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On this page: Provocatio – Provocatores – Proxenta – Prudentes – Prytaneium – Prytanes – Psephisma



the different provinces, with a large part of which the Romans originally did not interfere. A general view of the Provinces should therefore "be completed und corrected by a view of the several provinces.

The authorities for this view of the Provincial government have been generally referred to. They are, more particularly, Sigonius, De Antiquo Jure Provinciarum, Lib. i.—iii. ; Goettling, Geschichte der Romischen Staatsverfassung ; Walter, Geschichte des Romischen Redds, where the authorities are very conveniently collected and arranged, and chap. xxxi. Notes 76, 79, wherein he differs from Savigny as to the Jus Italicum ; in chapter xxxvii. Walter has described the provincial divisions of the Empire, which existed about the middle of the fifth century a. d. ; Savigny, Geschichte des Rom. R. im Mittelalter, vol. i. ; Puchta, Ueber den Inlialt der Lex Rubria, Zeitschrift, &c., vol. x. [G. L.]

PROVOCATIO. [appellatio, p. 107, a.]"

PROVOCATORES. [gladiatores, p. 575, b.]

PROXENTA, PRO'XENUS 7ry>o£ez/0s). [HosPlTiUM.]

PRUDENTES. [jurisconsctltl]

PRYTANEIUM (irpvraveiov}. The of the ancient Greek states and cities were to the communities living around them, the common houses of which they in some measure represented, what private houses were to the families which occupied them. Just as the house of each family was its home, so was the Trpvraveiov of every state or city the common home of its members or inha­bitants, and was consequently called the ecrrla, Tr^Aecos, the "focus" or " penetrale urbis." (Cic. de Leg. ii, 12 ; Liv. xli. 20 ; Dionys. ii. 23, 65.) This correspondence between the irpvraveiov, or home of the city, and the private home of a man's family, was at Athens very remarkable. A per­petual fire or ffvp &<j§€(rrov was kept continually burning on the public altar of the city in the Pry-taneium, just as innprivate houses a fire was kept up on the domestic altar in the inner court of the house. (Pollux, i. 7 ; Arnold, ad Thucyd. ii. 15.)

The same custom was observed at the Pry-taneium of the Eleans, where a fire was kept burn­ing night and day. (Pans. v. 15. §5.) Moreover the city of Athens exercised in its Prytaneium the duties of hospitality, both to its own citizens and strangers. Thus foreign ambassadors were enter­tained here, as well as Athenian envoys on their return home from a successful or well conducted mission. (Aristoph. Acliarn. 125 ; Pollux, ix. 40.) Here, too, were entertained from day to day the successive Prytanes or Presidents of the Senate, together with those citizens who, whether from per­sonal or ancestral services to the states, were honoured with what was called the crirycns eV npurccj/eiG), the " victus quotidianus in Prytane'o " (Cic. de Orat. i. 54), or the privilege of taking their meals there at the public cost. This was granted sometimes for a limited period, some­times for life, in which latter case the parties enjoying it were called adanroi. The custom of conferring this honour on those who had been of signal service to the state and their descend­ants, was of so great antiquity that one instance of it was referred to the times of Codrus ; and in the case to which we allude the individual thus honoured was a foreigner, a native of Delphi. (Lycurg. c. Leocr. p. 158.) Another illustration of the uses to which the Prytaneium was dedicated,


is found in the case of the daughters of Aristeules, who on the death of their father were considered as the adopted children of the state, and married from (e/c5o0eT(Tcu) that common home of the city, just as they would have been from their father's home had he been alive. (Pint. Arist. c. 27.) Moreover, from the ever-burning fire of the Pry­taneium, or home of a mother state, was carried the sacred fire which was to be kept burning in the prytaneia of her colonies ; and if it happened that this was ever extinguished, the flame was rekindled from the prytaneium of the parent city. (Duker, ad Thucyd. i. 24.) Lastly, a Prytaneium was,also a distinguishing mark of an independent state, and is mentioned as such by Thucydides (ii. 15), who informs us that before the time of Theseus, every city or state (iroAzs) of Attica pos­sessed a pry taneium. The Achaeans, we are told (Herod, vii. 197), called their prytaneium A^i'ro;/ (from AeoSs, populus), or the " town-hall," and exclusion from it seems to have been a sort of civil excommunication.

The Prytaneium of Athens lay under the Acropolis on its northern side (near the dyopa), and was, as its name denotes, originally the place of assembly of the Tlpvraveis: in the earliest times it probably stood on the Acropolis. Officers called Tlpvrave'is were entrusted with the chief magi-tracy in several states of Greece, as Corcyra, Corinth, Miletus, and the title is sometimes sy­nonymous with /3acnA€?s, or princes, having appa­rently the same root as Trp&ros or Trporaros. At Athens they were in early times probably a ma­gistracy of the second rank in the state (next to the Archon), acting as judges in various cases (perhaps in conjunction with him), and sitting in the Prytaneium. That this was the case is ren­dered probable by the fact, that even in aftertimes the fees paid into court by plaintiff and defendant, before they could proceed to trial, and received by the dicasts, were called irpvrave'ta. (Pollux, viii. 38.) This court of the Prytaneium, or the rb iirl ITpuraj/ei^, is said (Pollux, viii. 120) to have been presided over by the $uAo£a<nAe?s, who perhaps were the same as the Trpvravels.

In later ages, however, and after the establish­ment of the courts of the Heliaea, the court of the Prytaneium had lost what is supposed to have been its original importance, and was made one of the courts of the Ephetae, who held there a species of mock trial over the instruments by which any indi­vidual had lost his life, as well as over persons who had committed murder, and were not forthcoming or detected.

The tablets or &toves otherwise Ki>p€eis, on which Solon's laws were written. (Pint. Sol. 25), were also deposited in the Prytaneium (Paus. i. 18. § 3) ; they were at first kept on the Acropolis, probably in the old Prytaneium, but afterwards removed to the Prytaneium in the ayopd, that they might be open to public inspection. (Pollux, viii. 128.) Ephialtes is said to have been the author of this measure (Harpocrat. s. v. 'O Kciroodev i/o/xos), but their removal may have been merely the con­ sequence of the erection of a new Prytaneium on the lower site in the time of Pericles. (Thirlwall, Hi&t. of Greece^ vol. ii. p. 54.) [R. W.]

PRYTANES (TrpwTcwcfc). [BouLE, pp. 210, 212 ; prytaneium.]

PSEPHISMA WiQurpa). [BoULE,pp. 210,


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