The name of Menelaos, the husband of Helen, is borne by the emissary of the hellenising high priest Jason at 2 Macc. 4.23 who supplanted him ca. 172/1 bce. He precariously maintained a successful relationship with Antiochos IV Epiphanes and subsequently Antiochos V Eupator until finally, around 163 bce, the latter had him executed (2 Macc. 13.3–8). Menelaos’ name is of a common Greek type: he who puts ‘might’ (μένος) into the ‘army’ (λαός).
The story of Menelaos centres on the …