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Important Myths.docx

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Classical Studies
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Efharis Kostala

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I MPORTANT M YTHS P ROTEUS  The Greek god of the sea who is capable of changing his form at will. The etymological meaning comes from ‘protean’ – something extremely flexible or ever-changing  According to legend, Proteus is the son of Poseidon and Tethys, and his official job is as the herdsman of Poseidon's seals on the island of Lemnos [often appearing in the form of a bull seal]. However, he is also capable of seeing into the future, so he is a form of oracle  According to Homer, his abilities came at a price – he would only tell the future to someone who was able to capture and hold him, and his shape-shifting abilities proposed a challenge  He was obliged to tell the truth T HETIS  Thetis was a sea nymph who gave birth to the famous hero Achilles  The gods Zeus and Neptune both desired Thetis, but they did not pursue her because it was foretold that the son she bore would become greater than his father. So, the gods arranged for Thetis to marry Peleus – a mortal  She did not wish to marry him, and she changed into a sea monster and other forms to escape – Peleus held her until she changed back into a woman and agreed to marry him  Thetis bore him six sons, and she tried to make each one immortal by burning the child in a fire. She failed each time but tried a different method with her seventh son, Achilles – by dipping him into the River Styx, holding him by his ankle which would be his weakness  She called in favors from Zeus, Hephaestus and Dion
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