Menander (; , Menandros; c. 342/41 – c. 290 BC) was a Greek dramatist and the best-known representative of Athenian New Comedy. He wrote 108 comedies and took the prize at the Lenaia festival eight times. His record at the City Dionysia is unknown but may well have been similarly spectacular.
One of the most popular writers of antiquity, his work was lost during the Middle Ages and is known in modernity in highly fragmentary form, much of which was discovered in the 20th century. Only one play, Dyskolos, has survived almost entirely.
Menander (; fl. 4th century BC) was an officer in the service of Alexander the Great. He was one of those called etairoi, but he held the command of a body of mercenaries. He was appointed by Alexander to the government of Lydia, during the settlement of the affairs of Asia made by Alexander when at Tyre (Lebanon) (331 BC). Menander appears to have remained at that post until the year 323 BC, when he was commissioned to conduct a reinforcement of troops to Alexander at Babylon — he arrived there just before the king's last illness. In the division of the provinces, after the death of Alexander, Menander received his former government of Lydia, which he was quick to take possession of.
He appears soon to have attached himself to the party of Antigonus and was the first to give Antigonus information about the ambitious schemes of Perdiccas for marrying Cleopatra. In the new distribution of the provinces at Triparadisus (321 BC) he lost the government of Lydia, which was given to Cleitus; but this was probably only in order that he might liaise more easily with Antigonus, as we find him commanding a part of Antigonus's army in the first campaign against Eumenes (320 BC). The following year, Menander learnt of the escape of Eumenes from Nora, and advanced with an army into Cappadocia to attack him, forcing him to take refuge in Cilicia. After this, no further mention of Menander is found in history.
Menander is an Anglicized form of the Greek , Menandros, "staunch man" or "abiding man." It may refer to:Persons
- Menander, Greek dramatist
- Menander (general), general of Alexander the Great
- Menander I, Indo-Greek king
- Menander II, Indo-Greek king
- Menander of Laodicea, Greek rhetorician
- Menander Protector, Byzantine historian and ethnographer
- Menander of Ephesus, (ca. early 2nd century BCE), wrote a history of Tyre, Lebanon
- Menander (gnostic), a student of Simon Magus and his successor as leader of Simonianism
- The House of Menander, in Pompeii, named for its fresco of a poet
- Menander (butterfly), a genus of metalmark butterflies in the tribe of Nymphidiini
Menander was a first-century CE Samaritan gnostic, magician and a leader of the Simonians following the death of his master and instructor, Simon Magus, who was in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius. He is mentioned in the works of Irenaeus, Tertullian and others. Justin Martyr is the oldest source of knowledge about Menander after he met some of the devoted Menandrians in their old age. Justin suggested that Menander was born in Cappareteia and established a school in Antioch where he announced himself the messiah and vowed to defeat the angels that were keeping the world in captivity, possibly through exorcism.
When the Simonians divided during the Gnostic schism, Menander called his part of the sect Menandrians, holding the belief that the world was made by angels. His ideas contrasted with those of Satornilus and the Satornilians, who believed the world was made by only seven angels against the will of a "Father on high". Menander held that a water baptism was essential as the source for eternal youth.
Menander held solid to the belief that as head of the church, he was the savior and Power of God. Menander maintained that "the primary power continues unknown to all but that he himself is the person who has been sent forth from the presence of the invisible beings as a savior, for the deliverance of men".
Other magicians including Basilides and Cerdo became followers of Menander and were said to have "given immense development to his doctrines" with differing ethical consequences. It has been suggested that some of those who tried to interpret the doctrines of Menander, such as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, took things far too literally. Irenaeus for instance, claimed that those in receipt of Menander's water baptism no longer grew old and became immortal.