The Ancient Library

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On this page: Procopius – Procris – Procrustes – Proculus – Procurator – Prodicus – Prodigium – Prodromi – Proedria



became limited to administration, political and judicial.

Prdcfiplus. A Greek historian of Csesarea in Palestine, a rhetorician and advocate by profession. In and after 526 a.d. he at­tended the general Belisarius as private secretary and adviser in nearly all his cam­paigns. He was afterwards made a senator, and in 562, when prefect of Constantinople, was deposed from his office by a conspiracy, and shortly afterwards died suddenly, more than seventy years old. He has left us a history of his own times down to 554 in eight books, dealing especially with the wars of. Justinian against the Persians, Vandals, and East Goths; a panegyric on the buildingsof Justinian; and the Anecdota, or secret history, supplementing the first-mentioned work. It discloses the scandals of the court of the day, and, on account of its contents, was not published until after the death of the author. His information is partly derived from the oral testimony of others, but he prefers to record his own experiences. This, and his fresh treatment of his subject, together with his pure and, on the whole, simple style, make him one of the most eminent authors of his age.

Prficris. Daughter of Erechtheus, and wife of Cephalus (q.v.).

Prficrustes. See damastes.

Prfictirus (SemprOnius). A Roman jurist, founder of the school called after him the PrOculiani. (See antistius labeo and jurisprudence.)

Procurator, under the Roman Republic, meant the fully accredited agent of a private citizen. Under the Empire, the title was given to those who, as household officers of the emperor, were considered administrators of the imperial purse. The fiscal administration of the imperial pro­vinces was in the hands of a procurator of equestrian rank, under whom were freed-men of the emperor's, bearing the same title, and attending to particular depart­ments of the administration. In the sena­torial provinces, also, there was an imperial procurator, independent of the governor, to manage the domains and to collect the revenues belonging to the fiscus. Further, there were particular provinces which, before they were administered as actual provinces, were governed as domains by an administrator appointed by the emperor and personally responsible to him. He likewise was styled procurator, and in general had a position similar to that of the other governors. Such a procurator

was Pontius Pilate in Judsea, which for a long time was under a procurator. The imperial chief treasury was administered by a procurator a ratwntbus, also called procurator fisci, at first an imperial freed-man, but after the 2nd century a knight. To administer the imperial privy purse, into which flowed the revenues from the crown lands and the private fortune of the emperor, there were special procurators.

PrSdlcus. A Greek Sophist of Ceos, con­temporary with Socrates. He repeatedly visited Athens as an ambassador from his native country. The applause which his speeches gained there induced him to come forward as a rhetorician. In his lectures on literary style he laid chief stress on the right use of words and the accurate dis­crimination between synonyms, and thereby paved the way for the dialectic discussions of Socrates. None of his lectures have come down to us in their original form. We have the substance only of his cele­brated fable of the Choice of Heracles [preserved by Xenophon, Memorabilia, ii §§ 21-34].

Prodlginm. The Latin term for an un­natural or, at any rate, unusual and inex­plicable phenomenon, which was always treated as requiring expiation (procurdtio'). This was only done on behalf of the State, if the phenomenon had been observed on ground belonging to the State. The Senate, acting on the advice of the pontiffs, or­dained either particular sacrifices, to speci­fied deities, or a nine days' sacrifice, or a public intercession, and left the execution of the ordinance to the consuls. If a pro-digium caused so much alarm that the usual means of expiation seemed insufficient, the Senate had recourse to the Sibylline books, or the Etruscan harusptcSs. (See haruspex.) For the prodigium of a thunderbolt, see puteal.

PrddrSmi. Greek skirmishers. (See hippeis.)

Pr68drla. The right of occupying the front row of seats next the orchestra, at the dramatic performances in the Greek theatre. This distinction was enjoyed by the priests, the chief magistrates, distinguished citizens, the descendants of those who had fallen in battle for their country, and members of foreign states whom it was desired to honour, especially ambassadors. The term also denotes the presidency at the Council (sec boule), and in the assemblies of the people. [In the 5th century b.c. the prytanes, under their fpistates, presided

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