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PEREGRINUS PROTEUS (2nd cent. A.D.)

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Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 138 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PEREGRINUS PROTEUS (2nd cent. A.D.), Cynic philosopher, of Parium in Mysia. At an early age he was suspected of parricide, and was obliged to leave his native place. During his wanderings he reached Palestine, where he ingratiated him-self with the Christian community, and became its virtual head. His fanatical zeal and craving for notoriety led to his imprisonment, but the governor of Syria let him go free, to prevent his posing as a martyr. He then returned to Parium to claim his paternal inheritance, but finding that the circumstances of his father's death were not yet forgotten, he publicly surrendered all claims to the property in favour of the municipality. He resumed his wandering life, at first assisted by the Christians, but having been detected profaning the rites of the Church, he was excommunicated. During a visit to Egypt he made the acquaintance of the famous Cynic Agathobulus and joined the sect. Meeting with little encouragement, he made his way to Rome, whence he was expelled for insulting the emperor Antoninus Pius. Crossing to Greece, he finally took up his abode at Athens. Here he devoted himself to the study and teaching of philosophy, and obtained a considerable number of pupils, amongst them Aulus Gellius, who speaks of him in very favour-able terms. But, having given offence by his attacks on Herodes Atticus and finding his popularity diminishing, he determined to create a sensation. He announced his intention of immolating himself on a funeral pyre at the celebration of the Olympian games in 165, and actually carried it out. Lucian, who was present, has given a full description of the event. C. M. Wieland's Geheime Geschichte des Philosophen Peregrinus Proteus (Eng. trans., 1796) is an attempt to rehabilitate his character. See also Lucian, De morte Peregrini ; Aulus Gellius xii. I 1 ; Ammianus Marcellinus xxix.; Philostratus, Vit. So ph. ii. 1, 33; J. Bernays, Lucian and die Kyniker (1875); E. Zeller, " Alexander and Peregrinus," in his Vortrage and Abhandlungen, ii. (1877). -PEREIRE [PEREIRA], GIACOBBO RODRIGUEZ (1715-1780), one of the inventors of deaf-mute language, a member of a Spanish-Jewish family, was born at Estremadura, Spain, on the 11th of April 1715. At the age of eighteen he entered a business at Bordeaux. Here he fell in love with a young girl who had been dumb from birth, and henceforth devoted himself to discover a method of imparting speech to deaf-mutes. His first subject was Aaron Baumann, a co-religionist, whom he taught to enunciate the letters of the alphabet, and to articulate certain ordinary phrases. He next devised a sign alphabet for the use of one hand only, and in 1749 he brought his second pupil before the Paris Academy of Sciences, the members of which were astonished at the results he had accomplished. In 1759 Pereire was made .a member of the Royal Society of London. He died at Paris on the 15th of September 1780.
End of Article: PEREGRINUS PROTEUS (2nd cent. A.D.)
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