Prosper Poitevin

Prosper Poitevin, a French lexicographer, born about 1810. He studied in Paris, and became a teacher, and for a short time was professor of rhetoric at the college Rollin. In early life he wrote poetry and plays, but he is best known by his grammars and dictionaries. The most important of his numerous works are: Nouneau dictionnaire universel de la languefrancaise (2 vols. 4to, 1854-'60), Gram-maire generate et historique de la languefran-gaise (2 vols. 8vo, 1856), and Cours pratique de Iliterature frangaise (2 vols. 12mo, 1865).

Prostate Gland

Prostate Gland (Gr.Prostate Gland 14006 , to stand before), a solid, chestnut-shaped glandular body, rather more than one inch in diameter, situated in the male between the neck of the bladder and the membranous portion of the urethra; so called because it stands in front of the neck of the bladder. The texture of the prostate gland consists of a large number of racemose or compound glandules, surrounded by and imbedded in an abundant fibro-muscu-lar tissue, and opening by several separate orifices into the first or prostatic portion of the urethra, which canal it embraces at this point for about an inch. The prostate is liable to become enlarged in advanced life, when it sometimes creates an obstacle to the evacuation of the urine.


Protagoras, a Greek philosopher, born in Abdera probably about 480 B. C., died about 411. The common story in regard to his origin was that he was a porter, and by the skilful manner in which he carried his load attracted the attention of Democritus, who undertook to educate him. He was the first who assumed the title of sophist, as denoting one who instructed others in the art of becoming wise, and in the arts of eloquence and politics, and was also the first who received pay for his lessons. According to Plato, he received more money during the 40 years in which he taught than Phidias and 10 other sculptors. None of his works are extant. In his treatise "On the Gods," Protagoras started with the following proposition: "Respecting the gods, I am unable to know whether they exist or do not exist." For this he was banished from Athens, and his books were burned.


Protector, in English history, a title several times conferred by parliament upon the chief officer of the kingdom during the king's minority, in place of that of regent. The most celebrated protectors were John, duke of Bedford, and Humphrey, duke of Gloucester, in the minority of Henry VI.; Richard, duke of Gloucester, whose protectorate ended in his becoming king as Richard III. after the death of Edward V.; and Edward Seymour, duke of Somerset, in the minority of his nephew Edward VI. Oliver Cromwell, as well as his son Richard, bore the title of lord protector.


See Proteine.


Protesilaus, a legendary Thessalian prince, the first Greek slain in the Trojan war. It is said in the Iliad that he was the first who leaped from the ships upon the Trojan shore, and according to the ancient tradition recounted in Lucian he was killed by Hector. The great affection toward Protesilaus of his wife Laodamia is celebrated by the poets. After his death she prayed to be permitted to converse with him only for the space of three hours; the prayer being granted, Mercury conducted Protesilaus to the upper world, and when he died a second time his wife died with him.