MENANDER (342–291 B.C.) ,Greek dramatist, the chief representative of the New
See also:comedy, was
See also:born at Athens . He was the son of well-to-do parents; his
See also:father Diopeithes is identified by some with the Athenian general and
See also:governor of the Thracian
See also:Chersonese known from the speech of
See also:Demosthenes De Chersoneso . He doubtless derived his taste for the comic drama from his
See also:uncle Alexis (q.v.) . He was the friend and associate, if not the
See also:pupil, of
See also:Theophrastus, and was on intimate terms with
See also:Demetrius of Phalerum . He also enjoyed the patronage of
See also:Soter, the son of Lagus, who invited him to his
See also:court . But Menander, preferring independence and the
See also:company of his
See also:mistress Glycera in his
See also:villa in the
See also:Peiraeus, refused . According to the note of a scholiast on the
See also:Ibis of Ovid, he was drowned while bathing; his countrymen built him a
See also:tomb or the road leading to Athens, where it was seen by
See also:Pausanias . A well-known statue in the Vatican, formerly thought to represent
See also:Marius, is now generally supposed to be Menander (although some distinguished archaeologists dispute this), and has been identified with his statue in the theatre at Athens, also mentioned by Pausanias . Menander was the author of more than a
See also:hundred comedies, but only gained the prize eight times . His
See also:rival in dramatic
See also:art and also in the affections of Glycera was Philemon (q.v.), who appears to have been more popular . Menander, however, believed himself to be the better dramatist, and, according to Aulus
See also:Gellius, used to ask Philemon: " Don't you feel ashamed whenever you gain a victory over me ? " According to
See also:Caecilius of Calacte (Porphyry in
See also:Eusebius, Praep. evan. x .
3, 13) he was guilty of
See also:plagiarism, his AecacSaL uov being taken bodily from the Otwvearis of
See also:Antiphanes . But, although he attained only moderate success during his lifetime, he subsequently became the favourite writer of antiquity . Copies of his plays were known to Suidas and Eustathius (loth and 11th centuries), and twenty-three of them, with commentary by
See also:Psellus, were said to have been in existence at Constantinople in the 16th century . He is praised by Plutarch (Comparison of Menander and Aristophanes) and Quintilian (Instil. x . 1 . 69), who accepted the tradition that he was the author of the speeches published under the name of the
See also:Attic orator
See also:Charisius . A
See also:great admirer and imitator of
See also:Euripides, he resembles him in his keen observation of
See also:life, his analysis of the emotions, and his fondness for moral
See also:maxims, many of which have become proverbial: " The
See also:property of friends is
See also:common," " Whom the gods love die
See also:young," " Evil communications corrupt
See also:manners " (from the
See also:Thais, quoted in '
See also:Cor. xv . 33) . These maxims (chiefly monostichs) were afterwards collected, and, with additions from other
See also:sources, were edited as Mev6,vbpov yvWµac FcovbariXoc, a kind of moral textbook for the use of
See also:schools . Menander found many
See also:Roman imitators . The Eunuchus,
See also:Andria, Heautontimorumenos and Adelphi of
See also:Terence (called by Caesar " dimidiatus Menander ") were avowedly taken from Menander, but some of them appear to be adaptations and combi- - ,nations of more than one
See also:play; thus, in the Andria were combined Menander's 'Avtpia and llepu'OLa, in the Eunuchus the EbvoirXos and K6XaE, while the Adelphi was compiled partly from Menander and partly from
See also:Diphilus . The
See also:original of Terence's Hecyra (as of the Phormio) is generally supposed to be, not Menander, but
See also:Apollodorus of Carystus .
The Bacchides and Stichus ofPlautus were probably based upon Menander's Dis'Etanarwv and cftMbeXcoc, but the Poenulus, does not seem to be from the KapXribbvcos, nor the Mostellaria from the 'I o sa, in spite of the similarity of titles . Caecilius Statius, Luscius Lavinius, Turpilius and Atilius also imitated Menander . He was further credited with the authorship of some epigrams of doubtful authenticity; the letters addressed to Ptolemy Soter and the discourses in
See also:prose on various subjects mentioned by Suidas are probably
See also:spurious . Till the end of the 19th century, all that was known of Menander were the fragments collected by A . Meineke (1855) and T .
See also:Kock, Comicorum atticorum fragmenta, iii . (1888) . They consist of some 165o verses or parts of verses, in addition to a considerable number of words quoted expressly as from Menander by the old lexicographers . From 1897 to 1907 papyri were discovered in different parts of
See also:Egypt, containing fragments of considerable length, amounting to some 1400 lines . In 1897, about eighty lines of the rEwpy6s; in 1899, fifty lines of the IIEpiKeLpOOPn; in 1903, one hundred lines (
See also:half in a very mutilated
See also:condition) from the Kbaa ; in 1906, two hundred lines from the
See also:middle of the HEpu sipop. v, , the
See also:part previously discovered containing the denouement; five hundred lines from the 'Eiirpi rovr€i, generally well preserved; sixty-three lines (the prologue,
See also:list of characters, and the first scene), from the "Hews; three hundred and
See also:forty lines from the Eaµta (the
See also:identification of the two last plays is not considered absolutely certain); and twenty lines from an unknown comedy . Subsequently, part of a third copy of the HEpucsipop. vat was found in Egypt, some one hundred and forty lines, half of which were already known, while the
See also:remainder were new (Abhandlungen der konigl.-sachsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften,
See also:Leipzig), 1908 . It is doubtful whether these fragments, which are of sufficient length to afford a basis for the
See also:consideration of the merits of Menander as a writer of comedies, justify the great reputation enjoyed by him in
See also:ancient times .
With the exception of a scene in the 'EaLrpeaovrsc, which would
See also:appeal to the litigious Athenians, they contain little that is witty or humorous; there is little variety in the characters, the situations are conventional, and the plots, not of a highly edifying character, are lacking in originality . Menander's chief excellences seem to be facility of language, accurate portrayal of manners, and naturalness of the sentiments which he puts into the mouth of his dramatis personae . It is remarkable that the maxims, which
See also:form the chief part of the earlier collections of fragments, are few in the later . On Menander generally see monographs by C . Benoit (1854) and G . Guizot (1855) ; J . Geffcken, Studia zu Menander (1898) ; H . Lake, Menander and
See also:seine Kunst (1892); J . Denis, La Comedie grecque' (1886), vol. ii . ; H . Weil, Etudes sur l'antiquite grecque (1900) .
See also:Editions of the fragments: rswpy6s, by J .
See also:Nicole, with
See also:translation and 'notes . (1898) and by B . P . Grenfell and A . S .
See also:Hunt, with revised text and translation (1898) ; the "Hpws, 'EFLrpi rovrsS, HEpLKELpoJ iv ], Eaµta, by G . Lefebvre and M . Croiset, with introduction, notes and translation (Cairo, 1907); J.
See also:van Leeuwen, with Latin notes (2nd ed., 1908) ; L .
See also:Bodin and P . Mazon, Extraits de Menandre (Samia and Epilreponies, 19o8); E . Croiset, L'
See also:Arbitrage, critical ed. and translation (1908); C . Robert, Der new Menander (text reconstructed, 19o8); Wilamowitz-Miillendorff, " Der Menander von Kairo" in Neue Jahrbiicher fiir das klassische Altertum (1908), pp .
34–62;German trans. by Robert, Szenen aus Menander (1908);
See also:English by Unus Multorum (1909) . See also Wilamowitz-Mollendorff, " Der Landmann
See also:des Menandros " in Neue Jahrbitoher (1899), p . 513 ; C . Dziatzko, "Der Inhalt des Georgos von Menander," in Rhein .
See also:Mus. liv . 497, Iv . 104; F .
See also:Leo, Der Neue Menander " in Hermes, xliii . 120; E . Capps, " The Plot of Menander's Epitrepontes " in Amer . Journ. of
See also:Philology (1908), p . 41o; A .
Kretschmar, De Menandri reliquiis nu per repertis (1906); F . G .Kenyon in ?
See also:Sept. arterly Review (
See also:April, 19o8); The Times
See also:Literary Supplement (20, 1907);
See also:Athenaeum (Oct . 23,1897 ; Aug . 1, 1908; Oct.24, 1908) ; and list of articles in
See also:periodicals in Van Leeuwen's edition . (J . H .
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