Menander Rhetor

Menander Rhetor (Greek: Μένανδρος Ῥήτωρ), also known as Menander of Laodicea (Greek: Μένανδρος ὁ Λαοδικεύς), was a Greek rhetorician and commentator of the 3rd or 4th century AD.

Two incomplete treatises on epideictic speeches have been preserved under his name, but it is generally considered that they cannot be by the same author. Bursian attributes the first to Menander, whom he placed in the 4th century, and the second to an anonymous rhetorician of Alexandria Troas, who possibly lived in the time of Diocletian. Others, from the superscription of the Paris manuscript, assign the first to Genethlius of Petra in Palestine.

In view of the general tradition of antiquity, that both treatises were the work of Menander, it is possible that the author of the second was not identical with the Menander mentioned by the Suda; since the name is of frequent occurrence in later Greek literature. The first treatise, entitled Division of Epideictic Styles (Διαίρεσις τῶν Ἐπιδεικτικῶν), discusses the different kinds of epideictic speeches; the second, On Epideictic Speeches (Περὶ Ἐπιδεικτικῶν), has special titles for each chapter.

Text in L Spengel's Rhetores graeci, iii. 329-446, and in C Bursian's "Der Rhetor Menandros und seine Schriften" in Abhandl. der bayer. Akad. der Wissenschaften, xvi. (1882); see also Wilhelm Nitsche, Der Rhetor M. und die Scholien zu Demosthenes; JE Sandys, Hist. of Classical Scholarship (1906), i. 338; Wilhelm von Christ, Gesch. der griechischen Litteratur (1898), 550.

See alsoEdit


  • Heath, Malcolm Menander: A Rhetor in Context. Oxford: OUP, 2004. Secondary study.
  • Russell, D.A. and N.G. Wilson (edd.) Menander Rhetor. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981. Text, translation and commentary.
  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Menander, of Laodicea on the Lycus, Greek rhetorician and commentator". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.