Menedēmus in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

(Μενέδημος). A Greek philosopher, a native of Eretria. Though of noble birth, he was poor, and worked for a livelihood either as a builder or as a tent-maker. According to one story, he seized the opportunity afforded by his being sent on some military service to Megara to hear Plato, and abandoned the army to addict himself to philosophy; but it may be questioned whether he was old enough to have heard Plato before the death of the latter. According to another story, he and his friend Asclepiades got their livelihood as millers, working during the night that they might have leisure for philosophy in the day (Athen. p. 168). The two friends afterwards became disciples of Stilpo at Megara. From Megara they went to Elis, and placed themselves under the instruction of some disciples of Phaedo. On his return to Eretria Menedemus established a school of philosophy, which was called the Eretrian. He did not, however, confine himself to philosophical pursuits, but took an active part in the political affairs of his native city, and came to be the leading man in the State. He went on various embassies to Lysimachus, Demetrius, and others; but being suspected of the treacherous intention of betraying Eretria into the power of Antigonus, he quitted his native city secretly, and took refuge with Antigonus in Asia. Here he starved himself to death in the seventy-fourth year of his age, probably about B.C. 277. Of the philosophy of Menedemus little is known, except that it closely resembled that of the Megarian School, on which see Euclides, p. 630.

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