In Greek mythology, Menelaus (; , Menelaos, from < μένος· vigor, rage, power + λαός· people, "wrath of the people") was a king of Mycenaean (pre- Dorian) Sparta, the husband of Helen of Troy, and a central figure in the Trojan War. He was the son of Atreus and Aerope, brother of Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and, according to the Iliad, leader of the Spartan contingent of the Greek army during the War. Prominent in both the Iliad and Odyssey, Menelaus was also popular in Greek vase painting and Greek tragedy, the latter more as a hero of the Trojan War than as a member of the doomed House of Atreus.
Menelaus is a young lunar impact crater located on the southern shore of Mare Serenitatis near the eastern end of the Montes Hæmus mountain range. To the southwest is the small crater Auwers, and to the southwest is the even smaller Daubrée. To the northeast is a faint rille system named the Rimae Menelaus.
Menelaus (; , Menelaos) may refer to:
- Menelaus, one of the two most known Atrides, a king of Sparta and son of Atreus and Aerope
- Menelaus (crater) on the Moon, named after Menelaus of Alexandria
Menelaus (son of Lagus), brother of Ptolemy I Soter
- Menelaus of Macedon (various)
- Menelaus of Pelagonia who received Athenian citizenship
- Menelaus (High Priest), 2nd century BC High Priest of the Second temple
- Menelaus, pupil of Stephanus (fl. 33 BC) sculptor in the workshop of Pasiteles in the time of Caesar Augustus
Menelaus of Alexandria, a Hellenistic mathematician and astronomer
- Menelaus' theorem, a theorem attributed to Menelaus of Alexandria
Menelaus (son of Lagus)
Menelaus (; , Menelaos), son of Lagus and brother of Ptolemy I Soter (ruler of Egypt), served as priest of the eponymous state cult, which may well have been dedicated to Alexander the Great, and was for a time king in Cyprus, under his brother.
His name does not occur among the officers or generals of Alexander the Great (336–323 BC) during the lifetime of that monarch, though it is incidentally mentioned by Phylarchus in terms that would seem to imply that he then already occupied a distinguished position. The first occasion on which he appears in history is 315 BC, when he was appointed by his brother to the chief command of the forces dispatched to Cyprus, where they were destined to co-operate with the fleet of Seleucus, and with Nicocreon, king of Salamis. By their combined efforts, they soon reduced all the cities of Cyprus to subjection, with the exception of Citium; and that also, it would appear, must have ultimately submitted. Menelaus now remained in the island, which he governed with almost absolute authority, the petty princes of the several cities being deposed, imprisoned, or assassinated on the slightest symptom of disaffection. He still held the chief command in 306 BC, when Demetrius Poliorcetes arrived in Cyprus with a powerful fleet and army. Unable to contend with this formidable antagonist in the open field, Menelaus drew together all his forces, and shut himself up within the walls of Salamis, which he prepared to defend to the utmost. But having risked an action under the walls of the town, he was defeated with much loss; and Demetrius pressed the siege with his wonted vigour. Menelaus, however, succeeded in burning his battering engines; and by the most strenuous exertions, made good his defence until the arrival of Ptolemy himself, with a powerful fleet, to the relief of the island. In the great sea-fight that ensued, Menelaus sent a squadron of sixty ships to assist Ptolemy; but though these succeeded in forcing their way out of the harbour of Salamis, they came too late to retrieve the fortune of the day; and the total defeat of the Egyptian fleet having extinguished all his hopes of succour, he immediately afterwards surrendered the city of Salamis, with all his forces, both military and naval, into the hands of Demetrius. The conqueror, with characteristic magnanimity, sent him back to Egypt, accompanied by his friends, and carrying with him all his private property. From this time we hear no more of Menelaus. There are some coins, attributed to him, which must have been struck during the period of his occupation of Cyprus.
Menelaus (son of Amyntas III)
For other uses, see Menelaus of Macedon
Menelaus was son of Amyntas III of Macedon by his second wife Gygaea. According to Justin, he was executed by order of his half-brother Philip II during 347 BC after the capture of Olynthus. (Justin, viii, 3).
Menelaus (High Priest)
Menelaus was High Priest in Jerusalem from 171 BC to about 161 BC. He was the successor of Jason, the brother of Onias III.
The sources are divided as to his origin. According to II Maccabees, he belonged to the tribe of Benjamin and was the brother of the Simeon who had denounced Onias III to Seleucus IV Philopator, and revealed to the Syrians the existence of the treasure of the Temple; according to Flavius Josephus, Menelaus was the brother of Onias III and Jason, his two predecessors as High Priest, and also bore the name Onias. It is possible that Josephus confused Simeon, the brother of Menelaus, with Simeon, the father of Onias and Jason.