures in relief, as in those of Sellnus (see sculp­ture, fig. 1), and of the Theseum and the Parthenon (q.v.). The term is also applied to similarly sculptured slabs not placed between the triglyphs, but on the wall of the ceUa, as in the temple of Zeus at Olympia. See olympian games, fig. 3.)

Metragyrti. The vagrant begging priests of Rhea (q.v.).

Metretes. The largest liquid measure of the Greeks, a little less than nine gallons. Its chief subdivisions were the Gr. chous, (TV), xestes (TV), cdtyle (TiT), cyuthus (^). Mezentma [or Hfedientius]. King of Csere in Etruria; he aided Turnus of Ardea against jEneas, but was killed in battle by the latter or by his son Ascanius.

Midas. An old Phrygian king, son of Gordias and Cybele, in whose honour he is said to have founded a temple and instituted priests at Pessinus. When the drunken Silenus had lost his way and strayed into Midas' rose-gardens, the king brought him back to Dionysus. (According to another legend the king made him drunk by mingling wine with the spring Midas, and so caught him, that he might prophesy to him.) Dionysus granted Midas the ful­filment of his wish, that all he touched might turn to gold. But his very food and drink were changed at his touch, so that he prayed the god to take away the fatal gift. At the god's command he bathed in the Pactolus, which ever after became rich in gold". In the musical contest between Marsyas (or Pan) and Apollo, he decided for the former ; on which account the god gave him the ears of an ass. He concealed them beneath a high cap, so that only his barber knew about it. However, he could not keep the secret for any length of time, and at last shouted it into a hole that he had dug into the ground ; reeds grew from this hole, and whispered the secret to all the world. While this legend makes Midas him­self appear as one of the Sileni belonging to the train of Dionysus (the ass being one of their attributes), the other points to him as the favourite of the divinity, whose first

priest he was deemed to be, and who showered riches upon him.

Milanlou (Gr. Mcilanlon). The faithful lover of Atalante (q.v.).

Millarhiffl. The Roman milestone, a stone column, such as were set up at intervals of 1,000 (mille) passf(s = 5,000 Roman feet or. the military roads, partly during the last years of the Republic, and regularly since Augustus. They gave in numbers, usually preceded by M.P. (mllia passilum), the distance from the place from which the measurement was made, besides its name and that of the person who had constructed the road or erected the milestone, and of the emperor in whose reign the road had been made. A great number of these mile­stones, in every part of the Roman empire, has been preserved, and also the base of the central column of gilt bronze (miliarium aur(um) erected by Augustus in the Forum near the temple of Saturn ; it was regarded as the centre of the empire. (See Plan of Fora, under forum.)

Kills (Gr. mylat, Lat. moles) are men­tioned [twice] in Homer [Od. vii 104, xx 106]. The ordinary Greek tradition as­cribed their invention to Demeter. They consisted, as may be readily inferred from the specimens found in the bakers' shops at Pompeii, of two principal parts : (1) a fixed and massive conical stone (Gr. myle, Lat. metd), resting on a base, and furnished at the top with a strong iron pivot (fig. 2): and (2) a hollow double cone (Gr. one's, Lat. catillus) in the shape of an hourglass, which, at its narrowest part, was furnished with a thick plate of iron, with holes in the centre and


('2) SKCTION OF (1).

at four other places (fig. 1). The pivot of the lower stone passed through the cen­tral hole of this plate, and the upper stone turned round it. Into the upper cone or funnel the corn was poured and gradually fell through the holes of the plate into the space between the outer surface of the cone and the inner surface of its cap, where it

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