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On this page: Procubitores – Procurator – Prodigium – Prodomus – Prodosia

PRODIGIUM.

Cic. de Leg. i. 20.) Respecting the powers and jurisdiction of the proconsuls in the provinces, see provincia.

After the administration of the empire was newly regulated by Constantine, parts of certain dioceses were under the administration of pro- consuls. Thus a part of the diocese of Asia, called Asia in a narrower sense, Achaia in the diocese of Macedonia, and the consular province in the diocese of Africa, were governed by proconsuls. (Walter, Gcscliiclite des Romisclien Rechts, § 366, 2d edit.) [L. S.]

PROCUBITORES. [exercitus, p. 503, a,]

PROCURATOR is the person who has the management of any business committed to him by another. Tims it is applied to a person who main­tains or defends an action on behalf of another, or, as we should say, an attorney [Aciio] : to a steward in a family [calculator] : to an officer in the provinces belonging to the Caesar, who at­tended to the duties discharged by the quaestor in the other provinces [provincia] : to an officer engaged in the administration of the Fiscus [Fis-cus]: and to various other officers under the empire.

PRODIGIUM in its widest acceptation de­notes any sign by which the gods indicated to men a future event, whether good or evil, and thus in­cludes omens and auguries of every description. (Virg. Ac,n. v. 638 ; Servius, ad loc.; Plin. H. N. xi. 37 ; Cic. in Verr. iv. 49.) It is, however, generally employed in a more restricted sense to signify some strange incident or wonderful appear­ance which was supposed to herald the approach of misfortune, and happened under such circum­stances as to announce that the calamity was im­pending over a whole community or nation rather than private individuals. The word may be con­sidered synonymous with ostentum, monstrum, por-tcntum. " Quia enim ostendunt, portendtint, mons-trant, praedicunt ; ostenta, portenta, monstra, pro-digia dicimtur." (Cic. de Div. i. 42.) It should be observed, however, that prodigium must be de­rived from or;o, and not from dico^ as Cicero would have it.

Since prodigies were viewed as direct manifesta­tions of the wrath of heaven, and warnings of coming vengeance, it was believed that this wrath might be appeased, and consequently this venge­ance averted, by prayers and sacrifices duly offered to the offended powers. This being a matter which deeply concerned the public welfare, the necessary rites were in ancient times regularly performed, under the direction of the pontifices, by the consuls before they left the city, the solemnities being called procuratio prodigiorum. Although from the very nature of the occurrences it was impossible to anticipate and provide for every contingency, we have reason to know that rules for expiation, ap­plicable to a great variety of cases, were laid down in the Ostentaria, \heLibri Rituales^ and other sacred books of the Etrurians (Cic. de Div. i. 33 ; Muller, Etrusker, vol. i. pp. 33, 36, 343, vol. ii. pp. 30, 99, ] 22,131,146, 337), with the contents of which the Roman priests were well acquainted ; and when the prodigy was of a very terrible or unprecedented nature it was usual to seek counsel from some re­nowned Tuscan seer, from the Sibylline books, or even from the Delphic oracle. Prodigies were fre­quently suffered to pass unheeded when they were considered to have no direct reference to public

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PRODOSIA.

affairs, as, for example, when the marvel reported had been observed in a private mansion or in some town not closely connected with Rome, and in this case it was said non suscipi, but a regular record of the more important was carefully preserved in tho Annals, as may be seen from the numerous details dispersed throughout the extant books of Livy. (See Liv. ii. 42, iii. 10, xxiv. 44, xxxvii. 3, xliii. 13 ; Muller, die Etrusker^ vol. ii. p. 191 ; Hartung, die Religion der Romer^ vol.i. p. 96 ; and for an interesting essay on the illustrations of Natural History to be derived from the records of ancient prodigies, Heyne, Opusc. Acad. vol. iii. pp. 198, 255.) [W.R.]

PRODOMUS. [Bonus, p. 425, b ; tem-

PLUM.]

PRODOSIA (TrpoSoffla). Under this term was included not only every species of treason, but also every such crime as (in the opinion of the Greeks) would amount to a betraying or desertion of the interest of a man's country. The highest sort of treason was the attempt to establish a des­potism (jvpa.vvis\ or to subvert the constitution (itaraXveiv tt]v iroAn-eicw), and in democracies KaraXveiv tov 5?}/xoz/ or rb ir\r,()os. Other kinds of treason were a secret correspondence with a foreign enemy ; a betraying of an important trust, such as a fleet, army,, or fortress ; a desertion of post ; a disobedience of orders, or any other act of treachery, or breach of duty in the public service. (Demosth. pro Cor. 242, c. Lept. 481, c. Timoc. 745, c. Timofli. 1204, pro Cor. Tricmrch. 1230 ; Lys. c. Agor. 130, 131, cd. Steph. ; Lycurg. c. Leocr. 155, eel. Steph.) It would be a betrayal of the state, to delude the people by false intelli­gence or promises ; or to disobey any special de­cree, such as that (for instance) which prohibited the exportation of arms or naval stores to Philip, and that which (after Philip had taken possession of Phocis) forbade Athenian citizens to pass the night out of the c;.ty. (Demosth. c. Lept. 487, 498, pro Cor. 23% de Pals. Leg. 433.) But not only would overt aats of disobedience or treachery amount to the crime of TrpoSorria, but also the neglect to perform those- active duties which the Greeks in general expected of every good citizen. Cowardice in battle (SeiAt'a) would be an instance of this kind ; so would any breach of the oath taken by the etyySoi at Athens ; or any line of conduct for which a charge of disaffection to the people (/utcro-8?7juia) might be successfully maintained. (Xen. Cyrop, vi. 4. § 14, vi. 3. § 27 ; Eurip. Phoeniss. 1003 ; Andoc. c. Alcib. 30, ed. Steph. ; Lycurg. c. Leoc. 157, ed. Steph. ; Demosth. pro Cor. 242.) Thus, we find persons, whose offence was the pro­pounding unconstitutional laws, or advising bad measures, or the like, charged by their political opponents with an attempt to overthrow the con­stitution. (Demosth. irepl vvvra^. 170 ; Aesch. g. TimarcJi. 1, c. Ctes. 82, ed. Steph. ; Lys. pro Pohjst. 159, ed. Steph.) Of the facility with which such charges might be made at Athens, especially in times of political excitement, when the most eminent citizens were liable to lie suspected of plots against the state, history affords abundant proof; and Greek history, no less than modern, shows the danger of leaving the crime of treason undefined by the law, and to be interpreted by judges. (Aristoph. Eq. 236, 475, 862, Vesp. 483, 953 ; Wachsmuth, Hell. All. vol.i. pt, ii. p. 154, vol. ii. pt. i. p. 178.) One of the most remarkable

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