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On this page: Meleager – Meles – Meles Agoras – Melesippus


Oordiunvin the following summer (b. c. 333). We afterwards find him present at the battles of Issus and Arbela ; associated with Craterus in the im­portant task of dislodging the enemy who guarded the passes into Persia ; and again bearing a part in the passage of the Hydaspes, and in various other operations in India (Arrian, Anab. i. 4,14, 20,24, ii. 8, iii. 11, 18, v. 12 ; Curt. Hi. 24, y. 14, vii.27 ; Diod. xvii. 57). But notwithstanding this long series of services we do not learn that Alexander promoted him to any higher or more confidential situation, nor do we find him employed in any separate command of importance. Already, before the king's death, Meleager had given evidence of an insolent and factious disposition, and these qualities broke out in their full force during the dis­cussions which ensued after the death of Alexander. His conduct on that occasion is differently related. According to Justin, he was the first to propose in the council of officers, that either Arrhidaeus or Heracles the son of Barsine should at once be chosen king, instead of waiting for the chance of Roxana bearing a son. Curtius, on the contrary, represents him as breaking out into violent in­vectives against the ambition of Perdiccas, and abruptly quitting the assembly, in order to excite the soldiery to a tumult. Diodorus, again, states that he was sent by the assembled generals to appease the clamours and discontent of the troops, but instead of doing so he himself joined the routineers. In any case it is certain that Meleager early assumed the lead of the opposition to Perdic­cas and his party; and placed himself at the head of the infantry, who had declared themselves (probably at his instigation) in favour of the claims of Arrhi­daeus to the vacant throne. Meleager even went so far as to order the execution of Perdiccas, without any express authority from his puppet of a king ; but this project was disconcerted by the boldness of the regent: and the greater part of the cavalry, together with almost all the generals, sided with Perdiccas, and, quitting Babylon, established them­selves in a separate camp without the walls of the city. Matters thus seemed tending to an open rupture, but a reconciliation was effected, principally by the intervention of Eumenes, and it was agreed that the royal authority should be divided between Arrhidaeus and the expected son of Roxana, and that in the mean time Meleager should be asso­ciated with Perdiccas in the regency. It was, however, evidently impossible that these two should long continue on really friendly terms, and Me­leager proved no match for his wily and designing antagonist. Perdiccas contrived by his profound dissimulation, to lull his rival into fancied security, while he made himself master both of the person and the disposition of the imbecile Arrhidaeus, of which he immediately took advantage, and hastened to strike the first blow. The whole army was assembled under pretence of a general review and lustration, when the king, at the instigation of Perdiccas, suddenly demanded the surrender and punishment of all the leaders in the late disorders. The infantry were taken by surprise, and unable to offer any resistance ; 300 of the . alleged muti­neers were singled out, and instantly executed ; and though Meleager himself was not personally attacked, he deemed it necessary to provide for his safety by flight, and took refuge in a temple, where he was quickly pursued and put to death by order of Perdiccas. (Curt. x. 21-—29 ; Justin. xiii.



2 — 4 ; Arrian, ap. Phot. p. 69, a. ; Diod. xviii.

2. An ilarch or commander of a squadron of cavalry in the army of Alexander at the battle of Arbela. (Arrian, Anab. iii. 11 ; Curt. iv. 50.) He is certainly distinct from the preceding, and is probably the same person whom we afterwards find mentioned among the friends and adherents of Pithon, who participated in his projects of revolt against Antigonus, b.c. 316. .[pithon.] After the death of their leader, Meleager and Menoetas broke out into open insurrection, but were speedily defeated by Orontobates and Hippostratus, who had been left by Antigonus in the government of Media, and Meleager was slain in the battle. (Diod. xix. 47.)

3. A son of Ptolemy Soter and Eurydice, daughter of Antipater, succeeded his brother Pto­ lemy Ceraunus on the throne of Macedonia, after the latter had fallen in battle against the Gauls (b. c. 280) ; but was compelled by the Macedonian troops to resign the crown, after a reign of only two months. (Euseb. Ann. pp. 156, 157 ; Dexippus, ap. Syncell. pp. 267, 270.) His reign is omitted by Justin. . [E.H. B.]

MELEAGER (MeAeVypos), son of Eucrates, the celebrated writer and collector of epigrams, was a native of Gadara in Palestine, and lived about b. c. 60. There are 131 of his epigrams in the Greek Anthology, written in a good Greek style, though somewhat affected, and distinguished by sophistic acumen and amatory fancy. (Brunck, AnaL vol. L pp. 1 — 38 ; Jacobs, Anth. Grace, vol. i. pp. 1—40, vol. xiii. pp. 639, 698, 915, 916 ; Fabric. Bill. Grace, vol. iv. pp.416 — 420.) Be­ sides the various editions of the Greek Anthology, there are separate editions of the epigrams of Me­ leager, for which see Fabricius. An account of his 2T6<£avos, or collection of epigrams, is given under planudes. [P. S.]

MELES (MeATjs), an Athenian, who was be­loved by Timagoras, but refused to listen to him, and ordered him to leap from the rock of the acro­polis. Timagoras, who was only a metoikos at Athens, did as he was bid ; but Meles, repenting of his cruel command, likewise threw himself from the rock ; and the Athenians from that time are said to have worshipped Anteros, as the avenger of Timagoras. (Pans. i. 30. § 1.)

Meles is also the god of the river Meles, near Smyrna ; and this river-god was believed by some to have been, the father of Homer. (Vit. Script. Graec. p. 27, ed. Westermann.) : [L. S.]

MELES (MeATjs). 1. Of Colophon, the father of the poet Polymnestus (Plut. de Mus. p. 11 33, a.).

2. Of Athens, the father of the dithyrambic poet Cinesias, was himself also a dithyrambic poet, and is ranked by Pherecrates as the worst of all the citharoedic poets of his day (Schol. ad Aristoph. Av. 858). Plato also tells us that his performances annoyed the audience (Gorg. p. 502). [P. S.]

MELES AGORAS. [amelesagoras.]

MELESIPPUS (MetofriTTTros), a Lacedaemo­nian, son of Diacritus, was one of the three ambas­sadors sent to Athens in b. c. 432, just before the commencement of the Peloponnesian war, with the final demand of Lacedaemon for the restoration of the independence of all the Greek states. By the advice of Pericles, the Athenians refused compli­ance. In the following year, when Archidamus was on his march to invade Attica, he again sent

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