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On this page: Misenus – Misitheus – Mithaecus – Mithras – Mithrenes – Mithridates

MITHAECUS.

to Lave continued in this. position throughout the four years of the war, and to have rendered im­portant services to his allies. After the close of the war (b.c. 168) he was sent back by Aemilius Paullus to Africa; but the ships in which his troops were embarked were dispersed by a storm, many of them wrecked, and he himself compelled to take refuge at Brundusium. Here he was re­ceived with the utmost distinction, the quaesto?, L. Stertinius, being immediately despatched by the senate.to bear him magnificent presents, and to provide both him and his troops with all that they required. (Liv. xlii. 29, 35, xlv. 14; Val. Max. v. 1. § 1, who writes the name Musicanes.) He probably died before his father, as we hear nothing of him after the death of Masinissa. [E. H. B.]

MISENUS (Muni's). 1. A companion of Odysseus. (Strab. i. p. 26, v. p. 245.)

2. A steersman of Aeneas (Vict. De Orig. Gent. Rom. 9), and, according to Virgil, at first a companion of Hector, and aftervyards trumpeter of Aeneas; he died at Cumae, where Cape Misenum derived its name from him. (Virg. Aen. vi. 162, &c. 235.) His being called Aeolides arose from the legendary connection between the Aeolian and Campanian Cumae. [L. S.]

MISITHEUS, called timesicles (timo-ik\tjs) by Zosimus (i. 16, 17), apparently a Greek, by ex­ traction at least, was distinguished for learning, eloquence, and virtue, and his daughter Sabinia Tran quillina became the wife of the third Gordian. That amiable prince appointed: his father-in-law praefect of the praetorians, and acting in obedience to his wise counsels, effected many important re­ forms in the royal household, more especially by discarding the eunuchs, who, since the days of Elagabalus, had exercised most foul and corrupt influence in the palace, being notoriously in the habit of disposing of all the highest appointments, both civil and military, to the best bidder. The admirable arrangements for the support of the im­ perial troops on the exposed frontiers, the judicious regulations introduced with regard to various details in the service, and the success which attended the operations in the East against Sapor, until Misi- theus was cut off by disease, or by the treachery of his successor Philippus, seem to indicate that he must have been trained as a soldier and accustomed to important commands, but we know nothing posi­ tively of his early history. Even his name, as it stands repeatedly in .Capitolinus, is a matter of doubt, for scholars have, not without reason, hesi­ tated to believe that such an ill-omened appellation (God-hater) could ever have been borne by any in­ dividual of eminence, in an age when superstition upon such points was so strong. The inscription (Gruter, ccccxxxix. 4) quoted to uphold the text of the Augustan historian, but which seems in reality to have been copied from his pages, is open to strong suspicion, in addition to which Zosimus, as we have marked .above, twice terms this per­ sonage Tifj.rjffiKXrjs. Among various conjectures, the substitution of Tiinesitheu^ a name found both in Herodotus and Xenophon, and, under its Doric form, Timasithetis, in Livy and Valerius Maxi- mus, seems to be the most probable. (Capitolin. Gordian. Tres9 23, &c.; gobdianus III. ; phi­ lippus I.) [W. R.]

MITHAECUS (MfflaiKos), the author of some treatises on cookery, quoted by Athenaeus (vii. p. 325, xii. p. 516, iii. p. 112), entitled ^

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MITHRIDATES.

and *OtJ/07rozfa "2iK€\iKtf. The latter is also referred to by Plato (Gorg. p. 518, b.). [C. P. M.]

MITHRAS (M%as), the god of the sun among the Persians. (Xenoph. Cyrop. vii. 5. § 53 ; Strab. xv. p. 732.) About the time of the Roman em­ perors his worship was introduced at Rome, and thence spread over all parts of the empire. The god is commonly represented as a handsome youth, wearing the Phrygian cap and attire, and kneeling on a bull which is thrown on the ground, and whose throat he is cutting. The bull is at the same time attacked by a dog, a serpent, and a scorpion. This group appears frequently among ancient works of art, and a fine specimen is pre­ served in the British Museum. [L. S.]

MITHRENES (Mtf^s) or MITHRI'NES (Mtflpfj/rjs), commander of the Persian force which garrisoned the citadel of Sardes. After the battle of the Granicus (b. c. 334) Mithrines surrendered voluntarily to Alexander, and was treated by him with great distinction. After the battle of Gau-gamela (b. c. 331) Alexander appointed him satrap of Armenia. (Arrian, i. 17, iii. 16.) [C. P. M.]

MITHRIDATES or MITHRADA'TES (Mi-Opt^drrjs or MtflpaSaTijs), a common name among the Medes and Persians, appears to have been de­rived from Mitra or Mitlira^ the Persian name for the sun, and the root -c?a, signifying " to give," which occurs in most of the Indo-Germanic lan­guages. It therefore signifies " given by the sun," and corresponds to a large class of names in different languages of the Indo--Germanic family. Thus in Sanskrit we find the names, Devadatta, Haradatta, Indradatta, Somadatta, &c. (i. e. given by the gods, by Hara or Siva, by Indra, by Soma or the moon, &c.); in Greek, the names Theodotus, Diodotus, Zenodotus, Herodotus* &c. ; and in Per­sian, the names, Hormisdates, " given by Ormuzd^' PJierendates, " given by Behram," &c.

The name of Mithridates is written in several ways. Mithridates is the form usually found in the Greek historians ; but on coins, and sometimes in writers, we find Mithradates, which is probably the more correct form. We also meet with Mitra-dates (MirpaSaTTjs, Herod, i. 110), and in Tacitus (Ann. xii. 10) a corrupted form Meherdates. (Pott, EtymologiscJie Forscliungen^ vol. i. p. xlvii. &c. ; Rosen, in Journal of Education^ vol. ix. pp. 334, 335.)

MITHRIDATES (mepfidrw). 1. An eunuch who was one of the personal attendants of Xerxes, and enjoyed a high place in the favour of that monarch, but joined with Artabanus in the con­spiracy to assassinate him (b. c. 465), and enabled the latter to effect his purpose by giving him ad­mission into the king's bedroom. (Diod. xi. 69.)

2. A Persian of high rank, who accompanied the younger Cyrus on his expedition against Artaxerxes. He is termed by Xenophon one of the most attached friends of that prince ; but after the death of Cyrus he went over together with Ariaeus, to the Persian king. He was one of those who pre­sented themselves to the Greeks after the arrest and death of their generals, and endeavoured to prevail on them to surrender their arms. He again made his appearance just as they were preparing to set out on their march, and held a private con­ference with their leaders, but failed in the attempt to induce them to abandon their project. The next day he consequently attacked them on their march and caused them some loss ; but was repulsed in a

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