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On this page: Mardontes – Margites – Maria – Maria Gens – Mariamne

MARGITES.

of a tributary of the Asopus, which Herodotus calls by the name of the main stream. After waiting ten days, during which the enemy's force was receiving continual additions, Mardonius de­ termined on an engagement in spite of the warn­ ings of the soothsayers and the advice of Artabazus, who recommended him to fall back on Thebes, where plenty of provisions had been collected, and t > try the effect of Persian gold on the chief men in the several Grecian states; and his resolution of fighting was further confirmed when, the Per­ sian cavalry having taken and choked up the spring on which the Greeks depended for water, Pausanias again decamped and moved with his forces still nearer to Plataea. Mardonius then crossed the river and pursued him. In the battle of Plataea which ensued (September, b. c. 479), he fought bravely in the front of danger with 1000 picked Persians about him, but was slain by Aeimneatus or Arimnestus, a Spartan, and his fall was the signal for a general rout of the barbarians. (Herod, vi. 43—45, 94, vii. 5, 9, 82, viii. 100, &c. 113, &c. 133—144, ix. 1—4, 12-15, 38— 65 ; Plut. Arist. 10—19 ; Diod. xi. 1, 28—31 ; Just. ii. 13, 14 ; Strab. ix. p. 412 ; C. Nep. Pans. I.) [E. E.]

MARDONTES (UapUvT-ns), a Persian noble­man, son of Bagaeus (see Herod, iii. 128), com­manded, in the expedition of Xerxes against Greece, the forces from the islands in the Persian gulf, (Herod, iii. 93, vii. 80.) On the retreat of Xerxes, he was left behind as one of the admirals of the fleet, and he fell at the battle of Mycale, in b. c. 479. (Herod, viii. 130,ix. 102.) [E. E.]

MARGITES (Mapylrys), the hero of a comic epic poem, which most of the ancients regarded as a work of Homer. The inhabitants of Colophon, where the Margites must have been written (see the first lines of the poem in Lindemann's Lyra, vol. i. p. 82 ; Schol. ad Aristopli. Av. 914) believed that Homer was a native of the place (Herod. Vit. Horn. 8), and showed the spot in which he had composed the Margites (Hesiod. et Horn. Certain. in Gottling's edit, of Hes. p. 241). The poem was considered to be a Homeric production by Plato and Aristotle (Plat. Alcib. ii. p. 147, c.; Aristot. Ethic. Nicom. vi. 7, Magn. Moral, ad Eudem. v. 7), and was highly esteemed by Callimachus, and its hero Margites as early as the time of Demo­sthenes had become proverbial for his extraordinary stupidity. (Harpocrat. s. v. Ma/yyi-njs; Phot. Lex. p. 24 7* edi Person ; Plut. Demosth. 23 ; Aeschin. adv. Ctesipk, p. 297.) Suidas does not mention the Margites among the works of Homer, but states that it was the production of the Carian Pigres, a brother of queen Artemisia, who was at the same time the author of the Batrachomyomachia. (Suid. s. v. Ilfyprjs; Plut. de Malign. Herod. 43.) The poem* which was composed in hexameters, mixed, though not in any regular succession, with Iambic trimeters (Hephaest. Enchir. p. 16 ; Mar. Victorin. p. 2524, ed. Putsch.), is lost, but it seems to have enjoyed great popularity, and to have been one of the most successful productions of the Homerids at Colophon. The time at which the Margites was written is uncertain, though it must undoubtedly have been at the time when epic poetry was most flourishing at Colophon, that is, about or before B. c. 700. It is, however, not impossible that afterwards Pigres may have remodelled the poem, and introduced the Iambic trimeters, in order to

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MARIAMNE.

heighten the comic effect of the poem. The cha­ racter of the hero, which was highly comic and ludicrous, was that of a conceited but ignorant person, who on all occasions exhibited his ig­ norance : the gods had not made him fit even for digging or ploughing, or any other ordinary craft. His parents were very wealthy ; and the poet un­ doubtedly intended to represent some ludicrous personage of Colophon. The work seems to have been neither a parody nor a satire ; but the author with the most naive humour represented the follies and absurdities of Margites in the most ludicrous light, and with no other object than to excite laughter. (Falbe, de Margiie Homerico, 1798 ; Lindemann, Die Lyra^ vol. i. p. 7 9, &c.; Welcker, der Ep. Cycl. p. 184, &c.) [L. S.]

MARIA, the wife of the emperor Michael VII. Parapinales, some of whose coins have the head of both Michael and Maria. (michael VII.; Eckhel, vol. viii. p. 259.) [W. P.]

MARIA GENS, plebeian. The name of Ma­rius was not of unfrequent occurrence in the towns of Italy: thus, we find as early as the second Punic war a Marius Blosius and a Marius Alfius at Capua (Liv. xxiii. 7,35), and a Marius at Praeneste (Sil. Ital. ix. 401). But no Roman of this name is mentioned till the celebrated C. Marius, the conqueror of the Cimbri and Teutones, who may be regarded as the founder of the gens. It was never divided into any families, though in course of time, more especially under the emperors, several of the Marii assumed surnames, of which an alphabe­tical list is given below. [marius.] On coins we find the cognomens Capita and 7Vogrws,but who they were is quite uncertain. [capito ; trogus.]

MARIAMNE or MARIAMME (Mapicfyw/i/, Mapidwn), a Greek form of Mariam or Miriam.

1. Daughter of Alexander, the son of Aristo-bulus II., and Alexandra, the daughter of Hyrca-nus II., was betrothed to Herod the Great, by her grandfather Hyrcanus, in b. c. 41. Their actual union, however, did not takesplace till b. c. 38. At this period Herod was besieging Antigonus, son of Aristobulus II., in Jerusalem, and, leaving the operations there to be conducted for a time by trust-worthy officers, he went to Samaria for the purpose of consummating his marriage,—a step to which he would be urged, not by passion only, but by policy and a sense of the importance to his cause of connecting his blood with that of the Asmonean princes. In b. c. 36, HerocJ, moved partly by the entreaties of Mariamne, deposed Ananel from the priesthood and conferred it on her brother, the young Aristobulus. The murder of the latter, however, in's. c. 35, would naturally alienate from Herod any affection which Mariamne may have felt for him ; and this alienation was in­creased when she discovered that, on being sum­moned to -meet Antony at Laodiceia (b. c. 34) to answer for his share in the fate of Aristobulus, he had left orders with his uncle Josephus, that, if he were condemned, his wife should not be permitted to survive him. The object of so atrocious a com­mand was to prevent her falling into the hands of Antony, who had conceived a passion for her from the mere sight of her picture, which her mother Alexandra, by the advice of dellius, had sent to him two years before, in the hope of gaining his favour. On Herod's return in safety, his mother Cypros and his sister Salome, whom Mariamne, proud of her descent from the Maccabees, had

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