Procrustes

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Procrustes

(prōkrŭs`tēz), in Greek mythology, cruel highwayman. He forced passersby to lie on a very long bed and then stretched them to fit it. Some said that he also had a very short bed; to make passersby fit this he sawed off their legs. Using Procrustes' own villainous methods, Theseus killed him.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Procrustes

 

in ancient Greek mythology, a giant robber who forced travellers to lie down on a bed, cutting off the feet of those who were longer than the bed and stretching out those who were shorter to make them fit the bed’s length; hence his name, which means “he who stretches.” Metaphorically, a “bed of Procrustes,” or “Procrustean bed,” is any artificial means of measure that has no relation to the real meaning of a phenomenon; any forcibly imposed limitation.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Procrustes

robber; stretches or amputates limbs of victims to fit his bed. [Class. Myth.: Zimmerman, 221]

Procrustes

made travelers fit bed by stretching or lopping off their legs. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 221]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
It takes two to tango: customization and standardization as colluding logics in healthcare: Comment on "(Re) Making the procrustean bed standardization and customization as competing logics in healthcare." Int J Health Policy Manag.
The problem is not so much the flaws of this book, but what it shows of the current preference for grand theses in which major scholars fit everything into a procrustean bed. If military history seems a particular victim of such works, with bold, but misleading remarks about modern or total warfare, as in David Bell's recent book title, in practice the issue is far more widespread.
While the book, "A Whole New World: Great Insights into Transformation & Fulfillment-The Gospel of John," gives the appearance that it is going to help the reader work through the Gospel of John, and give a greater grasp of the Gospel and how it personally applies, instead the book is more of a reflection on the author's preconceived mold into which the chosen texts are made to fit like a Procrustean bed.
These limits do not, however, constitute a Procrustean bed for scholars consulting the dictionary, because the editors have conceived this as an open-ended forum for scholarly exchange, through a "Corrigenda and Addenda" section appended to volumes two (pp.
Every critic and supporter of the war will want to stretch or mutilate it to fit the Procrustean bed of their own particular position.
Unlike the answer to the Uraon riddle, her book comes with open hands, linking a wealth of references and ideas without trying to reduce them to a Procrustean bed of argument.
If Possible Scotlands errs on the side of selectivity and over-emphasis, it is because it has a good case, and there is plenty of room to make up in countering those critics who have--and this is amply demonstrated--trimmed Scott on a Procrustean bed to suit a predetermined agenda.
The organizational principle, and indeed, the main agenda of Cantrell's book, is the rehabilitation of the Celtic-Southern thesis; as one might expect, it has a way of becoming the procrustean bed to which Cantrell returns with a kind of doomed, compulsive insistence.
Kircher is nonetheless too careful a reader to trap his humanist writers in a Procrustean bed of resistance to clerical teaching.
At times, to be sure, Honold pursues his thesis a bit too single-mindedly, as in his almost routine identification of Holderlin's many 'Feste' with French revolutionary celebrations, and his Procrustean bed causes him to ignore aspects of poems taken as a whole, especially the longer elegies and hymns.
Every conservative position from cutting taxes to cutting down old-growth forests is stuffed willy-nilly into his Procrustean bed, and too often the results are transparently strained and implausible.
Bobes Naves shows how, while censoring the play as such is largely eschewed, Fernandez de Moratin's commentary systematically attempts, through censuring it, to neoclassicise the unruly Shakespearean text, "recommending" the excision of scenes and lines which do not fit the Procrustean bed of Aristotelianism.