The Ancient Library

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On this page: Prudentius Clemens – Prytaneia – Prytaneia – Prytaneis – Prytaneum – Psamathe – Psephisma – Pseudodipteros – Pseudoperipteros – Psyche


resided. This distinction insured inauy privileges, such as freedom from taxation and from public burdens which otherwise fell on the resident aliens, and, in general, exemption from tolls and taxes; also the right to acquire property in land, free admission to the Senate and to the assem­blies of the people, etc. [See Monceaux, Les Proxe'nies Grecques, 1886.]

Prudentius Clemens (Aurelnts). The most important among the Christian Latin poets, born 348 a.d., of a respectable family in Spain. After a rhetorical and legal edu­cation, he first practised as an advocate, discharged the duties of a civil and criminal judge in Spain, held a high military appointment at court, and in later years retired to a monastery, where he devoted himself to writing sacred poems, and died about 410 a.d. He published a collection of his sacred poems in 405 a.d. They are composed with rhetorical skill, in epic and lyric metres (in the latter of which Horace in his model) ; and they include subjects of the most varied kind : Hymns for daily prayer (CdthemSrinon liber): a martyro-logy (Pirl Stephdnon) ; a conflict between the virtues and the vices for the soul of man, etc.

Prjtaneia. The term in Athenian law for a sum of money paid by both parties at the commencement of a private suit, to defray the expense of the action. In actions for sums between 100 and 1,000 drachmce it was three drackmcej for larger sums, thirty. The defeated party had to refund this sum to the successful litigant. (See judicial procedure, I.)

Prytaneia (Greek). [(1) Any public office held by rotation for given periods; e.g. in Herodotus, vi 110, the chief com­mand for the day, held by each of the ten generals in turn. (2) The period of thirty-five or thirty-six days, i.e. about one-tenth of the year, during which each of the ten phyla; presided in turn over the Council and ecclesia. The order was determined by lot. The presiding tribe was represented by its epistdtes, who was appointed by lot to preside for the day, and could not hold this office more than once in each year (Aristotle, On Constitution of Athens, 44).]

Prytaueis (sing, pnjtdnis, "a presi­dent "). The name in various Greek free States for the highest officials. In many States, especially in early times, one, two, or five prytaneis ruled with almost kingly power. At Athens prytanis was the name for the member of a body of officials who

presided over that body when it had any public business to transact. This title was also given to the presidents of the naucraAtf. (q.v.), and Council [who, with their epistdtfs at their head, presided over the Council and ecclCsla during the 5th century b.c. In the 4th century tie presidential duties were transferred to the profdrl and their epistates. (See Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 44, pp. 103-4, ed. Sandys.)]

Prytaneum (Gr., prtitdneiori). In many

Greek towns, a public building consecrated

to Hestia (q.v.), and containing the State

hearth. At Athens, it was here that the

State offered hospitable entertainment as a

public compliment to foreign ambassadors,

to Athenian envoys on their return from

! the successful discharge of their mission,

| also to citizens who had done good service

i to the State, especially to distinguished

generals, and victors in the great Pan-

hellenic games, and sometimes even to

their descendants. In the case of those

who were Athenian citizens, this privilege

was usually granted for life.

Psamathe. A daughter of a king of Argos, mother of Llnus (q.v.) by Apollo.

Psephisma. The Greek, and especially the Athenian, term for a resolution of the people arrived at by voting. (See ecclesia, 1.)

Pseud8dipte'r6s ("falsely dipteral"). An epithet describing a temple which is sur­rounded on all four sides by only a single row of columns, placed at intervals which correspond to the position of the outer row of columns in a dipteral temple. (See temples, fig. 6.)

Pseud6p8ript6r6s ("falsely peripteral"). An epithet of a temple in which the side columns were " engaged " in the wall of the cella, instead of standing out at a distance from it. (See temples.)

Psyche. In Greek mythology, the per­sonification of^ the human soul as the being beloved by Eros (Amor). She is repre­sented as a butterfly, or as a young maiden with butterfly's wings, sometimes as pur­sued by Eros in various ways, or revenging herself on him, or united with him in the tenderest love. Apuleius (q.v.), in his tale of the Golden Ass [Met. iv 28-vi 24], has availed himself of this representation. He makes them the hero and heroine of an old popular tradition, in which a loving couple, after a sorrowful separation, are restored to one another for ever. The love-god causes the charming Psyche, the youngest of the three daughters of a king, to be carried off

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