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On this page: Merula – Meryllus – Mesateus – Mescinius Rufus – Mesomedes – Messalla

MERULA*

(Treves), the burning of Mettis (Metz), and the invasion of the country as far as Aureliani *or Au- relia (Orleans) ; but the silence of Gregory of Tours renders the account very questionable, unless we suppose that Meroveus and the Franks formed part of the army of Attila, who about that time destroyed Metz and penetrated to Orleans: but this is contrary to the opinion of Dubos, and most modern historians, who range Meroveus and his Franks on the side of Aetius. Jf we suppose that Meroveus was with Attila, we may perhaps adopt the supposition that he was one of the two Frank- ish princes, sons of a deceased- king, who according to the rhetorician Priscus (apud Excerpta de Lega- tionibus, p. 40, ed. Paris), disputed their father's succession, and claimed the assistance, the one of Attila, the other of Aetius. This would sufficiently accord with the Ckronicon of Prosper Tyro, which places the commencement of Meroveus's reign in a. d. 448, but the authority of this probably inter­ polated chronicle is not great* Meroveus is said to have reigned ten years. That he was the father of Childei-ic, and the grandfather of Clovis, appears well established ; as well as that the first race of the Frankish kings of Gaul derived from him the title Merovingi or Merovinchi, Merovingian ; un­ less we suppose with Sismondi (Hist, des Fran$ais> ch. iii.) that this name was derived from an earlier Meroveus, the common ancestor of all the kings of the tribes who formed the Frankish confederacy. (Greg. Turon. I. c.; Fredegarius Scholast. Greg. Turon. Historia Epifomata, c. 9 ; Priscus, I. c. ; Gesta Regum Francorum ; Ado Vienn. Chron.; Mezerai, Le P. Daniel, Velly, Histoire de France; Dubos, Hist. Crit* de VEtablissement de la Mo­ narchic Francoise; Sismondi, Hist, des Franqais, ch.iv.) [J.C.M.J

MERULA, was a surname of the Gens Cor­nelia at Rome. It signifies an ouzle or blackbird. (Varr. R. R. iii. 2. §§ 2. 38 ; Quint. Inst. i. 6. § 68.) The following Cornelii Merulae occur in history:—

1. L. cornelius L. p. merula, was consul in b. c. 393. His province was Gallia Cisalpina. Merula closed an active predatory campaign by a total defeat of the Boian Gauls in the neighbour­hood of Mutina. But since his victory cost the Romans dear, and the officers of Merula accused him of negligence on, his march to Mutina, the senate refused him a triumph on his return to Rome, (Liv; xxxiv, 54, 55, 56, 57, xxxv. 4, 5, 6, 8.)

2. cn. (cornelius?) merula, was appointed legatus by the senate in b. c. 162—161, to adjust the disputes between the brothers Ptolemy Philo- metor and Physcon respecting the sovereignty of Cyprus. Merula accompanied Physcon to Crete and Asia Minor, and, after an ineffectual embassy to the elder brother at Alexandria, he induced the senate, on his return to Rome, to cancel the existing treaty with Philometor. (Polyb. xxxi. 18, 25, 26, 27, xxxii. 1.) v • '

3. L. cornelius merula, was flamen dialis, and, on the deposition of L. Cinna in b. c. 87, was elected consul in his place. [cornelius cinna, No., 2.] On the return of Marius from exile in the same year Merula was summoned to take his trial for, illegally exercising the consulship. (Plut. Quaest. Rom. 113.) - lie had already resigned it, but his condemnation was certain. Merula there­fore anticipated his sentence by opening his veins

104 9

MESSALtA.

in the sanctuary of the Capitoline Jupiter. Before he inflicted his death-wounds he carefully laid aside his official head-dress (apex), and left a record in writing that he had not profaned by death the sacred emblem of his pontificate. His last breath was spent in imprecating curses on his murderers, Cinna and Marius. The priesthood of the flamen dialis was not filled up until 72 years after Me- riuVs death. (Appian, B. C. 1, 65, 70, 75 ; Veil, ii. 20, 22; Flor. iii. 21. § 61 ; Val. Max. ix. 12. § 5; Dion Cass. liv. 36; Tac. Ann. iii. 58; Plut. Mar. 41, 45; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 40 ; Diod. ap. Val. Fr.; August, de Civ. Dei, iii. 27 ; Diet. of Antiq. s. v. Flamen.) [W. B. D.]

MERYLLUS (MepuAAos), a Greek writer, who wrote a work on Boeotia .(Plut. Par. Min* c. 14), and another on Italy (ibid. c. 26). In the latter passage of Plutarch, perhaps Dercylus is the correct reading, as Dercylus was the author of a work on Italy. (Vossius, De Hist. Grace, p. 469, ed. Westermann.) [dercylus.]

MESATEUS (M€<rareik), a surname of Diony­sus, derived from the town of Mesatis^ where, ac­cording to a tradition at Patrae, he had been educated. (Paus. vii. 18. § 3, 21. § 2.) [L. S.]

MESCINIUS RUFUS. [Rurus.]

MESOMEDES (Meo-o^^s), a lyric and epi­ grammatic poet tinder Hadrian and the Antonines, was a native of Crete, and a freedman of Hadrian, whose favourite Antinous he celebrated in a poem, (Suid. s. v.) A salary, which he had received from Hadrian, was diminished by Antoninus Pius. (Capit. Ant. Pius, 7.) Three poems of his are preserved in the Greek Anthology. (Brunck, Anal. vol. ii. p. 292 ; Jacobs, Antjt. Grace, vol. iii. p. 6, vol. xiii. p. 917 ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ii. pp. 130, 131.) [P. S.]

MESSALLA, a cognomen of the Gens Valeria at Rome, was originally assumed by M. Valerius Maximus [No. 1] after his relief of Messana in Sicily from blockade by the Carthaginians in the second year of the first Punic war, b. c. 263, (Macrob. Sat. i. 6 ; Sen. Brev. Vit. 13.) For the antiquity of the Messalla branch of the Valerian gens see Tibullus (Carm. i. 28; comp. Dionys. iv. 67 ; Rutil. Iter. i. 169 ; Sidon. Apoll. Ep. i. 9). They appear for the first time on the consular Fasti in b. c. 263, and for the last in a.d. £06 ; and, during this period of nearly eight* centuries, they held twenty-two consulships and three cen­sorships. (Sidon. Apoll. Carm. ix. 302 ; RutiJ. L c.; Symmaeh. Ep. vii. 90.) The cognomen Messalla, frequently written Messala, appears with the agnomens Barbatus, Niger, Rufus, with the nomens Ennodius, Pacatus, Silius, Thrasia Priscus, Vipstanus, and with the praenomens Potitus and Volesus, and was itself originally, and when com­bined with Corvinus, an agnomen, as M. Valerius Maximus Corvinus Messalla, i. e. of Messana.

1. M\ valerius m/f. M. N. MAxikus cor­vinus messalla, son of M. Valerius Maximus Corvinus, was consul in B. c. 263, the second year of the first Punic war. Sicily was assigned to'both the consuls for their province. Their campaign was brilliant: more than sixty of the Sicilian towns acknowleged the supremacy of Rome, and the consuls concluded a peace with Hieron, which lasted the remainder of his long life, and proved equally advantageous to both Syracuse and Rome, [hieron, No. 2.] .Messalla's share in this cam­paign is inseparable from that of M. Otacilius

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