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Headword: *pri/skos
Adler number: pi,2303
Translated headword: Priscus
Vetting Status: high
Of Emesa;[1] "he knew how to imitate other people's writing exceedingly well and was a very adept craftsman in this wickedness. The church of the Emesenes happened many years previously to have become heir to the estate of one of the prominent people. This man, a patrician by rank and Mam[m]ianus by name, was illustrious for his lineage and his abundance of wealth. Under Justinian Priscus calculated the entire resources of the aforementioned city, and if he found any who were flourishing in wealth and in a position to deal with a large loss of money, he investigated their forefathers in great detail, found their old writings and produced many documents supposedly written by them agreeing to render to Mam[m]ianus large sums of money which had been supplied to them by him by way of a deposit. The amount agreed to in the forged writings came to no less than 100 centenaria. There was also a man who had an office in the forum in those days when Mam[m]ianus was living who had a high reputation for honesty and character. This man used to notarize the writings of the citizens, personally putting a seal on each of them with his own handwriting, the sort the Romans call a tabellio. Fiendishly imitating this man's writings he gave them to those who managed the affairs of the church of the Emesenes, after they had agreed to set aside for him a certain portion of the money obtained in this fashion. But since they were impeded by a law that set a thirty-year limit to all other sorts of cases, but for a few, including all those related to mortgages, dismissed those of 40 years length, they went to Byzantium, and having offered money to the emperor Justinian, persuaded him without the least to-do to write a law, [to the effect] that the churches[2] would be excluded from the cases pertaining to them not in the proper times, but for a period of 100 years." Chapter of Justinian in force for 100 years.[3]
Greek Original:
*pri/skos, *)emeshno/s: o(/sper a)llo/tria gra/mmata mimei=sqai u(perfuw=s e)chpi/stato texni/ths te h)=n peri\ to\ kako\n tou=to decio\s a)/gan. e)tu/gxane de\ h( tw=n *)emeshnw=n e)kklhsi/a tw=n tino\s e)pifanw=n klhrono/mos gegenhme/nh xro/nois tisi\ polloi=s e)/mprosqen. h)=n de\ ou(=tos a)nh/r, patri/kios me\n to\ a)ci/wma, *mamiano\s de\ o)/noma, ge/nei lampro\s kai\ periousi/a| xrhma/twn. e)pi\ de\ *)ioustinianou= o( *pri/skos diariqmhsa/menos po/lews th=s ei)rhme/nhs ta\s ou)si/as pa/sas, ei)/ tinas eu(=re plou/tw| periakma/zontas, kai\ pro\s zhmi/an xrhma/twn mega/lhn diarkw=s e)/xontas, tou/twn diereunhsa/menos e)s to\ a)kribe\s tou\s propa/toras, gra/mmasin au)tw=n palaioi=s e)ntuxw/n, bibli/dia polla\ w(s par' e)kei/nwn gegramme/na pepoi/htai, o(mologou/ntwn polla\ xrh/mata tw=| *mamianw=| a)podw/sein a(/te paraqh/khs lo/gw| tau=ta par' e)kei/nou kekomisme/noi. to/ te w(mologhme/non e)n tou/tois dh\ toi=s katapla/stois grammatei/ois cuni/ei ou)x h(=sson h)\ e)s r# kenthna/ria. kai\ a)ndro\s de/ tinos, o(/sper e)pi\ th=s a)gora=s thnika/de xro/nou kaqh/menos, h(ni/ka o( *mamiano\s perih=n, do/can te pollh\n e)pi/ te a)lhqei/a| kai\ a)reth=| e)/xwn, a(/panta e)pete/lei ta\ tw=n politw=n grammatei=a, e(/kaston au)tw=n oi)kei/ois e)pisfagi/zwn au)to\s gra/mmasin, o(/nper tabelli/wna kalou=si *(rwmai=oi, ta\ gra/mmata daimoni/ws mimhsa/menos, toi=s dioikoume/nois ta\ pra/gmata th=s tw=n *)emeshnw=n e)kklhsi/as pare/dwken, w(mologhko/si, moi=ran au)tw=| tina\ kei=sqai tw=n e)nqe/nde porisqhsome/nwn xrhma/twn. e)pei\ de\ o( no/mos e)mpodw\n i(/stato, ta\s me\n a)/llas di/kas a(pa/sas e)s triakontou=tin paragrafh\n a)/gwn, o)li/gas de\ a)/ttas kai\ ta\s u(poqhkari/as pa/sas m# e)niautw=n mh/kei e)kkrou/wn, e)s *buza/ntion a)fiko/menoi kai\ xrh/mata tw=| basilei= *)ioustinianw=| proe/menoi, mellh/sei ou)demia=| e)/peisan gra/yai no/mon, ou) xro/nois ta\s e)kklh/tous toi=s kaqh/kousin, a)ll' e)niautw=n r# plh/qei dikw=n tw=n au)tai=s proshkousw=n a)pokeklei=sqai. kefa/laion *)ioustinianou= r# e)tw=n plh/qei kratuno/menon.
The main part of the entry (in quotation marks) is a slightly garbled paraphrase of Procopius, Secret History 28.1-9. For the name Mam(m)ianos, see also mu 127.
[1] In Syria; Barrington Atlas map 68 grid C4.
[2] The Suda mistakenly substitutes ta\s e)kklh/tous ('the appellate [cases]') here for Procopius' ta\s e)kklhsi/as ('the churches').
[3] The Suda or an intermediary source adds this summary sentence.
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; imagery; law; politics; religion
Translated by: William Hutton on 24 February 2013@11:36:50.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; tweaking) on 25 February 2013@04:01:48.
Catharine Roth (betacode cosmeticule) on 25 February 2013@09:31:15.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr and note) on 8 March 2013@07:02:22.
William Hutton (tweak to note 2) on 10 March 2013@13:22:36.
William Hutton (cosmeticule) on 10 March 2013@13:23:11.
David Whitehead on 14 October 2013@06:03:54.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 5 July 2020@00:55:10.


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