Platte River

See Nebraska.


See Ornithorhynchus.


Plauen, a town of Saxony, in the circle of Zwickau, on the White Elster, 60 m. S. by W. of Leipsic; pop. in 1871, 23,355. It is the chief point in Germany for the manufacture of white cotton goods and embroidery. The town is the seat of numerous officials, and contains a gymnasium, a teachers' seminary, and industrial and other schools.


Pleasants, a N. W. county of West Virginia, separated from Ohio by the Ohio river; area, about 280 sq. m.; pop. in 1870, 3,012, of whom 16 were colored. It has a broken or rolling surface, and contains some good farming land. The chief productions in 1870 were 15,283 bushels of wheat, 67,580 of Indian corn, 14,596 of oats, 15,925 of potatoes, and 592 tons of hay. There were 620 horses, 1,863 cattle, 2,918 sheep, and 1,954 swine. Capital, St. Mary's.


Plebiscitum (Lat., decree of the plebs; Fr. plebiscite), the designation in the early days of the Roman republic of laws enacted by the plebeians without the intervention of the patricians and the senate. The first plebiscitum in modern times occurred in France in 1793, upon the proposed constitution, the masses of the people being called upon to give simply affirmative or negative votes. The most memorable later ones are the popular votes taken on the consulate for life in 1802, and the first and second empires in 1804 and 1852.


Pleiades, a group of stars situated on the shoulder of the constellation Taurus. It was regarded by Madler as the central group of the system of the milky way. Alcyone, the brightest of the Pleiades, a star of the third magnitude, was considered to occupy the apparent position of the central point round which our universe of fixed stars is revolving. This theory, however, had no other basis than the general community of direction observed among the proper motions of the stars in Taurus; and as it is now known that in other regions of the heavens a similar phenomenon can be recognized, it is impossible to accept Madler's theory. Apart from this, it has been pointed out by Sir John Herschel that the Pleiades are too far from the milky way to be a probable centre of motion for the stars of our galaxy.


See Pliocene.


See Lizard.


See Pskov.


See Gemistus.

Pleurisy Root

See Milkweed.


See Murrain, vol. xii., p. 59.


Plmtagenet, the surname of the royal family of England from Henry II. to Richard III. inclusive. It belonged originally to the house of Anjou, and by most antiquaries is derived from the story that Foulques or Fulk, the first earl of that family, having committed some crime, went on a pilgrimage to Rome, where he was scourged with broom twigs (planta-genista), and from that circumstance assumed the name. It is now borne through collateral descent by the duke of Buckingham and Chandos.

Ploc, Or Plotzk

I. A Government Of Russia

A Government Of Russia, in Poland, bordering on Lomza, Warsaw, from which it is separated by the Vistula, and Prussia; area, 4,198 sq. m.; pop. in 1872, 490,291. The surface is level, and agriculture is the principal occupation of the inhabitants.

II. A Town

A Town, capital of the government, on the right bank of the Vistula, 58 m. N. W. of Warsaw; pop. in 1867, 21,843. It is the seat of a bishop, and one of the oldest towns of Poland, and in former times was the residence of the dukes of Masovia. It consists of an old and a new town, and has several squares. Besides the cathedral, with tombs of Polish dukes, there are ten other Catholic churches. Among the schools is a Piarist gymnasium. The trade is active, especially in grain and lumber.