Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
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According to Homer [Od. iv 354-569] an old man of the sea, a subject of Poseidon, who tended the seals which are the flocks of Amphitrite. Like all marine deities, he possessed the gift of prophecy and the power of assuming any shape he pleased. He used to sleep at mid-day on the island of Pharos, near Egypt. When Menelaus, on his return from Troy, was detained by contrary winds on the island, he surprised Proteus, by the advice of his daughter Idothea, and, in spite of all his transformations, held him fast until he told him the means for returning home. According to later legends [Herodotus, ii 112, 118; Euripides, Helen], Proteus was a son of Poseidon, and was an Egyptian king living on the island of Pharos, to whom Hermes conducted Helen when she was carried off by Paris, while only a phantom followed Paris to Troy. Menelaus, as he returned from Troy, received his wife again from him.
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