The Latin principes formed one of the great divisions of the Roman infantry; so called because they were originally the first to begin the fight. After the Hastati were instituted, this privilege was transferred to the new division.
Prince. (See Black.)
Prince of alchemy. Rudolph II., Emperor of Germany, also called The German Hermes Trismegistus. Prince of gossips. Samuel Pepys, noted for his gossiping Diary, commencing January 1st, 1659, and continued for nine years. (1632-1703.)
Prince of grammarians. (See Grammarians.) Prince of Peace. The Messiah (Isaiah ix. 6). Prince of the Power of the Air. Satan (Eph. ii. 2). Prince of the vegetable kingdom. So Linnæus calls the palm-tree.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894