Proteus was the herdsman for Poseiden, Greek god of the sea. He had great powers of prophecy, and he lived in a huge cave and watched over his herds of sea calves. He prophesized only if seized. But no one could catch him because he would change himself into the shape of many other things. Changing his form, like the sea, was his means of avoiding capture. The only way he could be caught was to surprise him in his sleep.
   Menelaus, king of Sparta, had exceeding difficulty in returning from Troy. His trip home took eight years. When he finally ran short of provisions, he was advised by a nymph that Proteus, if forced, could tell him the way home. Menelaus found the god in deep slumber, seized him, and held on despite Proteus's successive transformations into a lion, a serpent, a. leopard, a boar, water, and a tree. Proteus gave in and provided the information Menelaus wanted.
   A person who can vary his attitude at will or is shifty and fickle is protean. In a complimentary sense, it may refer to someone blessed with versatile talents or a flexible nature.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Proteus — bezeichnet: Proteus (Mythologie), Gestalt aus der griechischen Mythologie Vom alten Proteus, Erzählung von Wilhelm Raabe (1875) einen Menschen mit undeutlichem, wechselndem Charakter, siehe proteische Persönlichkeit Proteus Syndrom, Erkrankung… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • proteus — ● proteus nom masculin Genre bactérien comprenant des bacilles à Gram négatif appartenant à la famille des entérobactéries. proteus n. m. MICROB Bactérie intestinale qui provoque des infections essentiellement urinaires. ⇒PROTEUS, (PROTEUS,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • PROTEUS — (satellite) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Proteus. Vue d artiste Calipso Proteus est le nom de la plate forme mu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Proteus — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Proteus puede referirse a: Proteus, género de enterobacterias causante de infecciones del tracto urinario; Proteus anguinus, animal anfibio y único representante del género Proteus; Proteus, software para el diseño… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Proteus — Proteus: Европейский протей (Proteus anguinus)  хвостатая амфибия семейства протеев, единственный вид рода Протеи. Proteus (англ.)русск. мультипротокольний клиент мгновенного обмена сообщениями для Mac OS X. Proteus (подводный… …   Википедия

  • PROTEUS — Deus marinus, Neptuni et Phoenices fil. teste Tzetze hist. 44. Chil. 2. qui in Pharo Alexandriae habitavit, Toronenque ex Aegypto in Phlegram Pallenes profectus uxorem duxit, ex qua filios suscepit Tmylum ac Telegonum, de quibus Eurip. in Hecuba …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Proteus — {{Proteus}} 1. Ein alter, kluger, wandlungsfähiger Meergott, der auf der ägyptischen Insel Pharos Robben hütete. Menelaos** zwang ihn dazu, ihm die Zukunft zu verkünden (Odyssee IV 364–570). Der Name des Proteus wird heute noch gelegentlich… …   Who's who in der antiken Mythologie

  • Proteus — c.1400, from Gk. Proteus (see PROTEUS (Cf. Proteus)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Proteus — [prō′tē əs] n. [ME Protheus < L Proteus < Gr Prōteus] 1. Gr. Myth. a minor sea god and servant of Poseidon: he can change his form or appearance at will 2. [often p ] a person who changes his or her appearance or principles easily …   English World dictionary

  • Proteus — Género de bacilos gramnegativos móviles que con frecuencia se asocian a infecciones nosocomiales y que se encuentran habitualmente en las heces, en el agua y en el suelo. Proteus puede provocar infecciones de vías urinarias, pielonefritis,… …   Diccionario médico

  • proteus — protèus m DEFINICIJA zool. čovječja ribica, v. čovječji ETIMOLOGIJA lat. proteus, v. Protej …   Hrvatski jezični portal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.