Proconsul, a Roman magistrate who acted for the consul in the government of a province, and was almost always one who had previously been consul. The first proconsul was Q. Pub-lilius Philo, who in 327 B. C. was at the head of the army in the second Samnite war when his consular year closed, and was then continued in the function beyond his time because his recall would have destroyed the advantages already gained.
Procrustes (Gr. IIροκρούστης, the stretcher), the surname of Polypemon or Damastes, a legendary robber of Attica, who had an iron bed upon which he placed all the travellers who fell into his hands. If they were longer than the bed, he cut enough from their limbs to make them fit; if they were shorter, he stretched them. He was slain by Theseus on Mt. Cephissus.
Prohibition, a writ issued by a superior court to restrain the action of an inferior tribunal which is assuming to act in some matter not within its cognizance, or in disregard of the rules which govern the exercise of its jurisdiction. It is an extraordinary remedy, to which resort seldom becomes necessary.
Prome, a town of British Burmah, in Pegu, on the E. bank of the Irrawaddy, 166 m. N. N. TV. of Rangoon; pop. about 30,000. It is surrounded by a brick wall 1 1/2 m. in circumference, has several paper manufactories, and is a place of considerable commercial importance. A railway is projected to Rangoon. In the suburbs are extensive rice grounds. Prome was taken by the British in 1825, and again in the second war with Burmah in 1852. It was nearly destroyed by fire in 1856, and in the same year suffered seriously from an inundation of the Irrawaddy.
Promissory Note, a promise in writing to pay money. When the promise is to pay it to the payee or his order, or to the bearer, the note is negotiable, and, as an exceedingly useful and important instrument of business, it is governed by a system of law which is quite peculiar. When not payable to order, or not negotiable, the rules of law applicable to it vary but little from those which are in force generally in relation to written contracts. (See Exchange, Bill of, and Negotiable Paper).
See Marmora, Sea of.
Proserpine, Or Persephone, in Greek and Roman mythology, the queen of the infernal world. She was the daughter of Jupiter and Ceres, and was beloved by Pluto, who forcibly carried her off to Hades. There she was found by Ceres, who induced Pluto to consent that her daughter should pass six months of every year in the upper world with her; and hence Proserpine became a symbol of vegetation. The Eleusinian mysteries belonged to her in common with her mother, and she had temples at Corinth, Megara, and Sparta, and at Locri in the south of Italy.