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PRISCUS.

which was originally divided into eight books, according to Suidas. This is the most valuable account we have on Attila, and it is deeply to be regretted that only fragments of it have come down to posterity : it was written after the death of Theodosius, which took place in A. d. 450. Priscus is an excellent and trustworthy historian, and his style is remarkably elegant and pure. Suidas says that he also wrote MeAercu 'ptjto/kkc Declamationes Rhetoricae and Epistolae, which are lost. Jornandes and Juvencus, the author of the Life of Attila, borrowed largely from the History of Priscus, whose name is often mentioned by them, as well as by other Byzantine writers, as, for instance, by Evagrius, who calls him IlaTptV/cos, and by Theophanes, who calls him Hepo-infa, both apparently mistakes or corruptions of the text. The fragments of the History were first edited in Greek by David Hoesch el, Augsburg, 1603, 4to ; a Latin translation with notes, by Cantoclartis or Chanteclair, Paris, 1609, 8vo ; the same re­ printed together with the text, and revised by Fabrot in the Paris edition of Eoccerptae cle Lega- tionibus, together with Dexippus, Menander, and others ; the same also in Labbe's Protrepticon, Paris, 1648, fol. The latest and best edition, together with the other writers who have furnished the materials for the Excerpta de Legationibus^ is, by Niebuhr, in the Bonn Collection of the Byzan­ tines, 1829, 8vo. (Fabric. Bibl. Grace, vii. p. 539, 540 ; Hanckius, de Script. Byzant. ; Niebuhr's Notes on Priscus, in h:s edition mentioned above ; Suidas, s. v. hp'htkos ncwiVijs.) [W. P.]

PRISCUS, brother of the emperor Philippus T. Having received the command of the Syrian armies, by his intolerable oppression he gave rise to the rebellion of lotapianus. [!otapianus.] (Zosim. i. 18,21.). [W. R.]

PRISCUS, a friend of the younger JPliny, who has addressed several of his letters to him ; one on the death of Martial, another respecting the health of Fannia, &c. (Ep.il. 13, iii. 21, vi. 8, vii. 8, 19). Pliny himself nowhere in the letters mentions his gentile name, but we find him called in the super­scription of one of the letters, Cornelius Priscus : if this superscription is correct, he is probably the same as the Cornelius Priscus, who was consul in a. d. 93 [see below]. Some modern writers, among whom is Heineccius, thinks that the Priscus to whom Pliny wrote is the same as the jurist Ne-ratius Priscus, who lived under Trajan and Hadrian, and who was, therefore, a contemporary of Pliny.

^

PRISCUS, ANCHA'RIUS, accused Caesius Cordus, proconsul of Crete, of the crimes of repe-tundae and majestas, in the reign of Tiberius, A. d. 21. (Tac. Ann. iii. 38, 70.)

PRISCUS, L. ATFLIUS, consular tribune u. c. 399 and 396, is spoken of under atilius, No. 1. The surname of Priscus is only given to him in the Capitoline Fasti.

PRISCUS ATTALUS. [attalus, p. 411.]

PRISCUS, T. CAESO'NIUS, a Roman eques, was appointed by Tiberius the minister of a new office which he instituted, and which was styled a voluptatibus. (Suet. Tib. 42.)

PRISCUS, CORNE'LIUS, consul, with Pom-peius Collega, in A. d. 93, the year in which Agri-cola died. (Tac. Agr. 44.) See above priscus, the friend of Pliny.

PRISCUS, FA'BIUS, a legatus, the com-

PR1SCUS.

mander of a legion in the war against Civilis, A. d. 70. (Tac. Hist. iv. 79.)

PRISCUS, FULCFNIUS. [fulcinius.] PRISCUS, HELVI'DIUS. 1. A legate of a legion under T. Ummidius Quadratus, governor of Syria, was sent by the latter across the Taurus, in a.d. 52, in consequence of the disorders that had arisen through the conduct of Julius Pelignus, the governor of Cappadocia (Tac. Ann. xii. 49). This Priscus must have been a different person from the cele­brated Helvidius Priscus mentioned below, since the latter did not obtain the qnaestorship till the reign of Nero, and the legates of the legions were usually chosen at that time from persons of higher rank in the state.

2. The son-in-law of Thrasea Paetus, and, like him, distinguished by his love of liberty, which he at length sealed with his blood. He was born at Tarracina*, and was the son of a certain Cluvius, who had filled the post of chief centurion (primi-pilus}. His name shows that he was adopted by an Helvidius Priscus, perhaps by the Helvidius who is mentioned above. In his youth he devoted himself with energy to the higher branches of study, not, says Tacitus, to disguise an idle leisure under a pompous name, but in order to enter upon public duties with a mind fortified against misfortune. He chose as his teachers of philosophy those who taught that nothing is good but what is honourable, nothing bad but what is disgraceful, and who did not reckon power, nobility, or any external things, either among blessings or evils. In other words he embraced with ardour the Stoic philosophy. So distinguished did he become for his virtue and no­bleness of soul, that when quaestor he was chosen by Thrasea Paetus as his son-in-law ; and by this connection he was still further strengthened in his love of liberty. He was quaestor in Achaia during the reign of Nero, and by the way in which he dis­charged the duties of his office, gained the love of the provincials. (Comp. Schol. ad Juv. v. 36.) Having obtained the tribuneship of the plebs in a.d. 56, he exerted his influence to protect the poor against the severe proceedings of Obultronius Sa-binus, the quaestor of the treasury. The name of Priscus is not mentioned again for a few years. His freedom of speech and love of independence could not prove pleasing to the court, and he, there­fore, was not advanced to any of the higher offices of the state. It appears that he and his father-in-law were even imprudent enough to celebrate in their houses republican festivals, and to commemo­rate the birth-days of Brutus and Cassius.

" Quale coronati Thrasea Helvidiusque bibebant Brutorum et Cassii natalibus/' (Juv. v. 36.)

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These proceedings reached the ears of the emperor ; Thrasea was put to death [thrasea], and Priscus banished from Italy (a.d. 66). He retired with his wife, Fannia, to Apollonia in Macedonia, where he remained till the death of Nero. He was re­called to Rome by Galba (a. d. 68), and one of his first acts was to bring to trial Eprius Marcellus, the accuser of his father-in-law ; but as the senti-

* This statement depends only upon a correction of the text of Tacitus (Hist. iv. 5). Some manu­scripts have Tarentium or Tarentinae municipio ; but we find in the Florentine manuscript, Carecinae municipio, which has been altered, with much pro" bability, into Tarracinae municipio.

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