Greek mythological hero in the Trojan War, leader of the force from Phylace and other Thessalian cities west of the Pegasaean Gulf. Though aware that an oracle had foretold death for the first of the invading Greeks to land at Troy, he was the first ashore and the first to fall. His bride, Laodameia, was so grief stricken that the gods granted her request that Protesilaus be allowed to return from the dead for three hours. At the expiration of the time she accompanied him to the underworld, either by taking her own life or by immolating herself in the flames in which her father burned the waxen image of Protesilaus that she had been cherishing.
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