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3. A Thessalian adventurer, was a favourite of Aristippus of Larissa, who placed him in command of the forces, which he had obtained by the help of Cyrus the Younger in order to make head against a party opposed to him. When Cyrus began his expedition, in B. C. 401, Menon was sent by Aristippus to his aid with 1500 men, and joined the prince's army at Colossae. Cyrus having reached the borders of Cappadocia, employed Menon to escort back into her own country Epyaxa, the wife of Syennesis, the Cilician king. In passing through the defiles on the frontiers Menon lost a number of his men, who, according to one account, were cut off by the Cilicians; and in revenge for this, his troops plundered the city of Tarsus and the royal palace. When the Cyrean army reached the Euphrates, Menon persuaded the soldiers under his command to be the first to cross the river, and thus to ingratiate themselves with the prince. At the battle of Cunaxa he commanded the left wing of the Greeks, and, after the battle, when Clearchus sent to Ariaeus to make an offer of placing him on the Persian throne, he formed one of the mission at his own request, as being connected with Ariaeus by ties of friendship and hospitality. He was again one of the four generals who accompanied Clearchus to his fatal interview with Tissaphernes, and was detained, together with his colleagues. Clearchus, in seeking the interview for the purpose of delivering up on both sides those who had striven to excite their mutual suspicions, had been instigated in a great measure by resentment against Menon, whom he suspected of having calumniated him to Ariaeus and Tissaphernes, with the view of obtaining the entire command of the army for himself. According to the statement which Ariaeus made to the Greeks immediately after the apprehension of the generals, Menon and Proxenus were honourably treated by the Persians, as having revealed the treachery of which he said Clearchus had been guilty; and Ctesias relates, in ignorance certainly of the details and in direct opposition to Xenophon, that Clearchus himself distrusted Tissaphernes, and that the army was induced by the arts of Menon to compel him to agree to the interview. That Menon did really act a treacherous part towards his countrymen is by no means improbable, as well from the circumstances of the case as from his character, even if we make all allowance for some colouring which Xenophon's personal hostility to the man may have thrown into his invective against him. As to his fate, Ctesias merely says that he was not executed with the other generals but Xenophon tells us that he was put to death by lingering tortures, which lasted for a whole year. If this latter account is the true one, Bishop Thirlwall's hypothesis seems not improbable, viz., that he was given up to the vengeance of Parysatis as a compensation for the rejection of her entreaties on behalf of Clearchus and his colleagues. There can be no doubt of the identity of the subject of the present article with the Menon introduced in the dialogue of Plato, which bears his name. (Xen. Anab. 1.1.10, 2. §§ 6, 20-25, 4. §§ 13-17, 5. §§ 11-17, 7.1, 8.4, 2.1.5, 2.1, 5. §§ 28, 31, 38, 6. §§ 21-29; Diod.14.19,27; Ctes. Pers. ap. Phot. Bibl. p. 132; Plut. Art. 18; D. L. 2.50; Suid. s. v. Μένων; Athen. xi. pp. 505, a, b, 506, b; Thirlwall's Greece, vol. iv. pp. 324, 325; Gedik. ad Plat. Men. p. 70.)

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401 BC (1)
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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.1.10
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.1.2
    • Plutarch, Artaxerxes, 18
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