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MAELIUS—MAETERLINGK

MAELIUS, SPURIUS (d. 439 B.C.), a wealthy Roman plebeian, who during a severe famine bought up a large amount of corn and sold it at a low price to the people. Lucius (or Gaius) Minucius, the patricianpraefectus annonae (president of the market), thereupon accused him of courting popularity with a view to making himself king. The cry was taken up. -Maelius, summoned before the aged Cincinnatus (specially appointed dictator), refused to appear, and was slain by Gaius Servilius Ahala; his house was razed to the ground, his corn distributed amongst the people, and his property confiscated. The open space called Aequimaelium, on which his house had stood, preserved the memory of his death. Cicero calls Ahala's deed a glorious one, but, whether Maelius entertained any ambitious projects or not, his summary execution was an act of murder, since by the Valerio-Horatian laws the dictator was bound to allow the right of appeal.

See Niebuhr's History of Rome, ii. 418 (Eng. trans., 1851); G. Cornewall Lewis, Credibility of early Roman History, ii.; Livy, iv. 13; Cicero, De senectute 16, De amicitia 8, De repnblica, ii. 27; Florus, i. 26; Dion. Halic. xii. 1.


MAELSTROM (whirlpool), a term originally applied to a strong current running past the south end of the island of Moskenaes, a member of the group of Lofoten Islands on the west coast of Norway. It is known also as the Moskenstrom. Though dangerous in certain states of wind and tide, the tales of ships being swallowed in this whirlpool are fables. The word is probably of Dutch origin, from nialen, to grind or whirl, and strom or strooni, a stream or current. It appears on Mercator's Atlas of 1595.


MAENADS (Gr. Μαινάδες, frenzied women), the female attendants of Dionysus. They are known by other names-Bacchae, Thyiades, Clodones and Mimallones (the last two probably of Thracian origin)-all more or less synonymous.

See the exhaustive articles by A. Legrand in Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionnaire des anliquités and A. Rapp in Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie; also editions of Euripides, Bacchae (e.g. J. E. Sandys).


MAENIUS, GAIUS, Roman statesman and general. Having completed (when consul in 338 B.C.) the subjugation of Latium, which with Campania had revolted against Rome, he was honoured by a triumph, and a column was erected to him in the Forum. When censor in 318, in order that the spectators might have more room for seeing the games that were celebrated in the Forum, he provided the buildings in the neighbourhood with balconies, which were called after him macniana.

See Festus, s.v. Maeniana; Livy viii. 13, ix. 34; Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxxiv. II (5).


MAERLANT, JACOB VAN (c. 1235–c. 1300), Flemish poet, was born in the Franc de Burges (tradition says at Damme) between 1230 and 1240. He was sacristan of Maerlant, in the island of Ost-Voorne, and afterwards clerk to the magistrates at Damme. His early works are translations of French romances. Maerlant's most serious work in the field of romance, was his Ystorien van Troyen (c. 1264), a poem of some forty thousand lines, translated and amplified from the Roman de Troie of Benoit de Sainte-More. From this time Maerlant rejected romance as idle, and devoted himself to writing scientific and historical worksfor the education and enlightenment of the Flemish people. His Heinielicheil der Heimelicheden (c. 1266) is a translation of the Secreta secretornm, a manual for the education of princes, ascribed throughout the middle ages to Aristotle. Van der Naturen Bloeme is a free translation of De nutura reruni, a natural history in twenty books by a native of Brabant, Thomas de Cantimpré; and his Rnmbijbel is taken, with many omissions and additions, from the Historia scholastic of Petrus Comestor. He supplemented this metrical paraphrase of Scripture history by Die Wrake van Jhernsalem (1271) from Josephus. Although Maerlant was an orthodox Catholic, he is said to have been called to account by the priests for translating the Bible into the vulgar tongue. In 1284 he began his magnum opus, the Spiegel historiael, a history of the world, derived chiefly from the third part of the Speculum majus of Vincent de Beauvais. This work was completed by two other writers, Philipp Utenbroeke and Lodowi jk van Velthem. Maerlant died in the closing years of the 13th century, his last poem, Van den lande 'van oversee, dating from 1291. The greater part of his work consists of translations, but he also produced poems which prove him to have had real original poetic faculty. Among these are Die Clansule van der Bible, Der Kerken Clage, imitated from the Complaintes of Rutebeuf, and the three dialogues entitled M artijn, in which the fundamental questions of theology and ethics were discussed. In spite of his orthodoxy, Maerlant was a keen satirist of the corruptions of the clergy. He was one of the most learned men of his age, and for two centuries was the most celebrated of Flemish poets.

See monographs by J. van Beers (Ghent, 1860); C. A. Serrure (Ghent, 1861); K. Versnaeyen (Ghent, 1861); j. te Winkel (Leiden, 1877, 2nd ed., Ghent, 1892); and editions of Torec (Leiden, 1875) by J. te Winkel; of Naturen Bloeme, by Eelco Verwijs; of Alexanders Geesten (Groningen, 1882), by I. Franck; Merlijn (Leiden, 1880–1882), by J. van Bloten; Heimelicheit der Heirnelicheden (Dordrecht, 1838), by Clarisse; Der Naturen Bloeme (Groningen, 1873), by Verwijs; of Rijmbiibel (Brussels, 1858-1869), by David;Spiegel historiael (Leiden 1857-1863), by Verwijs and de Vries; selections from the Yslorien van Troyen (1873), by J. Verdam.


MAES, NICOLAS (1632–1693), Dutch painter, was born at Dordrecht, and went about 1650 to Amsterdam, where he entered Rembrandt's studio. Before his return to Dordrecht in 1654 Maes painted a few Rembrandtesque genre pictures, with life-size figures and in a deep glowing scheme of colour, like the “Reverie” at the Ryks Museum in Amsterdam, the “ Card Players” at the National Gallery, and the “Children with a Goat Carriage,” belonging to Baroness N. de Rothschild. So closely did his early style resemble that of Rembrandt, that the last-named picture, and other canvases in the Leipzig and Budapest galleries and in the collection of Lord Radnor, were or are still ascribed to Rembrandt. In his best period, from 1655 to 1665, Maes devoted himself to domestic genre on a smaller scale, retaining to a great extent the magic of colour he had learnt from Rembrandt. Only on rare occasions did he treat scriptural subjects, as in the earl of Denbigh’s “ Hagar's Departure, ” which has been ascribed to Rembrandt. His favourite subjects were women spinning, or reading the Bible, or preparing a meal. In 1665 he went to Antwerp, where he remained till 1678, in which year he probably returned to Amsterdam. His Antwerp period coincides with a complete change in style and subject. He devoted himself almost exclusively to portraiture, and abandoned the intimacy and glowing colour harmonies of his earlier work for a careless elegance which suggests the influence of Van Dyck. So great indeed was the change, that it gave rise to the theoryof the existence of another Maes, of Brussels. Maes is well represented at the National Gallery by five paintings: “The Cradle,” “The Dutch Housewife,” “The Idle Servant,” “The Card Players,” and a man's portrait. At Amsterdam, besides the splendid examples to be found at the Ryks Museum, is the “Inquisitive Servant” of the Six collection. At Buckingham Palace is “The Listening Girl” (repetitions exist), and at Apsley House “Selling Milk” and “The Listener.” Other notable examples are at the Berlin, Brussels, St Petersburg, the Hague, Frankfort, Hanover and Munich galleries.


MAESTRO, a north-westerly wind observed in the Adriatic and surrounding regions, chiefly during summer. The maestro is a “fine weather” wind, and is the counterpart of the sirocco.


MAETERLINCK, MAURICE (1862–), Belgian-French dramatist and poet, of Flemish extraction, was born at Ghent on the 29th of August 1862. He was educated at the College Sainte-Barbe, and then at the university of his native city, where, at the age of twenty-four, he was enrolled as a barrister. In 1887 he settled in Paris, where he immediately became acquainted with Villiers de l’Isle-Adam and the leaders of the symbolist school of French poetry. At the death of his father, Maeterlinck returned to Belgium, where he thenceforth mainly resided: in the Winter at Ghent, in the summer on an