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Universal pronouncing dictionary of biography and mythology (Volume 2) online

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Almagro. Died about 1566.

Pizarro, (JUAN,) a brother of the preceding, was born
at Truxillo about 1505. He assisted in the conquest of
Peru, and became governor of Cuzco. He was killed
in battle at Cuzco in 1535.

Pizarro, (PEDRO,) a Spanish historian and soldier of
the sixteenth century, born at Toledo, was a relative of
the celebrated commander Francisco Pizarro. He wrote
a work entitled " Account of the Discovery and Con-
quest of the Kingdoms of Peru," (" Relaciones del Des-
cubririiento y Conquista de los Reyuos del Pe-u,")
published about 1847.

See PRESCOTT, " History of the Conquest of Peru," vol. ji. book

Pizzi, pet'see or pit'see, (GiOACCHiNO,) an Italian
poet, born in Rome in 1716. Among his poems is "The
Vision of Eden," (1778.) Died in 1790.

Plaas, van der, vtn der pliss, written also Plas,
(DAVID,) a Dutch portrait-painter, born at Amsterdam
in 1647. He passed some years at Venice. Died at
Amsterdam in 1704.

Placseua. See LA PLACE, DE, (JosuE.)

Flaccius, plat'se-us, (VINCENZ,) a German writei
born at Hamburg in 1642. He published, besides other
works, " Atlantis Retecta," a poem, (1659,) and "Treat-
ise on Anonymous and Pseudonymous Works and
Writers," (" De Scriptis et Scriptoribus anonymis et
pseudonymis Syntagma," 1674.) Died in 1699.

Place, (FRANCIS,) an English engraver and painter,
born in Durham. His etchings are highly commended.
Died in 1728.

Place, de la, (JosuE.) See LA PLACE, DE.

Place, de la, deh It pliss, (PIERRE,) a French Prot-
estant jurist, born at Angouleme about 1520. He wrote
a journal or history of public events in France from 1556
to 1561, (1565,) and other works. He became president
of the cour des aides, Paris, in the reign of Henry II.
He was a victim of the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew,

(I572-) la, (PIERRE ANTOINE,) a mediocre French
writer of fiction and dramas, born at Calais in 1707 ; died
in 1793.


Pla-cen-ti'nus, [It. PIACENTINO, pe-a-che'n-tee'no,J
an Italian jurist of the twelfth century, born at Piacenza ;
died in 1192.

Placentiua, plit-seVse-us, (PETER,) or JohannLeo,
a German writer, who lived about 1530, and wrote a
Latin poem entitled " The Battle of the Pigs," (" Pugna
Porcorum,") in which every word begins with P.

Placette, La. See LA PLACETTE,

Pla-cidl-a, [Fr. PLACIDIE, plfse'de',] a Roman
princess, born about 390 A.D., was a daughter of Theo-
dosius the Great. She was taken captive by the Goths,
and became the wife of Ataulphus, King of the Goths,
(414.) Died in 450 A.D.

Placl-tus Pa-pjrr-I-en'sis, ( SEXTOS, ) sometimes
physician, who is supposed to have lived about the
fourth century. He wrote a work " On Medicaments
made from Animals," (" De Medicamentis ex Ani-

Plaidy, pla'dee, (Loois,) a German musician, born
at Wermsdorf, in Saxony, November 28, 1810. He
began life as a performer on the violin, but forsook that
instrument for the piano, and earned a great reputation
as a teacher at the Leipsic Conservatoriurn. Died at
Grimma, March 3, 1874.

Plaisance, de. Due. See LEBRON.

an Italian savant, born in 1781. He became director
of the observatory at Turin, professor of analysis, and
senator. He published, besides other works, a "Theory
of the Motion of the Moon," (1832.) Died in 1864.

Planard, de, deh plt'niR', (FRANC.OIS ANTOINE EU-
GENE,) a French dramatist, born in Aveyron in 1783.
He produced successful comedies and comic operas.
Died in 18^5.

Flanche, ploN'sha', (JAMES ROBINSON,) an English
dramatist, born in London in 1796. He published about
1827 "Lays and Legends of the Rhine," and "The
Descent of the Danube." He composed numerous
successful dramas and operas, among which were " Obe-
ron" and "Charles XII.," (1828.) He also wrote a
" History of British Costume," (1834.) Died at Chelsea,
May 29, 1880.

Planche, ploNsh, (JEAN BAPTISTS GUSTAVE,) a
French litterateur and critic, born in Paris in 1808. He
wrote many able criticisms on art and literature for the
" Revue des Deux Mondes," and published " Literary
Portraits," (4 vols., 1836-49.) Died in 1857.

Planche, (JOSEPH,) a French Hellenist, born at La-
dinhac (Cantal) in 1762, was professor at the College
Bourbon, at Paris. He published, besides other books
for students, a " Greek-French Dictionary," (1809,) which

, e, i, 5, u, y, long; 4, e, 6, same, less prolonged; a, e, 1, 5, u, y, short; a, e, i, g, obscure; far, fall, fat; mil; not; good; moon:




was successful and was adopted in the university. Died
in 1853.

Plancher, ploN'shi', (URBAIN,) a French monk and
historian, born in Anjou in 1667. He wrote a " History
of Burgundy," (3 vols., 1739-48.) Died in 1750.

Flanciades. See FULGENTIUS.

Flancius, plan'se-us, (PiETER,) a Dutch theologian,
born in Flanders in 1552, was a zealous Calvinist. He
preached at Brussels and Amsterdam. By his astro-
nomical and nautical science he rendered good service
to the commerce of Holland. Died in 1622.

Planck, plank, (GOTTLIEB JAKOB,) an eminent Ger-
man theologian and church historian, born at Niirtingen,
in Wiirtemberg, in 1751. He was professor of theology
at Gbttingen from 1784 to 1833. His principal works
are a " History of the Protestant Doctrinal System,"
(" Geschichte der Bildung des Protestantischen Lehr-
begriffs," 6 vols., 1781-1800,) and a "History of the
Origin and Development of the Organization of the
Christian Church," (5 vols., 1803-05.) Died in 1833.

See LUBCKH, " Dr. G. J. Planck; biographischer Versuch."

Planck, (HEINRICH LUDWIG,) a son of the pre-
ceding, was bom atGottingen in 1785. He wrote several
theological and exegetical works, and was professor of
theology at Gottingen. Died in 1831.

Plangon, p!6N^6N', (GUILLAUME,) a French phy-
sician, born at Javron, in Maine. He translated Galen's
"Commentary on the Aphorisms of Hippocrates,"(i55i.)
Died in 1611.

Plan'cus, (Lucius MUNATIUS,) a profligate Roman
politician, who was a partisan of Caesar in the civil war.
He took arms for the senate in 43 B.C., but soon deserted
to Antony, and was consul in 42 B.C. In 32 B.C. he
abandoned Antony and became a partisan of Octavius.
He was the person to whom Horace addressed the
seventh ode of his first book.

tribune of the people in 52 B.C. He was a violert
enemy of Milo, and caused a popular riot at the funera"
of Clodius, for which he was prosecuted by Cicero, and
condemned about 50 B.C.

Planer, pla'ner, (JOHANN JACOB,) a German botanist
and physician, born at Erfurt in 1743. He translated
Linnsus's " Systema Naturae" into German, (1774,) and
wrote several scientific treatises. Died in 1789.

Planque, ploNk, (FRANCOIS,) a French physician,
born at Amiens in 1696. He published a good manual
of surgery, "Chirurgie complete," (2 vols., 1744,) and
" Select Library of Medicine," (" Bibliotheque choisie
de Me'decine," 10 vols., 1748-70.) Died in 1765.

Planquette, pl&N'keV, (ROBERT,) a French musical
composer, born in Paris, July 31, 1850. He has pro-
Huced songs, chansonnettes, and operettas. Of the latter,
" Les Cloches de Corneville, ' (^1^77,,) known in this
country as " The Chimes of Normandy," is the most
popular. Others are "Paul Jones," (1889,) " Le
Talisman," (1893,) etc.

Plant, plant, (JOHANN TRAUGOTT,) a German writer,
born at Dresden in 1756. He wrote a "Biographical
and Critical Treatise on the History of German Poetry,"
(1782,) and other works. Died in 1794.

Planta, plan'ta, (JOSEPH,) a Swiss historian and phi-
lologist, born in the Grisons in 1744. He became in
1799 principal librarian of the British Museum. He
was secretary of the Royal Society of London for twenty
years or more. He published a " History of the Hel-
vetic Confederacy," (2 vols., 1800,) and other works.
Died December 3, 1827.

Planta, de, deh plan'ta, (MARTIN,) a Swiss natural
philosopher, born in 1727. He is said to have been the
inventor of electrical machines with plates, (& plateaux.)
Died in 1772.

Plautade, ploN'tid', (CHARLES HENRI,) a French
musician and composer, born at Pontoise in 1764. He
produced songs, operas, and sacred compositions which
were popular in their day, but have now fallen into
oblivion. Died in Paris, December 18, 1839.

Plantade, de, d?h pldN'tfd', (FRANC.OIS,) a Fren-ch
astronomer, born at Montpellier in 1670. He wrote
"Observations on the Aurora Borealis," (1730.) He
made some good maps of Languedoc. Died in 1741.


Plantagenet See HENRY II. OF ENGLAND.

Plan tin, ploN'tJN', (CHRISTOPHE,) an eminent printer,
born near Tours, in France, in 1514. He became th
proprietor of a printing-office in Antwerp about 1550.
His publications were renowned for correctness and
beauty. He employed Kilian, Pulmann, (or Poelmann,/
and other learned men as correctors of the press. His
most remarkable performance was an edition of a Poly-
glot Bible, superintended by Arias Montanus, (1568-72.)
Died in 1589.

See " Motive-He Biographic Gene'rale."

Plantiii, pld.N'tiN', (JEAN BAPTISTE,) a Swiss histo-
rian, born at Lausanne about 1625. He wrote a " His-
tory of Switzerland," (" Helvetia antiqua et nova," 1656,)
and other works. Died about 1680.

Planude. See PLANUDES.

Pla-nu'des, [Gr. Ittavoiifyf ; Fr. PLANUDE, plS'nud',|
(MAXIMUS,) a Byzantine monk, born at Nicomedia, was
sent by Andronicus II. on a mission to Venice in 1327.
He is chiefly noted as an editor of a Greek Anthology,
a collection of Greek epigrams, some of which he ex-
tracted from an Anthology compiled by Constantinus
Cephalas in the tenth century. Planudes was very
deficient in the judgment and taste required to edit
such a work, and is accused of literary forgeries. His
Anthology was printed at Florence in 1494.

See FABRICIUS, " Bibliotheca Grseca."

Plas, van der, vin der plls, (PiETER,) a Dutch
painter, born in 1578; died at Brussels in 1634.

Platao. See PLATO.

Platea, pla-ta'a, (FRANCESCO PIAZZA,) an Italian
canonist, born at Bologna about 1390 ; died in 1460.

Plateau, pli'to', (JOSEPH ANTOINE FERDINAND,) a
Belgian natural philosopher, born at Brussels in iSct.
He wrote on optics and on the statics of liquids removed
from the effects of gravity. Died September 19, 1883.

Platen, von, fon pla'ten, (DUBISLAV FRIEDRICH,) a
Prussian general, born in 1714. He served with dis-
tinction against the Russians and Swedes in the Seven
Years' war, and became a lieutenant-general about 1758.
Died in 1787.

Flaten-Hallermiinde, pla'ten hal'le'r-mun'deh, (Ay-
GUST,) COUNT, a German littlrdtetir, born at Anspach in
1796. Among his works are a "History of the King-
dom of Naples from 1414 to 1443," and a satirical poem
entitled " The Romantic CEdipus." Died in 1835.

See LONGFELLOW, " Poets and Poetry of Europe;" MINCKWITZ,
"Graf von Platen als Mench und Dichter," 1838.

Plater, pla'ter, (EMILIE,) a Polish heroine, born at
Wilna in 1806.' She fought, with the rank of captain,
against the Russians in the insurrection of 1830. Died
in 1831.

See " Emilie Plater, sa Vie et sa Mort," Paris, 1834, and " Life ol
Countess E. Plater," New York, 1842; "Democratic Review" foi
July, 1842.

Plater, pla'ter, (FELIX,) a Swiss physician, born at
Bale in 1536. He lectured and practised with success
in that place. He wrote " Medical Practice," (" Praxis
Medica," 1602,) often reprinted, and other medical
works. Died in 1614.

Plater, (FftLix,) a son of the preceding, was born in
1605, and became a physician of Bale. Died in 1671.

Plater, (STANISLAS,) COUNT, a Polish soldier, his-
torian, and antiquary, born in Lithuania in 1782. He
published, in French, a " Historical Atlas of Poland,"
and several other works. Died in l8y.

Flath, plat, (JOHANN HEINRICH,) a German scholai,
born at Munich in 1807. He was, after 1848, state
librarian of Bavaria. Among his works are " Lives and
Teachings of Confucius and his Disciples," (1867 ; 2d
vol., 1872,) "China Four Thousand Years Ago," (1869,)
" Sources of Chinese History," (1870,) and " History of
the People of Manchooria," (1874^^.) Died at Munich,
November 16, 1874.

Platina. See PAUL II.

Platina, pla-tee'na, (BARTOLOMMEO DE SACCHIS,}
an able Italian historian, born at Piadena, near Cre-
mona, in 1421. He wrote, besides other works, "The
Lives of the Popes," (" In Vitas Summorum Pontificura
Opus," 1479,) a work of much merit, often reprinted,

asA; <;ass; gfarJ; as>;G,n,K,vttural; N, nasal; R, trilled; s as z; thasinMw. (J^=See Explanations, p. 23.)




and a "History of Mantua," (1675.) He became li-
brarian of the Vatican about 1472. Died in 1481. He
was a member of the Academy founded at Rome by
Pomponius Lsetus, and as such was persecuted by Pope
Paul II.

See BAVLR, " Historical and Critical Dictionary :" NicdRON,
" M^moires :" TIRABOSCHI, " Storia della Letteratura Italiana."

Platner, plit'ner, (EnUARD,) a German jurist, born
at Leipsic in 1786. He wrote, besides many literary
essays, a treatise " On the Attic Races," (" De Gentibus
Atticis," 1811,) and "Questions on the Roman Criminal
Law," (1842.) Died in 1860.

Platner, (ERNST,) a German philosopher and phy-
sician, born at Leipsic in 1744, was the father of the
preceding. He became professor of medicine at Leipsic
in 1770. He had a high reputation as a lecturer and a
writer. Among his works are "Anthropology for Phy-
sicians and Philosophers," (2 vols., 1774,) and "Philo-
sophic Aphorisms," (2 vols., 1776-82.) His style is
commended for precision and elegance. Died in 1818.

See " Biographie Medicale."

Platner, (ERNST ZACHARIAS,) a writer, a son of the
preceding, was born at Leipsic in 1773. He published
a "Description of Rome," (1830-43.) Died in 1855.

Platner, QOHANN ZACHARIAS,) a surgeon, born at
Chemnitz in 1694, was the father of Ernst, noticed above.
He taught at Leipsic, and was a skilful oculist. He
wrote, in elegant Latin, " Surgical Institutes," (" Insti-
tutiones Chirurgiae rationales," 1745,) and other works.
Died in 1747.

Pla'to,*[Gr.rUara)v; LaL PLA'TO; Fr. PLATON, plf-
t6N'; Ger. the same as the Latin ; It PLA TONE, pli-to'na ;
Sp. PLATON, pla-t6n' ; Port PLATAO, pli-towN' ; Arab,
and Persian, AFLATOON, a-fli'toon',] one of the most
illustrious philosophers of all time, was born about 429
B.C. He belonged to one of the highest families of
Athens, being descended on the side of his father,
Aris'to, (or Aris'ton,) from Codrus, and on that of his
mother, Pericti'one, he was related to the celebrated
lawgiver Solon. As to the place of his birth there is
some dispute. Some writers say that he was born at
Athens ; others, in the island of vEgina. His original
name was Aris'tocles, after his grandfather : he was sur-
named PLATO, (from ffXarvr, " broad,") on account of
the breadth of his forehead, or, as some say, of his j
shoulders. Very little is certainly known of the history
of his life, and, as is usual in such cases, the absence
of positive information is liberally supplied by what is
legendary or fabulous. It is related that while an infant,
as he was one day sleeping in a bower on Mount Hymet-
tus, a number ot bees dropping honey settled upon his
lips, thus foreshadowing the extraordinary sweetness of
his eloquence. According to another story, his future
greatness was foreshown by a dream of Socrates, who
saw in his sleep a young swan coming from the grove
of Academus; after nestling in his bosom, it soared
aloft, singing sweetly as it rose. The next morning,
just as Socrates had finished relating his dream, Arisin
presented himself, leading by the hand young Plain,
whom he wished to place under the instruction of that
distinguished sage.

Plato was a remarkable example of that universal
culture which characterized the best period of ancient
Greece. He appears to have neglected no branch of
science or art which was considered to form any part
of a liberal education. He studied music, rhetoric, and
painting, and, after the manner of his countrymen, paid
great attention to gymnastics, in which he was so ex-
pert, we are told, that he contended at the Isthmian and
Pythian games. In early life he is said to have turned
his attention to poetry, and to have written an epic poem,
which, however, on comparing it with the " Iliad," he
burned in despair. lie also composed some lyrics and
several tragedies. But " having once," as ^Elian ex-
presses it, " been captivated by the siren of Socrates,"
lie gave himself up wholly to the study of philosophy.
He was in his twentieth year, as it appears, when he
began to attend the school of Socrates, where he con-
tinued until his master's death, (399 B.C.) After thi.<=

Chaucer gives the name PLATON, or PLATONK, and PLATO.

event, in order to escape the persecutions which threat-
ened them, he, with several other Socratic disciples,
withdrew to Megara, where they were received by the
philosopher Euclid, who had also been a pupil of Socra-
tes. Plato is said subsequently to have travelled exten-
sively, visiting Egypt, Sicily, and Magna Graecia, where
he became acquainted with the doctrines of Pythagoras.
Some writers speak of his having journeyed into the
interior of Asia for the purpose of enriching his mind
with the wisdom of the Persians, Babylonians, and other
nations of the East ; but of this there is not a particle
of trustworthy evidence. While in Sicily he became
acquainted with Dion, (or Dio,) who introduced him to
Dionysius the Elder. But the philosopher, as might
well be supposed, was not likely to find much favour in
the eyes of an unscrupulous and reckless tyrant. They
soon quarrelled, and on one occasion Dionysius, it is
said, was so deeply offended with the freedom of some
of Plato's remarks, that, had not Dion interposed, he
would have punished him with death. Although the
tyrant was prevailed on to spare his life, he caused him to
be sold as a slave. He was, however, ransomed and set
at liberty, some say by Dion, others, by Anniceris of
Cyrene. Having returned to Athens, he opened a school,
called the Academy, (Academia,) in a grove, which had
formerly belonged to a citizen named Academus or
Hecademus. His school was numerously attended by
young men of the most distinguished families of Athens
and of all Greece. Even women were numbered, it
is said, among his disciples. After having taught in
Athens more than twenty years, he again visited Sicily,
at the solicitation of Dion, who hoped that Plato's influ-
ence might be successful in winning to philosophy the
younger Dionysius, and in establishing, through him, a
model government in Syracuse. (For a most interesting
account of this experiment and its failure, see Grote's
" History of Greece," vols. x. and xi.) He afterwards
visited Syracuse for the third time, in order to effect a
reconciliation between Dionysius and Dion ; but in this
attempt he was wholly unsuccessful. He returned to
Athens, where he continued to write and teach until his
death, which occurred 347 B.C., in his eighty-fourth year.
According to some writers, however, he died in his eighty-
first year. He was, as Cicero informs us, occupied in
writing at the very moment of his death. There is per-
haps in the history of the human intellect no example
of any one having dedicated himself with a more abso-
lute devotion to philosophy (the "love or study of wis-
dom") than Plato. He was never married ; and, from
the time when he first became acquainted with Socrates,
(about his twentieth year,) every moment of his long
life appears to have been spent in the interest of his
favourite pursuit.

This entire dedication of all his powers to one grand
object has not been without results of the highest im-
portance to mankind. Probably no other philosopher,
of whatever age or nation, has contributed so much as
Plato towards the moral and intellectual culture of the
human race. This pre-eminence is to be ascribed not
solely to his transcendent intellect or to the marvellous
depth and comprehensiveness of his philosophic views,
but also in no small measure to his poetic power, and
to that unrivalled grace and beauty of style which led
the ancients to say that if Jove should speak Greek he
would speak like Plato. Macaulay, alluding to Plato's
wonderful power as a writer, speaks of him as "the
finest of human intellects, exercising boundless dominion
over the finest of human languages." (" Essay on Lord
Bacon.") The charms of his style, indeed, by awakening
the interest and admiration of all lovers of literature,
have doubtless been one of the chief causes of that state
of excellent preservation in which his works have come
down to us. For, by a singular good fortune, all his
philosophical writings, there is reason to believe, have
been preserved, not only unmutilated with respect to
the different parts, but with the text, comparatively
speaking, uncorrupted and unimpaired.

With respect to Plato's character as a man we know
scarcely anything except what is revealed in his works.
" Despite the disposition of the Greeks for calumny,"
says Ritter, "there are but few evil rumours against

i, e, i, o, u, y, long; a, e, 6, same, less prolonged; a, e, 1, 6, u, y, short; a, e, i, 9, obscure; far, fill, lit; met; nfit; good; moon;




which we have to vindicate the purity of his moral con-
duct." The same writer not only rejects as unfounded
the charges against the purity of Plato's private char-
acter, but regards as either wholly unjust or greatly
exaggerated the imputation against him of malice or
ill feeling towards certain other disciples of Socrates,
such as Xenophon, Euclid, Aristippus, and others,
whose views on many points differed widely from his
own. Plato has been accused by some modern writers
of being wanting in patriotism and in a sympathy foi
humanity. Both of these charges seem to us unjust.
The state of political morals in his time was such that
he could scarcely hope to effect any good by taking an
active part in public affairs. By doing so, there is every
reason to believe, he would have only embroiled himself
in an endless conflict with men with whom his standard
of right would not permit him to co-operate. Besides,
his talents do not appear to have fitted him for politics ;
and he is certainly not to be censured for confining him-
self to that field of labour for which nature had best
qualified him. The charge that he was wanting in a
sympathy for human nature appears to have no other
foundation than the fact that he had no sympathy with
vice and ignorance, two most conspicuous features in
the human nature which he saw around him. Yet the
great object, and, we may add, the tendency, of nearly
all his teachings was to make mankind happier by
making them wiser and better.*

With respect to Plato's philosophic system, it is im-
possible to say with any precision how much of it was
properly his own, and how much was derived from his
great master. (See SOCRATES.) It is a fine saying of
Mr. Emerson, that " Socrates and Plato are the double
star which the most powerful instruments will not en-
tirely separate. "t The plan and limits of the present
work will permit us only to glance at some of the most
striking characteristics of Plato's philosophy as we find
it unfolded in his writings. His system may be consid-
ered from two points of view, the one having reference
to the method, the other to the remits, of his philosophic
investigations. His method, which appears to be scarcely
more than an extension of that of Socrates, was undoubt-
edly a great improvement on the methods of previous

But the admirable lessons of his great teacher, re-
specting the manner and spirit with which the search
after truth should be conducted, would in all probability
have been quickly forgotten and lost to the world, had
not Plato made them immortal by his writings. Re-
ferring the reader to the article on SOCRATES for a brief
notice of the Socratic method, we shall here limit our-
selves to simply calling attention to some of the most
remarkable points in Plato's philosophic creed, without
attempting, in our narrow space, to give even a complete
outline of his system. He taught that God was the
supreme Idea or Essence of the universe, comprising
within himself all other beings, and was the Cause of all
things, celestial and terrestrial. He alone is good, with-
out envy, willing good to all so far as each is capable of
receiving it : God alone is unchangeable. Plato strongly
condemned the views, then prevalent, which represented

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Online LibraryJoseph ThomasUniversal pronouncing dictionary of biography and mythology (Volume 2) → online text (page 231 of 425)