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On this page: Praxagoras – Praxaspes – Praxias


\vere called opx7l(rrtK0^ fr°m tne hirge Part which the choral dances bore in their dramas.

(Oasaub. de Satyr. Foes. Graec. lib. i. c. 5 ; Nake, Choeril. p. 12 ; MUller, Dorier, vol. ii. pp. 334, 361, 362, 2nd ed., Gesch. d. Griech. Lit. vol. ii. p. 39, Eng. trans. vol. i. p7 295 ; Ulrici, Gesch. d. Hell. Dichtk. vol. ii. pp. 497, f. ; Bode, Gesch. d. Hell. Dichtk. vol. iii. pt. i. pp. 79, f. ; Welcker, die Griech. Trag. pp. 17, 18, Nachtr. z. Aesch. Trilog. p. 276; Kayser, Hist. Crit. Trag. Graec. p. 70.) * [P. S.]

PRAXAGORAS (Upafryopas), an Athenian, lived after the time of Constantine the Great, pro­bably under his sons. He wrote at the age of nineteen, two books on the Athenian kings ; at the age of twenty-two, two books on the history of Constantine ; and at the age of thirty-one, six books on the history of Alexander the Great. All these works were written in the Ionic dialect. None of them has come down to us with the ex­ception of a few extracts made by Photius, from the history of Constantine. In this work Praxa-goras, though a heathen, placed Constantine before all other emperors. (Phot. Cod. 62.)

PRAXAGORAS (Tlpa^ayopas), a celebrated physician, who was a native of the island of Cos. (Galen, de Uteri Dissect, c. 10, vol. ii. p. 905, 'et alibi.) His father's name was Nicarchus* (Galen, loco tit.; de Facult. Nat. ii. 9, vol. ii. p. 141, de Tremore, c. 1, vol. vii. p. 584), and he belonged to the family of the Asclepiadae (id. de Meth. Med. i. 3, vol. x. p. 28). He was the tutor of Philoti-nius (id. loco cit.; de Aliment. Facult. i. 12, vol. vi. p. 509), Plistonicus (Gels, de Med. i. praef. p. 6), and Herophilus (Galen, de Differ. Puls. iv. 3, vol. viii. p. 723, de Meth. Med. i. 3, vol. x. p. 28, de Tremore, c. 1, vol. vii. p. 585) ; and as he was a contemporary of Chrysippus, and lived shortly after Diocles Carystius (Gels, de Med. i. praef., p. 5 ; Pliny, //. A7"., xxvi. 6), he may be safely placed in the fourth century b. c. He be­longed to the medical sect of the Dogmatici (Galen, Introd. c. 4, vol. xiv. p. 683), and was celebrated for his knowledge of medical science in general, and especially for his attainments in anatomy and physiology. He was one of the chief defenders of the humoral pathology, who placed the seat of all diseases in the humours of the body (id. ibid. c. .9, p. 699). He is supposed by Sprengel (Hist, de la Med., vol. i. p. 422, 3), Hecker (Gesch. der Heilk. vol. i. p. 219), and others, to have been the first person who pointed out the distinction between the veins and the arteries ; but this idea is con­troverted (and apparently with success) by M. Littre (CEuvres d Hippocr. vol. i. p. 202, &c.), who shows that the distinction in question is alluded to by Aristotle (if the treatise de Spiritu be genuine), Hippocrates (or at least the author of the treatise de Articulis, who was anterior to Praxagoras), Diogenes Apolloniates, and Euryphon. Many of his anatomical opinions have been preserved, which show that he was in advance of his contemporaries in this branch of medical knowledge. On the other hand, several curious and capital errors have been attributed to him, as, for instance, that the

* In Galen, Comment, in Hippocr. " Aphor." i. 12, vol. xvii. pt. ii. p. 400. NtKavSpov must be a mistake for Ntxdpxov. In some modern works his father is called Nearchus, but perhaps without any ancient authority.



heart was the source of the nerves (an opinion which he held with Aristotle), and that the rami­fications of the artery, which he saw issue from the heart, were ultimately converted into nerves, as they contracted in diameter (Galen, de Hippocr. et Plat. Deer. i. 6, vol. v. p. 187). * Some parts of his medical practice appear to have been vtry bold, as, for instance, his venturing, in cases of ileus when attended with introsusception, to open the abdomen in order to replace the intestine (Gael. Aurel. de Morb. Acut. iii. 17, p. 244). He wrote several medical works, of which only the titles and some fragments remain, preserved by Galen, Caelius Aurelius, and other writers. A fuller account of his opinions may be found in Sprengel's Hist, de la Med., and Killings Com-mentatio de Praxagora Coo, reprinted in the second volume of his Opuscula Acadeinica Medica et Pltilo-logica, p. 128, &c. There is an epigram by Crina-goras, in honour of Praxagoras in the Greek Anthology. (Anth. Plan. 273.) [W. A. G.]

PRAXASPES (npa|ao-7rr}s), a Persian, who was high in favour with king Cambyses, and acted as his messenger. By his means Cambyses had his brother Smerdis assassinated. In one of his fits of madness, Cambyses shot the son of Prax- aspes with an arrow through the heart, in the presence of his father. When the news of the usurpation of Smerdis reached Cambyses, he na­ turally suspected Praxaspes of not having fulfilled his directions. The latter, however, succeeded in clearing himself. After the death of Cambyses, the Magians deemed it advisable to endeavour to secure the co-operation of Praxaspes, as he was the only person who could certify the death of Smerdis, having murdered him with his own hands. He at first assented to their proposals, but having been directed by them to proclaim to the assembled Persians that the pretender was really the son of Cyrus, he, on the contrary, de­ clared the stratagem that was being practised, and then threw himself headlong from the tower on which he was standing, and so perished. (Herod, iii. 30, 33, 34, 62, 66, 74.) [C. P. M.]

PRAXIAS (Itya|ias), artists. 1. An Athenian sculptor of the age of Pheidias, but of the more archaic school of Calamis, commenced the execution of the statues in the pediments of the great temple of Apollo at Delphi, but died while he was still en­gaged upon the work, which was completed by another Athenian artist, Androsthenes, the disciple of Eucadmus. (Paus. x. 19. § 3. s. 4.)

The date of Praxias may be safely placed about 01. 83, b.c. 448, and onwards. His master Cala­mis flourished about b. c. 467, and belonged to the last period of the archaic school, which immediately preceded Pheidias. [See pheidias, p. 245, b.j Moreover, the indications which we have of the time when the temple at Delphi was decorated by a number of Athenian artists, point to the period between b. c. 448 and 430, and go to show that the works were executed at about the very time

* As the word vzvpov sometimes signifies a liga­ment, as well as a nerve, in the ancient writers (see note to the Oxford edition of Theophilus de Corp. Hum. Fabr. p. 204, 1. 5), Sprengel and others have supposed that the word bears this meaning in the passage referred to, butKiihn, with more probability considers that the more common signification of the word is the true one (Opusc. vol. ii. p. 140).

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