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XI. The river Xanthus supplicates Thalassa (the Sea) to

receive him, and cure the burns inflicted upon him by

Hephæstus on behalf of Achilleus

XII. Thetis relates to Doris the story of the exposure of

Danae and her infant, Perseus.


XIII. Enipeus reproaches Poseidon with the fraudulent seduc-

tion of the nymph Tyro. Poseidon excuses himself 78

XIV. A Triton relates to the Nereids the story of the rescue

of Andromeda by Perseus.


XV. Zephyrus relates to Notus the manner of the rape of

Europa, and the marine pomp with which she was

conducted to her nuptials with Zeus.



I. Diogenes commissions Polydeukes, about to return to

the upper world, to inform Menippus of the actual

condition things in the land of shades, and to

deliver admonitory messages to various sorts of men

-the rich, the powerful, the proud; and, finally, to


poor, whom, when they complain of their lot on

earth, he is to console by representing the complete

equality (iootipa) which prevails in the regions of

the dead


II. Kræsus, Midas, and Sardanapalus complain to Pluto

of Menippus that he derides them for their lamenta-

tions over the loss of the power, wealth, and luxury

which belonged to them on earth. Menippus, in spite

of Pluto's remonstrances, persists in his ridicule


III. Menippus ridicules the oracles of Trophonius and Am-

philochus .


IV. Hermes demands from Charon arrears of payment due

to him for his services on the Styx. Charon excuses

himself on the plea of bad times ; no great war or

famine, as it happened, ravaging the earth at that

moment. Hermes moralizes on the causes of death,

different from those of old, which despatch men in

crowds to Hades.


V. Pluto directs Hermes to bring him the fortune and

legacy-hunters and flatterers of a certain rich man,

and to suffer the latter to outlive his fawning satel.



VI. Terpsion, a legacy-hunter, accuses Pluto and the Fates

in that, although only thirty years of age, they had

caused him to predecease the object of his tender

regards, the millionaire nonagenarian, Thukritus.

Pluto convinces Terpsion of the injustice of his accu-

sation ; and the legacy-hunter consoles himself in

the prospect of being soon joined in Hades by his late

rivals on earth.


VII. Zenophantes and Kallidemides, two parasites, bewaii

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one to the other their fates, in having been in the

midst of their scheming, unexpectedly dismissed to

Hades. Kallidemides, in particular, recounts the

pleasant manner in which he brought about his own


VIII. Knemon, a legacy-hunter, laments to his neighbour

Damnippus, that, whereas he had publicly, in his

will, bequeathed all his wealth to the millionaire

Hermolaus, in the expectation that the latter would

reciprocate the benefit, he, the speculating testator,

by his sudden death, had been frustrated of all his

hopes, and, besides, had left his family destitute

IX. Polystratus, a centenarian plutocrat, upon arriving in

Hades, narrates to his friend Simylus how, by reason

of his great wealth, he had enjoyed the adulation of

the world and an abundance of gifts from speculating

flatterers, and how he had disappointed them all by

his will

X. An alarming number of ghosts crowd to the Styx.

Charon, fearing for his boat, directs Hermes to see

that they were entirely stripped of their various

insignia of power, rank, wealth, and the weighty

load of vices, before they are admitted on board.

Menippus, who is one of the passengers, avails him-

self of the opportunity for ridiculing and railing at

the bewailing ghosts
XI. Krates and Diogenes, meeting in Hades, indulge their

satire on the subject of the fates of two millionaire

merchants (cousins) who had been constantly plot-

ting, in the usual manner, each for the other's

legacy, and who had both perished on the same day

by shipwreck. The two eminent Cynics congratu-

late themselves on the recollection of the very diffe-

rent character of their own objects in life

XII. Alexander of Macedon and Hannibal, quarrelling for

precedence, submit the arbitrament of their cause

to Minos. Each recounts his exploits. Scipio, the

conqueror of Carthage, intervenes, and pronounces

in favour of Alexander, claiming the second place for

himself, and assigning the third place to Hannibal .

XIII. Diogenes jeers at Alexander of Macedon for his late

pretensions to divinity, at the same time satirizing

the servile attitude of the conquered Greek States to-

wards him. He proceeds to remind the arrogant

conqueror of all his vain power and glory, and casts

large part of the blame on Alexander's preceptor,

Aristotle, for flattering and fostering the pride and

ambition of his pupil. Diogenes, finally, recom-

mends the dead potentate to drink the waters of the

river Lethe

XIV. Philip, King of Macedon, ridicules his son Alexan.

der's absurd arrogance in claiming to be the son of

Ammon, and calls in question the greatness of his

military achievements. Alexander defends him-

self .

XV. Antilochus, the son of Nestor (one of the Greek heroes

who fell during the siege of Ilium), remonstrates

with his friend Achilleus for having given utterance

to the words put into his mouth by the poet of the

Odyssey—that he would rather be a slave on earth

than king in Hades-shows him the uselessness of

regrets in the under-world, and, at the same time,

attempts to console him with the reflection that he

is far from being alone in his fate. Achilleus

takes the admonition of his friend in good part,

but refuses to be comforted

XVI. Diogenes, the Cynic, expresses his astonishment to

Herakles at seeing the son of Zeus in Hades, like

the rest. That hero pretends that his actual self

is in heaven, while it is his eidolon, or phantom,

which is among the dead

XVII. Menippus derides the fable and fate of Tantalus

XVIII. Menippus desires Hermes to point out to him the

beautiful women and handsome men celebrated by

the poets. Hermes shows him the ghosts of the

most famous of them, and, in particular, that of

Helene. Menippus cynically expresses his aston-

ishment that a bare skull should have caused a

great war, and the deaths of so many thousands

XIX. Protesilaus, one of the victims of the Trojan War,

seeks to avenge himself by an assault on Helene-

Æakus, gatekeeper and one of the high court of

justice in Hades, reminds him that it is Menelaus,

the commander-in-chief of the Achæan army against

Ilium, who is the proper object of his vengeance.

Menelaus shifts the responsibility to the shoulders

of Paris. Paris lays the blame upon Eros. Æakus

decides that Protesilaus has only himself to blame

for preferring military glory to a young and beau-

tiful wife ; but concedes to Protesilaus that the

blame, in the last resort, lies with the Fates

XX. Æakus, at the especial request of Menippus, intro-

duces him to the ghosts of the most celebrated

potentates of antiquity, when the Cynic avails

himself of his opportunity for ridicule and derision.

Menippus is next introduced to the most famous

philosophers, whom he treats with not much

greater consideration. The dialogue concludes with

an interview with Socrates, whose foibles, real or

pretended, are made the subject of satire

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