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Principium appears in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:

noun | prin·cip·i·um | \prin-ˈsi-pē-əm, prin-ˈki-\:  a fundamental principle

Origin: Latin, beginning, basis

First Known Use: 1600

And on Dictionary.com as:

1575-85; < Latin prīncipium | literally, that which is first