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On this page: Prothoenor – Prothous – Protogeneia – Protogenes



iv. 400 ; Virg. Geory. iv. 395). Any one wishing to compel him to foretell the future, was obliged to catch hold of him at that time ; he, indeed, had the power of assuming every possible shape, in order to escape the necessity of prophesying, but whenever he saw that his endeavours were of no avail, he resumed his usual appearance, and told the truth (Horn. OcL iv. 410, &c. 455, &c.; Ov. Art. Am. i. 76\,Fast. i. 369 ; Philostr. Vit. ApoU. i. 4). When he had finished his prophecy he re­turned into the sea (Horn. Od. iv. 570). Homer (Od. iv. 365) ascribes to him one daughter, Eidothea, but Strabo (x. p. 472) mentions Cabeiro as a second, and Zenodottis (ap. Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1500) mentions Eurvnome instead of Eidothea. He is


sometimes represented as riding through the sea, in a chariot drawn by Hippocampaq. (Virg. Georg. iv. 389.)

Another set of traditions describes Proteus as a son of Poseidon, and as a king of Egypt, who had two sons, Telegonus and Polygonus or Tmolus. (Apollod. ii. 5. § 9; Tzetz. ad Lyv. 124.) Diodorus however observes (i. 62), that only the Greeks called him Proteus, and that the Egyptians called him Cetes. His wife is called Psamathe (Eurip. Hel. 7) or Torone (Tzetz. ad Lye. 115), and, besides the above mentioned sons, Theoclymenus and Theonoe are likewise called his children. (Eurip. Hel. 9, 13.) He is said to have hos­ pitably received Dionysus during his wanderings (Apollod. iii. 5. § 1), and Hermes brought to him Helena after her abduction (Eurip. Hel. 46), or, according to others, Proteus himself took her from Paris, gave to the lover a phantom, and restored the true Helen to Menelaus after his return from Troy. (Tzetz. ad Lye. 112,820; Herod, ii. 112,118.) The story further relates that Proteus was originally an Egyptian, but that he went to Thrace and there married Torone. But as his sons by her used great violence towards strangers, he prayed to his father Poseidon to carry him back to Egypt. Poseidon accordingly opened a chasm in the earth in Pallene, and through a passage passing through the earth under the sea he led him back into Egypt. (Tzetz. ad Lye,. 124 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 686.) A second personage of the name of Proteus is mentioned by Apollodorus (ii. 1. § 5) among the sons of Aegyptus. [L. S.]

PROTHOENOR (npwM"«p), a son of Arei- lycus, was one of the leaders of the Boeotians against Troy, where he was slain by Polydamas. (Horn. //. ii. 495, xiv. 450, &c.) [L. S.]

PROTHOUS (IIpo0oos), a son of Tenthredon, commander of the Magnates who dwelt about mount Pelion and the river Peneius, was one of the Greek heroes at Troy. (Horn. II. ii. 758.) There are three other mythical personages of this name, one a son of Agrius (Apollod. i. 8. § 6), the second a son of Lycaon (iii. 8. § 1), and a third a son of Thestius and brother of Althaea. (Pans, viii. 45. § 5, who calls him TlpoQovs.) [L. S.]

PROTOGENEIA (Upwroyeveia). 1. A daugh­ter of Deucalion and Pyrrha. (Apollod. i. 7. § 2.) She was married to Locrus, but had no children ; Zeus, however, who carried her off, became by her, on mount Maenalus in Arcadia, the father of Opus. (Schol. ad Find. Ol. ix. 85 ; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1780.) According to others she was not the mother, but a daughter of Opus. (Schol. ad Find. I.e.) Eridymion also is called a son of Protogeueia. (Conon, Narrat. 14.)


2. A daughter of Calydon and Aeolia. (Apollod. i. 7. §7.) [L.S.]

PROTOGENES (rtywroyeVrys), the chief in­strument of the cruelties of the emperor Caligula, used to carrv about him two books, one called tliQ

V '

sword, and the other the dagger, in which were en­tered the names of the persons destined for death. These books were found, after the emperor's death, in his secret depositaries. They were burnt by order of Claudius, who likewise put Protogenes to death. (Dion Cass. lix. 26, Ix. 4; Suet. Cal. 27 ; Oros. vii. 5.)

PROTOGENES (nparoycvris), artists. 1. One of the most celebrated Greek painters, lived at the period of the greatest perfection of the art, and was contemporary with Apelles, about 01. 112, b. c. 332. Almost all we know of him is contained in a passage of Pliny, the text of which is very much corrupted, yet not so as to affect any essen­tial point in the history of the artist or his works. (Plin. //. N. xxxv. 10. s. 36. § 20.)

Protogenes was a native of Caunus, in Caria, a city subject to the Rhodians.* (Comp. Pans. i. 3. § 4 ; Plut. Demetr. 22 : Suidas makes him a native of Xanthus, in Lycia, s. v.) He resided at Rhodes almost entirely ; the only other city of Greece which he is said to have visited is Athens, where he executed one of his great works in the Propylaea. He appears to have been one of those men, who, combining the highest genius with mo­desty and contentment, only obtain by the exer­tions of generous friends the reputation which they have earned by their own merits. Up to his fiftieth year he is said to have lived in poverty and in comparative obscurity, supporting himself by paint­ing ships, which at that period used to be deco­rated with elaborate pictorial devices. His fame had, however, reached the ears of Apelles, who, upon visiting Rhodes, made it his first business to seek out Protogenes. The interesting trial of skill, by which the two artists introduced them­selves to each other, has been related under apel­les. As the surest way of making the merits of Protogenes known to his fellow-citizens, Apelles offered him, for his finished works, on which Pro­togenes himself had set a very insignificant price, the enormous sum of fifty talents apiece (quinqua-genis talentis), at the same time spreading the report, that he intended to sell the pictures as his own. The Rhodians were thus roused to an understanding of what an artist they had among them ; and Apelles at once confirmed the im­pression, and made those who were anxious to retain such valuable works in their country pay for their previous indiiference, by refusing to part with them except for an advanced price. (Plin. /. c. §13.)

We possess the record of another interesting scene in the artist's tranquil life. When Demetrius Po-liorcetes was using every effort to subdue Rhodes, he refrained from attacking the city at its most vul­nerable point, lest he should injure the masterpiece of Protogenes, his lalysus, which had been placed

* The words of Pliny, gentis Rhodiis subjectae, which have given the critics much trouble, are now established as the true reading by the autho­rity oftheBamber MS., confirmed by historical testimonies as to the matter of fact. (See Janus's collation of the Bamberg MS. appended to Sillig's edition of Pliny.1)

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