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On this page: Priscianus – Priscilla – Priscinus – Priscus

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PRISCIANUS.

are placed as a distinct work, under the title De Constntctione. Priscianus made good use of the works of preceding grammarians, but the writers whom he mainly followed were Apollonius Dysco-lus (Apollonius, en jus auctoritatem in omnibus se-quendam putavi, xiv. 1, vol. i. p. 581, ed. Krehl) and Herodianus (ii. 6, vol. i. p. 76, ed. Krehl). The treatise of Priscianus soon became the standard work on Latin grammar, and in the epitome of Rabanus Maurus obtained an extensive circula­tion. One feature of value about it is the large number of quotations which it contains both from Latin and Greek writers, of whom nothing would otherwise have remained. His acquaintance with Greek as well as Latin enabled him to carry on a parallel between the two languages.

Besides the systematic grammatical work of Pris­cianus there are still extant the following writings : —1. A grammatical catechism on twelve lines of the Aeneid, manifestly intended as a school book. 2. A treatise on accents. 3. A treatise on the symbols used to denote numbers and weights, and on coins and numbers. 4. On the metres of Te­rence. 5. A translation of the Upoyv/JLvda-f^ara (Praeexertitamenta) of Hermogenes. The trans­lation is however very far from being literal. The Greek original was discovered and published by Heeren in 1791. This and the two preceding pieces are addressed to Symmachus. 6. On the declensions of nouns. 7. A poem on the emperor Anastasius in 312 hexameters, with a preface in 22 iambic lines. 8. A piece De Ponderibus et Mensuris, in verse. (Wernsdorf, Poet. Lot. Min. vol. v. p. 212, £c. 235, &c. 494, &c.) This piece has been attributed by some to the grammarian Rhemnius Fannius Palaemon, bv others to one

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Remus Favinus, but the authorship of Priscianus seems well established. 9. An Epitome plmeno-menon, or De Sideribus, in verse. (Wernsdorf I. c. v. pt. i. p. 239.) This and the two preceding pieces have been edited separately by Endlicher (Vienn. 1828), with a preliminary dissertation. 10. A free translation of the Periegesis of Diony-sius in 1427 lines, manifestly made for the in­struction of youth. It follows the order of the Greek on the whole, but contains many variations from the original. In particular Priscianus has taken pains to substitute for the heathen allusions a phraseology better adapted for Christian times. ] I. A couple of epigrams. (Anth. Lat. v. 47, 139.) To Priscianus also are usually attributed the acros-tichs prefixed to the plays of Plautus, and de­scribing the plot.

The best edition of Priscianus is that by Krehl, which contains all but a few of the shorter poems (above, Nos. 7, 8, 9, 11). [C. P.M.]

PRISCIANUS, THEODO'RUS, a physician, who was a pupil of Vindicianus (Rer. Med. iv. praef. p. 81. ed. Argent.), and who therefore lived in the fourth century after Christ. He is supposed to have lived at the court of Constan­tinople, and to have attained the dignity of Arch-iater. He belonged to the medical sect of the Empirici, but not without a certain mixture of the doctrines of the Methodici, and even of the Dog-matici. He is the author of a Latin work, entitled, " Rerum Medicarum Libri Quatuor," which is sometimes attributed to a person named Octavius Horatianus. The first book treats of external dis­eases, the second of internal, the third of female diseases, and the fourth of physiology, &;c. The

PRISCUS.

author, in his preface, speaks against the learned and wordy disputes held by physicians at the bed­ side of the patient, and also their putting their whole reliance upon foreign remedies in preference to those which were indigenous. Several of the medicines which he mentions himself are absurd and superstitious ; the style and language of the work are bad ; and altogether it is of little interest and value. It was first published in 1532, in which year two editions appeared, one at Stras- burg, fol., and the other at Basel, 4to. Of these the latter is more correct than the other, but not so complete, as the whole of the fourth book is wanting, and also several chapters of the first and second books. It is also to be found in Kraut's ExperimentariusMedicinae, Argent., fol., 1544, and in the Aldine Collection of Medici Antiqui Latini, 1547, fol., Venet. A new edition was commenced by J. M. Bernhold, of which only the first volume was ever published (1791, 8vo. Ansbach), con­ taining the first book and part of the second. A work " on Diet," which is sometimes attributed to Theodorus Priscianus, is noticed under theo- dorus. (See Sprengel, Hist, de la Mid.; Chou- lant, Handb. der Bucherkunde fur die Aeltere Me- dicin.) [W.A.G.]

PRISCILLA, CASSIA, a Roman female artist, whose name appears, with the addition of fecit, on a bas-relief, in the Borgia collection, at Velletri, re­ presenting Hercules and Omphale. (Millin, Galer. Myth. pi. cxvii. n. 453 ; Muratori, Tlies. vol. i. p. xcv. 1 ; R. Rochette, Lettre a M. Schorn, p. 393.) [P. S.]

L. PRISCILLIA'NUS, acquired unenviable celebrity as an informer, under Caracalla, by whom he was made praefect of Achaia. He was celebrated also for his gladiatorial skill in wild beast fights, and eventually was banished to an island, during the reign of Macrinus, at the in­stance of the senate, whose hatred he had incurred by procuring the destruction of several members of their body. (Dion Cass. Ixxviii. 21.) [W. R.]

PRISCINUS, PEDUCAEUS. [peducaeus, Nos. 7 and 8.]

PRISCUS, artists. 1. attius, a Roman pain­ter, who lived under the Flavian emperors (about A. d. 70), and was one of the best artists of the period. In conjunction with Cornelius Pinus, he adorned with paintings the temple of Honos et Virtus, when it was restored by Vespasian. Of these two artists Priscus approached nearest to the ancients. (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 10. s. 37.)

2. Of Nicomedia, an architect and military en­ gineer, who lived under Septimius Severus. (Dion Cass. Ixxiv. 11, Ixxv. 11.) [P. S.J

PRISCUS (Ilpicr/cos,), one of the earliest and most important Byzantine historians, was sur-named panites, because he was a native of Pa-nium in Thrace. We know little of his life in general, but much of a short, though highly in­teresting and important period of it, viz. from a. d. 445—447, when he was ambassador of Theodosius the Younger at the court of Attila. The embassy consisted of several persons. In later years he and one Maximinus transacted diplomatic business for the emperor Marcian, in Egypt and Arabia. He died in or about A. d. 471. Niebuhr thinks he was a heathen. Priscus wrote an account of his embassy to Attila, enriched by digressions on the life and reign of that king, the Greek title of which is 'lar^pia B fyvrnci} icul Kara '

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