or MEI'DIAS (Meidias).
1. An Athenian, of no very reputable character, to whom we find the nickname of "quail" applied in Aristophanes (Aristoph. Birds 1297
), because,-so says the poet, --" he is like a quail with its head broken." No doubt there is also an allusion here, as we learn from the scholiast on the passage, to his propensity for the game of quail-striking (ὀρτυγοκοπία
) and the gambling which accompanied it. We hear that he was satirized, too, by other comic poets (Phrynichus, Plato, and Metagenes) as a very great knave, beggarly at once and arrogant (κόβαλος καὶ πτωχαλαρών
). By Plato, the philosopher (if indeed the dialogue in question be his), he is mentioned as a man who, though utterly uneducated both in mind and in character, presumed to take a part in public affairs, and made his way by dint of impudence and flattery of the people.
In the Νῖκαι
of Plato, the comic poet, peculation ot the public money was charged against him along with his other tricks of knavery. (Plat. Alc. Prim.
p. 120; Schol. ad loc.
; Athen. 11.506
d; Dalechamp, ad loc.
; Suid. s. v. ὀρτυγοκόπος
; Meineke. Fragm. Com. Graec.
vol. ii. pp. 182, 644. 755; Dindorf and Brunck, ad Arist. l.c.