PREMIUM (Lat. praemium, profit, reward, prae + emere, to buy), in general, a reward or prize; a consideration. In the law of insurance, the sum of money or consideration (either annual or in a lump sum) which the insured pays the insurers in order to gain a certain amount in the event of some specific loss happening is termed a premium. The word is applied to the fee paid in consideration of being taught a trade or profession. It is also used in the sense of “bonus,” as something beyond or additional, as in the phrases, “premium bonus system,” “premium system,” where a bonus or sum is given in addition to wages in proportion to the value of the work done. On the stock exchange, when a security has not yet been fully paidup, it is customary to quote its price at par, or so much premium or discount. Par represents the amount actually paid up on it, while if it is above the level it is said to be at a premium of so much, or if below at a discount.
PREMONITION (from Lat. prae, before, monere, to advise or warn), an impression relating to a future event. Strictly the word should mean a warning proceeding from an external source. Its modern extension to all forms of impression supposed to convey information as to the future is justified on the assumption that such intimations commonly originate in the subliminal consciousness of the percipient and are thence transferred to the ordinary consciousness. In modern times the best attested premonitions are those relating to events about to occur in the subject's own organism. It was observed by the animal magnetists at the beginning of the 19th century in France and Germany, that certain of their subjects, when in the “magnetic” trance, could foretell accurately the course of their diseases, the date of the occurrence of a crisis and the length of time needed to effect a cure. Similar observations were subsequently recorded in Great Britain and in America (see, for instance, the case of Anna Winsor, 1860-1863, reported by Dr Ira Barrows). The power of prediction possessed by the subject in such cases may be explained in two ways: (1) As due to an abnormal power of perception possessed by certain persons, when in the hypnotic trance, of the working of their own pathological processes; or (2) more probably, as the result of self-suggestion; the organism is “set” to explode at a given date in a crisis, or to develop the fore-ordained symptoms.
Apart from these cases there are two types of alleged premonitions. (1) The future event may be foreshadowed by a symbol. Amongst the best known of these symbolic impressions are banshees, corpse lights, phantom funeral processions, ominous animals or sounds and symbolic dreams (e.g. of teeth falling out). Of all such cases it is enough to say that it is impossible for the serious inquirer to establish any causal connexion between the omen and the event which it is presumed to foreshadow. (2) There are many instances, recorded by educated witnesses, of dreams, visions, warning voices, &c., giving precise information as to coming events. In some of these cases, where the dream, &c., has been put on record before its “fulfilment” is known, chance is sufficient to explain the coincidence, as in the recorded cases of dreams foretelling the winner of the Derby or the death of a crowned head. In cases where such an explanation is precluded by the nature of the details foreshadowed, the evidence is found to be defective, generally from the absence of contemporary documents. The persistent belief on the part of the narrators in the genuineness of their previsions indicates that in some cases there may be a hallucination of memory, analogous to the well known feeling of “false recognition.” Prof. Josiah Royce has suggested for this supposed form of hallucination the term “pseudo-presentiment.”
Bibliography.—See Puységur, Du Magnétisme animal (1807); Alexandre Bertrand, Traité du somnambulisme (1823); Mrs H. Sidgwick, Proceedings S.P.R., vol. v.; F. W. H. Myers, Proceedings S.P.R., vol. xi.; F. W. H. Myers, Human Personality (1903); F. Podmore, Studies in Psychical Research (1897); Proceedings American Society for Psychical Research (1889, Report on Phantasms and Presentiments); Annales des sciences psychiques (Jan.-Feb., 1889, Article on Premonitions by G. B. Ermacora).
- (F. P.)
PREMONSTRATENSIANS, also called Norbertines, and in England White Canons, from the colour of the habit: an order of Augustinian Canons founded in 1120 by St Norbert, afterwards archbishop of Magdeburg. He had made various efforts to introduce a strict form of canonical life in various communities of canons in Germany; in 1120 he was working in the diocese of Laon, and there in a desert place, called Prémontré, in Aisne, he and thirteen companions established a monastery to be the cradle of a new order. They were canons regular and followed the so-called Rule of St Augustine (see Augustinians), but with supplementary statutes that made the life one of great austerity. St Norbert was a friend of St Bernard of Clairvaux—and he was largely influenced by the Cistercian ideals as to both the manner of life and the government of his order. But as the Premonstratensians were not monks but canons regular, their work was preaching and the exercise of the pastoral office, and they served a large number of parishes incorporated in their monasteries. The order was founded in 1120; in 1126, when it received papal approbation, there were nine houses; and others were established in quick succession throughout western Europe, so that at the middle of the 14th century there are said to have been over 1300 monasteries of men and 400 of women. The Premonstratensians played a predominant part in the conversion of the Wends and the Christianizing and civilizing of the territories about the Elbe and the Oder. In time mitigations and relaxations crept in, and these gave rise to reforms and semi-independent congregations within the order. The Premonstratensians came into England (c. 1143) first at Newhouse in Lincoln, and before the dissolution under Henry VIII. there were 35 houses. At the beginning of the 19th century the order had been almost exterminated, only eight houses surviving, all in the Austrian dominions. There are now some 20 monasteries and 1000 canons, who serve numerous parishes; and there are two or three small houses in England. The strength of the order now lies in Belgium, where at Tongerloo is a great Premonstratensian abbey that still maintains a semblance of its medieval state.
Helyot, Histoire des ordres réligieux (1714), ii. chs. 23-26; Max Heimbucher, Orden u. Kongregationen (1907), ii. § 56; articles in Wetzer u. Welte Kirchenlexicon (2nd ed.) and Herzog Realencyklopädie (3rd ed.). The best special study is F. Winter, Die Prämonstratenser des 12. Jahrh. und ihre Bedeutung für das nordöstliche Deutschland (1865).
- (E. C. B.)
PŘEMYSL, the reputed ancestor of the line of dukes and kings which ruled in Bohemia from 873 or earlier until the murder of Wenceslaus III. in 1306, and which was known as the Přemyslide dynasty. According to legend Přemysl was a peasant of Staditz who attracted the notice of Libussa, daughter of a certain Krok, who ruled over a large part of Bohemia, and is said to have been descended from Samo. Přemysl married Libussa, the traditional foundress of Prague, and during the 8th century became prince of the Bohemian Čechs. His family became extinct when Wenceslaus III. died, but through females the title to Bohemia passed from the Přemyslides to the house of Luxemburg and later to the house of Habsburg.
See F. Palacky, Geschichte von Böhmen, Bd. I. (Prague, 1844).
PRENZLAU, or Prenzlow, a town of Germany, in the Prussian province of Brandenburg. It lies on the lower Ucker See, 30 m. W. by S. of Stettin by rail. Pop. (1905), 20,929. The Gothic church of St Mary (Evangelical), dating from 1340, is one of the finest churches in the district, and the remains of the town gates, walls and towers are also interesting. The industries include wool spinning, iron-founding, brewing and sugar-refining. Tobacco is grown in the neighbourhood, and cigars are manufactured in the town.
Prenzlau is first mentioned in a document of the close of the 12th century, and received its municipal charter in 1235. As the capital of the old Uckermark it was a frequent object of dispute between Pomerania and Brandenburg until incorporated with the latter about 1480. At Prenzlau Prince Hohenlohe, with his corps of 12,000 men, surrendered to Murat on the retreat after the battle of Jena in October 1806.
See I. Ziegler, Prenzlau, die ehemalige Hauptstadt der Uckermark (Prenzlau, 1886).
PRERAU (Czech, Přerov), a town of Austria, in Moravia, 56 m. E.N.E. of Brünn by rail. Pop. (1900), 16,738, chiefly