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On this page: Papirius Fronto – Papius Mutilus – Pappus


PAPIRIUS FRONTO. [fronto.] PAPI'RIUS JUSTUS. [justus.] PAPI'RIUS PO'TAMO. [potamo.] PAPI'RIUS, ST., physician. [papylus.] PA'PIUS. 1. C. papius, a tribune of the plebs b. c. 65, was the author of a law by which all peregrin! were banished from Rome. This was the renewal of a similar law which had been pro­posed by M. Junius Pennus, in b. c. 126. The Papia lex also contained provisions respecting the punishment of those persons who had assumed the Roman franchise without having any claim to it (Dion Cass. xxxvii. 9 ; Cic. de Off. iii. 11, pro Ball). 23,pro Arch. 5, de Leg. Agr. i. 4, ad Ait. iv. 16). If we are to believe Valerius Maximus (iii. 4. § 5), this law must have been passed at a much earlier period, since he relates that the father of Perperna, who was consul b. c. 130, was accused under the Papia lex after the death of his son, because he had falsely assumed the rights of a Roman citizen. But since Dion Cassius (/. c.) expressly places the law in b. c. 65, and Cicero speaks of its proposer as a contemporary (de Off. iii. 11), we may conclude that there is some mis­take in Valerius Maximus.

2. M. papius mutilus, consul suffectus in a. d. 9, with Q. Poppaeus Secundus. They gave their names to the well known Papia Poppaea lex, which was passed as a kind of supplement to the Lex Julia de Maritandis Ordinibus. Hence arose the title Lex Julia et Papia Poppaea, under which title its provisions are explained in the Diet, of Ant, The Papius Mutilus who is mentioned as a flat­terer of Tiberius in the senate, a. d. 16, is probably the same as the consul of a. d. 9. (Tac. Ann. ii. 16.)

3. papius faustus, slain by the emperor Severus. (Spartian. Sever. 13.)

PAPIUS MUTILUS, the commander in the Social War. [mutilus.]

PAPPUS (naTrTros), of Alexandria, the name of one of the later Greek geometers, of whom we know absolutely nothing, beside his works, except the fact that Suidas states him to have lived under Theodosius (a. d. 379—395). From an epigram of the second century, or a little later, in which one Pappus is lauded, Relske thought that this must be the geometer, who ought, therefore, to be placed in the latter half of the second century. And Harless remarks, in confirmation, that of all the authors named by Pappus, no one 13 known to have flourished later than the second century. This is but poor evidence, and, on the other hand, the authority of Suidas is by no means of the first order on a point of chronology. We may, there­fore, look to other sources of probability, and the only one we can find at all to the purpose is as follows.

Pappus has left a short comment upon a portion of the fifth book of Ptolemy's Syntaxis: or rather of the comment which Suidas states him to have written upon four* books, nothing is left except a small portion which Theon has preserved and com­mented on (Syntaxis, Basle, 1538, p. 235 of Theon's Commentarv). Now Eutocius mentions

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Theon and Pappus in the same sentence, as commen­tators on Ptolemy ; and puts them thus together in two different places. This is some presumption against Pappus having been nearly a contemporary

* This portion is on the fifth book : perhaps the four books were not the first four books.



of Ptolemy, and in favour of his standing in that relation to Theon. A commentator generally takes an established author, except when the subject of comment is itself a comment, and then he generally takes his own contemporaries. And moreover, those writers who are often named together are more likely than not to be near together in time. The point is of some importance ; for Pappus is our chief source of information upon the later history of Greek geometry. It makes much difference as to the opinion we are to form on the decay of that branch of learning, whether the summary which he gives is to be referred to the second or the fourth century. If he lived in the fourth century, it is a very material fact that he could not find one geo­meter in the two preceding centuries whom he then considered as of note.

The writings mentioned as having come from the pen of Pappus are as follows :—1. Ma0rj^aTi/co?z/ avva.yto'ytov /3z§Afa, the celebrated Mathematical Collections, of which we shall presently speak. It is not mentioned by Suidas, but is referred ^ to by Marinus at the end of his preface to Euclid's Data. 2. Xopoypatyia oiKov^viKri. 3. Ets to. Teacrapa J3i€\ia tov Hro\€/j.alov /jL^ydhys 2uj/Ta£eajs vtto-jUZ/^/xa. 4. Hora^ovs rovs *v AiSvy. 5. 'Oveipo-KpiriKa. The last four are mentioned by Suidas, and just as here written down in continuous quo-' tation, headed &i§\ia 8e avrov.

The Collections, as we have them now in print, consist of the last six of eight books. Whether there were ever more than eight is not certain: from the description of his own plan given by Pappus, more might be suspected. No Greek text has been printed: an OxfordJ edition is long overdue. We cannot make out the negative en­tirely as to whether the existing Greek manuscripts contain the first and second books : most of them at least do not. Gerard Vossius thought these books lost. Accounts of the manuscripts will be found in Fabricius (Harless, vol. ix. p. 171), and, with interesting additions, in an appendix to Dr. Wm. Trail's Life of Robert Simson, Bath, 1812,4to. In the portion which exists the text is as corrupt and mutilated as that of any Greek author who is said to have left more than fragments ; and the emendations are sometimes rather inventional than conjectural, if properly named. Occasional portions of the Greek text have been published at various times, as follows :— 1. Meibomius, de Proportioni-bus, Copenhagen, 1655, 4to, p. 155, has given three lemmas from the seventh book (Gr. Lat.). 2. Wallis found in a Savilian manuscript a part of the second book (prop. 16—27), and' published it (Gr. Lat.) at the end of his edition of Aristarchus [Oxford, 1688, 8vo.], and again in the third volume of his

+ So it is customary to say ; but the words of Marinus would admit a suspicion that he refers to a separate commentary on. Euclid, written by Pappus.

$ The duty which Savile and Bernard imposed upon that university in the seventeenth century, of printing a large collection of Greek geometry, has been performed hitherto precisely in the order laid down ; and the editions of Euclid, Apollonius, and Archimedes, which are the consequence, are con­fessedly the best products of the press as to their subjects, and in the second case the only one. The next volume-was intended to contain Pappus and Theon.

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