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date: 26 March 2023



  • Andrew Brown


Protesilaus, leader of a Thessalian contingent at *Troy (see thessaly). According to Iliad 2. 698–702 he was the first of the Greeks to disembark and was immediately killed, ‘and his wife was left tearing her cheeks and his house half-built’. This is later elaborated, mainly (to our knowledge) in Latin authors (Catullus 68. 73–130; Ovid, Her. 13, Laodamia to Protesilaus; Hyginus 103–4). Here Protesilaus had offended the gods by failing to sacrifice before he began his house. An oracle prophesied that the first man ashore at Troy would die and he deliberately sacrificed himself. His wife Laodamia grieved so for his loss that the gods allowed her to see him for three hours, after which she killed herself; or she spent so much time with an image of him that her father burnt it and she flung herself on the fire.There was a shrine and tomb of Protesilaus at Elaeus in the Thracian *Chersonesus; Pausanias (1.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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