Definitions for old man of the sea

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  1. Old Man of the Sea

    In Greek mythology, the Old Man of the Sea was a primordial figure who could be identified as any of several water-gods, generally Nereus or Proteus, but also Tritonylors, Pontus, Phorcys or Glaucus. He is the father of Thetis. In The Odyssey by Homer, Menelaus recounts to Telemachus his journey home, and how he had to seek the advice of the Old Man of the Sea. The Old Man can answer any questions if captured, but capturing him means holding on as he changes from one form to another. Menelaus captured him, and during the course of questioning, asked if Telemachus' father Odysseus was still alive. Sinbad the Sailor encountered the monstrous Old Man of the Sea on his fifth voyage. The Old Man of the Sea in the Sinbad tales was said to trick a traveller into letting him ride on his shoulders while the traveller transported him across a stream. However, the Old Man would then not release his grip, forcing his victim to transport him wherever he pleased and allowing his victim little rest. The Old Man's victims all eventually died of this miserable treatment, but Sinbad, after having got the Old Man drunk with wine, was able to shake him off and kill him.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Old Man of the Sea

    a monster Sindbad the Sailor encountered on his fifth voyage, who fastened on his back and so clung to him that he could not shake him off till he made him drunk.

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