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On this page: Mon – Pereus – Pergamos – Pergamus – Periander



in debauchery and sloth, virtually ruled the em­ pire. Having, however, rendered himself obnoxious to the soldiery, he was delivered up to them, and put to death, together with his wife and children, in a. d. 186 or 187. The narrative of Dion Cas- sius, who states that his death was demanded by a deputation of fifteen hundred dartmen, despatched for this special purpose from the turbulent army in Britain, and that these men, after having marched unmolested through France and Italy, on their approach to Rome, overawed the prince, although his own guards were far more numerous, is so improbable that we can scarcely give it credit. Moreover, Dion represents the character of Peren- nis in a very different light from that in which it is exhibited by other historians. Although he admits that Perennis procured the death of his colleague Paternus, in order that he might rule with un­ divided sway, he would yet depict him as a man of pure and upright life, seeking nought but the prosperity and safety of his country, which were utterly neglected by Commodus, while Herodian and Lampridius charge him with having encou­ raged the emperor in all his excesses, and urged him on in his career of profligacy. (Dion Cass. Ixxii. 9,10 ; Herodian. i. 8, 9; Lamprid. Commod. 5, 6.) [W. R.]

PEREUS (neperfs), a son of Elatus and Lao- dice, and brother of Stymphalus, was the father of Neaera. (Apollod. iii. 9. § I; Paus. viii. 4. § 3 ; comp. elatus and neaera.) [L. S.]

PERGAMOS (nepyanos), an engraver on precious stones, whose name occurs on a stone in the collection of Prince Poniatowski, engraved with the portrait of Nicomedes IV. king of Bithy-nia ; whence it may be inferred that the artist lived about the time of Augustus. There is another gem ascribed to him by Bracci and Stosch, but in this case the true reading of the name is doubtful. (Visconti, Oper. \7ar. vol. ii. p. 360 ; R. Rochette, Lettre a M. Schorn, p. 147, 2nd ed. ; comp. pyg-

MON.) [P. S.]

PERGAMUS (IleVyajuos), a son of Pyrrhus and Andromache. In a contest for the kingdom of Teuthrania, he slew its king Areius, and then named the town after himself Pergamus, and in it he erected a sanctuary of his mother. (Paus. i. 11. § 1, &c.) [L. S.]

PERIANDER (riepiaj/5pos). 1. A son of Cypselus, whom he succeeded as tyrant of Corinth, probably about b. c. 625. By his bitterest oppo­nents his rule was admitted to have been mild and beneficent at first ; and, though it is equally cer­tain that it afterwards became oppressive, we must remember that his history has come down to us through the hands of the oligarchical party, which succeeded to power on the overthrow of the Cypse-lidae, and that suspicion therefore attaches to much of what is recorded of him. In the speech which Herodotus (v. 92) puts into the mouth of Sosicles, the Corinthian delegate at Sparta, and which is couched in the language of a strong partisan, the change in question is absurdly ascribed to the ad­vice of Thrasybulus, tyrant of Miletus, whom Pe-riander had consulted on the best mode of main­taining his power, and who is said to have taken the messenger through a corn-field^ cutting off, as he went, the tallest ears, and then to have dis­missed him without committing himself to a verbal answer. According to the story, however, the action was rightly interpreted by Periander? who


proceeded to rid himself of the most powerful nobles in the state. If we may believe another statement, which we find in Diogenes Laertius (i. 96 ; comp. Parthen. Am. Aff. 17), the horrible consciousness of incest with his mother (which some versions of the story represented as involuntary on his part) altered his kindly nature to misanthropic cruelty. Aristotle, without mentioning any change in the character and conduct of Periander, merely speaks of him as having been the first in Greece who re­duced to a system the common and coarser arts of tyrant-craft ; and, accordingly, in two passages of the Politics (iii. 13, v. 10, ed. Bekk.), he alludes to the above-mentioned suggestion of cutting off the nobles, as having been made by Periander to Thrasybulus. If we may depend at all on the statements in Diogenes Laertius, we may believe that, while Periander would gladly have trusted for his security rather to the affection than the fears of his subjects, he was driven to tyrannical expedients by what he considered a constraining political necessity ; and it is far from improbable that, while the arts which win the favour of the people were less carefully cultivated by him than by his father Cypselus, who had risen to power by popular aid, so the commons, on their side, not having now so lively a sense of the evils of oli­garchy, would begin to look with dislike on the rule of an individual. But, whatever might have been their dispositions towards him, he contrived with great ability to keep rebellion in check, pro­tecting his person by a body-guard of mercenaries, and directing, apparently, his whole policy, domes­tic as well as foreign, to the maintenance of his power. The citizens of noblest rank or feeling were kept down or put out of the way, and com­mon tables, clubs, and public education were sup­pressed,—actions prompted, not, as Muller supposes (Dor. i. 8. § 3), by the wish of utterly eradicating the peculiarities of the Doric race, but rather by that of crushing high spirit and mutual confidence among his subjects. To the same end we may refer also his expulsion of many of the people from the city, as we are told by Diogenes Laertius, on the authority of Ephorus and Aristotle, by the latter of whom such a measure is indeed mentioned in the Politics (v. 10. ed. Bekk.), but not expressly as one of the devices of Periander. Again, while he made it part of his system to prevent the accu­mulation of wealth to any dangerous extent by individuals, he placed checks at the same time on habits of wasteful extravagance, and instituted a court for the punishment of those who squandered their patrimony, probably because he knew that such persons are often the readiest for innovation (Arist. Pol. v. 6). The story of his stripping the Corin­thian women of their ornaments is variously given in Herodotus and in Diogenes Laertius from Ephorus ; and it seems doubtful whether we should regard it as one of his measures for diminishing the resources of powerful families, or as a perverted account of a sumptuary law. It may also have been as part of his policy for repressing the excess of luxury and extravagance that he commanded the procuresses of Corinth to be thrown into the sea. Being pos­sessed, as Aristotle tells us, of considerable military skill, he made his government respected abroad, and so provided more effectually for its security at home. Yet very little is recorded of his expedi­tions. Besides his conquest of Epidaurus, men­tioned below, we know that he kept Corcyra in

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