The Ancient Library

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On this page: Prorogatio – Proscenium – Prosperpina – Prosodium – Prostas – Prostylos – Protagonistes – Protagoras – Protesilaus – Protenus



33 feet high, stood on either side of the road that rises towards the middle entrance. These divided the deep outer portico into three colonnades spanned by slender beams of marble with a coffered ceiling decorated with gilt palmetto ornaments on a blue ground. Four steps led from outside to the two side colonnades of the outer portico; and from the farther end of the latter five marble steps rose to the side doors of the division between the porticoes. A considerable part of the columns is still standing. To the main building were attached two side-wiiiga, still in fairly good preservation, not so high, but, like the main building, furnished with columned chambers. The larger of these, the north-west wing (now generally called the Pln&cSthSca), contained a collection of pictures. [The south-west wing is much smaller, and does not correspond to that on the north-west. The architect, as suggested by Dr. Db'rpfeld, was probably compelled to modify his original plan because it would lave intruded on the sacred precincts of Athene Nike. A projected south-east hall was similarly given up because of the pre­cincts of Artemis Brauronia; and a corre­sponding north-east hall was not carried out, owing to the outbreak of the Pelo-ponnesian War (cp. plan).] For the room in the Greek house called prUpylaion, see house.

Pror6gatI6. The Roman term for the extension either of a man's year of office (prorogated magistrates), or of a supreme command (prorogatio imperil), or of a provincial administration (prorogatio pro­vincial).

Prfiscenium. See theatre.

Proserpina. See persephone.

FrOsddlum. A kind of song generally sung to the accompaniment of the flute at festal processions to the temple or the altar, chiefly in the worship of Apollo. It had a rhythm corresponding to the measure of the march.

Prostas. Sec house (Greek).

Prostylfis (Greek). Literally, "with columns in front," an epithet of a temple (ncios) with the columns in front of its portico standing completely free from the front wall of the temple itself. (Sec temple, fig. 2.)

Protagonistes. In the Greek drama, the jctor who played the leading part

Protagoras. A Greek Sophist of Abdera, born about 480 b.c. He passed some forty years in travelling through the different towns of Greece as a teacher, but stayed

chiefly at Athens. There he was highly I honoured on account of his learning, espe­cially by Pericles, until he was expelled for i atheistical statements in a treatise On the Gods, and his works were publicly burnt. He died at the age of 70. His teaching was i chiefly directed to the exposition of grammar and rhetoric. In his philosophical views he followed Heraclitus, transferring the teaching of the latter, on the eternal flux i of matter to human knowledge, which, as he thought, was merely a subjective and I relative, not an objective and absolute truth. This is the point of his celebrated proposi­tion, " Man is the measure of all things : of I those which are, that they are ; of those i which are not, that they are not" [Plato, j Thecetctus, 152; Diogenes Laertius, ix 51.] [ Protfisllaus. Son of Iphiclus, king of i Phylace, in Thessaly. He was the first to leap on to the soil of Troy at the landing of the Greeks, although he knew that the first ; who set foot on Trojan ground must die. He was forthwith killed by Hector. His men were then led by his younger brother, Podarces. His wife, Laodameia, daughter of Acastus, obtained from the gods the boon that Protesilaus, to whom she had only been married for one day, might return to earth for three hours. When he died again, she joined him in death. According to another legend, she had a wax image of him made, to which she paid divine honours; and, when her father burnt it on a funeral pile, she threw herself on the flames in despair, and died.

Proteus. According to Homer [Od. iv 354-569] an old man of the sea, a subject of Poseidon, who tended the seals which are the flocks of Amphitrite. Like all marine deities, he possessed the gift of pro­phecy and the power of assuming any shape he pleased. He used to sleep at mid-day on the island of Pharos, near Egypt. When Menelaus, on his return from Troy, was detained by contrary winds on the island, he surprised Proteus, by the advice of his daughter Idothea, and, in spite of all his transformations, held him fast until he told him the means for returning home. According to later legends [Hero­dotus, ii 112, 118; Euripides, Helen], Proteus was a son of Poseidon, and was an Egyptian king living on the island of Pharos, to whom Hermes conducted Helen when she was carried off by Paris, while only a phantom followed Paris to Troy. Menelaus, as he returned from Troy, received his wife again from him.

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All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.