Menippus

▪ Greek philosopher
flourished 3rd century BC, b. Gadara [now Umm Qays, Jordan]

      Greek philosopher who followed the cynic philosophy of Diogenes and who founded a seriocomic literary genre known as Menippean satire. It was imitated by Greek and Latin writers and influenced the development of Latin satire.

      Menippus was allegedly a slave by birth who became rich by begging or by usury, afterward being made a citizen of Thebes, in Greece. His writings are lost, but some idea of their character can be gained from his imitators, notably Varro (Varro, Marcus Terentius), Seneca (Seneca, Lucius Annaeus), and Lucian. His criticism was an innovation in the presentation of philosophic ideas because it was aimed at reaching as wide an audience as possible. It abandoned the serious form of dialogue or essay and instead conveyed its cynic message in a satiric style, mocking institutions, ideas, and conventions in a mixture of prose and verse. Unusual settings—including a descent into Hades, an auction, and a symposium—were employed with striking effect; they were used also by his Latin successors. The 1st-century-AD Satyricon of Petronius (Petronius Arbiter, Gaius), a picaresque tale in verse and prose containing long digressions in which the author airs his views on topics having nothing to do with the plot, is in the Menippean tradition. A later example is the Satire Ménippée (1594), a French prose and verse satire on the Holy League, the political party of the Roman Catholics, written by several royalists.

Additional Reading
Eugene P. Kirk, Menippean Satire: An Annotated Catalogue of Texts and Criticism (1980); Joel C. Relihan, Ancient Menippean Satire (1993); Carter Kaplan, Critical Synoptics: Menippean Satire and the Analysis of Intellectual Mythology (2000); Howard D. Weinbrot, Menippean Satire Reconsidered: From Antiquity to the Eighteenth Century (2005).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Meníppus — Meníppus, Zyniker, geb. in Gadara in Palästina, wahrscheinlich im 3. Jahrh. v. Chr., behandelte Gegenstände aus dem Gebiete der praktischen Philosophie in heiterm Tone. – Vgl. Fritzsche (1871) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Menippus — Menippus, Cyniker, Wucherer und beißender Spötter; nach ihm benannte Varro eine Gattung Satiren menippeische …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Menippus — For the orator, see Menippus of Stratonikeia. Menippus, by Velázquez Menippus (Greek: Μένιππος; 3rd century BC) of Gadara, was a Cynic and satirist. His works, which are all lost, were an important influence on Varro and Lucian. The …   Wikipedia

  • Menippus — Menippos. Gemälde von Diego Velázquez, 1639/40 Menippos von Gadara, auch Menipp oder latinisiert Menippus (* um 330 v. Chr. vermutlich in Gadara, heute Umm Quais, Palästina; † um 260 v. Chr.) war ein griechischer Philosoph, der der Schule der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MENIPPUS — I. MENIPPUS Phoenix Philosophus Cynicus, ex servo civis Thebanus, nihil memoriâ dignum edidit; porro ipse librique ridendi: Cumque habendi cupidissimus esset, bonis amissis laqueô viram finivit. Diogen. Laertius l. 6. Item Poeta Comicus. Suidas.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Menippus of Stratonikeia — (in Greek Mενιππoς; b. Stratonicea, Caria, lived 1st century BC), surnamed Catocas, was a Carian by birth; he was the most accomplished orator of his time in all Asia (79 BC). Cicero, who heard him, puts him almost on a level with the Attic… …   Wikipedia

  • MENIPPUS Pergamenus — Geographus insignis, de quo vide Salmas. ad Solin. p. 850 …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • МЕНИПП —    • Menippus,          Μένιππος,        1. афинянин, отец Гиппокла. Thuc. 8, 13;        2. тиран города Орея на острове Эвбее, поддерживавший Филиппа против Аттики. Dem. Phil. 3, 125;        3. полководец царя Филиппа III, сражавшийся с… …   Реальный словарь классических древностей

  • empousai —    In Greek lore, a type of female DEMON, related to LAMIAE and similar to the SUCCUBUS. Empousae means “forcers in.” Empusa is sometimes translated into English as “vampire.”    The empousai are children of Hecate, the goddess of the underworld… …   Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology

  • Diogenes of Sinope — (Διογένης ὁ Σινωπεύς) Diogenes by John William Waterhouse, depicting his lamp, tub, and diet of onions Full name Diogenes of Sinope (Διογένης ὁ Σινωπεύς) Born …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.