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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Menas, a men's personal name, could refer to any of the following persons:

  • Patriarch Mennas of Constantinople
  • Menas of Ethiopia, Emperor of Ethiopia 1559–1563
  • Saint Menas (285 – c. 309), Egyptian saint, and one of the most famous Christian saints, speculated to be the same person known as Saint Christopher
  • Pharaoh Menes or Menas, an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the early dynastic period
  • Minas (bishop), bishop of Aksum, Ethiopia
  • One of the seventeen representatives for Sparta to swear an oath for the Peace of Nicias
  • Menas (admiral), a Roman admiral who served under Sextus Pompeius
  • A pirate in William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, based on the historical admiral
  • Menas, Niger national football team nicknamed
Menas (admiral)

Menas, also known as Menodorus, was an admiral who served under Sextus Pompey during the 1st Century BC Roman Civil Wars.

Menas was a freedman of Pompey the Great and when Pompey's son, Sextus, set himself up as ruler of Sicily in the late 40's BC Menas became one of his leading admirals. He captured Sardinia in 40 BC for Sextus, driving out Octavian's governor Marcus Lurius.

The biographer Plutarch relates how during a banquet aboard Sextus Pompey's flagship at the time of the Pact of Misenum (39 BC) with the triumvirs Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus aboard, Menas suggested to Sextus Pompey:

"...Shall I," said he, "cut the cables and make you master not of Sicily only and Sardinia, but of the whole Roman empire?" - Plutarch, Parallel Lives, 'Life of Antony'

However, Sextus told him that he should have done it without asking him because he now could not break his treaty oath made to the triumvirs.

In 38 BC Menas surrendered Sardinia to Octavian and received equestrian rank as a reward. He fought for Octavian under Calvisius Sabinus in the naval battle off Cumae. In 36 BC he returned to Sextus Pompey, but Sextus had him closely watched and Menas, unhappy with being treated with suspicion again changed sides.

He was killed in the Illyrian campaign of 35 BC.

Menas appears as a character in William Shakespeare's play '' Antony and Cleopatra.

Usage examples of "menas".

Kassianos began, more carefully than he had intended before meeting Menas, "

Before, his anger's flame had extended only to Menas and his still unknown lover.

Now Menas and the woman ' were staring at him rather than the other way around.

The two men performed the usual Videssian ritual over wine, then Menas returned to his own seat and waved Kassianos to the other, more comfortable, chair in the room.

Kassianos began, more carefully than he had intended before meeting Menas, "I came to Develtos by chance a few days ago, compelled by the blizzard to take shelter here.

He thought better of Menas for not gabbling oaths that, as the abbot pointed out, had to be thought untrustworthy.

The nomophylax settled back in his chair and listened as Menas spoke of this monk's quarrel with that one, of the time when three brothers got drunk together, of the monk who missed evening prayers four days running, of the one who had refused to pull weeds until he was disciplined, of the one who had sworn at an old man in Develtos, of the monk who had stolen a book but tried to put the blame on another, and on and on, all the petty squabbles to which monasteries, being made up of men, were prone.

If Menas swore under the drug that the monks of the monastery of the holy Tralitzes were obeying Pakhomios' Rule, then they were, and that was all there was to it.

The analogy pleased Kassianos, for when he spoke a final word of command, the smoke would indeed yield a picture of what Menas was about.

He was not sure whether hunter's instinct or sorcerer's told him it was Menas, but he knew.

He wiped his eyes with his sleeve, then, more or less in control of himself, asked Menas, "Your monks are all, hmm, entertained themselves, and do no entertaining?

Always at midnight, when the town lay lost in sleep, Saint Menas stepped silently out of his icon-shrine and struck out over the walls and through the Greek quarter.

As soon as Saint Menas had finished his round in the gray of dawn, he went back into his icon-shrine, and no one would have suspected what secret things had happened in the night if Murzuflos the lamplighter had not noticed, as he cleaned the church in the morning, sweat on Saint Menas' horse.

Secretly he had christened them and given them names: the middle one, the largest, was Saint Menas, the protector and lord of Megalokastro.

And every year, on the twenty-third of April, Saint George landed at Megalokastro, and Murzuflos, hanging on the three bells in the dance, was the first to see him as he came up from the harbor and the first to greet him by rapturously swinging Saint Menas, Freedom and Death.