The Oxford Classical Dictionary

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Wissowa, RK; J. Johnson, Excavations at Minturnae 2 (1933); G. Niebling, Hist. 1956, 303 ff.; J. Linderski, in M. N. Andreev and others (eds.), Gesellschaft und Recht im Griechisch-römischen Altertum (1968), 94 ff.; J.-M. Flambard, OIRF 1982, 67 ff.; M. Frederiksen, Campania (1984); H. Royden, The Magistrates of the Roman Professional Collegia in Italy (1988); J. Scheid, Romulus et ses frères (1990).

J. L.

Magna Graecia

Magna Graecia (Gk. Megale Hellas), the coastal region of *Italy colonized by the Greeks. Definitions varied widely, but most usually it refers to the region between *Cumae and *Tarentum (Serv. on Aen. 1. 569). *Strabo (6. 1. 2) includes Sicily, but others exclude both Sicily and Campania (FGrH 566 F 13; Plin. HN 3. 95; ps.-Scymnus 303). Early sources (Pind. Pyth. 1. 146; Eur. Med. 439–40) use it to refer to the entire Greek world, not specifically to Italy, while *Justin (20. 1) includes the whole of Italy in the definition. The colonies, founded between c.740 (Cumae) and 433 BC (*Heraclea (1) ), prospered on the strength of fertile land and trade. In the 4th cent., pressure from the rapidly expanding Oscan peoples of Apennine Italy brought the Greeks into conflict with the Lucani (see LUCANIA) and *Bruttii. By the end of the Pyrrhic war (see PYRRHUS), the entire region was under Roman domination, and by 89 BC all surviving cities were Roman colonies or municipia. The wars of the 4th–3rd cent. had undermined the economic prosperity of many cities, and some ceased to exist, but many were still viable. *Neapolis, Cumae, *Paestum, and *Velia flourished, and *Rhegium, *Locri Epizephyrii, *Thurii, *Croton, Heraclea, and Tarentum all maintained municipal status (see MUNICIPIUM).

E. Ciaceri, Storia della Magna Grecia (1926–30); M. Napoli, Civiltà della Magna Grecia (1970); E. Greco, Magna Grecia (1981).

K. L.
Magna Mater

Magna Mater See CYBELE.
Magnentius, Flavius Magnus

Magnentius, Flavius Magnus, from a family of barbarian settlers in Gaul, rose to a senior military command under the emperor *Constans. In January AD 350 at Autun (*Augustodunum) he led a coup which overthrew Constans, and rapidly won over the western provinces; although nominally a Christian, he made religious concessions to the pagan senatorial aristocracy. He failed to gain recognition from the eastern Augustus *Constantius II, and his forces were defeated by those of Constantius at the epic battle of Mursa in 351. His resistance finally ended with his suicide in Gaul two years later.

E. D. H.

Magnes is treated by *Aristotle (Poet. 1448a34) as one of the two earliest Athenian comic poets. He won eleven victories at the City *Dionysia, one of them in 472 BC (IG 22. 2318. 7, 2325. 44; Anon. De com. 9, p. 7). We have eight titles, but the plays ascribed to him in Hellenistic times were of very doubtful authenticity (Anon. ibid.; Ath. 367f and 646e); the titles include Dionysus, Lydians, Fig-flies, Frogs, and Birds, of which the last three may possibly be mere inferences from Ar. Eq. 520 ff., where Magnes is described as pterugizwnpterugizön … kaikai yhnizwnpsënizön kaikai baptomenoVbaptomenos batraceioiVbatracheiois (‘flapping his wings … buzzing like a gall-fly and dyeing himself frog-green’).

Kassel–Austin, PCG 5. 626 ff. (CAF 1. 7 ff.).

K. J. D.
Magnesia (1) ad Maeandrum

Magnesia (1) ad Maeandrum, a city of Ionia (see IONIANS) on a tributary of the *Maeander, inland from Ephesus. Colonized by the Magnesians (see MAGNETES), it and *Magnesia (2) ad Sipylum both commanded rich inland valleys. Successively subject to *Lydia and *Persia, it was presented by Artaxerxes I to *Themistocles, whose female relatives were priestesses of the local goddess *Artemis Leucophryene. The temple (a work of *Hermogenes (1) ), together with public buildings of the city, which was refounded by the sanctuary in 399 BC, has been excavated; the stoa in the agora yielded an important archive of Hellenistic inscriptions. Like *Magnesia (2) ad Sipylum it sided with Rome against *Mithradates VI, and was made a civitas libera (*free city) by *Sulla when he reorganized the province of *Asia.

K. Humann, Magnesia am Maeander (1904); O. Kern, Inschr. Magnesia am Maeander (1900); S. Mitchell, Arch. Rep. 1990, 101.

W. M. C.; J. M. C.; S. S.-W.
Magnesia (2) ad Sipylum

Magnesia (2) ad Sipylum, a city of *Lydia lying in the fertile *Hermus valley at the point where the roads from the interior and the Propontis converge on the way to Smyrna; it was the scene of the decisive battle between *Antiochus (3) III and the Scipios in January 189 BC. See also MAGNESIA (1) AD MAEANDRUM; MAGNESIA, BATTLE OF.

Magnesia, battle of

Magnesia, battle of The decisive battle of the war between Rome and *Antiochus (3) III of Syria was fought near *Magnesia (2) ad Sipylum in Lydia, probably in January 189 BC. The nominal Roman commander was L. *Cornelius Scipio Asiagenes, consul 190 (see also CORNELIUS SCIPIO AFRICANUS, P.). After the scythe-chariots on Antiochus' left had been dispersed by *archers and *slingers, Rome's ally, *Eumenes (2) II of Pergamum, led a massed cavalry charge which routed Antiochus' cataphracts (mailed cavalry), also on his left, and drove them into their centre. Meanwhile Antiochus had driven back the Roman left with his Iranian cavalry, but carried the pursuit too far. His *phalanx, drawn up with gaps to accommodate his *elephants, resisted stubbornly until the elephants began to get out of hand, and Eumenes fell on its flank, whereupon it was annihilated.

Livy 37. 39–44. 2; App. Syr. 30–5. RE 14/1, ‘Magnesia’ 3; B. Bar-Kochva, The Seleucid Army (1976), ch. 14.

J. F. La.


Magnetes, a tribe occupying the mountain-systems of *Ossa and *Pelion on the eastern border of *Thessaly. Their long coastline on the open sea was harbourless, and their chief towns, Meliboea, Homolion, and Rhizus, were very small. They became *perioikoi to the invading Thessalians and had to surrender the coastal district round *Pagasae, but they retained their two votes on the amphictionic council (see AMPHICTIONY). Pagasae was restored to the Magnetes when *Philip (1) II expelled the tyrants of *Pherae, but they lost the limited *autonomy which they had previously enjoyed and became subjects of Macedonia. In 293 BC *Demetrias (see IOLCUS) was founded through a ‘*synoecism’ of the Magnetes.

H. D. W.

Magnus, of *Carrhae, accompanied *Julian on his Persian expedition in AD 363 and wrote an account of it, of which a summary is quoted by *Malalas. His identification with the tribune Magnus who was decorated for bravery on Julian's Persian campaign is uncertain, as is the extent, if any, to which *Ammianus Marcellinus used him.

FGrH 225. PLRE 1, ‘Magnus’ 3; J. Matthews, Ammianus Marcellinus (1989), 163 f., 169 ff.

H. H. S.; A. J. S. S.

Magnus Maximus

Magnus Maximus, Roman emperor (AD 383–8), was a Spaniard who rose to the command of the troops in Britain, where he fought successfully against Picts and Scots. Elevated by the army in Britain, he crossed to Gaul and overthrew *Gratian. He was for a time recognized as emperor by *Theodosius (2) I and controlled Gaul and Spain as well as Britain. He successfully invaded Italy in 387 but in the next year was decisively defeated by Theodosius in battles fought near Siscia and Pola, and was executed on 27 August 388. Maximus was a Catholic and persecuted Priscillian and his followers (see PRISCILLIANISTS). A fictionalized version of his elevation to the throne is presented in the story in the Mabinogion, The Dream of Macsen Wledig, and the name of Maximus also occurs in Welsh genealogies.

RE 14, 2546–55; PLRE 1, ‘Maximus’ 39; J. F. Matthews, Western Aristocracies and Imperial Court, AD 364–425 (1975), and Welsh History Review 1983, 431 ff.

J. F. Ma.

Mago (1)

Mago (1) (fl. 550–520 BC), the founder of a family which held quasi-monarchical power at *Carthage from c.550 to 450 BC. He fought in *Sardinia to consolidate the power of Carthage in the island, and changed the basis of the Carthaginian army; previously a citizen levy, it was subsequently a mercenary force, officered and led by Carthaginians.

B. H. Warmington, Carthage (1960), 40 ff., 121; L. Maurin, Semitica 1962, 5 ff.; G. C. Picard, CAH 62 (1994), 365 ff.

B. H. W.; S. H.

Mago (2)

Mago (2) (RE 6) was the youngest brother of *Hannibal, under whom he served in Italy (218–216 BC), fighting at *Trebia and *Cannae. He fought in Spain from 215, playing an important part in the events that led to the death in 211 of Cn. *Cornelius Scipio Calvus and P. *Cornelius Scipio (1), until his defeat by P. *Cornelius Scipio Africanus at Ilipa, north of Seville (206; see PUNIC WARS). After failing to seize *Carthago Nova and to re-enter *Gades, he attacked the Balearic isles (*Baleares insulae; Mahon in Minorca perpetuates his name) and in 205 crossed to *Genua. After lengthy recruiting he advanced to the Po valley, where he was defeated by the Romans and severely wounded (203). Soon afterwards he, with Hannibal, was ordered to return to Africa to face Scipio; he died of wounds on the voyage.

J. Briscoe, CAH 82 (1989), 56–60.

H. H. S.; J. Br.


magodia, a type of low-class *mime or lyric, subliterary (like hilarodia, simodia, and lysiodia), about which ancient sources (Ath. 14. 620d, Strabo 14. 648) are far from clear. Magodia is defined as ‘dainty dancing’ (orchsiVorchësis apalhapalë) by Hesychius (m 28); an actor, accompanied by kettledrums and cymbals, represented usually in comic style the drunken lover and other low characters. Two papyri provide possible libretti: a lover's complaint before a locked door and a lament for a lost cockerel (texts in Powell, Coll. Alex. 177 ff., 182 ff.; I. C. Cunningham, Teubner edn. of Herodas (1987), 36 ff., 40 f.).

P. Maas, RE 3 A 1 (1927), 159 f., SimwidoiSimöidoi.

W. G. A.

magus/magi (magoVmagos, OP makuš). Only *Herodotus (1) (1. 101) calls the Magi a Median tribe (see MEDIA). In the pre-Hellenistic Greek tradition they are reciters of theogonies (Hdt. 1. 132), explainers of *dreams, royal educators and advisers (Pl. Alc. 122a; Plut, Artax. 3; Strabo 15. 1. 68). Magi are experts in the oral tradition rather than a class of priests, although they partake in sacrifices (Strabo 15. 3. 15). In the *Persepolis administrative texts (PFT) and in other *cuneiform documents magi often occur without a religious context. The Avesta does not mention magi. In the later Greek tradition the term frequently refers to specialists in exotic wisdom, astrology, and sorcery. See MAGIC; RELIGION, PERSIAN.

R. T. Hallock, Persepolis Fortification Tablets (1969); J. Bidez and F. Cumont, Les Mages hellénisés (1938); E. Benveniste, Les Mages dans l'Ancien Iran (1938).

H. S.-W.

Maharbal (RE 2), *Hannibal's chief cavalry officer at the beginning of the Second *Punic War, defeated a Roman squadron in Umbria after the battle of Lake *Trasimene in 217 BC. After the battle of *Cannae (216) he is alleged, in a story deriving from M. *Porcius Cato (1), to have urged Hannibal to march on Rome immediately, saying ‘Send me with the cavalry; on the fifth day your dinner will be cooked for you on the *Capitol’. In *Livy's version, when Hannibal sensibly declined, Maharbal replied, ‘You know how to win a victory, Hannibal, but not how to use it’ (Livy 22. 51. 4).

Walbank, HCP 1. 420–1.

J. Br.
Maia (1)

Maia (1) (MaiaMaia, or MaiaVMaias), daughter of *Atlas, and one of the Pleiades (Od. 14. 435; Hes. fr. 217. 2 M–W; Simonides fr. 555 Page, PMG; see PLEIAD); her name means simply ‘mother’ or ‘nurse’, and she may once have been a goddess of the *kourotrophos type; but apart from conceiving *Hermes with Zeus and bringing him to birth in a cave on Mt. Cyllene in *Arcadia (Homeric Hymn to Hermes), she retains little independent identity. (2) Roman goddess associated with *Volcanus (Gell. NA 13. 23. 2), to whom the flamen Volcanalis sacrificed on 1 May (Macrob. Sat. 1. 12. 18); yet the connection with the fire-god is puzzling, since her name appears to come from the root mag, and points to growth or increase; cf. the by-form Maiesta (Piso in Macrob. ibid.), and the month-name, appropriate to a season when all plants are growing. By a natural conflation with (1) she was associated with *Mercurius, and worshipped also on 15 May, the natalis (anniversary) of his temple; apparently her title in this role was invicta (unconquered) (‘Maiae invict.’, fasti Antiates for that date).

A. H. G.


maiestas, used as an abbreviation for the crime maiestas minuta populi Romani, ‘the diminution of the majesty of the Roman people’. This charge was first introduced by L. *Appuleius Saturninus' lex Appuleia (probably of 103 BC). He seems to have been provoked both by the incompetence and corruption of Roman generals in the wars against the *Cimbri and *Teutones and by the frustration of the will of popular assemblies through obstruction (Rhet. Her. 1. 21). However, the vagueness of the phrase (Cic. Fam. 3. 11. 2; Inv. Rhet. 2. 52–3) made this a portmanteau charge, which could be deployed against any form of treason, revolt, or failure in public duty. In the 90s BC it was turned against an allegedly seditious tribune, C. *Norbanus, for his actions in support of Saturninus, and within a short time it virtually replaced charges of *perduellio (‘treason’) brought before an assembly. *Sulla's lex Cornelia maiestatis of 81 BC was an important part of his reorganization of the criminal law. It incorporated provisions restricting the conduct and movements of provincial governors, now known not to be original but derived from a lex Porcia of c.100 BC. However, the law could still be applied to misbehaviour in a popular assembly, for the ex-tribune C. *Cornelius was accused under it in 66 BC for disregarding the veto of a fellow tribune. The lex Iulia maiestatis of *Caesar (Cic. Phil. 1. 21–3; Dig. 48. 4) revised Sulla's law, incorporating banishment (aqua et igni interdictio) as the chief penalty. There is no evidence for *Augustus' having passed a new lex maiestatis, but the scope of the existing law changed in the light of the existence of an emperor. Conspiracies against the emperor came naturally under the law, but its application was also gradually extended to cover *adultery with his daughter and then libel and slander (*Tiberius was initially reluctant to countenance such charges, but eventually they succeeded). The law was never redrafted to take precise account of these offences and, where conspiracy was concerned, *Domitian was to observe sagely that ‘the only time that anybody believed an emperor's statement that he had detected a conspiracy was when the conspiracy had succeeded and he was dead’ (Suet. Dom. 21). By Tiberius' reign prosecutions for maiestas might be brought before not only the quaestio maiestatis (see QUAESTIONES) but either the senate, sitting under the presidency of the emperor or consuls, or the emperor himself (Tac. Ann. 3. 10–12). Condemned persons were increasingly liable to the death sentence with no opportunity given to retire into exile; their property was confiscated for the imperial fiscus and their names were obliterated from public record (*damnatio memoriae). Since it was even permitted to prosecute those who were dead, one could not be sure of escaping the last two consequences by committing suicide. *Suicide before any formal charge seems in practice to have obtained clemency for the family property and family name until the revival of the law under Marcus *Aurelius (Cod. Iust. 9. 8. 6). In the late empire *Arcadius (2) took the view that the sons of those guilty of maiestas were lucky to be left alive (ibid. 5).

Information was laid and prosecutions brought by individuals (senators, where the senate was the court used). Certain men came to make a profession of this, being rewarded with at least a quarter of the accused man's property, if they secured condemnation, and were labelled delatores. Charges of maiestas were increasingly frequent under Tiberius and after AD 23 disfigured his reign. Many were made on apparently trivial grounds or as a complement to other charges, especially *repetundae and adultery. One reason for this was that a charge of maiestas was held to warrant the hearing of a case in the senate, when it would otherwise have been heard in a quaestio under more rigid rules and with fewer opportunities for self-display by the accuser. Their political background from AD 23 to 31 was the growing power of *Sejanus at the expense of *Vipsania Agrippina (2), her sons, and friends; from 31 to 37 the determination of Sejanus' enemies to be avenged on his surviving friends. The virulent hatred of one group for another was in the tradition of the late republic and the Civil Wars. A large number of those condemned were guilty of something, but this usually fell short of an attempt to subvert the state.

There were condemnations for maiestas under *Gaius (1) and *Claudius and in the latter half of *Nero's reign in contexts where an insecure emperor was being confronted with genuine conspiracies or threats to his position, even if each individual condemned had not necessarily acted treasonably. The condemnations under Domitian fall into the same pattern, but have a special importance for their impact on contemporaries, including the historian *Tacitus (1), in whose work maiestas trials are a leitmotiv, and the later emperors *Nerva and *Trajan. These had the courage to follow the example of Titus and guarantee that they would not execute senators, so virtually suspending maiestas charges throughout their reigns--though one senator was apparently executed without Trajan's knowledge (Eutr. 8. 4). *Hadrian took a similar oath after executing some consulars for conspiracy but went back on it at the end of his reign. The maiestas law then remained dormant until it was revived by Marcus Aurelius after the conspiracy of *Avidius Cassius, and later emperors found it indispensable.

J. L. Ferrary, CRAcad. Inscr. 1983; R. A. Bauman, The Crimen Maiestatis in the Roman Republic and Augustan Principate (1970), and Impietas in Principem (1974); J. E. Allison and D. Cloud, Latomus 1962, 711 ff.; B. Levick, Tiberius the Politician (1976).

J. P. B.; A. W. L.
Majorian, Iulius Valerius

Majorian, Iulius Valerius, western Roman emperor (AD 457–61), the last of any ability, was elevated by *Ricimer. His legislative programme to restore the state was combined with systematic reintegration of parts of Gaul and Spain into the empire; his achievement was admired by *Sidonius Apollinaris, whose home city of Lyons (*Lugdunum (1) ) he had spared. However, his much-heralded expedition against the *Vandals came to grief at New Carthage (*Carthago Nova) and he was killed by Ricimer soon after.

PLRE 2. 702–3, ‘Fl. Iulius Valerius Maiorianus’.

J. D. H.

makarismos, or ‘calling blessed’, is a useful term for expressions of the form ‘Blessed is the mortal who has seen these rites’ (Homeric Hymn to Demeter 480). As in that instance, where the reference is to the Eleusinian *mysteries (see ELEUSIS), such language is particularly commonly used in religious contexts (so also e.g. in *Euripides, Bacch. 72 ff., and on the Orphic ‘gold plates’; see ORPHISM), and it is plausible that initiates in mystery cults were at a certain stage so acclaimed. But the religious use is only a specialization of a broader formula of congratulation, seen for instance in *Odysseus' complimentary words to the lovely Nausicaa in *Homer, Odyssey 6. 154: ‘Thrice blessed are your father and lady mother.’

N. J. Richardson, The Homeric Hymn to Demeter (1974), 313.

R. C. T. P.

Malaca (mod. Málaga), a Phoenician foundation on the southern coast of Spain, was noted by *Artemidorus (2) as an *emporion for the opposite African shore; it retained a Phoenician character. Its trade and industry, chiefly fish-curing (see FISHING), were not interrupted when it became an ally of Rome. With other Spanish communities, it received the *ius Latii from *Vespasian. The extant parts of its charter, and those of Salpensa and Irni (see TABULA IRNITANA), are important sources for Latin municipal status (see MUNICIPIUM) in Imperial times.

Dessau, ILS 6089; Bruns, Font. 147, no. 30.

J. J. van N.; M. I. H.; S. J. K.


Malalas (c. AD 480–c.570), author of an influential universal chronicle in Greek. John Malalas came from *Antioch (1) in Syria where legal expertise probably secured him administrative employment (Malalas is Syriac for ‘rhetor’, ‘lawyer’). His eighteen-book Chronographia covers world history from the Creation to AD 563, where the single manuscript of a continuous text breaks off (12th-cent. Oxford MS Bodl. Baroccianus 182): the chronicle probably terminated in 565, less plausibly 574. Apart from lacunae, this MS is also an abridgement of the original, but Malalas was used by later Greek, Syriac, Coptic, Latin, and Slavonic writers and through these adaptations a fuller version of the original has been reconstructed.

The preface proclaims a dual purpose, to narrate the course of sacred history as presented in Christian chronography and present a summary of events from Adam to *Justinian. These motives coalesce in the chronological computations which present an unusual date for Christ's crucifixion, 6,000 years after Creation (normally c.5,500): this permitted Malalas to dismiss contemporary apocalyptic fears that the world would endure for only 6,000 years and hence end in the early 6th cent. Books 1–8 cover the period before Christ, with Greek mythology and history incorporated within a framework of Hebrew affairs. Books 9–10 treat the late Roman republic and early empire, with special attention to the chronology of Christ's incarnation, while 11–17 narrate Roman imperial history from *Trajan to Justin I (uncle of *Justinian); the account becomes increasingly detailed, and from Zeno's reign deserves credit as a major contemporary source, especially for events at Antioch to which Malalas naturally devoted much attention. Book 18 covers Justinian's reign, and at least in part represents a continuation, not necessarily by the same author: the focus of the narrative switches to Constantinople; after a very detailed, document-based account of Justinian's early years (527–32), it abruptly deteriorates into a series of brief notices until the mid-540s when fuller coverage resumes. Malalas' religious views seem orthodox, though theological matters were not a major concern. The Chronographia provides important evidence for the interests and attitudes of the educated administrative élite in the eastern empire.

TEXT Standard edn. of the Greek: L. Dindorf (1831).

TRANSLATION The Engl. trans. by E. Jeffreys, M. Jeffreys, and R. Scott (1986) incorporates all scattered testimonies to the lost original.

DISCUSSION AND BIBLIOGRAPHY E. Jeffreys, Studies in John Malalas (1990).

L. M. W.

malaria See DISEASE.

Malchus (1)

Malchus (1), a Carthaginian general (fl. 580–550 BC?). The form of the name is uncertain; possibly it is a misunderstanding of melek, ‘king’. He extended the overseas empire of *Carthage. He strengthened Punic control of western *Sicily, was perhaps checked by *Phalaris of Acragas, and then set off to conquer *Sardinia where he was defeated by the natives. He was ‘exiled’, that is perhaps ordered to stay with his men (as colonists?) in Sardinia, but the troops insisted on returning home. He seized Carthage, but was soon overthrown and executed. His career represents the first-known threat of a general and army to the civil government of Carthage. He was succeeded in power by *Mago (1).

H. H. S.
Malchus (2) I

Malchus (MalicoVMalichos) (2) I, king of the *Nabataeans, c.57–30 BC. He sent cavalry to *Caesar for the Alexandrine war (47). He refused to receive *Herod (I) when he was driven from Palestine by the Parthians (40). See PARTHIA. For his help to the Parthians he had to pay P. *Ventidius a fine, while Antony (M. *Antonius (2) ) gave part (but not all) of his territory to *Cleopatra VII who skilfully sowed seeds of discord between Malchus and Herod. Herod was later ordered by Antony to attack Malchus who was defeated (31).

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