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On this page: Petron – Petronas – Petronia – Petronia Gens – Petronianus – Petronius



tullian. (Flistoire Litteraire de la France, vol. ii. p. 469, &c. ; Cave, Hist. Litt. ad arm. 461, vol. i. p. 449, fol. Oxon. 1740—1743 ; Fabric. Biblioth. Mediae et Infimae Latinitat. vol. v. p. 206, ed. Mansi; Tillemont, Memoires, vol. xvi. p. 404 ; Oudin, De Scriptoribus et Scriptis Eccles. vol. i. col. 1288—1289.) [J. C. M.]

PETRON (rUrpon/), called also Petronas [PE- tronas], a Greek physician, born in the island of Aegina (ScJiol. 'in Horn. II. xi. 624, ed. Bekker), who lived later than Hippocrates, and before Hero- philus and Erasistratus (Gels. De Med. iii. 9, p. 49), and therefore probably about the middle of the fourth century b. c. He appears to have written a work on pharmacy (Galen, De Compos. Medicam. sec. Gen. iii. 9, vol. xiii. p. 642) ; but he was most notorious for his treatment of patients suffering under acute fever. In these cases he seems to have been commonly supposed to have given his patients plenty of wine and meat during the con­ tinuance of the fever (Galen, De Opt. Sect. c. 14. vol. i. p. 144, Comment, in Hippocr. " De Vict. Rat. in Morb. Acut." i. 12, 16, vol. xv. pp. 436, 437, 451), but perhaps this accusation was hardly correct, as Celsus (1. c.) says lie did not adopt this diet till after the violence of the fever had sub­ sided. [ W. A. G.]

PETRONAS (nerpwws), the Alexandrian form of the name Herpwv. (See W. Dindorf, in H. Steph.,77zes. Gr. ed.Paris.) [petron.] [W.A.G.]

PETRONIA, the daughter of a man of«consular rank, was first the wife of Vitellius, and subse­quently of Dolabella. On the accession of Vitellius to the empire, A. d. 69, her husband Dolabella was put to death by his orders. She had a son by Vitellius named Petronianus, who was blind of one eye, and whom his father put to death. (Tac. Hist. ii. 64 ; Suet. Vitell. 6.) The Ser. Cornelius Dolabella Petronianus, who was consul a. d. 86, in the reign of Domitian, may likewise have been a son of Petronia by her second husband.

PETRONIA GENS, plebeian, laid claim to high antiquity, since a Petronius Sabinus is said to have lived in the reign of Tarquinius Superbus. [petronius, No. 1.] The coins struck by Pe­tronius Turpilianus, who was one of the triumvirs of the mint in the reign of Augustus, likewise contain reference to the real or supposed Sabine origin of the gens. [turpilianus.J But during the time of the republic scarcely any one of this name is mentioned. Under the empire, however, the name frequently occurs both in writers and in inscriptions with various cognomens ; many of the Petronii obtained the consular dignity, and one of them, Petronius Maximiis, was eventually raised to the imperial purple in A. d. 455. The name, "however, is best known from the celebrated writer spoken of below.

PETRONIANUS. [petronia.]

PETRONIUS. 1. petronius sabinus, is said t) have lived in the reign of Tarquinius Superbus, and to have obtained from M. Tullius or M. Ati-lius, as Dionysius calls him, the Sibylline books in order to take a copy of them. (Val. Max. i. 1. §13 ; Dionys. iv. 62.)

2. C. petronius, sent as legate with L. Appu-Ifeius, in b.c. 156, to examine into the state of affairs bet ween Attains and Prusias. (Polyb. xxxii. 26.)

3. M. petronius passer, mentioned by Varro. (R. R. iii. 2. § 2).


4. petronius, a tribune of the soldiers, served in the army of Crassus, in his expedition against the Parthians, b. c. 55, and was with Crassus when the latter was killed. (Plut. Crass. 30, 31.)

5. petronius, had taken part in the con­spiracy against Caesar's life, and was subsequently put to death by Antony in Asia. (Appian, B. C. v. 4.)

6. C. petronius, succeeded Aelius Gallus in the government of Egypt, carried on war in b. c. 22 against the Aethiopians, who had invaded Egypt under their queen Candace. Petronius not only drove back the Aethiopians, but took many of their principal towns. The details of the war are given under candace (Diqn Cass. liv. 5 ; Strab. xvii. p. 820). Petronius was a friend of Herod, and sent corn to Judaea when the latter country was visited by a famine. (Joseph. Ant. xv. 9. §2.)

7. P. petronius, is twice mentioned by Tacitus as a distinguished person in the reign of Tiberius (Tac. Ann. iii. 49, vi. 45). He may have been the same as the following Petronius, or perhaps his father.

8. P. petronius, was sent by Caligula to Syria, as the successor of Vitellius, with orders to erect the statue of that emperor in the temple at Jerusalem (Joseph. Ant. xviii. 9. § 2, B. J. ii. 10). This Petronius is also mentioned as having been the legate of Claudius. (Senec. de Morte Claudii.)

9. C. petronius, who put an end to his own life in the reign of Nero, is supposed by many to have been the author of the Satyricon, and is spoken of below.

' 10. petronius turpilianus. [turpilia­nus.]

11. petronius priscus. [priscus.]

12. petronius secundus. [secundus.]

13. petronius maxim us, the emperor. [maxi-


C. PETRO'NIUS, is described by Tacitus (Ann. xvi. 18, 19) as the most accomplished voluptuary at the court of Nero. His days were passed in slumber, his nights in visiting and revelry. But he was no vulgar spendthrift, no dull besotted debauchee. An air of refinement pervaded all his extravagancies ; with him luxury was a serious study, and he became a proficient in the science. The careless, graceful ease, assuming almost the guise of simplicity, which distinguished all his words and actions, was the delight of the fashionable world; he gained, by polished and ingenious folly, an amount of fame which others often fail to achieve by a long career of laborious virtue. At one time he proved himself capable of better things. Having been appointed governor (proconsul) of Bithynia, and subsequently elevated to the consulship, his official duties were dis­charged with energy and discretion. Relapsing, however, into his ancient habits, he was admitted among the few chosen companions of the prince, and was regarded as director-in-chief of the imperial pleasures, the judge whose decision upon the merits of any proposed scheme of enjoyment was held as final (Neroni assumtus est elegantiae arbiter, dum niliil amoenum et molle affluentia putat) nisi quod ei Petronius approbavisset). The influence thus acquired excited the jealous sus­picions of Tigellinus: Petronius was accused of having been privy to the treason of Scaevinus ~. a slave was suborned to lodge an information, and

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