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MIMNERMUS.

seven sages (about b. c. 600). He was a contem­porary of Solon, who, in an extant fragment of one of his poems, addresses him as still living (Diog. Laert. i. 60 ; Bergk, Poetae Lyrici Graeci, p. 331). No other biographical particulars respecting him have come down to us, except what is mentioned in a fragment of Hermesianax (Athen. xiii. p. 597) of his love for a flute-player named Nanno, who does not seem to have returned his affec­tion.

The numerous compositions of Mimnermus (Suidas, who calls him M(ue/ty**/os, says eypatye fii§\ia iro\\d) were preserved for several centuries, comprised in two books, until they were burnt, together with most of the other monuments of the erotic poetry of the Greeks, by the Byzantine monks. A few fragments only have come down to us ; sufficient, however, when compared with the notices contained in ancient writers, to enable us to form a tolerably accurate judgment of the nature of his poetry. These fragments belong chiefly to a poem entitled Nanno, and addressed to the flute-player of that name. The compositions of Mim­nermus form an epoch in the history of elegiac poetry. Before his time the elegy had been de­voted chiefly either to warlike and national, or to convivial and joyous subjects. Archiilochus had, indeed, occasionally employed the elegy for strains of lamentation, but Mimnermus was the first who systematically made it the vehicle for plaintive, mournful, and erotic strains. The threnetic origin of the elegy, the national temperament and social condition of the Asiatic lonians, and the melan­choly feelings with which they must have regarded their subjection to the Lydians, rendered this change easy and natural; and the elegiac poems of Mimnermus may be looked upon as a correct ex­ponent of the general tone of feeling which marked his age and people. Though warlike themes were not altogether unnoticed by him (the war between Gyges and the Smyrnaeans was one topic of this kind which he dwelt upon), he seems to have spoken of valorous deeds more in a tone of regret, as things that had been, than with any view of rousing his countrymen to emulate them. The instability of human happiness, the helplessness of man, the cares and miseries to which life is ex­posed, the brief season that man has to enjoy him­self in, the wretchedness of old age, are plaintively dwelt upon by him, while love is held up as the only consolation that men possess, life not being worth haying when it can no longer be enjoyed. The latter topic was most frequently dwelt upon, and as an erotic poet he was held in high estima­tion in antiquity. (Hor. Epist. ii. 2. 100; Pro-pert, i. 9. 11.) From the general character of his poetry he received the name Aiyva-Tidfiijs or A.iyva<rtd$ir)$. He was a flute-player as well as a poet (Strab. iv. p. 643; Hermesianax, ap. Athen. I. c.), and, in setting his poems to music, made use of the plaintive melody called the Nomos Kradias. Since the character which Mimnermus gave to elegiac poetry remained ever after its predominant characteristic, he is sometimes erroneously spoken of as the inventor of the elegy. The passage of Hermesianax, where he says of Mimnermus, Ss evpero TroAAor dva,T\ds THx<w> Kal fjia\aKOV irvsvp and TrepTajUeTpou, which has frequently been un­derstood as conveying the same assertion, has been more correctly interpreted, by throwing greater stress on the word /uaAa/cou, as referring to the

VOL. II.

1089

MINDARUS.

change which Mimnermus made in the character of elegiac poetry. (Gomp. Propert. i. 9. 11.) Mimnermus is the oldest poet who mentioned an eclipse of the sun, and spoke of it as a threatening and mournful sign. (Plut. De Fade in Orbe Lunae, p. 931, e.) He is also the earliest authority that we have for the mythus that the sun, after setting in the west, is carried round the earth in a golden bowl, the work of Hephaestus, by the river Oceanus back again to the east. (Athen. xi. p. 470, a.) In his account of the voyage of Jason, also, he removed the dwelling of Aeetes to the shores of Oceanus. •

The fragments of Mimnermus have been several times published, in the collections of Stephens, Brunck, Gaisford, Boissonade, and Bergk. There is a separate edition by Bach, Lips. 1826. They have been translated by Stollberg, Herder, Secken- dorf, A. W. v. Schlegel, and others. (Fabric. Bibl. Grace, vol. i. p. 733; K. 0. Miiller, History of tJie Literature of Ancient Greece, p. 115, &c.; Bode, Gesch. der Hellen. Dicktkunst, vol. ii. pp. 173, 175,247, &c.) [C. P. M.J

MINATlA GENS, plebeian, and of very little note. On coins we find mention of an M. Mina-tius Sabinus, who was a legate under .Cn. Pompey, the younger, in Spain (Eckhel, vol. v. p. 253), and one of the ancestors of Velleius Paterculus was called Minatius Magius. [magius, No. 3.J

Mi'NDARUS (MtVSapos), a Lacedaemonian, was sent out in b. c. 411, to succeed Astyochus in the office of Admiral. In the same year, having reason to believe that the Phoenician ships, pro­mised by Tissaphernes, would never be forthcoming, he listened to the invitation of Pharnabazus, and sailed from Miletus to the territory of the latter satrap on the Hellespont, having managed to es­cape the notice of the Athenian fleet, which was aware of his intention and had removed from Samos to Lesbos with the view of preventing its execu­tion. At Sestos he surprised the Athenian squad­ron there, which escaped with difficulty and with the loss of four ships. The Athenians, however, under Thrasyllus and Thrasybulus followed him to the north from Lesbos, and defeated him in the Hellespont, off Cynossema. After the battle, Min-darus sent to Euboea to Hegesandridas for rein­forcements, and in the meantime we find him fur­nishing aid to the Aeplians of Antandrus in their insurrection against the garrison of Tissaphernes in their town. Soon after we hear of him offering sacrifices to Athena, at Ilium, whence he hastened to the aid of dorieus, who,had been engaged with a superior number, of Athenian ships. A battle ensued and continued doubtful, till the arrival of reinforcements under Alcibiades gave the victory to the Athenians. But the latter, having despatched a large portion of their fleet to different quarters to collect money, were left in the Hellespont with a force of no more than forty ships, and Mindarus, whose squadron now amounted to sixty, prepared to attack them ; but they moved away by night from Sestos to Cardia, where they were joined by Alcibiades with five galleys, and soon after by Thrasybulus and Theramenes, each with twenty. With this force they sailed to Cyzicus (whither the Peloppnnesians had removed from Abydus), and there surprised them. The latter, however^ having drawn up their ships close together near the shore, made a vigorous resistance : but Alcibiades sailed round with twenty triremes to a different

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