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(mĭnăn`dər), 342?–291? B.C., Greek poet, the most famous writer of New Comedy. He wrote ingenious plays using the love plot as his theme; his style is elegant and elaborate and his characters are highly developed. Although original texts of his plays only came to light beginning in 1906, many fragments of his plays survive; The Curmudgeon, discovered in Cairo in 1957, is Menander's only complete play now extant (tr. by Gilbert Highet, 1959). Seven of his plays were adapted by PlautusPlautus
(Titus Maccius Plautus) , c.254–184 B.C., Roman writer of comedies, b. Umbria. His plays, adapted from those of Greek New Comedy, are popular and vigorous representations of middle-class and lower-class life.
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 and TerenceTerence
(Publius Terentius Afer) , b. c.185 or c.195 B.C., d. c.159 B.C., Roman writer of comedies, b. Carthage. As a boy he was a slave of Terentius Lucanus, a Roman senator, who brought him to Rome, educated him, and gave him his freedom.
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See studies by T. B. L. Webster (1960, 1974, 1975), A. W. Gomme and F. H. Sandbach (1973).



Born circa 343 B.C.; died circa 291 B.C. Ancient Greek dramatist; a founder of the Greek New Comedy.

Menander belonged to the well-to-do elite of Athenian society. In his plays he focused on everyday life, especially family conflicts. His humanism is revealed in his defense of women and of children’s rights, his exposure of the seamy side of everyday life, and his sympathy for slaves. The names of Menander’s heroes have become epithets. Classical critics praised him highly as a stylist. The New Greek Comedy influenced Roman drama and, consequently, European drama primarily through Menander’s plays.


Menandri quae supersunt, parts 1-2. Edited by A. Koerte and A. Thier-felder. Leipzig, 1957-59.
In Russian translation:
Nenavistnik. Translation and introduction by A. A. Takho-Godi. In the collection Pisatel’ i zhizn’ [Moscow] 1963.
Komedii. Moscow, 1964.


Tronskii, I. M. Istoriia antichnoi literatury, 3rd ed. Leningrad, 1957.
Istoriia grecheskoi literatury, vol. 3. Edited by S. I. Sobolevskii et al. Moscow, 1960.
Webster, T. B. L. Studies in Menander. Manchester, 1960.
Durham, D. B. The Vocabulary of Menander. Amsterdam, 1969.


1. ?160 bc--?120 bc, Greek king of the Punjab. A Buddhist convert, he reigned over much of NW India
2. ?342--?292 bc, Greek comic dramatist. The Dyskolos is his only complete extant comedy but others survive in adaptations by Terence and Plautus
References in periodicals archive ?
The reader should thus imagine the real Menander as using his memory of the fictional situation of thirteen years before in creating this play.
13) The term [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] in the Menander quotation gives evidence of the reputation of the Macedonian's luck and could have been coined by the playwright.
is the first to translate into English the poem attributed to Apuleius (iambic senarii) and probably adapted from a lost play of Menander.
The Silver Treasure (The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii Vol.
49) The recovery of the handbook written by the third-century Atticist writer, Menander Rhetor, was also essential for the revival of marriage oratory in the Renaissance.
King Milinda, that is, Menander, was one of the Indo-Greek successors of Alexander the Great, who ruled in Gandhara and Punjab ca.
He then conducted a tour around a large scale-model of the House of Menander built by students of the Architecture Department.
For example, the discussion of the treatment of women in Euripides (chapter 7) could easily have been linked to the depiction of women in Aristophanes, and the subject of staging recognition scenes (chapter 4) could have been applied just as well to the comedies of Menander.
by Menander in Dyskolos, Aspis, Koneazomenai and at least one other play) plays no part in Chariton's choice of name.
Finally, Salmenkivi seeks to cast off the slander of `stereotyped entertainment' and to set the comedies of Menander firmly in the social and moral climate of their day.
the House of the Faun (which occupied an entire city block), the House of Menander and the House of the Vettii.
Shahid had long ago convincingly traced the tendentious nature of the historians Procopius' and Menander the Protector's accusation of prodosia, or betrayal, on the part of the Ghassanids.