Scanned text contains errors.
quoted at the beginning of this article is quite incomprehensible. If he intended simply to affirm that Prudentius stands first among Christian versifiers, we may perhaps, though not without hesitation, acquiesce in the decision, but the expression seems to imply high positive praise ; and to this it is impossible to subscribe. His Latinity is not formed, like that of Juvencus and Victorinus, upon the best ancient models, but is confessedly impure, abounding both in words altogether barbarous, and in classical words employed in a barbarous sense, with here and there obsolete forms from Lucretius and the comedians, affectedly interspersed ; he is totally ignorant or regardless of the common laws of prosody; the very nature of his theme in the Apotheosis and Hamartigenia, which are in fact treatises on the most abstruse questions of dogmatic and controversial theology, presents a complete barrier to creative efforts or to a play of fancy; and those effusions which afforded more latitude for a display of poetical talent are in no way remarkable. The hymns are not, as they ought to be, songs of praise and prayer and thanksgiving, but are didactic essays, loaded with moral precepts and doctrinal subtleties, while the sufferings of the martyrs, which form the subject of the Peristephanon, are for the most part detailed with heavy spiritless prolixity. His powers appear to greater advantage in the books against Symma-chus than in any other portion of his works, and the dirge " In Exsequiis defunctorum" (Cathem. x.) is perhaps the best specimen of his lyric style.
The earliest edition of Prudentius bearing a date is that printed at Deventer in 1472, and this is generally accounted the Princeps. By far the most complete and splendid is that of Faus- tinus Arevalus, *2 vols. 4to. Rom. 1788 and 1789, but for all ordinary purposes that of Obbarius (8vo. Tubing. 1845), whose Prolegomena embrace a large amount of information condensed into a small compass, will be found satisfactory. The edition of Weitzius (8vo. Hann. 1613) contains a complete collection of the earlier commentaries, and those of Chamillard, 4to. Paris, 1687 (in usum Delph.), of Cellarius, 8vo. Hal. 1703, 1739, and of Teolius (2 vols. 4to. Parm. 1788), are considered valuable. These poems will be found also in the Bibliotheca Patrum Max. fol. Lug. Bat. 1677, vol. v. p. 990, and in the collections of Fabricius and Maittaire. (Gennad. de Viris III. 13 ; J. P. Ludwig, Dissert, de Vita A. Prudentii^ Viteb. 4to. 1642; J. Le Clerque, Vie de Prudence, Amst. 1689 ; H. Middeldorpf, Comment, de Pru- dentio ft Theoloyia Prudentiana, pt. i. 4to. Vratisl. 1823, pt. ii. 4to. Vratisl. 1827.) [W. R.J
PRUSIAS (Ilpoucrtas). 1. From a passage of Strabo (xii. p. 564) it would appear that there was a Prusias, king of Bithynia, as early as the time of Croesus, who was the founder of the city of Prusa, at the foot of Mount Olympus, but the reading, though confirmed by Stephanus Byzan-tinus (s. v. Upovcra) is probably corrupt, (bee Groskurd, ad Strab. L c. ; Forbiger, Hand. d. aiL Ceogr. p. 386 ; Droysen, Hellenism, vol. ii. p. 655.)
2. A son of Prusias II., surnamed Moi/o<5ous, because all the teeth in his upper jaw were united into one solid mass. He probably died early, as nothing more is known of him. (Liv. Epit. 1. ; Val. Max. i. 8. ext. 12 ; Plin. H. N. vii. 1,6 ; Tzetz. Chil. iii. 953, has confounded him with his fcttiier.j [E. H. B.J
PRUSIAS I. (npouo-(as), king of Bithynia, was the son of Zielas, whom he succeeded on the throne, and grandson of nicomedes I. The date of his accession is unknown, but it appears that it preceded the death of Antiochus Hierax, and may therefore be placed at least as early as b. c. 228. (Trog. Pomp. Prol. xxvii. ; Clinton, F. H. vol. iii. pp. 413, 414 ; Niebuhr, Kl. Schrift. p. 287.) The first event of his reign, which is recorded to us, is a war with the Byzantines, in which we find him engaging in b. c. 220, in conjunction with the Rhodians. The latter were at first supported by Attalus, king of Pergamus, as well as by Achaeiib, who had lately assumed the sovereignty of Asia Minor, and they endeavoured also to set up Tiboetes, the uncle of Prusias, as a competitor for the throne of Bithynia. Their efforts were, however, unsuccessful: Prusias conquered all the possessions of the Byzantines in Asia, while the Thracians pressed them closely on the European side, and they were soon compelled to submit to a peace on disadvantageous terms. (Polyb. iv. 47— 52.) Shortly after this, in b. c. 217, Prusias is mentioned among the princes who sent costly presents to the Rhodians after the great calamity they had suffered by an earthquake: and the following year (216) he obtained great distinction by defeating and cutting to pieces a formidable army of Gauls, who had been invited into Asia by Attains, and had become the terror of the adjoining countries. (Id. v. 90, 111.) On the breaking out of the war between the Romans and Philip, king of Macedon, Prusias lent his assistance to the latter ; and besides supplying him with an auxiliary squadron of ships, rendered him a more important service by invading the territories of his own neighbour and rival Attalus, whom he thus recalled from Greece to the defence of his own kingdom, b. c. 207. (Liv. xxvii. 30, xxviii. 7.) The name of the Bithynian monarch was, in consequence, included in the treaty of peace between Philip and the Romans in b. c. 205 (Liv. xxix. 12), and we subsequently find the two kings uniting their forces to besiege Cius in Bithynia, which, after it had fallen into their hands, was sacked by order of Philip, the inhabitants sold as slaves, and the city itself given up to Prusias. (Polyb. xv. 21, xvii. 5 ; Liv. xxxii. 34 ; Strab. xii. p. 563.)
It does not appear that the latter, though he was connected by marriage with the Macedonian king, took any part in the decisive struggle of Philip with the Roman power (b.c. 200—196) : but in B. c. 190, when Antiochus was, in his turn, preparing to contend with the republic, he made repeated attempts to obtain the alliance of Prusias, who was at first disposed to listen to his overtures, but yielded to the arguments of the two Scipios, and concluded an alliance with Rome, though he appears to have, in fact, taken no part in the war that followed. (Polyb. xxi. 9 ; Liv. xxxvii. 25 ; Appian. Syr. 23.) After the termination of that war, however, Prusias became involved, in hostilities with Eumenes, king of Pergamus, by which he gave umbrage to the R-omans, and he soon after greatly increased this offence by affording a shelter to their implacable enemy, the fugitive Hannibal. The exiled general rendered important services to the king in his contest with Eumenes, but, notwithstanding these obligations, Prusias was unwilling to brave the anger of Rome, and when Flamininus was deputed by the senate to demand