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father A. b. 211. Menander was a Consiliarius, or a member of the Consilium of Caracalla, as appears from a passage of Ulpian (Dig. 4. tit. 4. s. 11. § 2), coupled with the fact that Ulpian wrote his Libri ad Edictum, which contain the passage just cited, under the reign of Caracalla. Aemilius Macer, who wrote in the time of Alexander Se- verus, cites Menander. There are six excerpts in the Digest from a work of Menander, entitled " Militaria, or De Re Militari;" and Macer, who wrote on the same subject, also cites Menander as an authority. [G- L.]
MENANDER (MeWfyos), of athens, the most distinguished poet of the New Comedy, was the son of Diopeithes and Hegesistrate, and flourished in the time of the successors of Alexander. He was born in 01. 109. 3, or b.c. 342-1, which was also the birth-year of Epicurus; only the birth of Menander was probably in the former half of the year, and therefore in b. c. 342, while that of Epicurus was in the latter half, b. c. 341. (Suid. s. v.; Clinton, F. H. sub ann.) Strabo also (xiv. p. 526) speaks of Menander and Epicurus as a-vveffrfSovs. His father, Diopeithes, commanded the Athenian forces on the Hellespont in b. c. 342—341, the year of Menander's birth, and was defended by Demosthenes in his oration irepl rwv kv Xepcro^a'w. (Anon, de Com. p. xii.) On this fact the grammarians blunder with their usual felicity, not only making Menander a friend of Demosthenes, which as a boy he may have been, but representing him as inducing Demosthenes to defend his father, in b. c. 341, when he himself was just born, and again placing him among the dicasts on the trial of Ctesi-phon, in b. c. 330, when he was in his twelfth year. (Meineke, Menand. Reliq. p. xxiv.) Alexis, the comic poet, was the uncle of Menander, on the father's side (Suid. s. v. "AA6|ts) ; and we may naturally suppose, with one of. the ancient grammarians (Anon, de Com. p. xii.), that the young Menander derived from his uncle his taste for the comic drama, and was instructed by him in its rules of composition. His character must have been greatly influenced and formed by his intimacy with Theophrastus and Epicurus (Alciph. Epist. ii. 4), of whom the former was his teacher (Diog. Laert. v. 36), and the latter his intimate friend. That his tastes and sympathies were altogether with the philosophy of Epicurus is proved, among numerous other indications, by his epigram on " Epicurus and Themistocles." (Brunck, Anal. vol. i. p. 203, AntJi. Pal. vii. 72, vol. i. p, 327, Jacobs.)
Xcupe, Neo/cAei'Sa SiSvfJiov y&os9 Sv 6 fiev vfjLwv TlarpiSa Sovhoffvvas pfoaff, 6 8* dtypocrfoas.
From Theophrastus, on the other hand, he must have derived much of that skill in the discrimination of character which we so much admire in the XapaKTTJpes of the philosopher, and which formed the great charm of the comedies of Menander. His master's attention to external elegance and comfort he not only imitated, but, as was natural in a man of an elegant person, a joyous spirit, and a serene and easy temper, he carried it to the extreme of luxury and effeminacy. Phaedrus (v. 1. 1], 12) describes him, when paying his court to Demetrius Phalereus, thus:
" Unguento delibutus, vestitu adfluens, Venjebat gressu delicate et. languido."
His personal beauty is mentioned by the anonymous writer on comedy (I. c.\ though, according to-Suidas, his vision was somewhat disturbed, arpar €os rds fyeis, 3i$s 8£ t&v vovv. He is represented in works of sculpture which still exist, and of one of which Schlegel gives the following description: " In the excellent portrait-statues of two of the most famous comedians, Menander and Posidippus (to be found in the Vatican), the physiognomy of the Greek New Comedy seems to me to be almost visibly and personally expressed. They are seated in arm-chairs, clad with extreme simplicity, and with a roll in the hand, with that ease and careless self-possession which always marks the conscious superiority of the master in that maturity of years which befits the calm and impartial observation which comedy requires, but sound and active, and free from all symptoms of decay ; we may discern in them that hale and pithy vigour of body which bears witness to an equally vigorous constitution of mind and temper ; no lofty enthusiasm, but no folly or extravagance; on the contrary, the earnestness of wisdom dwells in those brows, wrinkled not with care, but with the exercise of thought, while, in the searching eye, and in the mouth, ready for a smile, there is a light irony which cannot be mistaken.". (Dramatic Lectures, vii.) The moral character of Menander is defended by Mei-< neke, with tolerable success, against the aspersions of Suidas, Alciphron, and others. (Menand. Reliq. pp. xxviii. xxix.) Thus much is certain, that his comedies contain nothing offensive, at least to the taste of his own and the following ages, none of the purest, it must be admitted, as they were frequently acted at private banquets. (Plut. de Fals. Pud. p. 531, b., Sympos. viii. p. 712, b. ; Comp. Arist. et Men. p. 853, b.) Whether their being eagerly read by the youth of both sexes, on account of the love scenes in them, is any confirma-^ tion of their innocence, may at least be doubted, (Ovid. Trist. ii. 370.)
Of the actual events of Menander's life we know but little. He enjoyed the friendship of Demetrius Phalereus, whose attention was first drawn to him by admiration of his works. (Phaedrus, /. c.) This intimacy was attended, however, with danger as well as honour, for when Demetrius Phalereus was expelled from Athens by Demetrius Poliorcetes (b. c. 307), Menander became a mark for the sycophants, and would have been put to death but for the intercession of Telesphorus, the son-in-law of Demetrius. (Diog. Lae'rt. v. 80.) The first Greek king of Egypt, Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, was also one of his admirers; and he invited the poet to his court at Alexandria; but Menander seems to have declined the proffered honour. (Plin. H. N. vii. 29. s. 31; Alciphr. Epist. ii. 3, 4.) Suidas mentions some letters to Ptolemy as among the works of Menander.
The time of his death is differently stated. The same inscription, which gives the date of his birth, adds that he died at the age of fifty-two years, in the archonship of Philippus, in the 32nd year of Ptolemy Soter. Clinton shows that these statements refer to the year b. c. 292-1 (F. H. vol. ii. pr xv. and sub ann. 342, 291); but, to make up the fifty-two years, we must reckon in both extremes, 342 and 291. The date is confirmed by Eusebius (Chron.)\ by the anonymous writer on comedy (p. xii.), who adds that Menander died at Athens j by Apollodorus (ap. AuL Gell. xvii. 4); andby Aulus
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