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a Concilium, but not Comitia ; and as the Tribunes could not summon the Patricii nor refer any matter to them, what was voted upon the proposal of the tribunes was not a Lex, but a Scitum. But in course of time Plebiscita obtained the force of Leges, properly so called, and accordingly they are sometimes included in the term Leges. [LEX.]
.The progress of change as to this matter appears from the following passages. A Lex Valeria, passed in the Comitia Centuriata b. c. 449 (Liv. iii. 55, 67) enacted that the Populus should be bound (tcnerctur} by that which the Plebs voted tributim ; and the same thing is expressed in other words thus: " Scita plebis injimcta patribus." A Lex Publilia, 339 b. c. (Liv, viii. 12), was passed to the effect that Plebiscita should bind all the Quirites ; and a Lex Hortensia b. c. 286, to the effect that Plebiscita should bind all the populus (universus populus) as Gains (i. 3) expresses it ; or, "ut eojure, quod plebes statuisset, omnes Quirites tenerentur," according to Laelius Felix, as quoted by Gellius ; and this latter is also the expression of Pliny (Hist. Nat. xv. 10). The Lex Hortensia is referred to as the Lex which put Plebiscita as to their binding force exactly on the same footing as Leges. The effect of these Leges is discussed in lex under the several heads
of valeriae, PUBLILIAE, HORTENSIA.
The principal Plebiscita are mentioned under lex. [G. L.j
PLEMOCHOAE (tta^oxo'ch.) [ELEU-JbixiA, p. 454, a.]
PLETHRON (TrXzOpov) was originally a measure of surface, which is the only sense of the word TreAeflpoi/ in Homer. (II. xxi. 407, Od. xi. 577.) It seems to have been the fundamental land measure in the Greek s}rstem, being the square of 100 feet, that is, 10,000 square feet. The later Greek writers use it as the translatiojl of the Roman jtige-r«>«, probably because the latter was the standard land measure in the Roman system ; but, in size, the pletliron answered more nearly to the Roman adits, or half-jugerum, which was the older unit of land measures. The pletftron would answer exactly to the actus, but for the difference caused by the former being decimal (100x100), and the other partly duodecimal (120 x 120). The pletliron contained 4 arurae of 2500 square feet each.
2. As frequently happened with the ancient land measures, the side of the pletliron was taken as a measure of length, with the same name. This phthron was equal to 100 feet (or about 101 English feet) = 66f t^x^s — 10 &ko.ivcu or/caAa- /.tof. It was also introduced into the system of itinerary measures, being l-6th of the stadium. (Herod,ii. 124 ; comp. mensura, p. 753, b., and the Tables). [P. S.]
PLINTHUS (7rAu>0os), any rectangular paral lelepiped. 1. A brick or tile. [later]. 2, The quadrangular piece of stone which should properly form the lowest member of the base of a column, and which may be supposed to have originated in the use of a tile or a flat piece of wood to prevent the shaft from sinking into the ground ; although very frequently the plinth is wanting, the highest step or other basement forming a sort of continuous plinth or podium. [spira]. [P. S.]
PLUMARIl, a class of persons, mentioned by Vitruvius (vi. 7, p. 377, ed. Bip.), Varro (ap. , ii. p. 716), and in inscriptions. It can-
not be decided with certainty what their exact occupation was: their name would lead us to suppose that it had something to do with feathers (plumae}. Salinasius (ad Vopisc. Carin. c. 20) supposes that they were persons who wove in garments golden or purple figures made like feathers. The word, however, probably signifies all those who work in feathers, as lanarii those who work in wool, and argentarii those who work in silver. Seneca (Ep. 90) speaks of dresses made of the feathers of birds. (Becker, Gallus, vol. i. pp. 44—48.)
PLUTEUS, appears to have signified in general any kind of protection or shelter, and was hence used in the following special significations: — 1. A kind of shed made of hurdles and covered with raw hides, which could be moved forward by small wheels attached to it, and under which the besiegers of a town made their approaches. (Festus, s. v. ; Veget. iv. 15 ; Liv. xxxiv. 17.) 2. A parapet or breastwork made of boards and similar materials, placed on the vallum of a camp, on moveable towers or other military engines, on rafts, the decks of ships, &c. (Festus, s. v. • Caes. Bell. Gall. vii. 25, 41, 72, Bell. Civ. i. 25,) 3. The board at the side of a bed. The side at which a person entered the bed was open and called sponda: the-other side, which was protected by a- board, was called pluteus. (Suet. Cat. 26 ; Martial, iii. 91.) [lectus, p. 674, b.] 4. Cases of some kind upon the walls of houses on which small statues and busts were placed. (Dig. 29. tit. 1. s. 17 ; Juv.
• • *» \
PLYNTERIA (irAwr-fipia), from ir\vv€iv, to wash, was a festival celebrated at Athens every year, on the 22nd of Thargelion, in honour of Athena, surnamed Aglauros (Phot. Lex. s. v. • Pint.- Alcib. 34 ; llarpocrat. Suid. s. v.), whose temple stood on the Acropolis. (Herod, viii. 53 ; Hesych. s. v. nAw-TTjpta.) Plutarch states that the festival took place on the 25th, but probably only because it lasted for several days. (Dodwell, de Cydis, p. 349 ; comp. Pkilol. Mus. ii. p. 234.) The day of this festival was at Athens among the airofypdSss or dies nefasti; for the temple of the goddess was surrounded by a rope to preclude all communi cation with it (Pollux, viii. 141) ; her statue was stripped of its garments and ornaments for the pur pose of cleaning them, and was in the meanwhile covered over to conceal it from the sight of man. (Pint. I.e.; Xen. Hellen. i. 4. § 12.) The persons who performed this service were called irpafycp- yiSai. (Pint. L c. ; Hesych. s. v.~) The city was therefore, so to speak, on this day without its protecting divinity, and any undertaking com menced on it was believed to be necessarily un successful. A procession was also held on the day of the Plynteria, in which a quantity of dried figs, called Jiyyropia, was carried about. (Etymol. Magn. ; Hesych. s. v. 'HyyTopia • Phot. Lex. s.v.) [L.S.J
PNYX. [ecclesia, p. 440, a.]
POCULUM was any kind of drinking-cup. It must be distinguished from the Crater or vessel in which the wine was mixed [crater], and from the CyatkuS) a kind of ladle or small cup, which was used to convey the wine from the Crater to the Poculum or drinking-cup. [cyathus.] Thyjs Horace (Carm.iii. 19. 11) —
" tribus ant novem Miscentur cyathis poctila commodJV