Who’s Proteus in Greek mythology?

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Proteus, a Greek god of the sea, is known for his shapeshifting abilities and oracular powers. He is the son of Poseidon and Thetis and has three children. Several Greek heroes sought his help, and he appears in works of poetry and fiction. Another character named Proteus is a king of Egypt.

Proteus is a Greek god of the sea who is able to change his shape at will. This association explains the word “protein,” which is used to describe something extremely flexible or ever-changing. Although this god is not as well known as some members of the Greek pantheon, he has appeared in some Greek myths and his name suggests that he may be quite old, as protos means “first” in Greek.

According to legend, Proteus is the son of Poseidon and Thetis, and his official job is to herd Poseidon’s seals on the island of Lemnos. He often appears in the form of a bull seal, tending the cows in the herd. However, Proteus is also able to see into the future, so he is a form of oracle, which would make him a reverent figure in Greek mythology. He also has three children, Polygonos, Telegonos and Eidothea, who periodically appear in myths alongside and separated from their father.

Homer described Proteus as the “old man of the sea”, describing his formidable oracular powers. However, according to Homer, his skills came at a price. The god would only tell the future to someone who was able to catch and hold him, and his shapeshifting abilities could make that quite a challenge. Only after he was defeated would Proteus agree to tell the future or help people, but his advice was generally sound, because he was obligated to tell the truth.

Several Greek heroes are said to have come to Proteus for help with various problems, ranging from atonement for offenses against the gods to repairing damage to crops and livestock. Menelaus, for example, would have learned of Agamemnon’s death from him, and Proteus also helped him when he was appeased by the other gods.

Because the idea of ​​being able to shapeshift at will is both intriguing and appealing to many people, Proteus often appears in works of poetry and fiction, and characters based on him sometimes appear in movies as well. Characters with protean abilities are typically portrayed as extremely powerful, whether villains or heroes, as shapeshifting has a large number of uses, and qualities such as flexibility and ingenuity are often seen as positive character traits.

Another character named Proteus also appears in Greek mythology. He is a king of Egypt and is not related to the god.

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