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Mentes can refer to:

  • two characters in Greek mythology:
    • Mentes (King of the Cicones), as described in the Iliad
    • Mentes (King of the Taphians), as described in the Odyssey
  • Menteş, Sandıklı, village in Turkey

Mentes is the surname of:

  • Mentes József (1925-96), Hungarian actor
  • Murat Menteş (d. 1974), Turkish writer
  • Yalçın Menteş (b. 1960), Turkish actor
Mentes (King of the Cicones)

In the Iliad, Mentes is the King of the Cicones.

In Book XVII of The Iliad, Apollo disguises himself as Mentes to encourage Hector to fight Menelaus, ("Hector, now you're going after something you'll not catch, chasing the horses of warrior Achilles, descendant of Aeacus. No mortal man, except Achilles, can control or drive them, for an immortal mother gave him birth. Meanwhile, warrior Menelaus, Atreus' son, standing by Patroclus, has just killed the best man of the Trojans, Euphorbus, son of Panthous, ending his brave fight.") This is the only reference to the king in the text.

He is not the same character as the Mentes in the Odyssey, who is king of the Taphians.

Mentes (King of the Taphians)

Mentes is the name of the King of the Taphians and the son of Anchialus. He is mentioned in the Odyssey.

In Book I, the Goddess Athena disguises herself as Mentes, an old family friend of Odysseus, when she goes to visit his son, Telemachus. Athena, disguised as him, tells Telemachus that he is sailing to the city of Temese with his own crew, claiming that he is in search of copper. "Mentes" (truly Athena) recommends that Telemachus should call a counsel to try to remove the suitors. Then he should see King Nestor at Pylos and King Menelaus of Sparta, to make inquiries as to the whereabouts of his father. Upon his return, but he should kill the suitors, either by stealth or publicly.

Although Mentes had hardly any appearances in Greek myths of earlier antiquity, he became a symbol of a guardian and a mentor. Later, his name got a derogatory flavor and became a symbol of a sinister messenger.

He is not to be confused with Mentor, the elderly friend of Odysseus in whose care Telemachus was placed during the Trojan War. To add to the possible confusion, Athena also takes the guise of Mentor (in Book II of The Odyssey). Nor is this Mentes the same character as the Mentes in the Iliad, who is king of the Cicones.

Usage examples of "mentes".

The son of Atreus would have then carried off the armour of the son of Panthous with ease, had not Phoebus Apollo been angry, and in the guise of Mentes chief of the Cicons incited Hector to attack him.