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On this page: Messallinus – Messapeus – Messapus – Messene – Messius – Messius Maximus – Mestor – Mestra – Meta – Metabus – Metacleides – Metagenes



sane folly of Messallina, in a. d. 48, furnished the means of her own destruction. Hitherto she had been content with the usual excesses of a profligate age, with the secrecy of the palace, or the freedom of the brothel. But in a. d. 47 she had conceived a violent passion for a handsome Roman youth, C. Silius. She compelled him to divorce his wife Juriia Silana, and in return discarded her favourite Mnester. In 48, her passion broke through the last restraints of decency and prudence, and, during the absence of Claudius at Ostia, she publicly mar­ried Silius with all the rites of a legal connubium. Messallina had wrought upon the fears of Claudius for the destruction of others ; those fears were now turned against herself. Narcissus persuaded the feeble emperor that Silius and Messallina would not have dared such an outrage had they not deter­mined also to deprive him of empire and life. Claudius wavered long, and at length Narcissus himself issued Messallina's death-warrant, which he committed to his freedman Euodus, and to a tribune of the guards. Without transcribing Ta­citus it is impossible to describe worthily the irre­solution of the emperor, the trepidation of the freedmen, the maternal love of Domitia Lepida, and the helpless agony of Messallina. She perished by the tribune's hand in the gardens of Lucullus— a portion of the demesnes of her victim Valerius Asiaticus. Her name, titles, and statues were re­moved from the palace and the public buildings of Rome by a decree of the senate. She left two children by Claudius, Britannicus and Octavia. There are Greek and colonial but no Latin coins of this empress. The inscription on her coins is


(Tac. Ann. xi. 1, 2, 12, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30,31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38; Dion Cass. Ix. 14, 15,16, 17, 18,27, 28, 29, 31 j Juv. Sat. vi. 115—135, x. 333—336, xiv. 331 ; Suet. Claud. 17, 26, 27, 29, 36, 37, 39, Ner. 6, Vitell 2 ; Vict. Caes, iv ; Plin. H. N. x. 63 ; Sen. Mart. Claud. ; Joseph. Antiq. xx. 8. § 1, Bell. ii. 12. § 8.) [W. B. D.] MESSALLI'NUS AURELIUS COTTA.

[COTTA, NO. 12.]

MESSALLINUS, M. VALERIUS CATUL­LUS, was governor of the Libyan Pentapolis in the reigns of Vespasian and Titus, where he treated the Jewish provincials with extreme cruelty, and by a fictitious plot involved in a charge of perduel-lion the principal Jews residing at Alexandria and Rome, and among them the historian Josephus. Messallinus was recalled from his province, but eluded the punishment due to his crimes, probably through Domitian's interest with his father and brother. Under Domitian Messallinus distinguished himself as a delator. Josephus represents him as dying in extreme torments aggravated by an evil conscience* Messallinus was probably consul in A. d. 73. (Fasti; Joseph. B. J. vii. 11. § 3 ; Plin. Ep. iv. 22 ; Juv, Sat. iv. 113—122.) [W. B. D.]

MESSAPEUS (Mso-crcwreik), a surname of Zeus, tinder which he had a sanctuary between Amyclae and mount Taygetus. It was said to have been derived from a priest of the name of Messapeus. (Paus. iii. 20. § 3.) [L. S.]

MESSAPUS (M^o-o-aTros). L A Boeotian, from whom Mount Messapion, on the coast of Boeotia, and Messapia (also called lapygia), in southern Italy, were believed to have derived their names. -(Strab. ix. p. 405.)

2. A son of Neptune and king of Etruria, who


was invulnerable, and a famous tamer of horses. (Virg. Aen. vii. 691, &c., with the note of Ser- vius.) [L. S.]

MESSENE (Me<r<r»fc>7), a daughter of Triopas, and wife of Polycaon, whom she induced to take possession of the country which was called after her, Messenia. She is also said to have introduced there the worship of Zeus and the mysteries of the great goddess of Eleusis. In the town of Mes- sene she was honoured with a temple and heroic worship. (Paus. iv. 1. §§ 2, &c., 3. § 6, 27. § 4, 31. §9.) L. S.]

C. ME'SSIUS, was tribune of the plebs in b. c. 56, when he brought in a bill for Cicero's recall from exile. (Cic. Post. Red. in Sen. 8.) In the same year the Messian law, by the same tribune, assigned extraordinary powers to Cn. Pompey (id. ad Att. iv. 1.) Cicero defended Messius when he was recalled from a legatio, and attacked by the Caesarian party (id. ad Att. iv. 15, viii. 11). Mes­ sius afterwards appears as an adherent of Caesar's, whose troops he introduced into Acilla, a town in Africa. (Caes. B. A. 33.) Messius was aedile, but in what year is unknown. [W. B. D.J


MESSIUS, VE'CTIUS, a Volscian, who, in b. c. 431, distinguished himself in battle against the Romans. (Liv. iv. 28, 29.) [W. B. D.]

MESTOR (M^o-rwp), the name of four mythical personages, of whom nothing of interest is related. (Apollod. ii. 4. § 5, in. 12. § 5; Horn. 11. xxiv. 257.) [L. S.]

MESTRA (M-tfcrrpa), a daughter of Erysichthon, and granddaughter of Triopas (whence she is called Triope'is, Ov. Met. viii. 872). She was sold by her hungry father, that he might obtain tha means of satisfying his hunger. In order to escape from slavery* she prayed to Poseidon, who loved her, and conferred on her the power of metamor­ phosing herself whenever she was sold, and of thus each time returning to her father. (Tzetz. ad .Lye. 1393; Ov. Met. viii. 847, &c.; Anton. Lib. 17, who calls her Hypermestra.) [L. S.]

META (Mifra), a daughter of Hoples, and first wife of Aegeus. (Apollod. iii. 15. § 6.) In other traditions she was called Melite. (Schol. ad Eu- rip. Med. 668.) [L. S.j

METABUS (MeVagos), a son of Sisyphus, from whom the town of Metapontum, in Southern Italy, was believed to have derived its name. (Strab,, vi. p. 265 ; Serv. ad Aen. xi. 540; Steph. Byz. s. v. MerairSvnov.) [L. S.J

METACLEIDES (McraKXefty/s), a peripatetic philosopher, who wrote on Homer, mentioned by Tatianus and Suidas (s. v.). There is some dispute as to whether the name should be Metacleides or Megacleides* (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. i. pp. 321^ 517.) [C. P. M.]

METAGENES (McTtryei/rjs), an Athenian comic poet of the Old Comedy, contemporary with Aristophanes, Phrynichus, and Plato. (Schol. in AristopJi. Av. 1297.) Suidas gives the following titles of his plays : —Afipai, Ma^a/cuQos, ®ovpio-Trepcra'., 4>tAo0yT?}S, "O/wjpos $ *A.(rK7)Tal9 some of which appear to be corrupt. (Mejneke, Trag. Com. Graec. vol. i. pp. 218—221, vol. ii. pp* 751—760 ; Bergk, Com. Att. Ant. Reliq. p. 421 ; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. ii. p. 470.) [P. S.]

METAGENES, artists. 1. The son of Cher-siphron, and one of the architects of the temple of Artemis at Ephesus* [chbrsiphron.]

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