The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Priscian – Probole – Probus – Proclus



lent to imperdtor; but it never became an official title like Imperator, C(rsar, Augustus. Like the Senate, the knights had a princcps, the princeps iuventutis (the youth). This title was borne by the knight whose name appeared first in the censor's list of that body. By way of compliment to the knights, Augustus caused his grandsons, Gaius and Lucius Caesar, to be styled principes iuventutis. Ever after, the emperor's youthful sons were regularly entitled principes iuven­tutis until their entrance on a magistracy. At the time of Rome's complete decay this title was not unfrequently borne by those associated with the emperors in the govern­ment. On the meaning of principes in military language, see legion.

Priscian (Prisclanus). (1) A Latin grammarian of Caesarea in Mauritania; who lived, at the beginning of the 6th century a.d., as a teacher of the Latin language in Constantinople. He there compiled, in addition to a number of smaller gramma­tical works, his Instltutlones Grammaticce in 18 books, the fullest and completest systematic Larin grammar which has come down to us. This work, which is of great importance owing to its ample quotations from ancient literature, was for a long time, in the Middle Ages, the school book in ordinary use, and formed the foundation for the earlier treatises on Latin Grammar in modern times. We also possess an in­sipid panegyrical poem written by Priscian on the emperor Anastasius, and a transla­tion of the Cosmography of the geographer DIdnysius, in hexameter verse.

(2) A physician, who lived in the 5th century, named ThUOdorus Prisciunus, has left us a Meittclna PitesenMnfa (a book of rapid curatives) in five books.

Prdbdle (Greek}. A motion for a judicial prosecution. In Attic legal procedure it was a particular kind of public indictment. In the first assembly of every prytany, on the archon's inquiring whether the people were satisfied with the conduct of the magis­trates, any citizen might accuse a magistrate of official misconduct. If the assembly considered there was foundation for the charge, the magistrate was tem­porarily suspended or even absolutely deposed from his office, and a judicial prosecution was instituted. Even against a private citizen, especially for doing an injury to magistrates, or to sacred persons or things, for interrupting a festival, em­bezzling public money, or instituting a :

vexatious prosecution, a complaint could be brought before the people in order to see whether they considered the case suit­able for a judicial trial. [The most cele­brated example of this procedure is the case of Demosthenes against Meidias for assaulting him in the discharge of public functions at the D1£nys%a.~\ However, this neither bound the man who laid the plaint to bring forward an actual indictment, nor the jury to follow in the formal trial the preliminary verdict of the people, although it would always influence them.

Probus (Marcus Vdlerius). A famous Roman scholar and critic, born at Berytus in Syria. He flourished in the second half of the 1st century a.d. He devoted almost all attention to the archaic and classical literature of Rome, which had been pre­viously neglected, and to the critical re­vision of the most important Roman poets, as Lucretius, Vergil, and Horace, after the manner of the Alexandrine scholars. Some of his criticisms on Vergil may possibly be preserved to us in a commentary to the Eclogues and Georgics, which bears his name. From a commentary, or criticism, on Persius we have his biography of that poet; and from his work De NOtls we have an extract containing the abbreviations used for legal terms. Other grammatical writ­ings bearing his name are the work of a grammarian of the 4th century.

Prdclus. The most important represen­tative of the later Neo-Platonic school, born 412 a.d. at Byzantium. He received his first instruction at Xanthus in Lycia, and betook himself to Alexandria to complete his education. There he attached himself chiefly to Heron the mathematician, and to the Aristotelian Olympiodorus. Before the age of twenty, he removed to Athens to attend the lectures of the most celebrated Platonists of the time, Syrlanus and Plu-tarchus. On the death of the latter he became head of the Platonic school until his own death in 485. His disciples were very numerous ; and his learning and zeal for the education of the young, combined with his beneficence, his virtuous and strictly ascetic life, and his steadfastness in the faith of his fathers, gained him the enthusiastic devotion of his followers. We possess an account of his life, full of admira­tion for his character, by his pupil and successor, Marlnus. The efforts of Proclua were directed to the support of paganism in its struggle with the now victorious Christianity, by reducing to a system all

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.